One of the only good things that has come out of the sport of hockey, in my opinion, is plus/minus ratings (and Sean Avery, but that's another story). It shows how well your team produced while certain players were in the game. For example, if Preston Knowles comes into the game and the Cards are down 3 and he comes out and they have taken a 5 point lead, his plus/minus (+/-) would be +8 for that particular segment. All you do is simply add or subtract each segment to get a positive or negative figure that represents the teams production while X player is in the game. I also added minutes played in parentheses to show which guys' playing time might be too high or too low. Got it? Good.
Edgar Sosa (18 minutes) - minus 4 - did not play the last 14:47 of the game after playing a stretch where the cards went from a 5 point halftime deficit to a 9 point margin. I don't want to say anything now for fear I'll regret it later. Not a big fan right now.
Jerry Smith (25) - plus 3 - played the single best stretch of any one player as he came in with the Cards down 12 at the 6:52 mark in the 2nd half and left at the 3:21 mark trailing only by 5. Jerry hit a 3 and grabbed 1 board in that stretch.
Andre McGee (14) - minus 12 - clearly the worst performance by one player as the team never was never above water with McGee in the game (only breaking even once). This was evident by his ZERO points, ZERO assists, and ZERO rebounds all the while fouling out of the game. I hope he didn't have any family from Cali travel to watch that game. Not very good at all.
Preston Knowles (20) - plus one - the Preston/Jerry back court was the most successful as they were plus 7 when in the game at the same time. Pitino said he needed more production out of his guards. It looks to me like either Smith or Knowles needs to learn how to play point...fast.
Reggie Delk (8) - EVEN - played in 3 separate 2:30-3 minutes stretches where he didn't hurt the team one bit. ZERO turnovers with 2 blocks and an assist. Delk did not take a shot, something he needs to look for more often. Could he play point or am I dreaming?
Kyle Kuric (3) - EVEN - played last 3 minutes of second half and got 2 big offensive rebounds. He pulled down more offensive boards than all the other guards combined. Maybe the vets should take some notes when Kuric is in. Look for his playing time to grow exponentially in this next run of games.
Terrence Williams (33) - minus 6 - pretty clear-cut that the team goes as T-Will goes. It seemed like he was looking to score more (17 pts on 6-15 shooting) than create for his teammates. He still had 5 assists, which is funny because ESPN said the whole team only had 4 about 5 minutes after the game yesterday, and the squad needed him to score at the end. I'll take 17-6-5 from T-Will every day. His defense was a different story. I hope he's getting it for letting Hoffharber and Busch score all over him. The Cards were a +3 without T-Will in the second half.
Earl Clark (36) - plus 1 - Earl left the game at the 16 minute mark with the Cards trailing by 6. By the time he got back into the game at the 14:00 mark the Cards were down 11 and a win was pretty much out of reach. No explanation here. Clark can't be expected to play the whole game. However, he can take better shots and maintain his solid starts throughout the game. The worst stretch he played (-6) was the first portion where he scored 8 of the team's first 15 points. In all other shifts he played in, the team was +7. Can't complain with 16 and 11 from E5.
Samardo Samuels (27) - minus 11 - Did Mardo really only take 4 shots? I guess when you get blocked by an ugly white-boy they don't count it. Samuels didn't play the last 8 minutes of the first half and the team broke even. In the second half, he came into the game after a short rest with the team down 4 at the 17:49 mark. He left at the 7:49 mark with the Gophers up 12 (-10). the single worst stretch by any player. 7 points 3 boards 4 turnovers and a foul out. I thought it couldn't get worse than Ole Miss, I guess it can. The last Louisville player with such poor passing skill was Cliff Rozier and everybody remembers how much of a "black hole" he was.
Jared Swopshire (5) - minus 6 - Not very good considering he played only 5 minutes. 3 points 2 rebounds. I think it takes Swop a couple minutes to get into the flow of the game. I would almost suggest starting him if it wouldn't put T-Will or Clark on the bench.
George Goode (8) - plus 3 - Goode played the last 5 minutes of the first half and the Gophers did absolutely nothing inside hitting 2 threes though. Goode plays excellent defense and is active the entire time he's in the game. I think when the team is forcing the ball to Mardo too much, Pitino should throw George in there to increase the ball movement and actually improve on the defensive end. However, I'm not a hall of fame coach.
Terrence Jennings (3) - minus 1 - played only 3 short minutes in the first half. Still learning the system. His biggest contribution to the team would be to make Samuels work his tail off in practice, which in turn will make the team better.
Only 4 guys on the positive side this game - Smith, Knowles, Clark and Goode. The same guys I'm sure the majority of fans out there feel played well considering. I'm going to try to do this for every game so we can start getting a better judgement of what is going on. Plus, traveling thousands of miles in 48 hours wasn't a variable in this equation. Based solely on the Minnesota loss the starting lineup should be Knowles and Smith at guard, Williams and Clark at the forwards and Goode at the 5 spot. I do not think that would sit well with Mardo, but it's worth a shot.