Here We Go Again

By Charlie Springer

Just wondering as the University of Louisville basketball team prepares to begin Big East Conference play against South Florida:

— Whether the players will take South Florida seriously, respecting the perennial conference doormat, giving it their best effort. The Bulls came close to upsetting a good Syracuse team over the weekend.bigeast1

— How much a letdown the Cards will have have after defeating their arch rival Kentucky on Sunday. The level of intensity they displayed should be standard operating procedure.

— How the players’ psyche will be affected the flight incident on the first leg of the trip to Tampa. Standing around airports is a drag, and can sometimes take a little time from which to recover.

— How Earl Clark will play after one of his more embarrassing performances ever in the game again Kentucky. Pass, shoot, don’t dribble. Not a ball handler, never a guard.

— Whether Edgar Sosa’s transformation is permanent. One has to believe it is. The alternative is not good.

— How long it will take Samardo Samuels to return to early season form.

The Cards need to get off to a good start in the Big East for a change, and the mind games have to become a thing of the past.

Where Have The Cat Fans Gone?

By Charlie Springer

Life is as it should be, the University of Louisville basketball team having defeated Kentucky, depriving Cat fans of opportunities to flaunt their obnoxious qualities. No sympathy here, Cat fans. Look at the loss as a leardeadcatning experience, one of life’s valuable lessons.

You might even want to consider acknowledging that you were beaten by a better team,  rather making excuses like your beloved Billy G. and badmouthing UofL fans as you do even when things are going well for you.

Have you seen any of those people today by the way? They’ve been pretty scarce around Louisville, a rare species, indeed. No car flags, no Kroger baseball caps, few if any blue sweatshirts or jackets. They’ve gone into hiding, bless their hearts.

If you bleed blue today, you’re among the walking dead.

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Why was Lee Todd, the UK president, sitting behind the Wildcat bench on Sunday? One would think with all the alleged Big Blue boosters in town he would have been in a VIP suite, seeking contributions in dismal economic times. Maybe there aren’t as many as Todd would have you believe, or maybe he thinks UK will get all he needs from the Legislature which begins work Tuesday.

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Okay, just one more video of the UofL-UK finish, with about 15 seconds to go in the game:

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Another way to relive the Sunday’s triumph is to visit Hell In The Hall for a plethora of highlights, emotions, who’s whos and photos from the scene. The enthusiasm of Frankpos, the moderator, is contagious. He may not post much, but when he does, he goes all out.

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Those two Indiana recruits who verbaled to UofL’s 2011 class after the game are apparent major catches. ESPN Insider says of 6-11 Michael Chandler that he “He runs the floor extremely well, he is active on both ends of the floor and he rebounds very well. He is very coordinated for a kid his size and his age. He oozes with potential …” Of 6-6 Ryan Taylor, they opine: “He is a good athlete that plays with great effort. He has great length that aids him in being a terrific rebounder on both ends, shot blocker and defender on the ball and in the passing lanes.”

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Haven’t seen the Lady Cards play yet? Need an engraved invitation? They play a fiery brand of basketball and are ranked 10th in the nation. They play Seton Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday (see Sonja’s preview). Next up is Rutgers, perennial women’s basketball power, in Pack The House II on Sunday. Free coupons are available at Kroger stores.

Threeeeeee Sosaaaaaaaaa!

Edgar Sosa hits primetime, sinking a 30-footer to give Louisville a 74-71 basketball win over Kentucky.

By Charlie Springer

As sweet a moment as any in recent seasons  for University of Louisville basketball fans, the climactic swish of Edgar Sosa’s 30-footer. That shot will linger in the minds of Card fans for years, rivaled only by the CBS montage of swish, swish, swish, swish. Play it again, guys.

None of that dribbling wildly down the lane tripping over all the obstacles. They’re giving you the shot out there.

Take it.

Hit it.

Erupt, Freedom Hall, explode.

Redemption for a player everybody but Rick Pitino had all but relegated to the dump heap. Strange thing, though. Sosa seemed content, even smiling, much of the game. A couple of errant passes not going to affect him today. The coach believes, why shouldn’t Sosa?

Next time you watch the video of the game winner, watch Sosa look quickly to the left, across the court to where his hero Francisco Garcia is seated.

— A great time for Jerry Smith’s shooting eye to return — three three-point attempts, all of them good.

— Despite two pitiful inbounds passes, something good may have happened for Earl Clark in today’s game: the cool, above-it-all look was actually replaced by humiliation and disappointment. Does anybody else cringe when he starts acting like a guard? Take it personal, Earl, get emotional, get better.

— Terrence Williams lives for those rim-rattling dunks but those 19 points, eight rebounds, and five steals were the dosage. Three of five three-point attempts, keeping the elbow tucked. Getting the ball stuck on the rim, not  funny.

— George Goode, subbing for Samardo Samuels, made up some lost ground, earning respect for key stops on Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson. Playing with stress fracture that had kept him out of practice. And did you see him going bananas after Sosa hit that winning shot?  This guy is on board.

— A rough patch for Samuels but the same coach who kept telling us that Sosa was the missing piece of the puzzle says Samardo will come around.

Play that game winner again. Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish.