Saturday, January 31, 2009

Boom! 9 in a ROW!

Thanks to the man- Mr. Jerry "Raindrops" Smith. Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple days (computers suck sometimes). They will be coming full force again soon. For now, enjoy this victory and the fact that we have a chance to beat the #1 team in the country for the second time in 2 weeks. Bring on the Huskies - Big Monday - ESPN - 7PM - in a place where the beer flows like wine and beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. A little place called Freedom Hall. Cards 69 'Neers 63

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cup O' Jones : Starting 5

The wrap-up about USF is about all I have to say about the world of sports as it associates with the Cards, but for the people out there that just can't get enough of it here are some links to get you through this Thursday....

The Starting 5

1. SportsByBrooks - Ex-Buc Rice Rips "Scumbag" Gruden (I don't care how bad you were in you prime Simeon - we have problems if you're calling UofL's next coach a "scumbag". However, maybe this is a sign that Gruden has burned his bridges in the NFL and will now turn to resurrecting a football program (hint-hint). I'm not giving up on this by the way.)

2. Dan Collins - Winston-Salem Journal - Finding Redemption (Wake Forest is the real deal and they proved it by outlasting Duke last night in what was a great finish. Here's what the local papers had to say about the team John Renshaw says is going to win the title)

3. Eamonn Brennan - Yahoo's the Dagger - Gary Williams in vicious deathmatch with Maryland officials (Looks like this is going to be the swan song for Mr. Williams who is looking like a dead-man-walking after this tussle with the AD office over who released 2 key recruits)

4. Rick Chandler - Deadspin - Not-so Secret Orgin of Bud Bowl, Including Surprise Alternate Ending (I always liked the Bud Bowl - sometimes more than the actual game. it needs to be brought back immediately)

5. Andrew Carter - Orlando Sentinel - Steelers DB William Gay persevered from tough Tallahassee youth, and even his old coach isn't quite sure how (I hope he doesn't jump offsides trying to block a game-winning Super Bowl kick that misses - I don't think the Pittsburgh fans would be as understanding as us)

Thoughts on USF Beatdown

Although they left something to be desired in the first half, nobody could ask for much more from the Cards after that. They led USF by only one at halftime and went on to win by 26 - Cards 80 Bulls 54.

- I don't think it was as much Louisville playing poorly as it was USF getting all the bounces and 50/50 plays. The Cards shot 44% from the field and 50 from three. Dominique Jones had fresh legs and was getting his shot off well enough to score 15 first half points. He only scored 4 in the second half and I'm sure fatigue had a lot to do with it. Our games are like prize fights where one guy seems to be throwing all the punches early trying to get the knock-out only to get strategically broke-down and beaten in the latter part of the fight. A team can hit us with good runs, but the Cards can take the blow and slowly break the spirit of the opposition over the course of the game.

- Speaking of runs - I think I've found something about the Cards that might rival the play of their defense. It's their "spurtability". A word made up by Clark Kellogg for a team's tendency to go on runs fits the Cards perfectly. A friend of mine told me the Cards had to be leading the NCAA in 8-0 runs and I have to agree with him. How well the defense is playing being coupled with unselfishness leads to these game-changing runs. Last night the Cards went on a 20-3 run the first 9 minutes of the second half and never looked back. Against PITT they were down 20-7 to start and took the lead before you could say a word. Those are just two examples of many times it has happened all year.

- How would you like to be a guard trying to bring the ball up the floor and see Andre McGee and Preston Knowles in your face the entire attempt? It's like a UPS guy trying to get a package to a doorstep with two rabid pitbulls in his path. Like Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez trying to pickle the killer dog in The Sandlot. Not a very good time and it takes greatness to succeed. They are all over the other team's guards like ugly on a UK fan. The intensity and ferociousness of those two in-particular is very impressive.

- As for the other guards - Sosa played very well scoring 16 points on 4 threes, but he did get out of control and had a few turnovers in the first half (even though the stats say 1). I love the way he is paying right now - very unselfish yet extremely confident. Even his defense has stepped up tremendously over the past few games. Jerry Smith is the consummate team player this year by trading in stats for wins. The thought would be he is having a bad year by looking on paper, but Smith does what we need him to do - keep the defense honest and play courageous, hard-nosed D on the other end. Who would Jerry take shots away from? Why does he even need to look for his shot?

- Mardo went 7-8 from the field for 14 and I think about 5 came on Shaq Diesel-style dunks. My biggest pet peeve with him is protecting the basket on out-of-bounds plays on the baseline. It's nit-picking, but watch closely the next few and you will see it needs improvement. Mardo is now coming into his own not because he has drastically improved, but because the team around him is playing so well that he doesn't get as much attention. Due to that, Samuels has become a lot better passer from the post and is slowly-but-surely making quicker decisions with the basketball.

- OK. I guess I have to mention the T-Will between the legs pass when the Cards were only up by 6. It was definitely awesome, "SportsCenter Top 10 plays" worthy, but if he does that against UCONN or Providence I might crap my pants. I know T-Will knows better than that, but there's a fine line between cocky/confident and stupid/dumb. After I saw Earl Clark finish the pass with an And-1 dunk, I was cool with it. I guess that's the risk you take when T-Will is being T-Will.

- My man George Goode is back in action after missing the last 5 games due to a stress fracture in his foot and the solid play of Terrence Jennings. Coach Pitino said Goode had his best day in practice as a Cardinal onTuesday and added that he is very pleased with the way the three-headed monster of Mardo/TJ/Goode are playing right now. You can never have enough front-court depth and it is fortunate that the team didn't lose a step during Goode's injury.

- Are the Cards going to give ole Coach Huggins a taste of his own medicine this week? Not bourbon and car keys, but defense and toughness. Remember when Huggy Bear's UC teams would come down here, play overly physical and look like a prison ward as opposed to a ball squad? The Cards need to do that to a West Virginia team who know likes to slow the game down and get threes. i don't think the Cards are going to allow that, but it will be fun to see what Huggins has in store.

- Congratulations to Will Scott who was accepted to Oxford University - a very prestigious school in England that takes only 15 students every year. I'm not expecting anyone who is reading something written by me to know anything about the school, but the effort necessary to float both such high grades in school and fulfill obligations to practice and travel with the team is truly incredible. Plus, after going 0 for '09, he hit a three after receiving a standing ovation from both the crowd and his proud teammates. Give 'em hell Will.

- West Virginia coming up on Saturday. Another dreaded hangover game at NOON. At least I don't live in LA or my Friday and Saturday nights would be ruined by these start times. Stay tuned for TC writing about his love affair with the team he has liked for close to 58 years - the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ask him to tell you the story about him, Bradshaw and Swann at the Golden Nugget. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Show Me My Opponent - South Florida Bulls

Location - Tampa, Florida

Arena - Sun Dome (10,411 capacity)

Head Coach - Stan Heath (first season)

Record 7-12 overall (1-5 Big East)

Versus the Cards - 3-22 overall (Last meeting Cards won 74-60)

History of the Program - South Florida doesn't have anywhere near the tradition of Louisville's last opponent but the Bulls are improving. They may not be making the huge strides like their football though. USF has only been playing College Basketball since 1971 , with only two NCAA Tournament appearance's to brag about. The two schools have met twenty-four times, with Louisville winning twenty-one of them, including the last eight.

