Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cup o' Jones : En Fuego Edition

- Dan Patrick is one of my favorite sports personalities of all-time so I'm going to borrow one of his phrases just this one-time. The Cards were - dare I say - en fuego to start the game last night. They came out of the gates 9 of 9 with 4 3-pointers. Their first miss came around the 9 minute mark on an Earl Clark flailing baseline jumper. 8 different players scored in that stretch led by Jerry and Samardo with 5 a piece. You would assume the Cards had an insurmountable lead after a red-hot start like that. They were up 13, but it could have been more if it weren't for some careless ball-handling. 14-20 for 70% is the best half I've seen from the Cards in a while.

- The hot-shooting performance over-shadowed and helped the Cards overcome not taking very good care of the ball. However, the game was played at a frantic pace at points and both teams were forced to make quick decisions which led to turnovers. I have no idea why John Thompson III decided to let his team run with a team that is obviously deeper and used to playing that pace. With the exception of UCONN, the Cards losses have been against teams that didn't let the Cards control the pace. Minnesota, Western and UNLV all slowed down the pace and didn't let the Cards take advantage of their depth. For some reason, JTIII thought his 6 man rotation was going to last against Pitino's 10-man-rotation. I was expecting him to slow it down and milk the shot-clock. However, he let the Cards dictate the pace and it was curtains from there.

- Everyone played exceptionally well tonight. Earl had 22 points and 8 boards. T-Will almost dropped a triple-double...again (10-12-7). Samardo and Jennings had 10 and 7 respectively, going a combined 5-7 from the field and 7-10 from the line. Preston Knowles continued to play without a conscience and dropped 10. Jerry and McGee filled their role as always, hit some big shots, and manned-up the head of the press. Sosa didn't play carelessly. Swop and Goode gave some respectable minutes and even Will Scott grabbed a rebound. Everyone did their part which led to the victory.

- T-Will continues to play at a level matched by very few (if any) players in the country. He is so calm, cool and collected with the ball and seems to always make the right decision. Even when he turns the ball over it is evident he isn't being careless, but simply trying to make something special happen. His joking demeanor shades the fact that he is playing some of the best ball in the country. The only man averaging 10-8-4 in the land and the only person that knows where every camera is. Did you see him mug for the camera after his dunk-and-a-foul late in the game? Ridiculous. Yet he can get away with that attitude with the way he is playing. Hell, he can do whatever he wants.

- 5 days of practice and then Marquette on Sunday at noon on CBS. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those classic games between two teams that don't care for each other too much. It is going to be the time where we need Clark, Samuels, and Jennings to show up more than ever. Marquette concedes too much height not to be taken advantage of. Here's just a little something to get you fired up even though the game isn't until Sunday. I have been waiting all year to put this up. My favorite part is when he knocks that poor lady on her ass while celebrating...

Starting 5

1. Carson - More Hardball - Gratuitous Crotchitular Activity (Do baseball players really grab their package a lot or is that just a myth from too many baseball movies? The staff at More Hardball did a little research and came up[ with some interesting findings)
2. Howard Beck - New York Times - Powerful Agents' Blunt warning About Future of the NBA (Supposedly, a lot of NBA teams are losing money and might be ready for a 2 YEAR work stoppage. 2 years is too long, but I wouldn't mind if one year they just skipped right to the last 20 games of the regular season and playoffs when the players actually earn their outrageous checks)
3. Joseph Gerth - Courier-Journal - Bunning: Justice Ginsburg will likely be dead in 9 months (Wow. Just a bit outside in that comment Jim)
4. Michael Hiestand - USA Today - With Emmitt out, Could ESPN get Favre? (You'd have to put him in a cage to keep Peter Kong, John Madden and Chris Berman's hand off him, but I think he would do a great job. Anything is better than Emmitt)
5. Ron Cooke - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - A big decision looms for Blair after this season (By all means DeJuan, the door is right there. We can't keep you in foul trouble for two more years. The money is too good to pass up DeJuan. Go. Go Go...)

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