Dear Coach Rick Pitino,
It is truly hard to image entering the KFC Yum! Center and not, first hearing you, then seeing you on the sidelines. You have been the figure head of the University of Louisville’s basketball team for much of my childhood.
What has transpired the past few years under your reign, it breaks my heart. Whether you knew about the issues, that’s irrelevant at this point.
It has been hard to be a Louisville Basketball fan… The play on the court has been tremendous. Your play calling, flawless at its best. But, the constant harassment from other fan bases… It was hard.
Since the playoffs started, the news and media have flocked to Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and it’s no secret why. Any NBA fan can tell you Isaiah Thomas has been Boston’s best player since he arrived a little over 2 years ago. His breakout, MVP-like season had everyone in the league talking about the 5’9″ bulldog point guard that scores at will. Sadly, just before the opening round of the Celtics-Bulls series, Thomas’ younger sister passed away. His performances since then have been nothing short of spectacular.
Facing an 0-2 deficit against the Chicago Bulls, the Celtics needed more than just what Thomas was giving them. They needed help from role players, and no one has been more of a help than former-Cardinal Terry Rozier. Boston won 4 consecutive games to eliminate the Bulls. Terry scored 27 points in those 4 games and was often times Boston’s biggest contributor off the bench. Currently, the Celtics are up 2-0 on the Washington Wizards. Isaiah Thomas has dominated headlines scoring 33 and 53 points in games 1 and 2, respectively. Still, it was Terry’s solid all-around play that aided Thomas’ efforts.
This past weekend, the Toronto Raptors recently acquired Serge Ibaka in a trade with the Orlando Magic. However, Ibaka was almost traded to Boston, and the only reason he landed in Toronto was because the Celtics were unwilling to give up on second year point guard and Louisville product Terry Rozier.
Rozier is currently in year 2 of a 3 year/$5.7 million contract with a 4th year club option, and is averaging 5.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game with the Celtics. While Ibaka is averaging 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, he is also set to become a free agent after this season, so that also played a role in him not donning the green and white. Still though, it’s nice to see the Celtics not wanting to give up Rozier so easily, and perhaps they see the potential in him further down the road.
Here are some of the highlights from the last few days of the NBA Summer League from Las Vegas, Nevada. The highlights come from @UofLFanBase and are very well done.
Terry Rozier has been absolutely lighting up the courts during the various NBA Summer Leagues this season. In Vegas and in Utah he excelled. Celtics GM Danny Ainge has taken notice:
I will just let the announcers do this justice….
An article published by The Sporting News in June of 2015, talked about Louisville players in the NBA and the lack of staying power despite collegiate success. The article says “Terrence Williams, Samardo Samuels andÂ Chris Smith had their shots. Peyton Siva, the point guard on that championship team, is stuck in the NBA DevelopmentÂ League. Francisco Garcia, Pitino’s most successful NBA product,Â who playedÂ 10 years in the league, wasÂ waived by the Rockets this season. Of Pitino’s drafted players, three remain in the league:Â Gorgui Dieng in Minnesota, Russ Smith in Memphis and Earl Clark in Brooklyn. The latter two played a combined 158 minutes last season, while Dieng was a solid role player and occasional starter for the Timberwolves” The article was published prior to the 2015 NBA draft and it wasn’t trying to belittle Louisville but rather it was saying that Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier are the type of players that have staying power in the NBA and they are (as the title of the article states) hoping to rebuild the path to the NBA for Louisville players. Read the rest of this entry
We talked a few weeks ago about Terry Rozier and his expanded role on the Boston Celtics. My Boston Celtics. It was a role he earned. We talked about every opportunity he earned and took advantage of. This time it is one opportunity that has fallen into his lap. In game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Avery Bradley went down with a hamstring injury. While Marcus Smart will likely start, Terry will more than likely get the rest of the minutes that Smart normally had. Terry talked about this opportunity:
“[R.J.Hunter and I] talked about it all last night,” Rozier said. “Me and him got kind of the same mindset, we just always gotta be ready if our number and name is called. We talked about that a lot last night. Weâ€™re confident in each other and weâ€™re always supporting one another because we came in together. We know itâ€™s big for us. These next few days are very important.”