Notable Alumni - Terry Bollea (better known as Hulk Hogan) - Everyone's favorite player of Jimi Hendrix air guitar.

Leo Gallagher - Comedian who finds drenching people in watermelon funny...not my thing.

Lauren Hutton - Actress/model from such masterpieces like Once Bitten (Jim Carey's first movie) and My Father the Hero.

Tony La Russa - Current Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, one of only two managers to win a World Series in both the American and National Leagues.

Chucky Atkins - Current NBA point guard, has his jersey retired by South Florida

Solomon Jones - Current NBA center

Anthony Henry
- Current NFL defensive back

Andre Hall - Current NFL running back

Starting Lineup...

- Guard - Jesus Verdejo - 6'4 205 Senior #23
The Arizona transfer can put up points and isn't afraid to shoot the ball. He went 0-6 in last season's meeting but did contribute 6 assists. A member of Puerto Rican national team that finished seventh at the 2005 FIBA Under-21 World Championships for Men.

- Guard - Dominique Jones (pictured) - 6'4 210 Sophomore #20
Leads the team in scoring, putting up over 30 points twice this season. Was 6-10 from the field with 17 points last meeting against the Cards.

- Guard - Justin Leemow - 6'1 175 Freshman #10
Has moved into the starting lineup over the last couple games but will split minutes with Junior guard Chris Howard

- Forward - Augustus Gilchrist - 6'10 235 Freshman #24
Has become USF's second option after making his debut against UL in Tampa. Can play inside and also stroke the trifecta.
- Forward - Eladio Espinosa - 6'7 220 Freshman #1
Rotates heavily with 6'10 fellow Freshman Augustus Gilchrist. He puts up a threatening 2.5 points and 3.4 rebounds a game.

This is no Bull - South Florida has no inside game, they run a three guard rotation at you and will no hesitate to let it rip from beyond the arc. Two of those guards (Verdejo and Jones) are in the top 15 in scoring in the Big East , with Jones leading the team in scoring at 17 points a game and Verdejo at 15 a game. Unfortunately for for Head Coach Stan Heath , the Bulls are pretty thin after those two. South Florida is last in the Big East in scoring (61.3 ppg) , in fact they are basically in the bottom 5 in all major categories in the Big East. Then again they are 5-8 going into this game with early season losses to Niagara (Don't think Calvin Murphy played) and Wright State. South Florida's last win over Louisville did come in Tampa (2001) with the Bulls winning 73-67 but the Cards have won three straight all by an average margin of 30 points a game.

Needs to be done - Louisville will need to be aware of there shooters on the court because they will put 3 or even 4 of them out there at one time. The Cards can not allow South Florida to get second shots, offensive rebounds usually produce the best looks from outside. Louisville's half court defense against Kentucky was suffocating but they still fall asleep in transition defense and if the Bulls get hot Louisville can find themselves in a challenge. If the Cards cut down their turnovers from the last game, this game in the Big East might just be their easiest.

Prediction - While I feel every home game this season may be a pleasant adventure, win or lose, I think this game might be the definition of that. The Cards are deeper, bigger, stronger, faster and just plain more talented then South Florida (You can put that on your billboard Bulls). I think Earl (Clark) will have a game similar to his performance against Ole Miss (25 points 16 rebounds), while Louisville's guards will make the Bulls ball handlers life a living hell. Knowles and McGee struggle with bigger guards but each of them should have nice bounce back games. Watch for Jennings and Goode (Less Goode then Jennings) to get descent minutes, allowing Samuels to not be overworked, with a smaller USF team this is a good game to get them some playing time in a Big East home game.

Cards - 77

USF - 61

Game On!

In case you were getting nervous, this from the C-J:
The University of Louisville's men's basketball game against the University of South Florida will be played as scheduled tonight at 7 p.m. in Freedom Hall, the school announced.Despite the severe weather conditions and widespread power outages, Freedom Hall does have power and the South Florida players and the game officials are in town.Big East Conference policy states that, "if both teams and at least two of the three game officials are present and there is severe inclement weather, the game shall be played." USF arrived in Louisville Tuesday afternoon, all three game officials are in town. Freedom Hall is prepared to host the event, including clearing parking lots for those fans who choose to attend the sold-out game.

Television veiwers will not be restricted to listening to Dick Vitale professing his adoration for Kyle Singler and all things ACC tonight.

Ice Wednesday Louisville

Sooooo, you’re snowed in, I’m snowed in. Once you run through Rob’s Starting 5 and you’re still bored, here’s some Wednesday reading. We’ll call it “TC’s Off The Bench.” What’s that you say? Clever? Why, thank you.

They’re not snowed in Tampa. In fact it’s about 75 degrees and sunny. And down there – probably not soaking up rays on the beach – is Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the mastermind behind the greatest defense in recent NFL history.

Tired of the laptop and want to watch some tube? Rick Bozich’s got ‘cha covered.
NOTE: The L Yes! Report does not condone you folks missing the Cards game to watch the Pu, er, Duke-Wake Forest game, limitless ESPN promotions and absurd volume of Dick Vitale’s commercials urging you to do so notwithstanding.

In the legal community, there’s an expression that’s indicative of how effortless it is for the state to get an indictment for criminal offenses: “You can indict a ham sandwich.” Well, welcome to Lexington, where it’s apparently not so easy to prosecute those suspected of burglary, theft, and disorderly conduct – if their crimes are in the name of blatant racism.

Finally, there’s no such thing as a dumb question. That is, unless your offensive firepower has been shut down the whole first half, you can’t defend a team missing 3 of its best 4 players, and you feel like you’re playing 1 on 5 on offense. Just in: Billy Clyde isn’t very nice.

Could you imagine how short he’d be with you if you pulled him over after he crossed the center line late one Friday night?

NOTE: The L Yes! Report finds it interesting that when his boy goes “oh-fer” in the first half, you’re not allowed to bring it up, but when he gets off for 54, ‘ol Billy stands ready, willing and able to tell you and the rest of the country all about it, all googly-eyed.

Go Cards tonight. Last home game I tested them by not rocking the usual Unseld throwback, and, if you haven’t heard, they proved up to the challenge. But fear not – no. 31 will be out tonight. You can keep me away from work for two days, ice and snow, but you can’t keep me from the Hall during battle!

Cup O' Jones : Snow Day Edition

- Ok, I know we have a game tonight against So. Florida, but I have to touch on what transpired in Oxford last night. UK got dropped by a team we beat by 9. I thought they were supposed to go undefeated in the SEC. What happened? Jody Meeks finally went cold and Danny Huertas gave UK a taste of their own medicine with a Meeks-like 19 in the second half. On top of that, one of the best college basketball writers in America - Jeff Goodman - came on the Freak Show last night and completely dogged the SEC and UK simply by telling the truth. Can anyone out there tell me one thing he says that is wrong?

