Starting line up: justifying January 

Louisville basketball
Photo: Instagram

Oh it’s cold, so cold #cardnation.. It usually is this time of the year. But of course I want to talk about basketball. Louisville basketball in January tends to leave me scratching my head. I’m trying to wrap my brain around the stunner yesterday and mentally prepare myself, and hopefully you #cardnation, for the next storm arriving downtown tomorrow out of North Carolina.

Brainstorming for this post, these guys were listed as the ones I believe have made the biggest jump into their respective classes this far into the season. That being said, notta single one-a them logged a stat that impressed me or the critics yesterday. I’m not going to list said lack of numbers for my 4 guys because you know and I know that’s not them, and their potential ceiling has me feeling some type of way. Like I said, January is cold for Louisville… And I’m glad that’s over. These are the guys that absolutely have to leap into February or we are toast in conference play of the Atlantic coast.

🏀🔴 4 guys 🔴🏀

👉Freshman: The Energy Spark 

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell explodes out of his seat every time he’s called on. Every other game or so, he’ll flicker; scoring in double digits. But he’s a spark off the bench more often than not. I don’t know what it is about the guy that made me a believer, but here we are. Maybe it was the dunking card tee he wore after being named MVP and dunk champion following the derby festival classic. And sealed with a stolen one handed put back dunk against Florida State. Or perhaps it was the night he was the best freshman on the floor vs Kentucky. Whatever it was.. Donovan Mitchell is my fiery freshman.

👉Sophomore: The Postitioned Descent 

Anas Mahmoud

Anas Mahmoud

The Egyptian native isn’t remotely guilty of a sophomore slump like others before him. He’s doubled his average minutes and offensive production on the floor. The young center has a descending hook shot familiar to former Cardinal forever, David Padgett (and personal fan favorite). Anas-ly, with another couple months of added size and specific skill training, Mahmoud’s post presence will send opponents into a state of de-Nile.

(With JR Mangok Mathiang out with injury, the player carrying the load of a leader and a junior… ) 

👉Sophomore II: The Granny Style 

Chinanu Onuaku

I didn’t believe them over the summer when they said Chinanu Onuaku’s name had risen on mock NBA draft boards. Who? What? Say that again, surely my ears have deceived me! I supposed Nanu got all of his traveling out of the way last winter because his summer plans were to be at the gym. The turnover prone freshman made a couple adjustments similar to those of a senior.. citizen that is. His stance as wide as if wearing a diaper, he underhands each shot at the free throw line. And it works, more often than not. These are the years we as fans should enjoy the most, the fruit of an individual’s labor should finally payoff in the playoffs.

👉Senior: The Lead Vocal 

Damion Lee

It had to be one or the other and if you have followed me, you’d know I’ve voiced Damion Lee as my overall favorite on this year’s squad. Since ACC media day when our two graduate transfers traveled to represent the Cards without Coach Pitino, they have been a breath of fresh air on and off the court. The soft spoken Damion Lee spit fire about the games for the cameras and #cardnation. Rarely off key behind the arc or the mic, he’s been nothing short of instrumental in this team’s success. It’s obvious for Louisville, it’s leader is in Lee… I just wish it could be for THREEEEEEEEEEE.. more years.

Louisville is talented and Louisville is equipt, but the Cards are still looking for that signature win on their NCAA Tournament resume. Let’s play the Cards we were dealt and leap into a fierce February contest.

As always, Go Cards Go. 



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