Terry Rozier has battled this entire season to get on the court and get what’s his. He’s battled up and down the court and is finally shining. As a UofL & Celtics fan I’m so proud of what Terry has accomplished. We aren’t the only one that’s noticed. Here’s an excerpt from ESPN’S Chris Forsberg’s latest article:
As a Celtics fan there is nothing more I love than finally drafting a Louisville guy. For years it was uk guy after uk guy after uk guy. You get the picture. It was June 24th, 2015 and I was at my parents house for our weekly family dinner. I rushed to theÂ living room to see when we picked. The names on the best 10 available were Montrezl and another PF that I believe was from Cal. The pick came in. I had just listened to reports that said: Terry Rozier has fallen deep into the second round. So it was a shock to me not because of his talent but because of the experts. We selected Terry Rozier with the 16th pick of the NBA Draft. It finally happened.
The next day came and the Celtics were the most criticized team from the draft. Bleacher Report slammed and criticized the move. You could tell this wasn’t going to be an easy road. I knew if anyone was going to make it though it would be Rozier. His story that we heard before he came here let me know he was built tough.Â He had a rough road so far this season. He was sent to the D-league multiple times this year. ManyÂ people would have given up. Not Terry Rozier. We are heading towards the playoffs and who is finally starting to make waves? You guessed it: Terry Rozier.Â You have to be able to maximize on opportunities. When Jae Crowder went down with an ankle injury, Terry came in and made a difference. I know what you are saying if you don’t follow him closely. Wow! he must be scoring a ton of points! That’s the surprising part though. Terry is making a name for himself doing the other thing he did well at Louisville, rebounding. I will be watching the rest of the year wishing for nothing but the best for the Celtics and my Cardinal Forever as well. I am glad he is finally showing the world what I knew all along. This kid can play!
First off let me speak on this before I hand it over. I grew up in a multi-cultural neighborhood.Â When I would go over to my friendsÂ house to play I always was fed 2 things that never went together. It was always: Go look in the fridge and whatever is there, that’s lunch. It never failed. Noodles & Syrup, Ketchup & Chips, Bologna with everything. Some were good and some were not.Â But in all of my life, never have I ever been offered or forcedÂ to eat anything close to what Terry Rozier has concocted. NEVER.Â Lol.
Celtics guard Terry Rozier went to The Starters show last summer and fixed himself a terrible-looking spaghetti sandwich in front of the cameras. ItÂ includedÂ ranch dressingÂ andÂ sugar. It was all around bad.
It was a nice night for former Cardinals in the NBA Summer League on Sunday, and a former Notre Dame player continued the tradition of getting dunked on by a Louisville player. Montrezl Harrell made his summer league debut, Terry Rozier led the Celtics in scoring, and Wayne Blackshear made the most of his minutes last night. Here is how they did…
Five former Cards were in action yesterday in the NBA Summer League. Here is how each of them did.
Russ Smith – Memphis Grizzlies
Russ had another solid game with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals, and 5 turnovers. He was 4-10 from the field and 9-9 from the free throw line. Memphis beat Oklahoma City 87-81.
Yesterday was a pretty eventful day for former Louisville Cardinals in the NBA Summer League. Russ Smith hit a game winning shot against Peyton Siva’s team, and Terry Rozier led the Celtics in scoring. Not a bad day. Here are the stats…
There are six former Louisville Cardinals participating in the NBA Summer League: Russ Smith, Peyton Siva, Earl Clark, Terry Rozier, Wayne Blackshear, and Montrezl Harrell. Here is just a little update on how the guys have done that have begun playing.
Russ Smith – Memphis Grizzlies
Through two games with the Memphis Grizzlies, Russ is off to a very good start. The summer league is usually where guys are trying to show that they belong in the NBA by scoring…a lot. You won’t find too much passing. For someone who can score at will, Russ is making the effort to pass the ball. He leads the team with 7.5 assists per game. The next highest is Andrew Harrison at 2.5 per game. Some other stats:
Even if things are a big deal, I usually downplay them and talk about why they aren’t. If everyone else gets riled up about a story, that is usually when I back away from it and just move on, to be different I guess. So I am not one to see something little and blow it out of proportion. But there has been something lately that just strikes me as “weird” I guess. The difference in Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell since the NBA Draft and the way that Rick Pitino has talked about each one has been very noticeable.
This is a pretty cool graphic that shows all 22 first round NBA draft picks in UofL history. We have only had one #1 pick and that was Pervis Ellison back in 1989. Three times, we have had two first round picks. 2009 was Terrence Williams and Earl Clark. 1994 was Clifford Rozier and Greg Minor. 1989 was Pervis Ellison and Kenny Payne. A lot of history and great players all on one picture here. As always, Go Cards!
On the latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone on 93.9 The Ville, Pete Nochta joined Steve and myself in studio and sat in with us the whole time. We talk about the NBA Draft, new football uniforms, and the fundraiser at Brownie’s for Pete from the night before. Enjoy!