- On to bigger and better things - those Cards. Pitino seemed to think in the press conference that this team is pretty much incapable of overlooking opponents regardless of their strength. South Florida has won only 2 games in conference, both being to 0-7 DePaul. Plus, the crowd hasn't seen this team in 11 days and now they get to start a crucial 3 game home stretch with WVU and UCONN to follow. This team is focused and ready to go. If I were a betting man, I'd take the Cards with the 18 points. But that's why I'm not a betting man anymore.

- The Bulls remind me of a poor man's Kentucky - a good inside player in Gus Gilchrist and a sharp-shooting guard in Dominique Jones with not a whole lot else surrounding them. The Cards defense will not allow either to have what they want which will force USF to depend on players who seldom score for buckets. The only way I see this game being close is if the Cards shoot less than 30-35% from the field or the Bulls just get red hot from long range.

- Guys I think need to get major clock tonight for experience purposes are Jared Swopshire, Kyle Kuric, Reginald Delk and Terrence Jennings. Swopshire has his excellent spurts, but it seems like he has never totally gotten into the flow of the game. Kuric and Delk are T-Will's back-ups, so hopefully they don't see much of the floor. Just in case, I would like to see them get a little clock. TJ just needs to keep playing quality minutes like he has. He could even stand to get 25 minutes as opposed to 18-20. Maybe even get him in there at the 5 with Samardo playing the 4 - his natural position. This is all presuming the Cards take care of business. If the game is close, these guys (sans TJ) can wait.

- Nothing new from me on the football front other than the fact it makes me want to crack-open a beer every time I think about it - which would be fun for a while then become extremely unhealthy. We've had more coordinators/coaches leave for equal or lesser jobs at equal or lesser schools than can be imagined possible. ATTN TJ : Bite the bullet, FIRE KRAG, give John Gruden 2 mil a year paid for by all the seats you're going to fill in the stadium expansion (which will then be back on schedule). Don't pretend like this couldn't happen. I always revert back to all the people that said Pitino wouldn't come to Louisville - not that the football team is equally as desirable of a job, but Jurich pulled a miracle with Pitino to save the basketball program and now he needs to repeat that and do something about this football team.

Starting 5
1. Lance Pugmire- LA Times - Investigation of Margarito's hand wraps underway (I'm on this huge boxing kick right now and if you get a chance to see this Mosley/Margarito fight you won't be disappointed. It's a slobber-knocker. Before the fight they found a strange substance inside Margarito's gloves. I don't know who else still likes boxing, but check it out)
2. The Big Lead - Syracuse, Syracuse! might steal one of the best recruits in the country from Lane Kiffin (and guess who it is....none other than the #1 all-purpose back in the country who had his list narrowed to UL and UT before last year - David Oku. I wonder how we could be replaced by Syracuse? Will someone please refresh my memory)
3. Jody Demling - C-J Blog -UofL lands Florida commitment (Krag got a commit from he 99th RB - 5'10 185lb Jeremy Wright. He chose Louisville over powerhouses such as Troy and Florida International.)
4. Jerry Tipton - Lexington Herald-Leader - Ole Miss stifles Meeks, top Cats 85-80 (I think Jerry Tipton's favorite thing to write about is a UK loss - which is one of my favorite things to read about)
5. Gene Wojciechowski - - Rooney Rule helps reward namesake (Hopefully a little L Yes! karma for TC's Steelers. Plus, I think Mike Tomlin is a bad man)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Simms to El Camino

According to the C-J's Jody Demling.

It's a junior college in Los Angeles County, stadium capacity about 12,000, and site of the filming of the movie The Longest Yard.

Best of luck to you young man.

Pitino: Cards Focused for USF

In his weekly presser this afternoon, Coach P maintained that the Cards aren't in for a trap game against the 7-12 Bulls from South Florida tomorrow night at Freedom Hall.

“They can beat us,” Pitino said. “But I know it won’t be because of our guys not giving great effort. Our guys are totally tuned into every team they play and respect every team they play."

You'll recall Louisville beat the Bulls down in Tampa 71-57 to kick off their perfect conference start.

ESPN's Pat Forde gives the Cards another shout out in his Forde Minutes. He's apparently impressed with the defense.

Speaking of Tampa - and defense - the Pittsburgh Steelers and the other team down there enjoyed Super Bowl Media Day this morning and afternoon. Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward: "The knee feels good."

Look out, you Arizona fans.

Krag to Call Plays?

From Rivals:

Some sources say Louisville offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm may be forced out, with Cardinals coach Steve Kragthorpe assuming play-calling duties. Brohm could stay on board as a position coach. He also could land as offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic, which needs a coordinator after Gary Nord left for the same post at Purdue. Brohm played quarterback for FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger at Louisville.

The "forcing Jeff Brohm out" rumors are nothing new, but this is the first speculation I've heard about Krag assuming full-time play-calling duties. The way he turns over defensive coordinators, he may have to assume the role of calling the sets on the other side of the ball also.

Scary stuff. I may just resort to full-time Owls fan if Jeff goes to Florida Atlantic to join Howie.

Cup O' Jones : A-Fraud Edition

- I know you're wondering what the hell is up with this picture, but examine a little closer and you'll find the one and only A-FRAUD (bottom right) with a girl who looks like she has braces and snuck out of her parents house to get "crunk" with the baseball team. Pretty funny. Now to things that are more along our subject line....

- Hope you got to check out the new FREAK SHOW w/ JOHN RENSHAW on the CW last night and - if you haven't already - set that series recording on your DVR. The best in the biz - Jeff Goodman of - will join the Freak tonight to talk some college hoops and definitely make fun of the Kentucky basketball program and their fans. Also, I know Goodman is high on the Cards, but he also knows how to point out the most glaring weaknesses on good teams. it will be interesting to see/hear what he has to say. Oh, and if you call the damn show, turn down your TV. Amateurs. You're making me look bad. Freak Show - 11:30PM right after Oprah on Louisville's CW (Ch. 7 Insight). Make sure you check out as well

- The Lady Cards dropped a heartbreaker to #1 UCONN by 28 last night. Ridiculous is and understatement when talking about the Husky women (haha). In the past week or so, they have beaten two top 6 teams (#2 UNC, #7 UL) by almost 60 points combined. Maya Moore (supposed POY candidate) had 27 and 11 for UCONN and our girl Angel had 24 and 13, a valiant effort. Not much difference there. The Cards held their own for a little bit in the first half, leading at one point 32-31 then the Husky women went on a huge run and never looked back. Like Moore said after the game, "Just another day at the office" for UCONN. B*%&#

- The Cards were looking good on yesterday. A #2 seed in Joe Lunardi's Bracketology in the Indianapolis region with Duke as the #1 seed. I have no problem playing the Devils as opposed to say Carolina or Wake. We could rattle their guards easily and they don't match up with us down low. Also, the man with the weirdest hairdo in television next to Chris Berman - Andy Katz - wrote an article about the Cards with some good quotes from Terrence Williams. My favorite being..."What we did is listen to our Hall of Fame coach instead of our own agendas, we're thinking of we now, not our own agendas.'' That's what I'm talking about. Awesome that the Cards are getting back into that national spotlight - huge for NCAA seeding and recruiting.

