Sutton comes up big for Louisville against Bellarmine

Samuell Williamson (top photo) arrives on the Louisville basketball scene with his first dunk in an exhibition game against Bellarmine. Coach Chris Mack counsels Darius Perry and Ryan McMahon (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

Dunking

What life would be like for the University of Louisville basketball team without any legitimate big men was on full display in all of its aches and pains in an exhibition game on Tuesday. UofL struggling to defeat Bellarmine 75-65 before 15,009 at the KFC Yum! Center.

Jordan Nwora with two of his 28 points in the exhibition win over Bellarmine University (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Neither Steven Enoch and Malik Williams available because of injuries, the Cardinals never able to assert any dominance. Who would have envisioned Dwayne Sutton playing the five spot?  The team closely resembling the one that struggled so many times last season. Just big enough, strong enough and fast enough to avoid a second half letdown.

Nothing against Bellarmine, which is going to be a dominant team during its last season in Division 2 basketball. If Louisville is to live up to its pre-season billing, in the top five in numerous polls, the healing and the fulfilling of potential has to begin soon.

Of the highly-regarded freshman class, only Samuell Williamson started, scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 34 minutes.  Josh Nickelberry, Jae’Lyn Withers, Quin Slazinski and Aiden Igihon were held scoreless in their collective 20 minutes.

Jordan Nwora was there every time he was needed, with a better overall game, scoring a game-high 28 points, with five assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Expanding his game to include other elements necessary for UofL’s success this season.

Sutton pretty convincing in the “big man” role, coming through with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Typical of Sutton, ready to take on any role, eager to make his presence felt, impose his will if necessary.

Going to need some of the big guys for real with the bruising schedule coming up, starting with that Atlantic Coast Conference opener again Miami next week.

Gallery courtesy of Cindy Rice Shelton:

Louisville fans connect on road to Logan Pass

While on a recent vacation, the Springers bump into some rabid University of Louisville fans Gerry Artale and Wayne Smith at Glacier National Park in Montana.

A long way from Louisville, 1,857 miles per Google, making our way to the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. Negotiating the long and winding turns of a narrow two-lane highway while hoping to see the grizzly bears, moose, mountain goats and Bighorn sheep.

Along the way to the top, stopping briefly at a scenic overlook. Quiet. Peaceful. The view inspiring and despite low-hanging clouds and drizzle. We have arrived, away from it all. A vista of water, forests and mountains, taking time to savor the magnificence.

The silence is suddenly broken by a voice proclaiming, “Hey, we found some Louisville Cardinal fans.”

Wait. What.

Coming toward us on the rocky incline is a smiling couple, the guy wearing a familiar UofL baseball cap like mine. It’s Wayne Smith and Gerry Artale, having made their way to this remote spot in Montana from  Cornelius, a small town just north of Charlotte, NC. A gathering of Louisville fans in an unlikely place, eager to share UofL stories.

Continue reading “Louisville fans connect on road to Logan Pass”

Special craft beer in works for Louisville alumni, fans

Special craft beer may be on the way for Louisville alumni and fans.

Some people are thinking outside the ivory tower on Belknap Campus.

The University of Louisville is actively entertaining the notion of a special blend of craft beer to be marketed to university alumni and young professionals at retail locations across the country.

Cardinal Brew?  L1C4 Special?  Griffith Gold? Russ Smith Lite?

Just a few names that come to mind for a craft beer that would be specifically marketed for UofL partisans. Lord knows, they love their beer.

The University has issued an official Request For Proposal for a “logoed” craft beer partnership. The partnership will be geared toward providing a craft beer with one of the retro logos from the university archive library.

The RFP states that the partnership does not include UofL athletics. However, the successful bidder will have an opportunity to explore pouring rights and additional university sponsorship marketing outside of the partnership. 

The deadline for responses to the RFP is Thursday, May 2. Applicants making the “short list” will be announced the week of May 6th, with proposer presentations scheduled May 20th and a Letter of Intent the week of June 3rd. The RFP notes that all dates are subject to change.

In support of the school’s commitment to reducing waste and “extraneous” use of natural resources, applicants were requested to submit their proposals on two-sided recycled paper containing 30% post-consumer waste. 

The RFP notes that the University has 141,000 “addressable” alumni. Also included are maps showing the heaviest concentrations of UofL alumni across the nation and in Kentucky and Indiana. The heaviest concentrations outside the region are in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta.

Make that a Cardinal Brew for this observer.

Jock Sutherland back with more from UofL broadcast days

Jock Sutherland

Catching up with Jock Sutherland, now in his 91st year. Still as funny as he ever was, recently recalling his days as a color commentator for University of Louisville basketball.

Jock never pretended to be a broadcaster, and today admits he would never have made it as a play-by-play man.

Jock and Van Vance were in Knoxville for the Dream Game in 1983 as the broadcast team for WHAS radio. There was static on the air and Vance ducked down under the table to work on the equipment, telling Jock to take it. “I told him I was not a play-by-play guy, but there was no other option,” said Jock. “I was awful. He told me I would never have to do that again.” 

Never a dull moment for Sutherland, the long-since retired sidekick of Vance on WHAS radio.  Together they were an unforgettable broadcast team for UofL basketball for more than 20 years.

Jock has had a busy year, getting with Van for their annual get-together and adding an electric chairlift so he can navigate the steps at his two-story house in Nicholasville.

Unfortunately his driving days are over, as a result of another motorist slamming into the side of his Chevy S-10 pickup truck. Fortunately Jock was not hurt but the pickup was beyond repair. Through with driving, he now relies on his wife Phyllis for transportation.

Phyllis is still working part-time four hours a day for the local board of education, reducing her hours so she can spend more time with Jock. “We’re there for each other,” she says. “He’s still a lot of fun to be with.”

Jock was recently interviewed again by film producers Renee Collins and Warren Cobb for Room 17 Productions about his experiences with Vance for the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History:

Jock Sutherland: The WHAS Broadcasting Years from Renee Collins on Vimeo.

Early exit for Cinderellas in 2019 NCAA basketball tourney

Was this the year a mid-major would crash the NCAA men’s basketball final four ? Depending on which talking head you listened to, a Cinderella was inevitable.

Surprise, surprise, as the field is narrowed to 16: No Loyola of Chicago and Sister Jean. No Butler University. No Murray State. No Northeastern. No Wofford. Few upsets. No mid- majors to be found.

Check the four regionals and its chalk city baby. The East, Duke versus Virginia Tech and Louisiana State versus Michigan State. The West is true to form with Gonzaga playing Florida State and Texas Tech going against Michigan.

The Midwest Region has North Carolina playing Auburn and Houston playing Kentucky. Better have P.J. Washington for this one. The Wildcats won with defense against Wofford. The Cougars and Kelvin Sampson can score.

Louisville and the KFC Yum! Center host the South Region this week. Top-seeded Virginia gets a break against  No. 12 Oregon. Purdue and Tennessee will clash in other matchup.

Midnight has come and gone, and Cinderella has gone back to scrubbing floors.