Coach Pitino is delivering his weekly presser as we speak. More on that later. In the meantime, here’s your Friday afternoon college hoops fix brought to you by your friends at the L Yes! Report:
The Cards are one of only six squads that Jay Bilas thinks can win the National Championship. For the record, last year he picked four teams – Memphis, Kansas, UCLA, and UNC. Sound familiar? Anyway, here’s what he had to say about Louisville:
This team has the most question marks on the offensive end, with no true or reliable point guard and a very young player in the pivot. But Rick Pitino has a pair of special playmaking forwards in Terrence Williams and Earl Clark, and a couple of tempo-changing defensive terrors off the bench in Preston Knowles and Andre McGee. When we get to NCAA tournament time, I would not be surprised to see Louisville make a run to Detroit.
However, March is supposed to be owned by guards, and Louisville does not have trustworthy guards. The Cardinals can really defend, with full-court pressure and an extending matchup zone that can be difficult to solve. They can speed you up and wear you down, and the team has really bought into Pitino's system and way of thinking -- to the extent that the Cards can figure out what Pitino is thinking. Louisville is a great defensive team … not good, but great.
Louisville's only issue is its consistency on the offensive end. It is not a good shooting team, and the Cards are not consistent getting the ball inside and finishing. Louisville passes very well, and with its defense and ability to force the tempo it wants, I think that Louisville has a chance to get to Detroit if some shots fall. But, because of its offensive shortcomings, Louisville is the least likely of the six-pack to cut the nets down.
Mike over at Card Chronicle’s got his “Unofficial Midpoint" Big East Awards for your reading pleasure. There are a lot of good players in that league.
Lack of bench, bad outside D, mediocre half-court offense are just a few of the reasons why Jeff Goodman thinks that UNC is, at the very least, beatable.
Last year, for the Selection Sunday Show, I bought my blue-clad friends Bubble Yum as we anxiously watched to see where Louisville would wind up, and if their ka-yuts would wind up. This year I may be playing the same joke. This just in: Kentucky isn’t very good.