- Bad news is Pitino said on his radio show that Earl Clark hyper-extended his knee late in the game against Syracue and missed practice. Very scary. However, E5 will return to practice tomorrow and play Wednesday against South Florida. Hopefully this is something that won't bug him for the rest of the year and cause him to lose his explosiveness. But we all saw how much it hampered T-Will, so I expect Earl to be fine as well after only missing 1 day.

- Pitino has a presser today at 2. If anyone can go and get some audio just tell Kenny Klien I sent you. Not really, but the audio should be on the Courier or website in the late afternoon. I'll get a link up as soon as it's posted

- Sorry for the shortness of this column (that's what he said). I'm Tired. More to come later.

Starting 5
1. SportsbyBrooks - Is Tony Romo turning Jess into Jabba the Hut? ( For all you Romo haters out there - Sweeney/Trevor - the worst thing that can happen to a man besides castration ( no offense ladies) has stricken him. Maybe she fell in love with Baconators. I still thinks she's smokin' though. Check it out for yourself)
2. James Rees - NCAA Outsider - NCAA Great Debates: Who is the Hottest of the Hot? (This guy compares Louisville to some other top-notch teams in a debate style piece)
3. The Big Lead - It's Good to Be: A College Football Assistant Coach (unless you work under Krag or your name is Claude Bassett)
4. Jeff Goodman - FoxSports - Gottfried out at Alabama (Is Tubby an option? Goodman seems to think so. Interesting tidbit on Ronald Steele as well)
5. Brian Bennett - ESPN Blogger Nation - Where BIG EAST recruits come from, Parts 1 and 2 (Ours says Florida - it should be more like Desperation Island or any JuCo in America - what a disgrace)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Freak Show Back Tonight on CW-Louisville

You knew they weren't going to keep him down and out for long.

The man, the myth, the legend Johnny "The Freak" Renshaw will make his television debut in Louisville tonight on the CW Louisville (WBKI 34 - Insight Ch. 7) from 11:30-12:30 PM. The show will air every weeknight and as usual, the Freak will bring it with a no BS approach. Rapid Fire is back and the I'm sure there will be excitement everywhere you turn. The show will be simulcasted on The site was established by a group from the now defunct 93.9 the Ticket and will have blogs and other interactive stuff for you to mess around with. Hell, I might even write something on there.

So do us a favor and check out the show. If it's too late - DVR does wonderful things these days. Tell all your friends and make sure they tell their friends and we can make this thing work. The sports scene - talent-wise - is crap in this town (for lack of a better word) and Renshaw is a breath of fresh air. Guys like Jeff Goodman of FoxSports, Michael Bradley of the Sporting News, and radio personality Arnie Spanier will join the Freak on a weekly basis. Should be fun. The best part about it is I get to work side-by-side with Renshaw as a producer - never a dull moment.


Cards 7th in Coaches' Poll

How exciting! Up five spots from last week's No. 12 ranking. Total count: Big East 8 teams, SEC 0, again. Stay tuned to see where we jump to in the AP.

1. Duke
2. UConn
3. Pitt
4. Wake Forest
5. Oklahoma
6. North Carolina
7. Louisville
8. Marquette
9. Michigan State
10. Xavier
11. Clemson
12. Texas
13. Butler
14. Arizona State
15. Syracuse
16. UCLA
17. Purdue
18. Saint Mary's
19. Memphis
20. Illinois
21. Villanova
22. Notre Dame
23. Georgetown
24. Minnesota
25. Gonzaga

UPDATE: (2:41 pm) Cards are also 7th in the AP Poll, jumping up from No. 9.

Lady Cards to Test No. 1 UConn on ESPN2

These Cardinal birds tend to fly a bit below the radar, in comparison with their men counterparts.

But tonight it’ll be the No. 10 ranked University of Louisville women’s basketball team that takes center stage when it heads to Connecticut to take on the undefeated and Number 1 ranked Huskies.

The game is at 7:30 and ESPN2 will provide the coverage.

UConn isn’t ranked number 1 by default. They’ve earned it. Last week they beat previously unbeaten and No. 2 North Carolina – at Chapel Hill – by 30.

Back in November the Huskies beat current No. 2 Oklahoma, 106 – 78. These girls are good, and they’ve been distancing themselves from the rest of the pack.

The Huskies average 88.6 points per game, best in the country. Their 53.7% field goal percentage is also nation’s best. Something has to give tonight, as the Cards are giving up less than 54 points per game. But so is UConn.

So besides getting a shot at the hands-down number 1 team in the land, what else is on the line for the Lady Cards tonight? For starters, Louisville and UConn are the only two teams in the Big East with zero conference losses. Louisville’s (19-1, 6-0) only blemish came way back in November when they were upset at Nevada. Since then, they’ve cruised, their only close game coming in a five-point win against 16th ranked Rutgers.

Can the Huskies be topped? That’s yet to be seen. The Cards will need – and expect – a stellar performance out of All-American Angel McCoughtry. She’s averaging 21.4 points per game, 8.7 boards, and an NCAA-leading 4.7 steals. Sophomore point guard Deseree Byrd will be called upon to handle UConn’s suffocating pressure defense.

Last season the Cards fell at UConn 65-59 in the Big East Tourney. The Huskies were ranked number one then also.

But the Cards travel today battle-tested and hungry. Can they escape the fate of the North Carolinas and Oklahomas and give the mighty Huskies a run? Or is UConn just on another level right now? Check it out tonight on the Deuce. And Go Cards.

Even Rush Limbaugh Thinks the Cards Are Good...

There are turning points to every season. By the way, I'm typing this while watching the Steve Wilkos Show. By the way, Wilkos is the guy who did security for the Springer Show...STEVE! Anyways, Steve is interviewing a girl who is 15 and was "too high" on marijuana hit her mom with a baseball bat. I'm pretty sure marijuana doesn't do that but if it does sign me up.

Ok, along to the game. Every season has a turning point. The point where you know your team is really that good or destined to lose in the Sweet 16. I would say Kentucky will have their turning point very soon. Louisville just had theirs on Sunday.

Honestly Louisville fans, did you ever think we'd pull this one out? On the road, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, Big East road game, great coach, a stiffling zone, in the DOME where we'd never won. And then the game starts...we look quick, TWill knocking down shot after shot, and Syracuse is obviously sleepwalking. At some point all Louisville fans had to think Syracuse would wake up and start hitting shots. They did, finally, but it was too late and not near enough of them.

