They aren't going to make it easy on themselves are they? I guess you can't ask for much more than a win against teams like Nova and Notre Dame, but I don't think I'm going to survive the season if they are all going to be nailbiters. However, a win is a win even if it does send you through a whirlwind of emotion in the span of 5 minutes. The defense withstood the Frankengody/McAlarney onslaught to force OT. Then T-Will and company then took care of business and made it look like a rout. Cards 87 Irish 73 F/OT
- What can you say about T-Will that he isn't already thinking himself right now? I mean the dude is all over SportsCenter talking to Jay Bilas, showing off his new found J, and smiling for the whole world to see. "Man, if I miss this lay-up, Jay Bilas is going to kill me.." is just plain hilarious when T-Will is talking with the analyst after the game. Bilas said Williams was the best player on the floor even with the defending conference MVP there as well. If you haven't seen it - check it out on espn.com. 24 points 16 boards 8 assists 3 steals - His best regular season game as a Card statistically. When the shot is falling, he is just deadly. Tim Tebow is wearing T-Will pajamas tonight, just ask Coach Pitino:
"Obviously, the game that T-Will had was a Superman type game."
- The resurgence of Samardo Samuels is in it's second game and improving steadily. He was playing with some grit and working to get the ball early. The team looked to him more than they had in previous games and he capitalized. 18 points and 6 boards against a team with acceptable big mean is a vast improvement. His 4 blocks are just as impressive. Here's a good quote from Coach Pitino about the evolution of Samardo the last few games...
"From the Kentucky game, in the first two months of the season; I realized this when you get to know people he just couldn't grasp anything mentally. What I told him was that Earl Clark couldn't grasp anything as a freshman. It just takes time and repetition, don't get discouraged. Something happened in the Kentucky game, whether he was embarrassed or watching Patrick Patterson in film a light switch went. He really gave us a big lift tonight."
- Earl Clark's rim rocker on Frankengody was one of the more vicious dunks I have ever seen period, especially for someone donning the Cardinal red. Look back a couple posts and you'll see the best wallpaper a Cardinal fan could ever have. That is the definition of a facial. Afterwards, he flexed like the Incredible Hulk and looked like he was going to say 'I don't like to be angry..." or whatever Bruce Banner says before he mutated into the monster. A horrible thing for someone to do the the defending BIG EAST POY. 15 points 10 rebounds and one story for the grandkids for E5.
- The defense was good all around, but Andre McGee led the way by just ruining the day of Irish PG Torey Jackson. "Buckets" McGee forced 4 TO's in 13 second half minutes against Jackson and almost won the Cards the game by rattling Jackson into a turnover at the end of regulation only to be called a back-court violation. For as inconsistent as his shot has been, Buckets sure plays some nice defense which will be needed against guys like Rosario of Rutgers or Price of UCONN. Greta game for Andre "Buckets" McGee.
- Terrence Jennings filled in beautifully for a foul-troubled Samardo as he is looking more and more comfortable out there every game. His 19 minutes had to be close to a season-high and he deserves more after that performance. TJ was ripping down boards, blocking shots, and passing out of he post. Remember, Pitino called Jennings the "key to the team" at Media Day. This output against a tough Notre Dame team is a big step in the right direction.
More on the game later today....