Game Day. Game On.


If you been following along then you know that I talked about this Louisville Basketball team finding themselves during this three-game road trip. So far they’ve held on to get a tough win in Southbend, came back with a gutsy overtime win in the “Zoo” at Pitt.

I’m not ready to say this team has found themselves just yet. But do think they’ve come a helluva long way over the last couple of weeks. And I do think they have found a young point guard along the way.

David Johnson has 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and a blocked shot in the last two games for Louisville. He was clutch in that win at Pitt and made some big plays in both of the Cardinals last two hard-fought victories. Today he’ll have that momentum tested and can’t wait to see him take another step forward. We need David to be ready for that run.

Speaking of runs this Louisville team has a decent one going. They’ve won three straight and 5 of the last 7. They are one of the better offensive teams averaging 74.6 points per game which ranks 108th in college basketball while shooting 46.1% from the field and are one the best three-point shooting teams in the country with the team shooting 38.2% from beyond the arc.

They also boast one of the better defenses in the country. Louisville’s defense has held opponents to 61.6 points per game to rank them 34th in the college basketball while opponents are shooting just 36.8% from the field and 29.5% from three.

Have they found themselves? They are coming around with maybe the biggest test of the regular season today.

Duke got a pretty good team themselves. The Blue Devis offense is one of the best in the country this season averaging 83.1 points per game to rank 5th in college basketball. Duke is very efficient this season shooting 48.9% from the field which ranks them 9th in the NCAA and 36.9% from the three-point line. They got a pretty good freshman on their team also. Vernon Carey who averages 17.6 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game, both of which lead his team.

Duke also solid on defense. Duke’s defense is allowing 63.8 points which rank 59th in college basketball, Duke opponents are shooting 41.6% from the field and 30.3% from the three-point line. Their guys are very athletic and quick on both sides of the ball.

Looking forward to watching these teams go at it today. Looking forward to seeing how David handles himself against not only some other freshman but elite freshmen in the country. Also looking forward to that battle with Enoch and Carey down low. This is the big stage. The first College Gameday of the College Basketball season. Jordan Nwora has missed his opportunities so far this season in these types of games. He could really put himself in a good position for the POY in this game today. I hope he makes it count.

I hope this team makes this one count. Go Cards!

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A stop by the Zoo on the road swing



The name “Oakland Zoo” is used for the basketball student cheering sections at the Petersen Events Center. The Oakland Zoo has been noted as being one of the most formidable students cheering sections in college basketball. But over the years Louisville has turned it into a Petting Zoo on their visits. The Cardinal’s are 7-2 in that gym in a series they have pretty much dominated winning 14 of the last 15 meetings.

I think that Coach Jeff Capel has turned the vibe around at Pitt and has them headed in the right direction. You can bet that he has invested in getting that student section involved again as well. The Cardinals will face another stout conference road game tonight.

The Cardinals have scored an average of 74.8 points per game while allowing 61.2 points per game. The Panthers have scored 66.2 points per game while allowing 61 points per game. In their last 5 games, the Cardinals are 3-2 and have won 2 games in a row while the Panthers are also 3-2.

The Pitt guards Johnson and McGowan are the kind of guys that can take over a game. They combine for around 23 points and 10 rebounds a game. The Cardinal defense doesn’t want to give these guys any momentum tonight.

I think this is another great game for this Louisville team to grow. They battled in a tough environment for a win in the last game and just might have to do that tonight. Hope to see David and Sam get more reps. We need those guys.

Not sweating this one but don’t think it will be a cakewalk either. I think those days are over at Pitt. Cards will win another grinder.

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Cards hit the road. Will hopefully find themselves along the way.


This Louisville team is looking to build some momentum as they head out for a three-game road trip. Even tho this team has won some of the games they were supposed to there still seems to be something a little off. I don’t think Coach Mack has found the five players he’d have on the floor with the game on the line. Or at least a group he’d be one hundred with.

I don’t think there is a group of five players who really groove together on the court yet. It’s one thing when the coach doesn’t feel it but a bigger issue if the players can’t find it. I’m hoping this team finds whatever “it” is during this road swing. We’ve had many Louisville teams find themselves on the road during conference play.

We’ve had a few Louisville teams start that journey in South Bend. The game with Notre Dame has provided some entertainment over the last decade. There have been two overtime games, a double-overtime game and one that took five overtimes to settle. Louisville leads this series 24-15 and the Cardinals have had the upper hand lately winning the last four. It’s never an easy game with them and won’t be Saturday afternoon.

The Irish have made a name for themselves playing very efficient basketball on both ends of the floor. The names on the jersey change over the years but that program’s vibe stays the same. They are gonna take and make sure their teammates get good shots while protecting the basketball. They are hovering around the top 50 ranked 54th in offensive efficiency and are ranked #1 in assist/turnover ratio.

Notre Dame always has that big 6-9 white dude that becomes a floor general for them. This year’s version of that guy is senior forward, John Mooney. Mooney is leading the Fighting Irish in scoring and rebounds, averaging 15.8 points per game and 13.6 rebounds per game. Mooney is a beast.

