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.
This time last year, the Louisville Cardinals were gearing up to host No. 2 and eventual National Runner-Up North Carolina. A win over the Tarheels would’ve been the signature win that team needed. They had talent, leadership, and were widely considered as one of the most enjoyable Louisville teams to watch in recent memory. All they lacked was a marquee win.
It started with an aggressive drive capped off by a thunderous one-handed slam from senior grad-student transfer and crowd favorite Damion Lee. He’d finish with a game-high 24 points, and would lead the Cardinals to their recognition-earning win. The city, fans, and team expressed their elation all night and into the next morning. Then, everything changed.
Enjoy this footage from the fine people at CN2 Sports!
Although their team fell 89-85 in the Reese’s Senior All-Star game, Trey & Damion at least looked as if they were having a blast this week. Don’t think that means the tournament wasn’t on their minds because Trey made it clear that it was embedded deeply there. In multiple radio interviews Trey made it clear how he felt about our teams chances against the field. For the record, Damion finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds and Trey Lewis added 17 points and 4 assists in their last game in a Cardinal uniform. Here are some of the tweets that Trey and Damion sent out this week. It did however look like they had a little fun this weekend. Not as much as playing in the Final 4 but you know. Check it out and Enjoy!
While the Cardinals are not participating in the Final Four this weekend in Houston, representatives from the University of Louisville will have a presence in the city. Damion Lee,Trey Lewis, Denny Crum & the statistics crew will all be in the house!
Click the link below for full details
To continue Tony Hicks appreciation day in the Ville (I just named it that), I wanted to share some of the highlight videos that I found. I really do feel like this young man will be an integral part of the Cardinal Offense. If you don’t know what integral means:
1) Kick your teacher
2) Don’t tweet insults directly to me at @Jeremy_CSZ
3) Grab a dictionary.
Just kidding, kind of. (Blame Greer) All fun aside, Tony Hicks looks to be a remarkable addition. I only have his highlights to go by but here’s what I have seen. He can get to the basket like Trey and can shoot the 3 like Damion. Now again I want to reiterate: Not all Graduate Transfers will be like D&D. I do believe this guy falls into the same mold as them. Not only as a player but as a person who really appreciates and loves UofL and the opportunity he has been given. Only time will tell. Make sure you follow him on Twitter too. He likely won’t get to tweet for a year after he gets here so tune in now!
The Highlight Reels are below, Go Cards!
We all fell in love with the graduate transfer this year. Damion Lee and Trey Lewis led us to a Final Four worthy season. (let me dream) One thing we can not do is assume that every Graduate Transfer will be the same though. My gut feeling is that Tony Hicks will be somewhere between Lee & Lewis as far as a Basketball player but is on par with them as a person. A friend of mine Jeff Greer ( He has friends) took time this weekend to talk to Tony Hicks and did a wonderful job as the interview has a ton of nuggets in it that will help you to get to know him. Here are a few:
- He never thought he would play College Basketball, he was a QB
- In High School he played against Cardinal Forever Wayne Blackshear
- He was also considering Oregon
In 2001 I heard rumors that Rick Pitino would likely be the coach to replace Denny Crum. Ironically, it was said that Pitino was choosing between Michigan and Louisville. It was also said that ultimately he chose Louisville because Michigan was a football school and he didn’t want to play second fiddle to any other sport. Of course all of these ” somebody said” things were all rumors but I believed all of them. I judged Rick right off the bat. I know that’s not fair but I fell victim to the media perception of his larger than life ego and his all about me attitude.
If you have ever watched a Crums Revenge video you know it can get you in your feelings, make a grown man cry or have you so excited you about pee your pants. Wait, just me on the last on? Carry on. If you have NEVER watched a Crums Revenge video it is probably one of the following reasons:
- You hate kids & love to kick puppies
- You are a uk fan
- You didn’t have a strong adult figure growing up
- Maybe you have just never seen one.
Damion Lee is a done and one. We have fallen in love with him as a person and as a player. He along with Trey Lewis have helped CardNation cope with the pain of a punishment that this team and fan base didn’t deserve. He is already among my top 10 favorite players of all time after playing just one season, even though with the summer trip made it seem like a season and a half. You could tell that Damion reciprocated the special bond with the city, team & fan base. You could also tell that he genuinely loves Coach Rick Pitino. Here is a video I found on Youtube by icn2 from his planet fitness signing with him explaining his bond. Enjoy!
Some fans go to extreme lengths to show their love, support or undying passion for players and teams. This is an example of that. April Neal decide to get a tattoo (pictured above) honoring and showing appreciation for Trey and Damion and it’s a notion that will be with her forever.
Here is an excerpt from the interview courtesy of DSR:
One Louisville Cardinals fan decided to pay homage to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis by getting a heart-shaped tattoo with their names, jersey numbers, and the Cardinals logo inside the heart. Here is an exclusive interview with April Neal, a devoted Louisville fan regarding her decision to get the tattoo.
Here is the full link to the story. #L1C4
I know you all want to get a free poster then have it signed by Damion Lee & Trey Lewis!! This Saturday you can. The first ones in line get a free poster. This Saturday from 12-2. Details below! Go show these guys some love and show them that we’ve got their back! Go Cards
****Friday from 4-6 pm these guys will be signing at Planet Fitness in Middletown****
Rick Pitino Post Game Presser: Thanks BOT For Support, David Padgett Promotion And Taking The Warriors Job Plus More
Coach Rick Pitino was super emotional last night. Who wouldn’t be. Bad loss on top of post-season ban on top of Lee & Lewis leaving. Rough stuff. Somehow though he turned into Chris Rock in the press conference. It was cool to see that wide range of emotions from him. He looked like a coach getting ready to relax, reload and revive the Louisville program. Here is footage of his postgame press conference where he discusses being on an island, David Padgett and much, much more.
The Louisville Cardinals ended their season in a way that they would probably like to forget. For the second time this season, the Virginia defense was too much as the Cards had no answer for the famous Packline. The Cards shot 27.6% while Virginia impressively finished at 51.3%. 27 fouls were called on the visiting Louisville team compared to just 14 for Virginia. Don’t let that stat fool you, yes some bad calls were made but Virginia was just that much more aggressive and earned the majority of those calls.
Here are the links to the post game videos from Damion Lee & Trey Lewis. It is from the Courier-Journal. You guys will surely be missed and we thank you for helping us through this season. You guys are both class acts! Please enjoy!
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In the above picture, it looks like he is probably upset by reading the title. Let me explain though. I am not mocking coach yet conveying what he made me feel. I almost burst into tears listening to this live. The first song I thought of after he stopped was So Emotional. Call me a wuss, I am cool with that. I have never seen Coach P like this or heard him like this either. This was a special team and despite the bad times I feel it will fuel us for good times these next 2 years. Thanks to Damion Lee & Trey Lewis for helping us get through this rough year. Thanks to Mike Rutherford (da gawd) for putting them on Youtube. Click the read more button for the videos.