Don’t need no déjà WKU today


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I saw a conversation on social media this week talking about the offensive prowess of this current UofL Basketball team. We haven’t had too many teams in the last ten years that could score as these guys do.

The 2008-9 group wasn’t too shabby…
That team who was led by Terrence Williams, Earl Clark and Samardo Samuels shot 46% from the field and 37% from the three-point line. They averaged 8.2 threes a game that season. This current team came into this week averaging 8.8 threes a game.

Much like the current group of Cardinals they came into that 2008 season with a lot of juice. They were ranked #3 in the country. And after blowing through their first few opponents that season they headed into Nashville on November 30th Thanksgiving weekend to face WKU.

That day was the last time we lost to a Western Kentucky team. The Hilltoppers won the game 68-54. The Cardinals couldn’t throw it in the ocean. Got outrebounded 48-36, outscored 24-18 in the paint in the loss. It was just an odd day.

Talking about odd… It doesn’t get much odder than having a College Basketball game broadcast on Facebook at 5:00 pm on Black Friday.

Louisville has a 40-39 edge in this series which dates back to 1926, winning the last seven matchups. If they can win this one today they will be the #1 ranked team in the country.

The game against WKU today is the toughest that our Cardinals have played all season. They will be challenged at every level with a team that has sneaky talent like 2016 Kentucky Mr. Basketball Carson Williams. He is the real-life ”Jimmy Chitwood” of my hometown. He had a big game against Kentucky in the NCAA Tourney a few years ago when he played for NKU and is more than capable of helping ruin the Cardinals day in Nashville.

Charles Bassey is the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with WKU. Last season’s Conference USA Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year will be the toughest challenge for the Louisville post players yet. We got Malik Williams back just in time. Gonna need him in this one today. Enoch will also have his mettle tested.

Coach Rick Stansbury is the kind of coach that can draw something up on ya. And it doesn’t hurt when his team is hitting 41% from the three and 52.8% from the field ranking 5th in the country.

The Cardinals entered the week ranked 2nd in the country shooting 53% from the field. Jordan Nwora has been the most consistent offensive player averaging 21.3 points per game. I think the best player in the country will be the key today.

This one has me really nervous folks. I’d love to see my dude Carson Williams score 30 points and my Cardinals win by 10. I’ve said all week that we will find out a lot about our guys today. They will be tested in every way.

Hopefully, by days end our Cardinals will be headed for the #1 ranking and WKU isn’t celebrating their biggest win in school history. Their current biggest win is against the #3 Cardinals in 2008. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat it’s self. Don’t need any déjà WKU today.

Go Cards!

GO CARDS GAMEDAY PREVIEW:

They can’t all be pretty. Cards are 5-0.


Early November in college basketball can be perplexing. It’s that time of year where the smaller D1 schools are traveling all over the country playing the role of patsy and getting that big paycheck. But sometimes these guys don’t get the memo that they are supposed to take the dive and a real dog fight breaks out.


Boston U and Evansville are two teams that have recently flipped the script on college basketball. On Wednesday night USC Upstate was trying to write their own script. They came out shooting 50% hitting 6 of 12 three-point shots. Their hot shooting staggered the #2 team in the country. Our Cardinals had the look of ”oh shit” in their eyes…

Getting the chance to cover my first game of the season I also had an ”oh shit” moment. I didn’t want to be writing that postgame. But after some back and forth in the second half our Cardinals remembered who they were.

They started doing what they do. ”Junkyard Dog” Sutton pulling down 15 rebounds, Darius Perry dishing out 9 assist with only one turnover, Ryan Mack shooting 5-8 from deep, and Jordan ”swag” Nwora just scoring. He finished with a cool 28.

The Cardinals were also sparked in the second half by the triumphant return of David Johnson and Malik Williams. Johnson had two big dunks and Malik grabbed three big boards that helped shift the momentum. It’s hard not to get giddy thinking about what these two are going to mean to this team once they get their sea legs back. Their return couldn’t have come at a better time.


The schedule doesn’t get any easier with Akron on Sunday and the Cardinals will face a very competitive Western Kentucky team next week in Nashville in a game that’s already got weird written all over it. A five 0 clock game on Black Friday that will only be broadcast on Facebook Live.

If this team keeps building on what they do it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat them. There are so many weapons on this Louisville team and so much versatility that they can absorb a blow like they did tonight and still win by 26… And two big-time players are back in the rotation.

Tonight was my first up close and personal basketball game. I thought I was going to be front row to a shit show but when this team flexed its muscle the shit hit the fan. My up close and personal evaluation is that these guys are really good. How good their season goes will depend on other variables but they got the goods to give us our Atlanta redemption. Cards are 5-0. I’m here for it…

Go Cards!

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Sycamores will not pull an Ace tonight


Louisville fans have had a great time on social media and around the water cooler today at the expense of our blue rivals. Pun intended. Our arch rivals are blue today after watching their #1 ranked Wildcats lose to the Evansville Aces at Rupp last night… Guess you could say “They played like Aces.”

Tonight their Missouri Valley Conference counterparts Indiana State will try to make Louisville fans feel the same way. But don’t expect the Sycamores to pull an Ace on the river.

