and I'm still confused and excited as hell about that game. The tradition known as the Battle in the Bluegrass left me emotionally exhausted but happy (obviously) with the outcome. There's so much to take from this game. There's too many ways to examine it or break it down.
Here's what we learned:
1. This MUST be Sosa's turning point. There's no turning back. Sosa, to me, has proven he can go out play solid defense, hit the big shots, protect the ball much better, but most importantly control his emotions. Now that Louisville fans have seen evidence of this being possible, we must see it night in and night out. Will this happen? That remains to be the big question. But let's face it, Sosa's dramatic three....his 18 points in only 26 minutes....his 2 steals we're huge but you know what his biggest improvement was....HIS FREE THROW SHOOTING! Sosa's 8-9 really helped propel Louisville. It's been a long time since Louisville has shot free throws that well.
2. Patrick Patterson is a beast. I'm going to be honest. I wasn't the biggest Patterson fan. No, not because he was from Kentucky, more because I just wasn't convinced. Well, I am now. Patterson gets every loose ball in the paint. He gets almost every rebound. He gets two hands on every rebound he does pull down. Although he gets blocked way too much, he always gets his points. He's a very good offensive rebounder and if they could ever put a nice point guard with him, that would be scary.
3. My wish is for Earl Clark to catch the same disease Patterson has. When Clark is reboudning double digits, blocking shots, and scoring in the paint he's one of the elite players in college basketball. We need him to be infected with that urge to get every ball and finish around the rim. Please, Pitino, let's stop playing Clark so far away from the basket. Let's see if Samuels can pass from the high post and see if we can utilize both bigs down low. I'd feel much better with Clark and Samuels going hard for rebounds and getting major help from TWill.
4. Michael Porter....two completely lucky 3's....there's a spot for Porter at Indiana University Southeast....or this year and IU.
5. Josh Harrellson....see number 4.
6. The Goode factor. Man, George Goode just played the game of his life. Yeah, he didn't score, but he got to several loose balls, picked up 4 rebounds, and had a few nice blocks including the BIG one in the second half. He gave us 22 crucial minutes while Samuels was riding the pine....and speaking of Samuels.
7. What the hell? It's jsut the kind of game I thought we were going to get from. 11 minutes, 4 points, and oh yeah 1 rebound. His inability to keep himself out of foul trouble is amazing. He couldn't hang on to an entry pass. He got no loose balls and only 1 rebound in 11 minutes. That means Patrick Patterson had his way. This is a game for men. Young, Blair, Monroe, Thabeet are all coming...he needs to grow up now. He needs to attack quicker, block out better, and stay out of foul trouble. We need him and need him NOW.
There's so much more to go over but this is boring enough...but hey what about Harrellson being easily the worst player on the floor....why the ticky tack fouls??....i love when we can play McGee and Knowles off the bench, we need Sosa IN THE GAME...Billy Clyde's stupid TECHNICAL really hurt UK...why does Billy G scream at the ref more when he gets the call than when he doesn't?? In the words of Edgar Sosa...THIS IS OUR HOUSE. (unless of course you're UNLV).
Great game...I'm watching it again when I get off work.