**Let me stop and say, in fact, I'm going to put this in caps just for emphasis. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS DEVENDORF MAY HAVE THE WORST TATTOOS IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL? Honestly, they are embarassing and need to be erased from his pasty white skin. He looks like Silas off the Da Vinci Code. I want to say so many bad things about the guy but I don't want Rob Jones to make me his bitch. But, I HATE DEVENDORF!**

Here's what we say in the rap community IS GOOD and IS BAD.

* The ability for TWill to hit a shot or create his own shot (except for THE LAYUP). T Will's ability to create something for himself or others is amazing and has made this a legit Final 4 contender. He can step back, drive it left right or middle, or pass off to teammate. There's no way to defend Williams. Only a team with a ton of athleticism will have a chance, enter UNC, Wake, and we'll see about UConn. Finally, I want to personally say THANK YOU to TWill for his rebounding. It's fantastic, abosultely fantastic. I am in love with this ability to rebound.

* Earl Clark is our gang banger. He can bang down low all night and get some really big rebounds. His ability to get a good amount of junk points is fun to watch. He scores well inside but has now gotten much more touch on that 3 point shot, which helped in a major way against Syracuse. I love when E5 is mean. With TWill and Clark in the front court we present match up problems with almost every team in America.

*Terrence Jennings should be closer to starting than what most believe. Jennings saved our inside game and really covered up an extremely poor game by Samuels. I am over Samuels dropping passes and missing point blank lay ups but more on that later..I promise. Jennings is going to be a fun player to watch mature. He can throw down with the best of them. He can get inside and is a quality rebounder. He gets to lots of loose balls but more importantly he made layups. I love the way he's coming along. His potential is through the roof.

*This team has the CLUTCH FACTOR. You know that feeling you get that when your team is down or in a close one that they'll prevail. I've had that feeling 2 times in the last year or so with the Giants. I now am starting to get that with this team. They can score down the stretch no matter how they've done the previous ten minutes. They're hitting free throws and playing unimaginable D. This team is starting to look very patient and at ease with the tough competition in th Big East.

* The D travels well. It's very cliche but true and Louisville is a living example. In a game where shooting was a a premium, Louisville brought the D with them and it got the job done. This team is starting to finally get recognition for causing turnovers and smothering guards. This unit doesn't block the most shots but I believe alters many throughout the game.

*The Rebounding is so solid. We had it against Syracuse, especially on the O end. TWill and Clark can rebound for anywhere. Jennings and Samuels can keep lots of ball live. Plus, if Jerry Smith is in the game he gtes lots of boards. I can't wait to see how we stack up against UConn.


*Samuels.....his inability to catch a pass or make a point blank layup just baffles me. He MUST wake up. Jennings will start getting more minutes if we see many more games like Syracuse. Imagine what we could've done WITH Samuels playing regular minutes and dropping 15? Just imagine what these 2 could do inside together.

*Smith and Knowles....simply not shooting well. I will be interested to see what Pitino will do with Smith. He's a great defender but he's lost his shot. Plus, he gets ZERO clutch time minutes. Knowles has also lots his shot. But to both: keep playing that hard nosed D.

By the way, Louisville number 7 in the country now!

Cup O' Jones : Monday Edition

Hope everybody had a great weekend capped off by the Cards 7th straight victory - a 10-point win at the 'Cuse Sunday. Hopefully that will help you get over that case of the Mondays that hits every week. On to some thoughts about yesterday's victory...

- The Cards' defense is an absolute juggernaut right now, allowing only 57 points to a Syracuse team that averaged over 80 points a game coming into Sunday. The Orange were also held to a season low in FG% (35%). The Cards are the only team to hold the 'Cuse to less than 40% this year. Whether it be the press wearing the guards down or the spectacular play of Terrence Jennings and the other interior defenders - nobody is going to score at will against this stifling Louisville defense. Plus, the Cards have the luxury of getting away with playing poorly on offense. 67 isn't the point total you look and and think - "that team probably won". The Cards shot 25% from 3, 35% from the field and still won by 10 thanks to what is proving itself to be the best unit in the country - the Louisville defense.

- T-Will is the best player in the conference right now and is gaining steam game-by-game. I know Harangody leads the league in both scoring and rebounding, but if he has a good game (say 25 and 15 against UCONN) his team still has a good chance of losing. It is evident that if T-Will has a good game the Cards will most definitely win. In the Cards' 3 losses, T-Will hit only 13 of 44 shots (30%). He does all the little things well - passing and defense - on top of being the best pound-for-pound rebounder in the country who has to compete for boards with one of the BIG EAST's best in Earl Clark. T-Will is the best all-around player in the conference, his team is undefeated and he's a senior (something the writers might take into account). Therefore he should win the MOP/MVP/POY over the stat stuffer who plays on a worse team. 09 isn't the year of the Gody.

- T-Will and Clark have been playing great lately but the two guys who deserve a lot of credit for the turnaround are Edgar Sosa and Terrence Jennings. I hope Sosa keeps making me eat my words every game. Its now 2 games with ZERO turnovers for a guy who was pretty much a turnover-waiting-to-happen at the beginning of the year. I don't hold my breath anymore when he has the ball. I have the utmost confidence is Sosa right now. For example, there was one subtle play where Eddie had the ball driving towards the hoop solo against 3 Orange defenders. The old Sosa would have put his head down, bee-lined it to the hoop and hope to get either fouled of lucky. The new Sosa back the ball out and waited for his teammates to join him. As subtle as it was, that showed me more about Sosa's maturation as any shot or pass. Well maybe not the UK shot - that was awesome - but you get my point.

- Jennings is going to come up extremely big for us at a crucial point this postseason - I can feel it. He had his best statistical game of the year Sunday scoring 9 points blocking 2 shots and grabbing 4 offensive boards (5 total) in 18 minutes. After thinking he would never make it off the bench at one point early in the year, Jennings has now become a very important part of the team. There have been 10 games this year where Samardo has had 4 or more fouls. He's had less than 3 only 4 times. This means Jennings will likely have to play crunch-time in a lot of big games. He has answered the call so far and you can see steady improvement every game. I guess Pitino wasn't BS'n us when he said Jennings and Sosa would be the "keys" to the team this year.

- Yet another big road win to pad the NCAA resume. After thinking a #1 seed was a thing of the past after the early losses, the Cards now have a legitimate shot. By my calculations, the Cards have the chance of losing a maximum 5 games in conference (UCONN, @ND, @G'TOWN, @WVU and possibly another random game). That's MAXIMUM. Let's say the Cards lose only 3, that gives them a 24-6 record in the best conference college hoops has seen in recent memory. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but we can't get stuck with Carolina or Duke in the East region again this year. Rick Bozich agrees with me.

Other UofL News....
- The Lady Cards take on #1 UCONN tonight on national television. This is time for Miss McCoughtry to have her coming-out paty for the rest of the country. UCONN just beat the #2 team in the land, UNC, by 30, so saying it will be a test for the Lady Cards is an understatement. This might be the biggest regular season game in Louisville women's basketball history as the Cards bring a 17-1 record to Storrs to face a UCONN team that most women's experts will say is unbeatable. Check it out in spine-tingling HDTV at 7:30 on the deuce.

