Pitino effect kicks in, Louisville explodes past Clemson

Donovan Mitchell would not be denied in the first half, letting his teammates take over the second (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

An understatement to say things weren’t going well for the University of Louisville basketball team, and they were getting worse.

There sat Quentin Snider on the bench, with a forlorn look on his face, dejected and unavailable. And for more than nine minutes, Clemson was having its way with UofL, jumping off to a 7-0 start, slamming the ball in the basket every other play, and extending the lead to 21-12.

At that point something happened, happened after Coach Rick Pitino called a 30-second time out. Something that could only be described as the Pitino effect. No other explanation. Someone other than Donovan Mitchell would start making baskets.

Deng Adel jumper. Jaylen Johnson layup. another Deng Adel jumper. Anas Mahmoud free throws. Deng Adel with a 3-pointer. Donovan Mitchell on a layup.

The Deng Adel everybody had been waiting for showed up when he was needed most, scoring 18 points. (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Less than five minutes later, Louisville had taken a 24-23 lead. The Cardinals would never trail again, smacking the daylights out of Clemson 92-60 before a crowd of 21,436 at the KFC Yum! Center. One of the most impressive in-game turnarounds in recent Pitino history.

Deng Adel, without a doubt playing his most complete game ever as a Cardinal, contributing 18 points, including two 3-pointers and three out of four free-throw attempts, and a couple of assists. This may have been the night that lit the switch for him.

Donovan Mitchell setting the tone in the first half, making all eight of his field goal attempts, including two 3-pointers, for all of his 18 points in the game. What was so encouraging, however, was that his “offensively-challenged” teammates picked up the slack in the second half while he was missing all seven of his shots and making zero points.

Looking fully capable of standing in at point guard until Snider makes it back to the floor, Mitchell would be credited with four assists, four rebounds, and three steals. “The thing with us is we accept those challenges,” said Mitchell. “We love those challenges. We’ll win this game and then we’ll move on to the next one.”

Pitino relieved and reinvigorated afterwards, but cautious about going to Florida State Saturday following a late night game and only day to prepare for the 2 o’clock encounter.

“It’s a different game with Quentin being out,” he said. “Normally we would have double sessions of practice before going into a game like Florida State but we can’t because of the late game.”

Always got that Pitino effect, however. It will be needed Saturday.




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Durr leads Louisville women to No. 100 at the Yum! Center

This Louisville fan strongly supports Asia Durr (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Among the things Tom Jurich insisted on for the University of Louisville in negotiations for the KFC Yum! Center 10 years ago was that the UofL women’s basketball team be permitted to play its home games there.

There was some resistance but Jurich prevailed as he usually does and the opening game for the UofL’s women’s 2010-2011 season attracted 22,000-plus fans for the opening act against Pat Summit and the University of Tennessee. The women have averaged more than 9,000 fans per game annually since then.

A total of 7,606 were on hand on Wednesday night as the Cardinals rolled to their 100th victory in six seasons the Yum! Center with a 91-51 dismantling of Georgia Tech. UofL has won almost 90 percent (100-13) of its games at the facility.

Never any doubt in this one, Asia Durr nailing a 3-pointer 24 seconds into the game, the first of her 17 points in 13 minutes in the first half with UofL racing to a 50-15 lead. She would play only six minutes in the second half, leading all scorers with 20 points.

Lots of smiles and playing time to go around as Louisville won its 12th game against only one loss at home. The Cardinals are 17-4 overall. The KFC Yum! Center is home sweet home.

Mariya Moore continues to sizzle behind the 3-point line, hitting three of four, while scoring 13 points (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).
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Junior Bridgeman and company return to University of Louisville

Junior Bridgeman, who has chaired both the University of Louisville board of trustees and the UofL Foundation board is back at UofL again, thanks to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

Bridgeman is among the 10 individuals named Tuesday to replace a board that lacked political and diversity balance, was unable to conduct a presidential search, and was considered dysfunctional by many. Nine of the 10 appointees are the same as the Governor announced last July., with the exception of James M. Rogers who replaced Dale Bolden on the list.

A UofL spokesman indicated that the newly appointed board will appoint an interim president soon to replace Neville Pinto, who accepted the presidency at the University of Cincinnati. Thumbnails:

David Grissom

David Grissom — Obtained his law degree from UofL, has long been among the power brokers in Louisville, having served as chairman and CEO of Citizens Fidelity Bank & Trust, vice president of PNC Corporation, and executive vice president of Humana.

Name any leading company or institution in the region and there’s a good chance Grissom has served on the board, including Churchill Downs, LG&E, Yum! Brands, and Centre College (where he earned his undergraduate degree). He currently manages the Glenview Trust Company, the largest independent trust company in Kentucky.

