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Settle Down Everyone, The Rules Have Changed

After seeing an overwhelming amount of freak outs about NBA Draft entries, I’d just like to clear the air and hopefully provide some calming insight on Louisville’s current situation.

Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Jaylen Johnson and what could likely be others, have decided to enter the NBA Draft. While reading that sentence may cause a panic, I can assure you that is very premature. With the NBA’s new rule, implemented only last year, undergraduates are allowed to “enter the draft” and still come back. “How can this be?”, you might ask. As long as the player doesn’t sign an agent, and pulls his name out before May 24th, he will not lose eligibility.

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The Future Of Donovan Mitchell

IMG_5392

Photo: Jeff Nunn

As I stared down at the court inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse after the 73-69 loss to Michigan, I felt sad, mad, disappointed and hurt. I stood there in disbelief thinking about what could have been. Then I started thinking about what the players were feeling. You know, the guys who actually put in the hard work and played their hearts out to get this far. They were probably 100 times more upset than I was. Imagine being that upset and disappointed and then having a microphone shoved in your face asking you about the future. Your answer would probably be an “in the moment” response and not a well thought out one.

Moments after walking off the court, Donovan Mitchell was asked if he would be going to the NBA or returning for his junior year at Louisville. His response to the reporters was “I can’t wait to win a national championship next year.” That was exactly what every Louisville fan wanted to hear. However, there is still a lot of time to change his mind. Underclassmen have till April 23rd for the early entry deadline for the NBA draft. If he decides to enter and doesn’t hire an agent, he has until May 24 to withdraw his name and return to school. Mitchell’s mom said that they would discuss his future as a family.

Rick Pitino said in a radio interview on 93.9 The Ville, that he told Mitchell, “If you want to go out there and work out for pro teams, I’d like to see you do it because it’ll make you better.”

Regardless of what he decides, he still loves the University of Louisville and he proved it last night as he (and a few other players) attended and cheered for the women’s team as they beat Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16.

 

Louisville vs Michigan: Cards Fall Short In Title Rematch

Louisville led by 8 at halftime, and held that lead for much of the game. However, when Michigan took the lead 53-51 with 8:54 remaining, their first lead since 4-2, they didn’t look back. Michigan continues their magical run by defeating 2-seed Louisville 73-69.

Louisville was led by Donovan Mitchell’s 19 points. Deng Adel added 16 points, also. Mangok Mathiang finished his Louisville career with 13 point performance. Transfer Tony Hicks also ended his Louisville career today, he scored 7 points in useful minutes. Fellow Senior David Levitch played sparingly, he finished with 1 rebound. Thank you to the seniors for a great season.

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Louisville vs Michigan: 2013 Title Rematch

After defeating 15-seed Jacksonville State by 15 on Friday, 2-seed Louisville faces a 2nd round opponent that’s playing as well as anyone in the nation in the Michigan Wolverines. The 2013 Championship game rematch will tip-off in Indianapolis at 12:10 on Sunday, the game can be seen on CBS.

Michigan defeated 10-seed Oklahoma State 92-91 on Friday, thanks in large part to shooting 16-29 from 3-point range. After a mediocre regular season, the Wolverines went on an improbable run through the Big 10 tournament  winning against Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota, and Wisconsin in the championship. The Wolverines are a dangerously confident and hot shooting team right now, but they haven’t played a team as defensive-minded as Louisville in this stretch aside from a different style of defense in Wisconsin. 16-29 is scary good and while some of the threes were shot-clock beating daggers, it’s a different story when every shot is contested. Louisville will have to do a better job of defending the perimeter or take their chances with a team that is shooting as good or better than anyone in the nation.

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UofL NCAA Opening Round Vs Jacksonville State

 

Here is the press conference from after today’s 78-63 victory over Jacksonville State.

Louisville vs Jacksonville State: Cards advance to the Round of 32

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

While unimpressive for the majority of the game, Louisville managed to put together a solid enough performance to advance past Jacksonville State by a score of 78-63.

I say unimpressive because Louisville struggled for most of the first half and Donovan Mitchell never really got it going except for a 7-point burst to put the Gamecocks away, for good.

Mitchell finished with 9 points, but added 3 steals and 10 rebounds, he also played outstanding defense all-around. Deng Adel continued his strong play with 16 points on 6-7 shooting. Quentin Snider added 16 points. Ray Spalding had an efficient 4-4 with 11 points. However, Mangok Mathiang led the team with 18 points and set the tone for the Cards from the tip.

Up next: the Cards will play Michigan on Sunday at likely either 12pm or 2:45pm. The Wolverines are one the nation’s hottest teams, so it’ll be a toughly fought game of offense vs defense.

The first one is over with. The Cards advanced and that’s all that matters this time of year. Looking sloppy at times, but seeing the press work effectively both in creating opportunities and wearing down the opponent was reassuring. Let’s keep it going.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Jacksonville State: Cards Return to the NCAA Tournament

 

After a year of no postseason basketball, Louisville opens their NCAA tournament as the 2-seed in the Midwest region against 15-seed Jacksonville State today in Indianapolis at approximately 2:45 on CBS.

