Red-White Basketball Scrimmage

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Still loving football and there’s much of which to look forward as the Cards advance into the thick of the Big East schedule. Not eager to see the football season rush to any conclusion anytime soon. However, basketball seems to be in a big hurry this year. Fans will just have to balance the fanaticism somehow, some way. Already, Rick Pitino unveiled the 2008-09 University of Louisville basketball team during their first public scrimmage Sunday at Freedom Hall:

— So many new players on this team that it will take a while for some fans to match faces with the numbers. There are seven new players, including fresh recruits, transfers and the newly eligible. One would hope the jelling occurs quickly.

— Samardo Samuels bears a resemblance to Derrick Caracter in his physique but that’s where the similarities end. Samuels had 36 points, including at least eight free throws in the scrimmage. He doesn’t turn every shot into a highlight reel like Caracter did so you don’t realize he’s racking up the points until you check the scoreboard. Samuels is confident at the free throw line, and will hit a high percentage of them.

— Terrence Jennings was a nice surprise. At 6-foot-10, he possesses more than his share of strength and agility. He will be an intimidating force when he fills in for Samuels. He scored 18 points in the scrimmage. One hates to use the over-used beast to describe him but it seems to be a good fit for him .

— Earl Clark is much more fluid now than at any time in his career. The herky-jerky mechanics appear to have been replaced with a smoothness born of new confidence in his abilities and much extra time in the gym over the summer months. He tossed in 30 points for his team.

— Many in the crowd of approximately 9,000 people thought the dreaded other injury shoe had dropped when transfer Reginald Delk landed wrong after a jumper. A sigh of relief swept through the crowd when Delk’s ankle was taped. He quietly reentered the game later on showing no visible sign of lasting effects.

— Rick Pitino was sitting by himself at a courtside table, letting Richard Pitino and Steve Masiello coach the Red and White squads. He yelled at players a few times, but got up only once, walking half way down the court to say something to Edgar Sosa.

— Sosa looks more mature and confident, appears to be more selective with his shots and when he drives the lane. No reckless drives down a cluttered lane tonight.

— Much ooh and aahing over Jared Swopshire’s passing and shooting abilities while collecting 18 points. Pitino will put his talents to work early and often.

— Terrence Williams was suited up, not a lot of bandage visible on his recently operated-on right knee. He was taking set shots before the scrimmage. As the crowd was departing, the last image was  that of T-Will dangling from a basketball rim. Don’t know how he got up there. If he jumped, this young man is obviously making a speedy recovery.

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.