Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
There are now two sources, one a member of the national media, who indicate there is a race to reveal some NCAA transgressions by UK frosh stars, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.
I am told, though I have no personal knowledge nor evidence myself whatsoever, that the investigations concern cash money and, perhaps, real estate.
There are two nationally known media sources who are, according to sources, scurrying to obtain the last bit of evidence that will allow them to publish the story. One, I’m advised, is the New York Times. The other, one of the major online sports sites.
As per usual, neither of my sources mentioned UK coach John Calipari by name. Only the players were named. This is all I have at this time. Frankly, it’s not much. But, the facts are these. 1) John Calipari has a track record that would not rule out such a situation. 2) These two players, by their actions, indicated they would have played for Calipari at North Dakota A & M, if that’s where he was coaching. 3) None of the Tobacco Road schools surprisingly gave a serious look at Wall, though he was a local
Monday, March 8, 2010
Being a great fan has nothing to do with how early you show up to tailgate. Nor does it have anything to do with how many people show up for College Gameday. It has nothing to do with how much paraphernalia you possess or how many games you attend. It doesn't really even matter how many people show up to the game at all.
Being a great fan comes down to one word: Appreciation. Great fans appreciate the fact that we get to cheer on one of the most recognizable Universities when it comes to sports. We appreciate that we live in a great city with great sports heroes that put things in perspective for us. This helps us appreciate guys like Kyle Kuric when he gets to showcase the talents that we all knew he had, but never got to truly see. We appreciate the fact that we have, and have had, great coaches in all of our sports that can recognize talent that doesn't just jump right out at you. Deion Branch, Jason Spitz, Angel McCoughtry, Chris Cates, Boomer Whiting, Harry Douglas, Larry O'Bannon, Taquan Dean, the list goes on for what seems like forever. What's great about being a Uofl fan right now is the fact that we appreciate the fact that these guys weren't "top 50" kinds of players. They have all cemented their place in the history of this program when they could have all been afterthoughts.
It's easy to look to the final four year or the orange bowl year as the best times to be a fan. But for me being a great fan is appreciating the adverse times for your program. People were stunned when we made the College World Series a few years ago. Now we're in the top ten and will more than likely stay there. Our football fell off the map during the Kragthorpe era. But Coach Strong has already made strides in turning the program back around. When people said that we wouldn't make the tournament another one of those not "top 50" guys cemented his name in the lore of Uofl basketball.
I love being a fan right now because of the unknown. I love not knowing what's going to come at the beginning of a season. But I love not being surprised when a guy like Kuric has the game of his life. I love not having the ridiculous idea that we should win a championship every year. I always have faith that our program will never fall too far.
Games like Saturday's win over the Orange make me feel bad for people that don't get to cheer for the 'ville. I love being a Uofl fan.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Tied for 7th in scoring this game, Edgar Sosa's last two out of six points he scored were the most valuable of the game. He went in for a layup with eight seconds remaining on the game clock, and came out with the bucket the Cards needed to put away the U Conn Huskies, 78-76.
This isn't the first game winning shot Sosa will be remembered for. He hit the game winner last season against arch rival Kentucky....like I have to remind Cards fans of that stat. Though Edgar has been taking a lot of heat from Cards fans this season. He hasn't seen the success or received the praise of past Louisville seniors like Terrence Williams and David Padgett who helped lead their teams to a successful seasons and trips to the Elite 8. Sosa was praised in his earlier years for playing beyond what most freshman and sophomores typically played. He was nicknamed the Tiger for his ability to pounce on the opposing team with confidence. Yet the last 2 years he seemed not to have grown at all.He could still be that player who could make things happen from time to time but still made bad decisions, and just all around didn't grow as a player from his early days. This Afternoon he did make one play....the play, that everyone will remember....and least for the rest of this season.
Louisville played quite good even though they were dominated on the glass 22-50 and Kemba Walker put together a nice game scoring 28 points 4 rebounds 3 assists and 2 blocks. U Conn in the end just committed too many turn overs, or should I say Louisville forced too many. 15 of the 22 TO's U Conn committed were steals by the Cards. Peyton Siva and Preston Knowles played extremely well on defense each getting 3 steals and offense. Knowles hitting big shots and Siva taking on the roll of field general and utilizing his leadership skills. I personally can't wait to see these two guys starting, and working together next season.
Louisville goes on the road again this week to take on Marquette, before heading back home for the last brawl in Freedom Hall against Syracuse. At least one more win should secure a spot in the NCAA tourney for the Cards. Though another win on the road or a win against one of the top 3 teams in the country could be tough. Stay tuned folks....
After a wild and crazy game, grades need to be given to the major players in the game. Here are my grades, and the reason for them, handed out for the UL/UConn game:
Edgar Sosa A: Edgar did not have his best game by no means, but he took his best shot when the game mattered most, taking and making the game-winning shot with 8.2 seconds left. His shots didn't fall, shooting 2 of 8 from the field, but he made up for it in the assist category tallying 6 assists with only one turnover. Before Edgar made the shot, I would have given him a C+, but winning cures all ills and Edgar is the classic example of the old phrase "It's not how you start, it's how you finish".