Don’t get me wrong… I have much respect for The Valley and the Sycamores should do really well in that conference this season. They are a team that returns their top 4 scorers from a season ago. They are coming off a heckuva game against Dayton where they took the Flyers to the wire.

In that game, Indiana State shot 47% from the floor and 40% from 3-point range and outrebounded the Fyler’s 39 to 34. They are a tough gritty team that will play hard. But they don’t have the bodies to go toe to toe with the Cardinals.

Like every night Jordan Nwora will be the best player on the floor. He led his team with 21 points in the home opener making 10 of his 16 shot attempts. My dude is scoring when he wants to not when he needs to. That will be his mo tonight and this season.

Jordan is going to give us a big advantage every night but he also has a lot of depth and talent playing beside him. This Louisville team is loaded and with guys who have put in the work to improve their game.

One of those guys is Darius Perry. Thru 2 games in 2019, he is averaging 8 assists and only 1.5 turnovers. Got his first career double- double with 10 points, a career-high 12 assists and only one turnover in the home opener.

He came into the week ranked 7th in the country in assist with 16 and ranked 44th in the country in assist-turnover ratio. Darius is the most improved player on this Louisville team. He is going to help generate a lot of offense. And is the best on-ball defender on this team. He’ll be a handful for Indiana State.

Another guy who has improved his game is Steven Enoch. He finished with a double-double in the home opener. Enoch grabbed 14 rebounds, recording 17 points, and also added 3 blocked shots. Known as a scorer Steven has added some meat to his game. When you got him rebounding and blocking shots it’s very good for the Cardinals. Not gonna be so good for the other team. He should dominate again tonight.

Weapons… Weapons… and more weapons are what Coach Mack (Evansville Purple Aces 1988-1990) has with this group of Cardinals. When he gets Malik Williams and David Johnson back it’s only going to add to his arsenal. Like I mentioned above Indiana State will have a good season and might even win their Conference Title but it’s Louisville who will have the winning hand tonight.

Sorry, Cayut Fans… Go Cards!

GO CARDS.COM GAMEDAY PREVIEW

Coach Mack & staff get a head start for 2021


Coach Mack and staff got a win on the court today and have got another win tonight getting an early 2021 commit from 4-star Oak Park (Ill.) Fenwick prospect Bryce Hopkins.

Hopkins is a versatile shooter who can play either shooting guard or small forward, the 6-5 prospect can take players off the dribble creating his own and slash to the basket. He is also a player with some versatility and can post up by the basket.

Hopkins currently falls around the Top 150 players in his class but look for him to keep climbing up the rankings. Hopkins quickly raised his stock over the summer with stand out performances in EYBL. He received scholarship offers from Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Texas and Missouri in June 2019 alone. He also held offers from Kansas, Ohio State, Iowa, Illinois and Cal.

After a slow recruiting cycle things have certainly picked up on the recruiting front for Louisville Basketball. They got a good start for 2021 with this kid.

The Louisville Basketball season starts tonight


It’s around this time every year that I have to remind myself that the College Basketball season is a marathon and not a sprint. There are going to be ups and downs along the way and all I can do is hope that our guys learn what their roles are on this team and that they can bring all of their talents and ability together for that season that we all expect.

The naysayers and prognosticators all said that it would take years for Louisville Basketball to be a real contender for a National Title again. It took two years and this Louisville Basketball team is a contender.

This Louisville team isn’t getting to dip its toe in for a taste of the new season. With the new ACC scheduling format, they’ll dive in headfirst tonight. I don’t think Miami has the depth to beat the Cardinals down the stretch but playing a conference game this early will pose a challenge. Especially with the game being away.

This Louisville team hasn’t had all of its parts together for a game yet. And they won’t tonight. The Cardinals will be without starting center Malik Williams. He averaged just under 10 points per game and 8.4 rebounds in his last 5 games but it will be his defensive presence that is missed the most. He had 41 blocked shots last season. I expect him to be one of the premier shot blockers in the country this season. He will make a big difference once healthy.

Steven Enoch is projected to be in the lineup in place of Williams. Enoch averaged 10 points and over 5 rebounds per game last season and can more than make up for that lack of offensive production but still not the defensive threat that Malik is.

Louisville will have the best player on the floor this season in every game they play. Jordan Nwora will give the Cardinals the edge most nights. The dude is just playing on another level offensively and will score when he wants. He will have an off night along the way and we will have attrition as the season wears on. I think Coach Mack has enough bodies now that he can compensate for this.

The same can’t be said about Louisville’s opponent tonight. The Hurricanes will be without a key transfer in Keith Stone. And only have three guys that were contributors last season. Miami is led offensively by Chris Lykes, Lykes averaged 16.2 points a game last year. The Hurricanes were not a deep team a year ago and will be looking for newcomers to step in. I think it could take a few games for Miami to start to gel offensively.

I think it’s going to take a while for this Louisville team to gel but think the Cardinals will have more depth and capable depth in this one. I don’t expect it to be an easy game considering how early it is but the Cards should win.

The season is here! Enjoy the ride…

GO CARDS.COM PREVIEW:
No. 5 Louisville Opens the 2019-20 Season at Miami on Tuesday Night