John Schnatter a long-time donor.

John Schnatter

John Schnatter— The founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza and a major benefactor for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. His name is also on the John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise at the U of L College of Business.

Schnatter is a graduate of Ball State, but his wife Annette and grandfather Louis Ackerson are UofL alumni. His brother Chuck, daughter Kristine and two uncles are all graduates of the Brandeis School of Law.

Sandra Frazier from a family of strong UofL supporters

Sandra Frazier 

Sandra Frazier — Comes from an old Louisville family that has been very generous to UofL for decades. Her father was the late Harry Frazier and her grandmother was Mary Frazier, a legendary benefactor. Her uncle was none other than the late Owsley B. Frazier, who gave $25 million to UofL shortly before he passed in 2012. She owns Tandem Communications and serves with Grissom on the Glenview Trust board. She earned an undergraduate degree from Hollins University and a master’s degree in mass communications from Boston University.

Brian Cromer

Brian Cromer – A senior attorney at Stites & Harbison in Louisville, with experience in corporate governance and financial transactions, venture capital and private equity investments, and other corporate practice and business matters. He has degrees from Bellarmine and Kentucky.

Nitin Sahney

Nitin Sahney — Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Omnicare, Inc., and has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of RxCrossroads. Vast experience in the healthcare field which should be helpful with University Hospital challenges. He’s a graduate of Punjab University in Chandigarh, India.

James Rogers

James Rogers — Retired Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Hilliard Lyons Research Advisors, as well as Investment Advisor of The RBB Fund, Inc. and the Senbanc Fund.  He is a graduate of the University of Louisville. 

Bonita Black

Bonita Black — Manages Steptoe & Johnson’s Louisville office, focusing on corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions and divestitures, and corporate, structured, and municipal finance law.  Previously worked with Frost Brown & Todd and LG&E. She obtained her law degree from Harvard and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Ron Wright

Dr. Ron Wright — An obstetrician-gynecologist in Jeffersonville. He is affiliated with Clark Memorial Hospital. He received his medical degree from University of Louisville School of Medicine. Worked with Bridgeman and Black on the UofL transition team.

Diane Medley

Diane Medley — A native of Meade County, earning her degree in commerce from UofL. She co-founded Chilton & Medley Accounting in 1988 and Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP in 2010. Today the firm is the 82nd largest financial services firm in the US She is currently the only female managing partner in the top 100 accounting firms in the US.

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Snider injury forces Louisville to go with Plan B, whatever that is

Quentin Snider out for two or three weeks. (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

University of Louisville fans were still counting their blessings that Donovan Mitchell was able to return to the game Saturday after injuring an ankle. Wow, that was scary.

The relief was short-lived.

Quentin Snider, UofL’s starting point guard, will be out for two or three weeks because of a strained hip flexor. The drama, the jinx, or the bad timing — depending on one’s particular perspective — is back.

This used to be an annual occurrence for University of Louisville basketball, a key player getting injured. Fans almost came to expect the blows during the early years of Rick Pitino’s tenure.

The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time, with Snider having mastered Pitino’s system, the best point guard at UofL since Peyton Siva. Six weeks to pull all of the elements together, to make another run for the Final Four, Snider was getting better every game.

Going to be fun to see who Pitino goes with at point guard in Snider’s absence. Will he go with Mitchell or with Tony Hicks, David Levitch or Ryan McMahon? Could he make Deng Adel the shooting guard and fast-forward freshman V. J. King’s emergence? 

A waste of time attempting to second guess Pitino. Whatever solution he comes up with will be unique. That’s just the way he is.

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Mariya Moore’s turn to shine, Louisville women edge Miami

Mariya Moore is not shy when it comes to shooting or rebounding, notching 24 points and 7 rebounds (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

One never knows who’s going to grab the reins, assume the leadership role in a game for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, especially in grinders against top 20 opponents. 

Take your pick from Myisha Hines-Allen, Asia Durr or Mariya Moore. When one or more of them is having an off-game, count on at least one of them to be having an exceptional game. On Sunday it was Mariya Moore’s turn in the spotlight, putting the team on her shoulders in a 63-59 win over Miami.

Moore seemed to have an answer every time Miami got close, scoring eight of her game-high 24 points during the fourth quarter. She dropped in her fourth 3-pointer to give UofL a five-point lead after Miami had cut the margin to two points.

Fun, fun, fun for the crowd of 10,016 at the KFC Yum! Center, especially for the fan wearing the Lamar Jackson tux (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

“Mariya wanted the ball today,” said Walz. “When she wants the ball, she screams for it. If you’re open and don’t get the ball, it’s because they don’t see you. You have to yell for it. She hit a big basket (a 3-pointer) going into half time.”

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