- Krag got 2 more recruits to commit Sunday. DT Tim High from El Camino CC via UNLV is a 6-3 310lb hoss who should compete for the starting job from the get-go. He chose UL over Washington St and Arizona among others. The second commit came from a KY All-Stater, Bryan Station DE Roy Philon. The 6-2 270lb Philon joins RB/DB Shernard Holton as the only in-state players in the current recruiting class in a year where D-1 talent was obviously up around the state. Philon chose Louisville over Miam (OH).

Starting 5
1. YouTube - Arizona's Chase Budinger gets a mouth full of sneaker from a Houston player
2. Ray Glier - NY Times - Brandon Jennings send home a warning from Europe
3. Brent Axe - The Axeman Blogeth - In-depth breakdown of UL/SU from 'Cuse perspective.
4. Bill Madden - NY Daily News - In book, Joe Torre rips A-Fraud, the Boss, and Cashman
5. Nate Davis - USA Today -The not-so-Super team: Best Players to never reach the Super Bowl

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gettin' It Done on the Road

T Will had 15, Earl had 16, and Sosa had 13 (and for second straight game, 0 turnovers) to keep the Cards unbeaten in Big East play at Syracuse, referee Jim Burr notwithstanding.

It's official: Louisville is legit.

Come back to the L Yes! Report later for Rob's breakdown on this big road win.

Breaking down Syracuse

Head Coach: Jim Boeheim (750-264 overall in 31 seasons)

Record: 17-3 overall, 5-2 in Big East

Last Game: Lost at Pittsburgh 78-60

Last Game versus Cards: Louisville won 61-50 on 2/18/08 in Freedom Hall

Starting Line up:

Jonny Flynn - guard - Sophomore - 6'0 185 #10
What can I say about Jonny Flynn that everyone doesn't already know. An explosive scorer, who can hurt you off the dribble as well as from the outside. Is an excellent ball handler and passer (6 assists a game, 3-1 assist to turnover ratio). Louisville will not face a better point guard this season and can not expect to shut Flynn completely down.

Andy Rautins - guard - Junior - 6'5 205 #1

Replaced Devendorf in the starting lineup after his (Devendorf) two game suspension and hasn't given it up since. Is a excellent shooter with a very quick release but does have the ability to put the ball on the floor, even though it isn't anywhere near his strongest part of the game. Averaging 3.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals a game. He does a little bit of everything.

Paul Harris - forward - Junior - 6'4 230 #11

He may listed at 6'4 but is 6'9 with his afro. Reminds me of former Metro Conference POY Clarence Weatherspoon (not as good of a post game though). Has put up six double doubles this season (13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds a game). Struggles putting the ball on the floor but has the ability to knock down a mid range jump shot.

Rick Jackson - forward - Sophomore -6'9 240 #00

A Hakeem Warrick style player who has been getting better as the season has gone on. Averaging 7.7 points a game, along with 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game.

Arinze Onuaku - center - 6'9 275 #21

Leading the Nation in field goal percentage (70%). It's hard to say a 6'9 275 beast of a man can fall between the cracks but it is true. Onuaku gets overlooked on a team with tons of talent. Putting up 12.5 points per game to go along with his 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Only once this season has he ended a game with no offensive rebounds.

Breakdown: Since Devendorf's suspension, he has scored in double figures five times (out of seven games). He's averaged 15.3 points despite not starting in that span. With that kind of weapon coming off your bench makes the Orangemen very dangerous but Syracuse is coming off a murderous row like stretch in their schedule (Georgetown, Notre Dame and Pitt) coming to an end with this game hosting the Cards. Syracuse boasts a front line as good as anyone in the country, getting 33.8 points, 22.4 rebounds and 4.2 blocks from their starting front court a game. None of them (Harris, Jackson, and Onuaku) are very strong ball handlers or passers, apposed to Devendorf and Flynn who are both excellent ball handlers. Kris Joseph (6'7 220 Freshman) and Kristof Ongenaet (6'8 215 Senior) join Devendorf off the bench. Joseph had 10 points on the road earlier this season against Florida and is averaging 1.2 steals a game but has been struggling, like most Freshman do, in Big East play.

Prediction: Louisville has never won in the Carrier Dome but that was then and this is now. Syracuse is putting up 80 points a game as a team and shooting 50% from the field (34% from behind the arc). The Cards must keep the ball out of Jonny Flynn's hands as much as possible. As a team Syracuse is turning the ball over 15 time a game and Louisville must not allow the 'Cuse to set up their defense because the Cards will struggle to score. I have been waiting for a breakout game for Jerry Smith and this could be it. If Louisville loses the battle of tempo, Smith (along with the other guards) will get good looks from the outside, it will be up to them to knock them down. Basis basketball 101 tell you that the way to beat a 2-3 zone is get the ball to the high post. Earl Clark will mostly have that responsibility. He (Clark) must play more like the guy who is mad at the world and not the guy who makes choices like a kid who used to ride the short bus to school. I know how well Terrence (Williams) has played but if Louisville is going to beat Syracuse then Clark will have to play well.

Cards: 61

'Cuse: 68

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jeremy Tyler Tease on ESPN2

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Friday afternoon websurfing and Syracuse Orange anticipation to bring you this.

He’s been called “a cross between Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard.”

You may have already heard, but Coach Pitino and Son, Inc. landed a good one last October when they got a verbal from 6-11, 250 pound PF Jeremy Tyler of the class of 2010.

Let’s get a glimpse at what the fuss is all about, shall we?

Tyler will be on featured on ESPN2 tonight when his San Diego High Cavers take on Fairfax (L.A.). Tip-off is at 9:30.

Tyler, who’s averaging only 30 points and 15 boards per game this season, will have a formidable opponent in Fairfax’s Renardo Sidney, Rivals’ number 3 power forward of the class of 2009.

Earlier this week local recruiting guru Jody Demling had a great story about Tyler’s development and maturity. You should go read it now.

It’s unknown whether the KG version, the Superman version, or the J.R. Rider version (see right, and recall the 1994 NBA dunk contest) will appear tonight. Tune in to find out.

You may now return to your regulary scheduled program.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caracter finally finds a home

Louisville's favorite former Dunkin Donuts employee Derrick Caracter apparently has found someone who will let him play basketball and that place is UTEP. Texas El-Paso head coach Tony Barbee, a former assistant at Memphis, once recruited the 300 pound bust while a member of the Tigers staff. Caracter won't be on scholarship for the rest of this season and will pay his own way.

Read more about this on Jeff Goodman's blog, Good 'N Plenty

Show me my oppenent

Nickname: Orangemen

Location: Syracuse, New York

Mascot: Otto the Orange

Claim to Fame: Its hard not to pick Carmelo Anthony and the 2003 National Championship and it isn't easy not to pick Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone. When you think of Syracuse, it isn't them winning the programs only title or even the most basic zone defense made famous. No it is their Media program. Syracuse has produced more significant members to the media then anyone else. They produce sportscasters like USC produces football players. Oh yea....and Donovan McNabb went there.

