On Mangok Mathiang’s game winning shot
I’ll have to take a look at the tape and I don’t know if we had anybody getting to him. But we obviously wanted to make it hard for Rozier and Montrezl. I thought we defended the possession pretty well. There’s always that could we switch ball screens? Could we do some things? But with the guys we had on the floor and not going with Anthony, we thought we wanted to clean up the rebound if it’s there. I don’t want to say I expected him to not make it, but I was okay with the way we defended that possession. I don’t know if someone was scrambling to at least bother the shot, but good for him. He stepped up and hit a big shot. I don’t think that’s his forte, but he did it in a big setting and that was obviously the nail in the coffin for us.
I think we messed up defensively on that last play by running into the screen but our guys did so many good things tonight. I’m really happy we won. It would’ve been a really difficult loss because we got our 35 deflections, we were eight for eleven on the break, we moved the basketball, and their focus on the scouting report was outstanding. I was so happy Mangok made that shot because it was a big lift for our basketball team after playing real well. What we tried to do, obviously we didn’t have a lot of time to, was run a lot of motion. We were hoping that Terry could get in the lane, look down low to Montrezl if he couldn’t turn the corner. Mangok was the 64th option.
All signs had been pointing to a possible return this Saturday for Virginia’s Justin Anderson. The junior hasn’t played since the last time Louisville played Virginia back on February 7 when he broke a finger on his shooting hand. Now, another problem has come up for Anderson and he will not be playing for the Cavaliers on Saturday. On Thursday, Anderson underwent an appendectomy.
Well there are times that this season has gone by quick, and times it has gone by slow. It seems like the last month has gone by at the snap of a finger. Now we’re faced with two really difficult games to get to a double bye. Our fate is in our hands, and we’ve got two very difficult teams to go against. One team is, percentage wise, the best offensive team in the country. The other team is the best, well one of the premier defensive teams in the country. So certainly we have our hands full. But I think our guys are up for the challenge. We’ve got to do a lot of things well to have any chance of beating either one of those teams.
With just three regular season games left, the Louisville Cardinals are looking to keep one of those top 4 spots in the ACC standings, which would earn them a double-bye in the ACC Tournament. Here are the standings entering the weekend and the schedule of games for Saturday and Sunday. When looking at the standings, keep in mind that Syracuse will not be playing in any post-season tournament this year, and that includes the ACC Tournament.
This little gem found its way on twitter today. I thought I had tweeted something clever with my “Beat Virginia” tweet that would remind people of Train’s “Meet Virginia.” Turns out, Mary Robinson put a little more thought into this than I did. If you need a reminder of the original song from Train, the video is below.
Here is the full transcript (Courier-Journal) from Rick Pitino’s press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Opening statement: If you look at what they’ve accomplished this year. They way they’ve played on the road has been amazing. Apparently they’ve got one of the best arenas in the ACC and I’m looking forward to seeing it. This is a great basketball team that we have to play twice. Certainly, we’re going to have to really execute to come away with a victory.
The Cards are off this Saturday because of their game next Thursday against Florida State. There are still some other good games this weekend to pay attention to in the ACC division races. The Coastal is obviously all jumbled up as 1 game separates all 7 teams. Boston College needs to get back to their winning ways, so hosting Wake Forest should help that. Can Virginia get back on track against UNC and show that the first half of the season wasn’t a fluke?
And it will be good to see if Clemson can go on the road and play in a loud environment…
Week 8 for the ACC got started on Thursday night as Pittsburgh beat Virginia Tech 21-16 in a Coastal matchup. Obviously, the biggest game involving an ACC team is not a conference game, and that is Florida State vs Notre Dame. Other than that, there are still some good games that should put some separation between teams in the conference. Here is the schedule, followed by the standings.
Pittsburgh (4-3, 2-1) def Virginia Tech (4-3, 1-2) 21-16.
Week 6 is full of ACC Conference games, so things will be exciting today. Duke and Boston College both have a bye, but everyone else plays and they are all conference games. Louisville got the week started with their 28-6 win over Syracuse on Friday night. Here is the schedule of games for this week, along with the standings.
Louisville (5-1, 3-1) def Syracuse (2-3, 0-1) 28-6
North Carolina (2-2, 0-1) vs Virginia Tech (3-2, 0-1) 12:30 GamePlan/ESPN3
Clemson (2-2, 1-1) vs NC State (4-1, 0-1) 3:30 ESPNU
Listed below is the schedule of college football games for ACC teams in Week 4. The highlight of the day is clearly (1) Florida State vs (22) Clemson tonight. If you haven’t heard, quarterback Jameis Winston will not play at all in the game. There are some other big non-conference games that would be big wins for the ACC as Miami plays (24) Nebraska, Virginia faces (21) BYU, and Pittsburgh plays Iowa.
Right now, the only ACC teams that are ranked are Florida State and Clemson. However, there are 7 ACC teams that are on the “others receiving votes” part of the rankings. So this is a big week for the conference when it comes to national perception.
- Others receiving votes: North Carolina 82, Duke 55, Mississippi State 55, Virginia Tech 54, Penn State 51, East Carolina 44, TCU 42, Pittsburgh 40, Florida 31, Marshall 28, Boston College 22, West Virginia 14, Washington 14, Cincinnati 10, Virginia 6, Arkansas 3, Arizona 3, North Dakota State 3, Louisville 2
Virginia Tech (2-1) vs Georgia Tech (3-0) 12:00 ESPN
Pittsburgh (3-0) vs Iowa (2-1) 12:00 ESPNU
This week’s edition of Justin Time for the Weekend may be a little shorter than usual. Of course I did not get this done ahead of time, so it is about 6:45 a.m. on Friday as I type this. But the first topic I cover will explain why this post will likely be a little less content than normal. I hope everyone has a great weekend and it is highlighted by a Louisville victory on Saturday in our second ACC football game.