Samardo Samuels B-: Samardo had a rough shooting day, going 4 for 11 from the field, but still managed 14 points by shooting 6 of 7 from the free throw line. He also worked hard on the boards, getting 7 rebounds with 3 of them on the offensive glass. One season long blemish on Samardos' game is lack of ball security in the post. Too many times he easily gets the ball knocked out of his hands. In this game he had 4 turnovers as a direct result of soft hands. That's about 3 too many for a 6' 9" 260 pound man. Samardo only had 1 assist. At this point in the season, where all defenses are keying on him, he should thrive in the assist category when he is double and triple teamed. Our success in the post-season will literally depend on Samardo Samuels' hands.
Jerry Smith B-: Jerry had a really good game offensively, shooting 4 for 5 from the field and 3 for 3 from the free throw line for 12 points. But after those totals, he was pretty much absent from other categories. He had 0 rebounds, only 1 assist, and 2 steals. As a senior starting 2 guard, he simply has to do more at a much higher level. This whole season has been less than positive on the court, so let's hope this last game will give Jerry confidence to play better in the games coming up.
Terrence Jennings D: Terrence had 6 points on 3 of 5 shooting. After those numbers, he showed up in no other form or fashion, tallying 0 rebounds and 0 assists. The 0 rebounds is inexcusable. At 6' 10" and 240 pounds there is no reason he couldn't come up with at least 5 or 6 rebounds. This is nothing but a lack of effort and desire in the rebounding game, which is exactly what is required to be a great rebounder. I've told this story a million times. Former Pitt center, and now San Antonio Spur power forward, DeJuan Blair was an undersized center at 6' 7" and he also happend to play without ACL's in EITHER knee!! Yet he was able to vacuum in rebounds at an astonishing rate of 12 per game his senior year. For Blair, rebounding was an act of shear will and that is something that is sorely missing in Jennings' game. Terrence doesn't lack intensity the whole time because he did come up with 3 blocked shots, it's just that he needs to bring it every second of every game.
Reginald Delk D: In 17 minutes of play, Delk came up with 0 points, 1 rebound and 0 assists. Delk was a ghost in this game. I will never understand Coach Pitino's crazed persistence to leave upper-classman in a game when it is more than obvious that he is having a bad game. That is why you have a thing called a bench to put another player in to spell another player. Read on to find out who that other player could have been.
Mike Marra ?: For the third straight game Marra played zero minutes. Whether Marra kicked Pitinos dog or he forgot to bring doughnuts one time too many, we the paying public should know why in the world he has been turned into a modern day Rodrick Rhodes. I just don't get it.
Peyton Siva A+: Yeah, the grades a little high, but for a freshman point guard to perform the way he did in a big time must-win game in the Big East in enemy territory, he earned every bit of that A+. In only 17 minutes of play, Siva scored 8 points on 3 of 7 from the field with 2 three pointers, had 5 assists, got his quick hands on 3 steals and commited ZERO turnovers! Sivas performance was stellar as he was the key to the Cardinals comeback. What I did not understand at all was Coach Pitinos decision to take Siva out of the game for a slumping Sosa. As soon as Sosa came into the game, the 7 point lead that was built ,as a direct result of Siva, was gone in a matter of minutes. Taking out a younger player who's having a career game to keep a seniors mindset positive makes no sense to me. You keep the player, no matter what year he is, that is playing the best game at that time.
Preston Knowles A: Preston was terrific coming off the bench, scoring 12 points and getting 3 steals in 18 minutes of play. It seems like he's back to his super-sub form and that couldn't have come at a better time. Preston hit huge shots late and played superb defense and I have no question that he will get even better as his nagging injuries seemed to have finally worn off.
Jared Swopshire B: Jared a had bad shooting day, scoring 8 points on 3 of 11 shooting, but as usual his work ethic showed up on other parts of the stat sheet. He had 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. If only the rest of some of the players like Terrence, Samardo and Jerry had the no quit attitude of Jared, there is no telling where this team would be in the standings right now.
There you have it folks, my first report card for the UofL/UConn game. UofL needs one more win to solidify their spot in the NCAA's. The Cardinals should be able to ride the confidence from this game into Tuesdays game at 9:30 on ESPNU against Marquette at The Bradley Center. It's good to see the urgency from most of the players on the floor and especially on the scoreboard. The wild ride continues.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The plan to replace Steve Kragthorpe as football coach intensified after
former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy repeatedly confirmed Jurich’s
beliefs about Strong as the ideal candidate to take over Cardinal football.
U of L maintained contact with Strong during his final season as
Florida defensive coordinator. Strong told Jurich after the Florida vs. Arkansas
game in October, “There comes a time when you have to make a change in your life and Louisville is the place I want to be.”
