Sunday, November 23, 2008

One Down, One to Go in the Minardi Classic

The Cardinals got their first of the season Saturday, and are looking for their second on Sunday. Louisville was too much for a 0-3 Morehead State team, clipping the wings of the Eagles in the second half. In the beginning, fans were thinking here we go again when the Cards let the Eagles hang around for the first 15 minutes of the game. A 17-6 run at the end of the half showed a little bit of spark, and the Cards took a 29-23 lead at halftime.

In the second half, it was all Louisville and there were a variety of contributors. There four Cardinals who had double-digits in scoring, 18 Samuels, 13 Clark, 12 Smith and 10 Knowles. Louisville scored 50 points in the second half starting a pace that will hopefully continue for the rest of the year. Louisville had their largest lead of the game at the end as they won 79-41.

Samardo Samuels finished with 18 points and five rebounds, but there still is room for improvment. Coach Pitino was him to finish stronger when he gets fouled, and work to become a better rebounder. As expected his best shots of the game were back-to-back dunks that made the medical staff check his hands for orange paint.

Terrence Willimas didn't get his first points until he made a dunk in the final minutes. That doesn't scar his perfomance though, since he led the team with 11 rebounds. He showed a maturity that Coach Pitino had been raving about, and he is on his way to being the leader the Cards need on the floor.

There were a few other welcomed sights in the stat sheet. George Goode played an overall game in the post and he finished with 7 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks. The redshirt freshman was recruited to be a wing player, but Goode has made the most of the lack of depth down low. Granted he was facing the bigs of Morehead State, he was still impressive defending in the low post.

Another brightspot was Edgar Sosa's 10 assists who might have transformed into an actual point guard. What was more impressive was the fact that he had only one turnover. Sosa wasn't scared of the new three point line though, and all of his 5 shots were behind the arc. Pitino pulled from the game after one ill-advised shot, but he came back on the court passing the ball. Sosa looked best leading the team down the floor on fast breaks distributing the ball to the other flying Cardinals.

Louisville will get a bigger test today from South Alabama, who defeated Florida A&M convincingly last night. They are highlighted by a local standout Dominic Tilford who transferred out of Cincinatti. But don't go to the trouble of figuring out where South Alabama is, they won't make name for themselves today.

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