Heading to Virginia
That’s right. In about an hour or so, I will be hitting the road and heading towards Charlottesville, Virginia to see the Cards in their first ACC road game. I am hoping I am able to make one road trip a year to check out all of the ACC schools. Not sure I will make it to Syracuse for a football game in the Carrier Dome, because blah. I have a lot of friends going to South Bend for the Notre Dame game, which will be amazing I’m sure. But I can’t make it up there this year, so that one would be a while before I could get back. But it will be nice to be able to check Virginia off the list. I hear it is a beautiful campus and town.
Virginia was picked to finish last or at least close to last in nearly every ACC projection that I saw. Now whether they will or not remains to be seen. But that was at least the perception of them heading into the season. In saying that, I am way more excited to see us play Virginia than someone like Temple, SMU, Houston, Memphis, and other teams in our former conference. The middle of the pack and lower tier teams of the ACC are just way more exciting to me than what we are used to. Not to mention, this is just a big game in general as the Cards will try to start out 2-0 in the conference, with the next conference game being against Wake Forest at home.
Special to CardinalSportsZone.com from Andrew Ramspacher.
The following breakdown of the Virginia Cavaliers was sent to me by Andrew Ramspacher, who is the beat writer for the team for the Daily Progress in Charlottesville. Who better to get information from than the guy who covers the team daily? Here you go!
As of three weeks ago, this was clearly going to be Greyson Lambert’s team. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had been with the first team since day one of spring ball, was named co-captian in April and appeared on the cover of the media guide. He would take over from the brutal David Watford experiment (eight touchdowns, 15 interceptions as the starter in 2013) and was destined to break the on-going QB carousel that defined the Mike London era.
But then came the 2014 season opener in which Lambert was intercepted twice for touchdowns in the second quarter and the UVa staff threw in little-known Matt Johns. All Johns did was immediately lead a touchdown drive and nearly rally the Cavaliers to an upset of the then-No. 7 Bruins.
The depth charts for both the Louisville Cardinals and Virginia Cavaliers are listed below. The first thing that sticks out about Louisville’s, and it isn’t a surprise, is Michael Dyer listed as the backup running back. Hopefully this means he is finally healthy. He showed flashes of what he could do in the first game last season and then this spring, but that’s it. Other than that, he has been hampered by injuries. A healthy Michael Dyer gives the Cards a huge weapon for ACC play.
There aren’t really any other surprises on the rest of the depth chart, which is good. Let’s keep continuity and stay healthy. And when you see someone listed as a backup and not a starter, it really isn’t a big deal. We know the main guys who will get to play, whether they start or not.
With Virginia, they will go with two quarterbacks during the game, as they have in the first two games this season.
11 Will Gardner 6-5 226 So.
7 Reggie Bonnafon 6-3 206 Fr.
12 Brett Nelson 6-4 220 Sr.
On Monday, Virginia head coach Mike London met with the media for his weekly press conference. He talked about the upcoming game against the Cards as well as the state of his own team, and VirginiaSports.com has the full transcript, which you can read below.
COACH LONDON: We’ll start with a brief comment about Louisville, our ACC opponent this week. I’ve had a chance to meet Coach Petrino over the last couple of head coaches meetings. I’ve known him over the years and his coaching accolades and things that he brings to his team. Their team is playing very well. This will be a great challenge for us. We’re excited about the challenge as these guys come into Charlottesville. So I’ll take any questions.
Q. You guys are second in the country in turnovers forced through two weeks. What does it say about the players? What’s it say about the schemes that you guys have been able to bring in two years ago, basically, alter everything sort of two years ago. Was there a missing piece of this defense, and now two years later you’re tops in the country two weeks into the season?
COACH LONDON: It’s been a mindset, a concentrated mindset on turnovers and how it changes the game. Obviously we had success last week with the seven turnovers and if you look back – has led to about 31 points. I don’t think we had that all of last season. The guys defensively are doing a pretty good job with Eli, and Max Valles coming off the edge and some of the other things that are happening, they’re causing havoc. And the strip sack, cause fumble, the interceptions, all those things that have been geared towards playing better defense. The players have bought into that. We have to continue that. We have to continue. It’s great that we had it in two games, but we need to do it particularly this game because this team we’re playing is a very good team. But the mindset defensively has been to create turnovers and give yourself a chance to win.
There aren’t too many exciting games (on paper) in the ACC today, or in college football for that matter. There are a couple of ranked games around the country, but honestly, it’s college football. So of course it’s still exciting! The ACC should have a pretty good day today, and carrying the flag for the conference will be Virginia Tech as they try to take down Ohio State.
There are some other games of interest to me. I’d like to see Virginia have a win since we play them next week. After the performance last week, Wake Forest needs a win anytime they can get one, so hopefully today is it for them. Troy usually has a good team, so Duke could be challenged. I would like to see Miami have a dominant game, anything to make our win look even better! San Diego State is usually a solid program, so North Carolina could have a decent game on their hands. Then obviously the big one with Virginia Tech and Ohio State. I guess you could say I am very wrapped up in this whole ACC thing. College football is fun. Oh, and Go Cards!
Here is the full schedule of games for the ACC. It looks like it is ESPN3 day for the conference.
This years College Basketball preseason edition of Sporting News ranks the Cards at #7. Sporting News also has 3 other ACC teams (Duke, UNC, and Virginia) in the top 10. IMO anywhere between 7-12 is a fair ranking for Louisville this season. Regardless of ranking there is no doubt that this will be one of the best conferences we have seen in awhile. #ACC