A win is a win but this is a long-term project.
A few thoughts after a frantic, almost directionless, but inevitable 82-57 win for the University of Louisville basketball team over Florida International:
–UofL is lacking a leader right now, a player who can assess the situation, take charge, communicate what needs to be done, demand, expect and trust his teammates to follow through. Just having the ability to get to the basket to make rim-rattling dunks or to attempt three-point shots isn’t leadership.
–Montrezl Harrell has a pesonal goal of being named national player of the year. He may have already played himself out of contention during a game in which he makes five turnovers. Got to start hitting a few more of those three-point attempts. Harrell is barking at his teammates at times during games, with a look resembling frustration.
–Terry Rozier, having skipped a class, relegated to the bench to at the beginning of the game, giving up his starting spot for four minutes to David Levitch. Rick Pitino says Rozier approaches the game like a professional, but he may be thinking too much about about a professional career, at least in the early gimme games. If Rozier wants to play at the next level, he may need to focus more on making his teammates better.
–Chris Jones is from the Andre McGee school of defense, making life difficult for opponents, but he seems to be trying to do too much too quickly on the offensive end. He comes up with three steals against FIU but manages only a three-to-three assists-to-turnover ratio on offense. He’s trying to look good but he looks erratic, his game crying out for consistency.
–Wayne Blackshear reverting to a supporting role against FIU, disappearing at times seven games into the season. He’s more assertive going to the basket, less assertive about leadership. If he’s going to take command, the blank look on his face betrays him. Some emotion might be helpful.
–Chinanu Onuaku. I bring him up only because he’s the fifth starter. Just a freshman catching up with the college game, adjusting to his additional weight and strength, improving game by game. Too early to saddle him with leadership concerns.