Jordan Nwora is Louisville’s floor general averaging 20.9 points per game and grabbing 7.7 rebounds per game. This dude is shooting 48.7% from the field. But at times I don’t think he knows he’s the floor general and lets himself get in a funk. It all goes back to finding the guys to put on the floor who all feel confident about their roles on this team. And feel confident in each other.

Coach Mack had multiple combinations on the floor in the Cards last game as was expected but Cardinal great Luke Hancock said it best on Twitter. The best lineup Louisville has is Enoch, Nwora, Williamson, Perry, and Johnson. I think Sam and David have to come along for this season to be what a lot of us expected. And can this group learn to play together? This group proved to be pretty efficient in the game against Miami when on the court together. This is it.

The teams who will be cutting nets down in March are the ones who will learn how to play together in the most confident and efficient way over the next two months. The road can be unkind in conference play but it can also be a battleground where these guys bond during those battles. This Louisville team can use these next three games to build some great momentum heading towards that goal.

Hoping for a good game but a win in South Bend on Saturday. Please, no Overtime. Go Cards!

GOCARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Cards take #1 ranking to the big stage


It’s Gameday! The #1 Team in the country will take the biggest stage of them all tonight at Madison Square Garden. Cardinal fans have seen a lot of great moments in the Garden. That great run in 2012 with the infrared uniforms, and the Big East curtain call against Cuse in 2013… The Garden has been fickle to us but can’t think of a better venue in the world to showcase a team.

There have been many great teams and acts come through the Garden over the years and I’m glad this UofL team has a chance to etch their names among that history tonight. Our Cardinals head into their second week ranked as the number one team in the country. They had that put to the test right out of the gate against Michigan and will be tested again tonight.

The Red Raiders are on a three game skid losing to DePaul, Creighton, and Iowa in that stretch. In their last game against Depaul they committed 22 turnovers. They’ve had 115 on the year ranking in the 100’s in fewest turnovers.

With both of these defenses being really good I can see a similar defensive-minded game that was the case in the Cardinals matchup with Michigan. Possessions will be limited in a game like this so the turnover battle will be big.

This Louisville team has done a good job of taking care of the basketball and maximizing their possessions. They are hovering around the top 50 in fewest turnovers with 105 on the season and are ranked 24th in assist to turnover ratio at 1.3… Fresh and Darius are getting it done for us here.

Looking forward to watching the best player in the country get his moment on the biggest stage tonight. Jordan Nwora is ranked 26th in the country in points scored for his team. He has brought it every game on both ends of the floor and I think we’ll see him have a big one tonight. Texas Tech will have problems defending him. Especially if he decides they aren’t going to stop him. We saw a little of that mode in the Michigan game.

The Cardinals have had zero trouble getting past power 5 opponents. This should be another game where Louisville should be able to flex their muscles and take care of business. Texas Tech is a helluva defensive team but just think the Louisville firepower will be too much for them.

Legends are made at the Garden… The last time Louisville played in the Jimmy V Classic the then #4 Cardinals beat Indiana 94-74 and Montrezl Harrell became Louisville’s all-time dunk leader. I hope the number one team in the country is legendary tonight…

Go Cards!

GO CARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Don’t need no déjà WKU today



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:

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

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

Let’s just get Past this first round

(photo courtesy of @LouisvilleMBB)


We missed out on the fun last season but the wait is almost over. Our Cardinals will literally kick off the 2019 NCAA Tournament when they play Minnesota at 12:15 pm. First round games have a history of being a topsy-turvy of events especially in games where the Seeds are more evenly paired. As a Louisville fan, I have some horrible memories of first-round games. I don’t want this to be one of those occasions.

As a fan you want this first game of the NCAA Tournament to be as drama free as it can be. Watch your team cruise to an easy win and move on to battle for a spot in the second weekend. The NCAA Tournament Committee did their part to make sure this first game was anything but drama free for Louisville. Speaking of Past. Louisville can’t seem to get away from theirs.

I have intentionally tried to stay away from all of the ”Pitino” rhetoric this week. Coach Mack said that he had tried to keep it away from his team this week. Listening to some of the comments from the open practice yesterday it doesn’t sound like these players care to much about it either. They appear to be in the moment. This team has been good at staying in the moment all season.

The Cardinals had the misfortune of facing some tough opponents in the tail end of their season, but they really didn’t get blown out in any game and held their own against the top-tier opponents for the most part. They overcame some tough losses along the way but were able to take on the season one game at a time. They’ll have to do that over the next few weeks to survive and advance.

I don’t expect this to be an easy one against the Gophers. They play hard for their Coach. His teams are known for their effective offense, and they make opponents earn points on defense. I can assure you that they will press and press some more. I respect their X’s and O’s and they also have some pretty good Jimmys and Joes. Amir Coffey and Jordan Murphy are a great one/two punch for them. Murphy averages a double-double per game with 14.8 points and 11.5 rebounds. He is the kinda dude that can take one over.

Louisville will have the best player on the floor in this game. I hope that Jordan Nwora can rise to this occasion. It will be his first appearance under these bright lights. He has managed the pressure of being the ”go-to” guy this season but being the ”go-to” guy in the NCAA Tournament is a different pressure. I don’t think Minnesota has anyone that matches up well with Jordan but they’ll have a plan to slow him down.

This Louisville team has done a better job of cultivating offense in other ways than just launching bombs from the outside. But they are a live by the three and die by three type of team. It’s just who they are. Hitting that outside shot effects every aspect of their game and can even dictate their defense at times. We just have to hope they hit em.

It would be nice to see someone emerge from nowhere and get some important production. I feel like a great Tournament team always has this guy. For Louisville, I think that guy could be Akoy Agau. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him impact the game in some way. A big rebound or shot. At this point, it is so cliche to say that VJ King could have a big game. He really could have a big game and a good Tournament. He’s been playing with more confidence lately. This team is only one impact wing player away. Just sayin.

Back to Minnesota… They really didn’t look great against Michigan, but otherwise, they’ve performed pretty well lately. Still, the Gophers have had some trouble against the more stout defenses out there. This Louisville team has been solid on the defensive end of the floor lately. I think they match up well.

I just want to get past this first round game. I think this team needs to get past this first one. This game could also go a long way of moving us past that other stuff. It really is time to bury it. The program has moved on.

I love the NCAA Tournament and am glad that my Cardinals are back in the big dance. It’s going to be an event filled with drama as 65 games are played over the next three weeks. There will only be one team left standing. I hope that team is Louisville. I can hope.
Can’t I?

Go Cards!

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Let the College Basketball Postseason begin…


Our Cardinals will start postseason play against Notre Dame in the second round of the ACC Tournament. Louisville was able to defeat Notre Dame in their only match-up of the season as the Cardinals won by a 75-61 margin in the last game of the regular season.

15-seed Norte Dame kept their season alive after defeating the 10-seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 78-71, on Tuesday afternoon. The Irish came into the ACC Men’s Tournament on a 7-game losing streak. They showed some signs of life against Tech in the first half of this game but the Irish team we’ve seen for most of the season showed up in the 2nd half and had trouble holding on for the victory.

Our Cardinals struggled down the stretch, however, they’ve clearly established themselves as one of the toughest teams in the country. We have one of the best players in the country and in the ACC. I feel like Jordan Nwora was overlooked in the ACC accolades announced Monday. But screw em. I think Jordan and this Louisville team could make a deep run this week.

I do think there is still a chance for Louisville to move themselves up a couple of lines if they have a successful ACC Tourney, but don’t think they can hurt themselves much. I do think this team would benefit from some good momentum heading into next week. Some of these guys haven’t experienced the NCAA Tournament. Would like to see them enter with some confidence.

I don’t think they’ll have any trouble in this one as I expect Notre Dame to be out of gas. They gave it all they had just to reach this game. Hope we see a lot of guys score and a lot of smiles. I’m already smiling because I love this time of year. Nothing like College Basketball in March. Just gonna take it all in.

Enjoy folks! Go Cards!

GOCARDS.COM GAMEDAY BREAKDOWN

Knock knock. Hoo’s there? Virginia again!


It’s been too long since our Cardinals have had a win over conference rival Virginia. The Cavaliers have made their way up my shit list of College teams over the last few years. Not only do they make you set thru their deliberate and frustrating approach on offense and defense for 40 minutes they usually win. The Cardinals have lost the last eight games in this series.

During that time the basketball Gods have been pretty unkind to Louisville with that devastating one-point loss to them a year ago this week. Enough is enough. It’s the Cardinals turn for a win in this game?

A few weeks ago I jumped the gun and pulled out my VJ King prediction. Haven’t we all made that prediction? I had saved it up and really thought the last game against Virginia we might see something. But this team was in the midst of an offensive funk.

A funk so bad that it seen Louisville have some of their worst totals in a while scoring 59 points and a low of 49 over that three-game stretch. It was really encouraging to see them put up 75 against Notre Dame. They scored points and scored in different ways. Oh, and VJ King made his return.

VJ really looks like he has regained some confidence. He has had success playing against Virginia averaging 11.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. He scored a career-high 24 points against Virginia during his freshman season. I think he’s capable of a big game today.

Jordan also returned to form with 20 points and 11 rebounds against Notre Dame. It was good to see Malik Williams double-double for the Cardinals in that one with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Think these guys could play a big role today.

This is like a final exam for this Louisville team. They had moments this season where they looked really good and here lately have looked really bad. The live by the three die by the three mentality is fun to watch when it works out. Not so much when it doesn’t.

Maybe this team learned during that losing streak not to rely so heavily on the outside shot. Maybe they ”just learned” during this brutal conference stretch. This team should be pretty tough at this point. They’ve had a week to prepare for this finale.

Today is our day Louisville fans. VJ King will Beast out and will be proclaimed the King Slayer. This Louisville team has been solid on the road. Today we see the return of the Road Dogs. Please, basketball Gods!

Go Cards!

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