Jacksonville State earned its bid against most odds by knocking off the 1 and 2 seed enroute to their conference championship. This is the first time the Gamecocks will appear in an NCAA tournament game, thanks to new coach Ray Harper. Harper may be new to Jacksonville State, but he’s no stranger to Louisville. He was the infamous coach of the WKU team remembered vividly among Cardinal fans for the incident with 4 Hilltoppers and Montrezl Harrell a few years ago.

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Louisville vs Duke: Cards Fall Short In Brooklyn

After opening up a 12-point lead with 13 minutes left to play, the Cards failed to put Duke away and watched as the Blue Devils cut short Louisville’s first ACC tournament appearance since 2015 by a final score of 81-77.

Once again, free throw shooting proved to be this team’s Achilles heel. Louisville shot 15-26 from the line and to add to that the Cards shot an abysmal 4-21 from 3-point range. Even with those horrific shooting numbers, Louisville still led the majority of the game, only to crumble down the stretch, both offensively and defensively.

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Louisville vs Duke: ACC Tournament Rematch

After Louisville lost to Wake Forest last Wednesday, the concern over ACC tournament seeding was very real. Thanks to a bounce-back/revenge victory over Notre Dame on Senior Day, the Cardinals secured a double bye in the ACC. Duke lost to UNC, a game that had the Blue Devils won, would’ve improved Louisville to the 3-seed. Obviously, that’s not how it played out and that’s how we got here, Duke beat Clemson yesterday in a tough fought game and now two of the teams no one wants to see this time of year get to play each other today in Brooklyn at 2pm on ESPN for a Semifinal spot.

(Cont)

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All ACC Teams & POY Revealed!

Dec 16, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Donovan Mitchell (45) dunks against Kennesaw State Owls guard Yonel Brown (4) during the second half at KFC Yum! Center. Louisville defeated Kennesaw State 94-57. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Klein

UofL Basketball SID

Mar. 05, 2017 Men’s Basketball

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell has been named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference five-man first team in a vote by league coaches and media.

 

The Greenwich, Conn. product was also selected to the ACC All-Defensive team after leading the conference in steals (66, 2.13 per game, 18th in the nation). He is within eight steals of the UofL top ten for a season.

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Louisville Vs Notre Dame Post Game Pressers

Notre Dame

Here are the Pressers from after the Louisville-ND game.

Rick Pitino

 

Mangok Mathiang

 

Donovan Mitchell

 

Quentin Snider

Louisville vs Notre Dame: Senior Day Triumph

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

No. 8 Louisville earned a hard fought and well-deserved victory over No. 19 Notre Dame today by a score of 71-64.

The Cards started slow, but ended the first half strong opening a 6-point lead that would be cut down to 3 right before half. The second half started rocky and at times seemed destined for a typical Notre Dame finish. However, like we all needed to see, the Cards closed out a game against a good basketball team and got their defense back on track when it needed it the most.

 

Louisville would take a lead behind Quentin Snider’s consecutive 3s and Mangok Mathiang’s well-timed (at times) clean-up baskets. Deng Adel’s dagger 3-pointer with 39 seconds left pushed the Cards ahead by 5 and the game was closed out by Donovan Mitchell’s 4-4 free throw performance down the stretch and the Cards earned a much needed win and a double-bye in the ACC tournament.

Louisville was led by Donovan Mitchell’s 20 points, Mangok Mathiang had a great senior day with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Quentin Snider finished with 17 points (4-5 from 3) and 6 assists.

Up next: the Cards play in the ACC tournament next week and with today’s win will play on Thursday in the quarterfinals with the double-bye. The rest of the games today will dictate their seed and potential opponents, but the seed is guaranteed to be between 2-4. Today was a big day. Thank you to the seniors for the memories and get ready for postseason basketball.

Go Cards!

Louisville Vs Syracuse Postgame Pressers

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Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

 

Quentin Snider

 

Donovan Mitchell

 

Anas Mahmoud

Louisville vs Syracuse: Postgame Recap

Photo: YouTube.com

Photo: YouTube.com

The Louisville Cardinals took care of business today at home against the Syracuse Orange by a score of 88-68.

Louisville controlled the game the entire way, the only spark the Orange showed came in form of a 17-13 lead after Louisville started the game up 11-3. After the Syracuse run, Louisville stormed back and never let up en route to a 20-point de-pulping (sorry) of the Orange.

Louisville was led by 25 points (6-10 from 3-point range) from Donovan Mitchell, 17 points from Deng Adel, Ray Spalding awoke from his slumber to dominate down low with 18 points and 11 rebounds, Quentin Snider added 12 points and 6 assists, and Anas Mahmoud had a solid game of 8 points and 9 rebounds.

Louisville looked like a No. 1 seed today, which couldn’t have come at a better time after Gonzaga’s home loss to BYU last night. If the Cards win out and make a run in the ACC tournament, it’ll be difficult to place another team on that 1-seed line over Louisville. In addition, Louisville stayed tied for 2nd place in the ACC, which sets the Cards up nicely for that coveted double-bye in the ACC tournament.

