Louisville basketball ready to go again

Seems like forever since the University of Louisville men’s team played a basketball game.

The last one was a week ago, an 86-47 win over South Florida in Tampa, marking four straight wins after a six-point loss to Memphis. Eight days is too long not to be challenged. Late January is time things are usually coming together for Rick Pitino teams.

Probably a result of the conference purgatory year, which also included the loss of Big East Big Monday games on ESPN. Louisville athletics will have finally been redeemed when the school enters the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. Maybe fans ought to enjoy the slow pace while it lasts?

Pitino said in his Wednesday press conference that Chris Jones will return to action Thursday against Cincinnati but not in a starting role. Probably a good thing with the way the team has been performing with Terry Rozier at point guard.

Seems to be a lot of redundancy having Jones and Russ Smith on the court at the same time. If Pitino agrees, Rozier is going to still have more than his share of playing time as the season enters the stretch in February.

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The UofL women’s team looked beaten and all but out Tuesday with 11 minutes remaining, trailing Rutgers 53-47.

Shoni Schimmel was contributing but she was the only one at that point. Teammates depending upon too much it seemed.

Rutgers resembling some of Vivian Stringer’s teams from the past, making every shot difficult for the Cardinals while hitting 51% of their shots. Looked very much like the UofL winning streak of 13 games was going to end.

This Louisville team was not going to concede, however. Not without a fight.

At the 10:27 mark, Sara Hammond would knock down a three-pointer from 25 feet out, following it up with a layup and a free throw. Bria Smith and Asia Taylor would follow up with their own layups and free throws. All of a sudden, UofL was in front 59-55.

Final score: Louisville 80, Rutgers 71.

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Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.