1. What do you make of the reports that Louisville's Rick Pitino is- Seedy K (CD Kaplan) of the LEO breaks down the Georgetown game as only Seedy K can. Couple good points on the lack of enthusiasm by the Freedom Hall faithful and a great anecdote about Samuels yelling at Sosa and demanding the ball. both pretty obvious statements, but the paper (C-J) or recruiting sites (Scout, Rivals) failed to mention it for some reason...
interested in the Nets' job?
DeCourcy: He already has issued an emphatic denial—which, of
course, he did when a similar story was reported regarding the Sacramento Kings
last spring. And that story was true. The Kings were contacted by someone
representing Pitino's interests. So I believe someone got in touch with the Nets
on Pitino's behalf.
The fact these stories are leaking, though, indicates
he's not being well-received at the NBA level. If your organization were serious
about getting a deal done with Pitino, you wouldn't want your intentions
bleeding all over the Internet months before an agreement is likely to be
It's easy to understand, given the developments in his personal
life over the past year, why Louisville might no longer be a comfortable place
to live. Moving to another college would appear odd and awkward, and he'd likely
have to take a lesser (and lesser-paying) job if he did. The NBA would be a more
Pitino told ESPN.com, "I'm done with professional
basketball. I've put the professional ranks behind me." But these stories
suggest it's really more the other way around.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The main components of the 'Roland Ratings' are a production measure (a variant of John Hollinger's PER rating) for a player's own stats versus the counterpart player on the other team while he is on the court, as well as a simple on court/off court plus minus. This rating is actually more of a placeholder until the more sophisticated analysis we produce is made public, but still offers a good fast read on player performance.
Assists...or lack thereof
The senior back-court of Jerry Smith & Sosa had 11 assists. The rest of the team had as many as Chris Brickley & Clarence Holloway combined... ZERO. The main culprit in this stat is Samardo, who has to learn how to pass out of the post. I have flashbacks of Clifford Rozier whenever he gets the ball. He's played great, but it's like throwing the ball into the Grand Canyon - it ain't coming back.
The Quiet Killer : Austin Freeman
I'm not saying this just because he dropped 24 in the second half, almost single-handedly outscoring the whole Cards' team, but Austin Freeman is going to have at least a 10-year career in the NBA. No questions asked. He is Big East top-10 in minutes played, pts per game, field goal & free throw percentage. The sub-par Louisville defense left him open on a couple, but at least 3 of his perfect 6-6 treys in the half came with a defender in his jersey. Freeman is familiar with Freedom Hall - playing one other game with G'Town - but also was a member of the McDonald's AA team taht included Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love & Eric Gordon. Freeman doesn't stick out because of his demeanor, but is definitely one of the nation's best.
A Swop, A Buck, or a TJ?
At least we have the first half, right?
There has been much controversy and debate over a local Kentucky sports writer's column on a national sports page. Matt Jones who runs KentuckySportsRadio.com got a chance to travel and report for CBSSports.com. After attending the Louisville, Depaul game in Chicago this past weekend, it inspired him to write an article bashing his teams former coach Rick Pitino. He wrote how Pitino is a mere shell of his former self and has basically fallen out of relevance when it comes to top college basketball coaches. Now Rick was King of the Hill in his days at Kentucky during the 90's and is no longer top of the pops. But he is still very relevant in his profession.
As a writer for L YES! I also run another sports website WIDESPREAD SPORTS which covers local and national sporting news. We decided to rank the top 10 coaches over the last 5 years based on where there teams finished in the NCAA tournament. We came up with a mathematical formula to rank the coaches with out being bias or including our own opinion, and we wanted to share it with the readers of L YES! Here is the key to how the coaches were scored.
Won National Title = 10pts National Champion Runner Up = 8pts Final Four = 6pts
Elite Eight = 4pts Sweet Sixteen = 2pts First Round Advance = 1 Point Didn't Make Tourney = -2
Let's now see how this list shakes out. There are a few surprises, but overall things look pretty consistent with the current state of college basketball. If you have any comments about the list we have put together you can let you voice be heard by visiting out webpage WIDESPREAD SPORTS and becoming a fan of ours on facebook
(number next to the coaches names represent the number of points the coaches scored)
- No Surprise at #1 Roy Williams has won 2 National Titles
- Tom Izzo and Ben Howland have been nothing but consistent in the NCAA tournament
- Billy Donovan has had a rough past few years but won back to back National Titles, though is stock is falling
- Rick Pitino in at #7 proves he truly isn't washed up and is still a very good coach
- Bruce Pearl just barley makes the list by making 3 sweet 16's n the last 5 years, one with Milwaukee
- Coach John Calipari misses being on the list because of a stripped appearance in the National Title, but is rapidly climbing this list.
- Coach K I think would normally be listed as a top 10 coach, just not based on his last 5 years in the ncaa tournament