Up next: the Cards travel to Wake Forest on Wednesday for a 9pm game on the ACC Network.

Go Cards!

Louisville at North Carolina: Postgame Recap

North Carolina

The No. 7 Louisville Cardinals went blow for blow for the first 24 minutes of the game on the road against the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels. Sadly, college basketball games last 40 minutes and in order to beat a great team on the road, the Cardinals have to match the intensity they exhibited for the first 24 minutes for an entire game. Louisville fell to the Tar Heels 74-63.

Louisville tied the game up early in the second half at 43, after trailing by 3 at halftime. After that, it was like a team we hadn’t seen before. I know Virginia struggles are real, but I always saw 100% focus and intensity, tonight that was absent for the closing 16 minutes of the game. Louisville was led by Donovan Mitchell with 21 points. No other Louisville player scored double digits.

Up next, Louisville hosts Syracuse on Sunday at 2pm on CBS. The Orange defeated Duke tonight on a buzzer beater 3, which allows the Cards to remain in 2nd place with the tie breaker. It was a tough loss, but it’s one the team can learn from and use going forward. I’m still just as sold on this team as I was before tonight, one loss doesn’t diminish this team’s spotlight.

Go Cards! 

Louisville at North Carolina: Pregame Breakdown

North Carolina

The No. 7 Louisville Cardinals travel to Chapel Hill for a top-10 ACC matchup with the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels tonight at 9pm on ESPN. The line currently stands at UNC-8, after it opened with UNC giving Louisville 5.5 points.

While the fact that both teams are in the top-10 makes for a good headline, there’s so much more to tonight’s game. The winner of tonight’s game will likely win the ACC regular season crown and a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament. Needless to say, there’s a lot on the line for both teams tonight, but the loser is in no way in bad shape either. A win in Chapel Hill will be difficult, but not impossible.

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UofL-Virginia Tech Postgame Pressers

Photo: Syracuse.com

Photo: Syracuse.com

No real reason for the picture, just wanted sweats a lot in the post. I thought I sweat a lot. You are the sweat king. Here are the Pressers:

Head Coach Rick Pitino

 

Donovan Mitchell

 

Quentin Snider

 

Ryan McMahon

 

Louisville at Syracuse: Postgame Recap

Syracuse

It may have taken 5 extra minutes, but Louisville earned a big ACC road win tonight against old Big East foe, Syracuse by a score of 76-72.

The Cards battled the Orange all night after leading by double-digits in the first half, Syracuse cut the lead to 4 by halftime. The 2nd half was spent exchanging ties and leads and ultimately an unsuccessful half court heave by Quentin Snider at the buzzer pushed the game into overtime. Louisville played the entire 5-minute segment of OT without star Donovan Mitchell, who fouled out with 3:01 remaining in regulation, but a big 3 and and-1 (missed the free throw) by Ryan McMahon and some big plays and free throws by Anas Mahmoud helped the Cards outlast the Orange by a final score of 76-72.

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Louisville at Syracuse: Pregame Breakdown

Syracuse

After avoiding what would’ve been their first set of consecutive losses this season with their comeback win over Miami, Louisville travels to the Carrier Dome to take on old Big East rival Syracuse tonight at 7pm on ESPN.

Last year, Syracuse endured a suspension for Jim Boeheim, made the tournament on the bubble, and to top it all off, went to the Final Four against all odds. Many pieces are missing from that Final Four team, so many people expected Syracuse to take a step back this year. While they did at the beginning, and they’re still not where they want to be, the Orange have wins over Florida State and Virginia and sit at 8-5 in ACC play. They aren’t world beaters or favorites for the tournament (if they make it), but the Orange certainly have statements they need to make to impress the tournament committee, a win against the top-10 Cards tonight would do just that.

Syracuse is led by senior guard Andrew White III with 17.7 PPG, sophomore forward Tyler Lydon anchors the frontcourt load with 13.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG, while senior guard John Gillion facilitates the offense with 5.3 APG (ranks 4th in the ACC). Syracuse is a solid offensive team at 76.7 PPG compared to Louisville’s 77.2 PPG. However, their defense isn’t all that great (70.0 PPGA compared to Louisville’s 62.8 PPGA). Jim Boeheim’s tenure at Syracuse has been the era of the unbeatable, long, athletic 2-3 zone, but this team isn’t as defensively efficient as past teams under Boeheim.

While this is a rivalry game and these games are more unpredictable than others, I don’t see Louisville having trouble tonight. This season, when Louisville has gone up against a team whose focus is offense, Louisville has had the upper hand. Tonight will be no different. Q will continue to settle in, Deng and Mangok will build on their comeback performances, and Donovan will continue to shine tonight.

Louisville 81-Syracuse 68.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Miami Postgame Pressers

Photo: YouTube.com

Photo: YouTube.com

 

Head Coach Rick Pitino

 

Donovan Mitchell

 

Deng Adel

 

Quentin Snider

 

Go Cards!