First Season: 1899

Versus the Cards: Cards lead over series 8-4 but is 0-3 at the Carrier Dome.

History of the Program: Jim Boeheim in Syracuse basketball. The Hall of Fame coach has had a remarkable 31-year run as head coach at his alma mater. Boeheim has guided only winning teams in his tenure and has pushed the Orange into the postseason in all but one of his years. Syracuse has made 25 trips into the NCAA Tournament, including Final Four appearances in 1987, 1996 and 2003, and the NCAA championship in 2003. He was part of the staff (as assistant) that guided the Orange to the program’s first Final Four appearance in 1975. A year later he was appointed head coach. On February 24, 2002, the University named the Carrier Dome court “Jim Boeheim Court” in recognition of his many accomplishments.

Notable Alumni -

Steve Rubell - former Studio 54 club owner, was portrayed by Mike Myers in the movie about the former 70's disco club in New York.

Marv Albert - sportscaster and part time cross dressing, prostitute biting fetish lover.

Matthew Berry - Is a Fantasy football expert for ESPN, now there is a hard life.

Michael Cole - WWF (I will never call it WWE) Raw commentator. He is no Mean Gene though

Bob Costas - sportscaster, NBC. If I have to tell you who he is you have never seen a sporting event.

Ted Koppel - broadcast journalist, "Nightline"

Sean McDonough - sportscaster, ESPN

Dave Pasch - sportscaster, ESPN

Dave Ryan - sportscaster, ESPN

Jayson Stark - journalist/ sportscaster, ESPN

Dick Stockton – sportscaster

Mike Tirico - sportscaster, ABC/ESPN

Gary Anderson - former NFL kicker

Jim Brown - The greatest running back the NFL has ever seen.

Keith Bulluck - Current NFL line backer

Dave Bing – Former NBA guard, Hall of Fame inductee in 1990 and a member of the NBA's 50th anniversary team.

Derrick Coleman – Former NBA forward, was first pick in 1990 draft by New Jersey Nets. Could have been better if he wasn't so lazy.

Tom Coughlin - Head coach for the New York Giants

Larry Csonka - Former NFL running back and member of 1972 undefeated Dolphins. Is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Donovin Darius - Current NFL safety

Al Davis - Owner of NFL Raiders (where ever they are located at time of this post)

Ernie Davis - First African- American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Dwight Freeney - Current NFL defensive linemen

Marvin Harrison - Current NFL wide receiver

Donovan McNabb - Current NFL quarterback and future multiple Super Bowl Champion, as well as future Hall of Famer.

Art Monk - Former NFL wide receiver

Rony Seikaly - Former NBA center and I am pretty sure he played "Meat" in the movie Porkys.

Dick Clark - Former host of "American Bandstand" and "Rocking New Years Eve"

Lexington Steele - adult film star, I have been known to do some stunt cock work for him.

Taye Diggs - actor, was in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" (Rob's favorite movie) and "The Wood".

Peter Falk - actor, was in "Murder, Inc." and "Pocketful of Miracles"

Aaron Sorkin - television writer and Creator of "Sport Night".....not the good one with me, Jody and Matt though.

Jerry Stiller - actor, who doesn't love Frank Costanza

Jennings stepping it up against the Big East

The Cards are 5-0 in Big East play and a huge part of that has been the play of Freshman center Terrence Jennings. He (Jennings) reminds me of another Terrence....Terrence Farley, as a Senior of course.

Jennings is still very raw offensively, averaging only 2.2 points a game this season but since Big East play has begun, Jennings has stepped up his game giving Fellow Freshman Samardo Samuels well deserved breaks. Through five conference games Jennings is averaging 15 minutes a game, a heavy increase from the 5.5 minutes he was averaging out of conference, including not even playing in four of those games.

Terrence has made the most of his extra time, averaging 3.4 blocks a game. With three blocks against Notre Dame, all of them against Big East POY Luke Harangody in the post one on one, came in the clutch. Unfortunately as good as he has developed defensively, offensively he is still has a long way to go.

One plus on his offensive is that he is willing to try to attack the rim with anger every chance he gets and runs the court well....but you get him in a half court and he is basically done. Luckily the Cards don't need that from him just yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cards Beat Rutgers; 5-0 in BIG EAST

The Cards moved to 2-0 in BIG EAST road games with a 19-point victory over Rutgers Wednesday night. T-Will continued his blazing hot streak with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 5 thunderous dunks. My favorite of the bunch was the alley-oop where he switched to his left hand to finish. Williams is making his claim for BIG EAST Player of the Year and if the Cards win the regular season crown he's almost certain to capture it. However, Rutgers played awful due to both the pressure inflicted by the Cards and unforced errors. Cards 78 Knights 59

- I'm convinced Louisville has the best defensive team in the country. The pressure they lay on opponents every game is pretty absurd, starting with the in-your-face style Jerry, McGee and Knowles (even Sosa lately) put on the ball-handler from the time the inbounds pass is thrown. In this 6-game winning streak, the Cards are only allowing a shade over 63 ppg. The difficulty to get off a shot against that stifling defense leads easier opportunities on the offensive end for the Cards due to fatigue. At every position, Pitino is two-deep with solid defenders allowing him not to worry about foul trouble as much as your normal coach. The defense caused 16 turnovers, grabbed 8 steals and held the Knights under 40% shooting from the field.

- Rutgers center Hamady Ndiaye didn't impress me very much, but Samardo's dunk right in his face did show me something. He finally decided to start playing "above the rim" when needed. Samuels is great at getting under the defender in the post, making it sometimes unnecessary to jump high to be successful. That has gotten Mardo in trouble at times this season, but he played more "above the rim" than he has all year. Only 2 rebounds and a foul-out to go with 15 points for Samuels.

- This was one of those games where Earl Clark just seemed to be going with the flow, waiting for a possible time where he'd actually have to exert some energy. That time never came and Earl still had 15 points 7 boards. This is no knock on E5 by any means - more like a compliment. After he hit a shot from the top of the key at the halftime buzzer, he nonchalantly walked into the locker room like nothing happened. Almost as to say, "Ah, it's just Rutgers..That wasn't to beat the shot-clock and seal victory against the #1 team in the nation. Big deal"

- The team had 17 turnovers, which is a little high, but the 4-headed back court had only 2 combined. The most turnover prone of them all, Edgar Sosa, had ZERO and 4 assists in 26 minutes. The front court guys had a few too many miscues, led by T-Will's 6 (he's human), but the way the guards took care of the ball tonight should be commended.

- Back to T-Will. When is going to go between-the-legs and dunk? Would he get punished for it? Has he thought of it? We all know he could do it and I've watched a lot of basketball and never seen it done in an actual game. Couldn't T-Will be the first? I think he's settled in on the scissor-kick-windmill this season, which is perfectly fine. However, we only have about 15-20 games left to see T-Will and I've always wanted to see him attempt something crazy like that. I still haven't lost hope.

