Casual Trip To Nashville, Cards Bow 68-54

That should get somebody’s attention.

A mere formality this trip to Nashville to play Western Kentucky. Handling the Hilltoppers not much to get worked up about on a wet and lazy Sunday afternoon. No reason to be too concerned as the Cards miss their first eight field goal attempts. It’s only Western Kentucky.

With the quote of the South Alabama coach about “may be looking at the next national champions” ringing in their ears all week long, the Cards were looking down the road but they were looking way past WKU.

Always a danger with young players is looking back at what has been accomplished in the past, combining it with lofty expectations, and expecting to win by simply going through the motions. Conveniently forgetting what it took to get to the Elite Eight last season, all the work it took to get there.

Complacency was reflected in the court demeanor of the players — the lack of emotion, the missing sense of urgency, the look-at-me-I’m-too-cool-to-get-excited feel about playing Western Kentucky attitudes were dominant until the final two minutes when the misplaced arrogance was finally replaced by desperation.

All the inflated confidence about depth, how really deep this team is, was exposed as a myth for the time being. Six of the players being counted on this season have three or less college games behind them. Remains to be seen whether any of them are ready for the big time, based on today’s result.

Unfortunate that it takes a loss to get the attention of not only the newcomers but the veterans as well. Rick Pitino will undoubtedly have their undivided attention this week.

Game Day: Louisville vs. Western

Has it been forever since Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals played a basketball game or what?

The Cards take on Western Kentucky at 3 p.m. today in Nashville. Watch for the adrenalin to be flowing for the Hilltoppers, playing over their heads for a bit. Wait it out, get it out of their system, then overpower and embarrass them.

Believe it or not, WKU holds a 38-33 edge in the series. Hard to imagine, unacceptable.

The Hilltoppers’ last victory over a top five team came on November 15, 2001, 64-52 over #4 Kentucky in Rupp Arena.

Stuff You Probably Didn’t Know About T-Will

Terrence Williams didn’t play basketball until he was in middle school, learning the game in a Seattle neighborhood from future Portland Trailblazer star Brandon Roy. He talks about that and other things in a recent interview during the Big East get together in New York:

A few more insights about T-will from the media guide:

Feels Al Pacino would be the best actor to play him in a movie.

What impresses him the most about Coach Pitino is “he understands and teaches you. He’s the greatest man I’ve ever met.”

Wishes he was married.

Afraid of heights.

Chose to attend U of L because “Coach P is the best I’ve seen and was real from the start, plus Louisville is the best city since Seattle.”

Chose his No. 1 uniform number because “the ones before me were just No. 1; I want to be the ONE.”

If you walked into his dorm room, the first thing you would notice is his 130 shoe boxes.

Would most like to meet his father.

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The Lady Cards basketball team will face Utah tonight in a 9:30 p.m. tip-off in Salt Lake City. Sonja will provide commentary after the contest (if she can stay awake). The game will be on WKRD, with Jim Kelch and Adrienne Johnson calling the action.

Rick Pitino Lands Quite A Nucleus

Quite a haul, this latest University of Louisville basketball recruiting class, with muscle, speed and shooting ability to spare, giving Rick Pitino the nucleus he needs to nurture a contender for Big East and national honors. The descriptions provided by ESPN Insider will have basketball fanatics salivating:

Michael Marra, 6-5 guard, Northfield, Mass.

“Marra is an excellent catch and shoot player, and excels at coming off screens, and knocking in trifectas. He has a quick release, and very deep range. However, in watching him perform at the 17-Under Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla., in late July, Marra struggled to make his shots when pressured by defenders. He appeared to lack lateral quickness. He has been working to improve in this area, which would certainly enhance his playing opportunities at Louisville. This deficiency causes him problems defensively against quicker, more athletic wing guards.”

Rakeem Buckles, 6-8 power forward, Miami

“Buckles plays more like a small forward than a power forward. He scores in transition by sprinting the floor and beating the defense to the rim. He has good not great bounce but what makes him a high major player is his ability to make plays of the dribble. Buckles can get his own shot at will. He has all the dribble moves in his package. Buckles will show the crossover both ways, spin along and between the legs where he does a great job of raising up the defender before he explodes by him to the rim or into a pull up jumper in the lane.”

Peyton Siva, 5 -11, guard, Seattle

“Siva is a true point guard that has excellent speed and quickness with the ball. He pushes the ball in transition on the pass or dribble and his athletic ability makes him a threat to go coast to coast and finish with a dunk. Siva does a great job of running the offense and directing teammates. He is an excellent ball handler that weaves and slashes through the defense with inside out and crossover dribble moves in order to get into the lane for a drop off pass or kick out for an open shot … Siva is a rock solid floor leader.”

Stephan Van Treese, 6-9 center, Indianapolis

“Van Treese will provide Louisville (verbal) with a physical inside presence that has the strength and muscle to compete on the interior in the rough and rugged Big East. To compliment his body and strength, Van Treese has very good athleticism, which should help him immensely in Pitino’s up-tempo system. Van Treese runs the floor very well and should clean up by scoring points in transition, started by his defensive rebounding ability. Van Treese also has relatively quick leaping ability which makes him a very effective offensive rebounder.”