Anybody know what the heck happened in those last 30 seconds? Wow! Louisville battles all the way back after looking so bad offensively and they finally get the lead back at 48-46 with 1 minute to go. Then with 25 seconds left Georgia Tech scores, and “just like that, in the blink of an eye” Terry Rozier gets a layup and the Cards lead again by 2 with 22 seconds left. After a turnover, a missed shot, and clutch free throws by Wayne Blackshear, Louisville held on to beat Georgia Tech 52-51. I plan on this being a few quick thoughts. We will see…
This team still has some fight left
The game was ugly the whole way. Shots were not falling for Louisville. Georgia Tech was putting on their own dunking contest, and usually over a Cards’ defender. The bench didn’t look excited, even after an alley-oop dunk from Chinanu Onuaku. Things just were not clicking and this had all the makings of an upset.
Then the Louisville Cardinals realized they were in Atlanta, and you know what happens there…
I had never watched this first video. Incredible!
It was great to see the team fight their way all the way back and come out of there with a big win on the road. Now they have a few days to practice and get better team chemistry. This team could have folded when they got down by 13, and a loss there could have turned into a very bad end to the season. Now we will see if they can carry some momentum into Florida State and pick up another win.
Terry Rozier took over
If someone on your team is heavily expected to be in the NBA next season, they better have it in them to take games over at this level. Terry Rozier did just that against Georgia Tech. He played all 40 minutes and finished with 22 points, 18 of those coming in the second half. He shot 8-19 for the game, but was 7-12 in the second half. All 3 of his three pointers came in the second half as well. He has taken some bad shots lately, but I think most would agree that whenever Rozier shoots the ball, you think it has a pretty good chance of going in.
Big game for Wayne
Terry Rozier wasn’t the only player making clutch shots. Let’s not forget Mr. Wayne Blackshear. Wayne scored 10 points (also had 8 rebounds) in the game, and 8 of those came in the final 6:45. That was a three pointer to cut the deficit to 2 points. Then with 1:50 left, Blackshear corralled the offensive rebound from a Terry Rozier miss, kicked it out to Quentin Snider, and then spotted up behind the arc. Snider passed it right back to the senior captain, and he drilled the three pointer to tie the game at 46. Wayne then sank two free throws with a few seconds left to put the Cards up by 4 and seal the game.
Be careful when inbounding the ball
Speaking of that, it SHOULD have been sealed. Georgia Tech hit a three pointer with just a couple of seconds left to cut it to 1 and the Cards still had to throw the ball inbounds. Anton Gill barely got the ball in to Terry Rozier right under the Georgia Tech basket. If there is a turnover there and Georgia Tech gets a layup at the buzzer…wow. I would rather see someone go deep and Anton just launch the ball down court. Even if Georgia Tech catches it, they have to make a miracle full court shot to win. I am glad it worked out anyway, but it was risky to inbound it like that.
1-0 in the new season
If you missed it today, I wrote that the game against Georgia Tech was the first game of a new season for the Cards. With that kind of thinking, Louisville is 1-0 with 3 regular season games left. The next game is Saturday against Florida State (15-13, 7-8) at their place. Like I said earlier, that gives this team a few days to get some practices in with these new lineups. It wasn’t as simple as replacing one player. It is the point guard, who dominates the ball. So it is a big adjustment. I expect the offense to look better out of the gate on Saturday.
*Quentin Snider had another solid game. He struggled to shoot the ball, but he had 4 assists and only 2 turnovers and played 36 minutes. He will just continue to grow and get better.
*I would still like to see more of Anas Mahmoud. It is pretty clear that Mangok Mathiang isn’t getting significantly better. Chinanu Onuaku is improving, but he can’t play the whole game. So I would like to see Mahmoud get 12-15 minutes a game. He played 5 minutes against Georgia Tech and had 2 points. He also kind of got dunked on, but who didn’t?