A few one-liners...

- Andre McGee's technical was deserved as he overreacted on what was obviously a foul on his part. That was the first "T" given to a Louisville player in a long time.
- Terrence Jennings continued to give good minutes off the bench. I'd love to see him get the ball a little more to tryout his post moves
- Looked like the Cards only took 1 or 2 contested shots and were rewarded by shooting just under 60%. Made shots lead to the press, which leads to fatigue, which leads to victory.
- Why Pitino puts Will Scott in for last-second shots baffles me. In his blog, Pitino wrote Scott is "waiting to make the big shot". I just don't see how a guy plays 10 seconds a game and is expected to take a potential season-changing shot ice cold.
- Jerry Smith is fine. He doesn't need to score a lot to help this team.

Show Me My Opponent - Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Nickname: Scarlet Knights
Location: New Brunswick & Piscataway New Jersey
Mascot: Scarlet Knight
First Season: 1896

Claim to Fame
: Finishing 1976 regular season undefeated, reaching the Final Four before losing to Michigan in semifinals

Versus the Cards: Louisville leads all-time series 6-1, including winning last season 87-50

History of the program
: Rutgers is one of the oldest basketball programs in the county, entering their 102nd season this year. Having nice runs through the 1970's with star players such as Roy Hinson and "fast" Eddie Jordan, topped of with a Final Four team in 1976, finishing that season ranked 4th in the nation.

Notable Alumni:

Joanne Angel - You always have to be proud when your alumni grow up to be porn stars....I would be.

Bill Bellamy - Stand up comic, was noticed on Def Comedy Jam but has since starred in the movies. Boomerang, How to be a player and Buying the Cow to name a few.

Asia Carrera - One porn star alum is cool but two...I might have to go to Rutgers

Kristen Davis - Actress know best for her role as Charlotte on Sex in the City (Andy Sweeney's favorite show)

James Gandolfini - Actor made famous as Tony Soprano

Samuel Blackman - First reporter to break the Lindbergh kidnapping story

John Battle - Former NBA forward

Quincy Douby - Current NBA guard (Kings)

Roy Hinson - Former NBA guard

Eddie Jordan - Former NBA guard and head coach

David Stern - NBA commissioner

Jim Valvano - Led North Carolina State to 1983 title and founded the Jimmy V foundation

Gary Brackett - Current NFL linebacker

Eric Foster - Current NFL defensive tackle

L.J. Smith - Current NFL tight end

Breaking Down the Scaret Knights

Head Coach - Fred Hill Jr (3rd season, 30-48 overall)
Record - 9-9 overall (0-5 Big East)

Last Game - Lost 71-59 at Cincinnati
Last meeting w/ Cards - U of L 87, Rutgers 50 (Feb. 2, 2008 in Freedom Hall)

Location - Rutgers Athletic Center (aka the "RAC")
Time - 7:02 PM tip
Announcers - Dan McLaughlin & Mike Kelley (ESPNU)

Starting Lineup:

Mike Rosario - Guard - Freshman - 6'3 180 #3
The first McDonald's All-American to ever come to Rutgers, the explosive scoring guard has been an impact from day one. Leading the Scarlet Knights in scoring (17.1) but is only averaging 1.3 assists a game and is shooting less the 30% from behind the arc. He put up 26 points in a loss at North Carolina and 22 in another loss against Marquette. While Rosario can hurt you in many ways, he has struggled heavily against pressure this season, turning the ball over 44 times this year (2.4 a game) and when he gets frustrated he begins firing forcing long range shots. He is 25-94 over his last five games. A great first step though ables him to get into the lane but does have trouble going strong to his left.

Anthony Farmer - Guard - Senior - 6'1 180 #2
Famer is the closest thing to a point guard Rutgers really has. Leads the team in assists per game (2.5) and is second in scoring (10.1 points a game). Not a threat from farther then 15 feet out but can score if ignored, putting up 17 (Syracuse) and 12 (Cincinnati) in his last two games, while also dropping 20 in a loss to Pittsburgh.

Corey Chandler - Guard - Sophomore - 6'2 180 #1
While his numbers are down from last seasons solid Freshman season (1st team All-Big East Freshman), Chandler is still improving and having a good year. Came alive with 19 points and 7 rebounds against Marquette earlier this month and despite his size does a good job of rebounding (3.8 a game). Is the Scarlet Knights better on ball defender, swiping 1.3 steals a game this season.

Greg Echenique - Forward - Freshman - 6'9 260 #0
A teammates of Louisville Freshman Samardo Samuels last year. Averaging 9.2 points and 8.8 rebounds a game, has the ability to face you up from 15 feet and either knock down the jumper or put the ball on the floor. Is very raw with his back to the basket and is still lacking a good low block move. Echenique has recorded four double doubles this season and will be a pivotal piece against the Cards 2-3 zone.

Hamady Ndiaye - Forward - Junior - 6'11 235 #5
A native of Sengal has only been playing basketball for five years now. Is fourth in the country in blocked shots a game (3.2) and is averaging 6.8 rebounds a game but is as raw a talent as they come. Despite his numbers blocking shots, Ndiaye is still soft in the post defensively and has a bad tendency to fall a sleep. He had 3 blocks in the Marquette game but overall has not been very impressive against Big East teams, collecting only 7 blocks in 5 games.

Breakdown - Rutgers has lost 5 in a row (all conference games) and have fallen to the powerful programs of Lehigh, St. Bonaventure, and my favorite Binghamton (all at home). So this might sound crazy but this is a very dangerous team and road game for the Cards. For starters Louisville is 1-1 all-time at the "RAC" , while Rutgers nearly beat both Pitt (78-72 loss) and Marquette (81-76 loss). They like many teams the Cards will face are not very deep and go basically seven men. Their lack of depth and experience has hurt them most of this season, just running out of gas despite hanging in all their games until at least around the eleven minute mark of the second half comes around. Only two upperclassmen contribute minutes (Farmer and reserve J.R. Inman), while their two best players are true Freshman (Rosario and Echenique). That kind of team is bound to make head coach Fed Hill lose what little hair he has left. Rutgers is turning the ball over an average of 15.3 times a game, while only shooting 28% from three point land. Not good stats for a team that doesn't have a real threat as a low post scorer.
Prediction- Rutgers is very soft in the post defensively, even though they do average 7.2 blocks a game as a team. This would be a good game to feed Samuels on the post as much as possible early. Louisville must control the tempo as always and speed up Rosario and Farmer with every chance they get, if they do so, Rutgers will turn the ball over. This could be a Williams game that shows a stat line of 4 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, while Clark is set to have another monster game. Echenique and Ndiaye are not quick enough to go out and guard Clark one on one. Also with what should be a good game for the Cards on the inside, this would be a great time for Jerry Smith to wake up. Rutgers will have to double team anyone we feed in the post, allowing great shot opportunities for all of Louisville's guards from the perimeter. This game might stay close until the second half but don't get scared Cards fans.....

Cards - 82

Knights - 68