Louisville Target: Fab Melo

Every year there’s one big man everybody knows can turn a good team into a great team. That person in the 2010 recruiting class is Fab Melo, a 7-foot, 270-pound prospect from Brazil who will play his senior year at Sagemont High in Weston, Fla.

The good news for University of Louisville basketball fans is that Mr. Melo has Rick Pitino’s team high on his list of possible teams. The other news is that he is also said to be considering Florida, Florida State, UConn and Duke.

That list seems to expand and contract every few days with Syracuse, Georgetown and Kentucky once included on the list. The only constant has been U of L among the favorites.

Card fans have been down this road more than a few times.

Overdue. Let it happen.

EA Sports, NCAA Targets Of Lawsuit

What took so long?

Some former college athletes have filed a class action lawsuit against EA Sports and the NCAA, claiming the video game maker has gone too far in using the images of players but not allowing them to share in the considerable profits from  game sales.

Games like NCAA Football 09 and NCAA Basketball 09, for example, feature characters with striking physical likenesses to actual players and the jersey numbers but without their names. This, of course, significantly enhances the experience for video game fans who identify closely with their teams.

If the lawsuit is successful, it could potentially affect the efforts of all universities in marketing their athletic teams. The universities regularly use star players to promote their programs. Imagine a University of Louisville football schedule poster from the 2006 season not featuring Brian Brohm or last season’s basketball schedule poster without Terrence Williams or Andre McGee.

If there’s anything surprising about the lawsuit, it is the question of why it has taken so long for the players — or the trial lawyers — so long to file the action. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for every college football and basketball player who jersey on a opening game roster who has appeared in an EA game.

EA Sports, the NCAA, and the Collegiate Licensing Company, also named in the suit, argue that the NCAA annually reviews EA’s games and do not believe any violations of NCAA bylaws or student rights have occurred.

Those who have argued for paying college athletes even more than they now receive in the form of scholarships, food, travel and priceless college athletic experiences will be pulling for the ambulance chasers in this fight.

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Candyce To Camp — Lady Card Candyce Bingham reports to the training camp of the San Antonio Silver Stars of the Women’s National Basketball Association this week with no illusions or gurantees. See Sonja’s take here.

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Magical Mystery Tour Winding On

Nine shots, nine baskets, the University of Louisville streaking to  a 26-13 lead.

Georgetown missing certain dunks, once, twice, three times. The shot clock running out with no one between Georgetown and the basket.

Earl Clark struggling to hang on to ball, make decent passes, until he finds his pal Terrence Williams for one of those awe-inspiring dunks at the 8:02 mark, putting U of L up by 13, then 14 on a T-Will free throw.

Clark hitting five of 10 shot, three behind the arc, leading all scorers with 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four steals, demonstrating why he is indispensable, even with four turnovers.

Don’t cover your eyes. Appreciate Earl Clark.

T-Will with that confident air, falling, literally willing the ball to go in at the 4:52 mark, stretching the margin to 14 points again. Everywhere he’s needed, pulling down 12 rebounds, seven assists, two steals.

Samardo Samuels and Terrence Jennings collecting four fouls apiece, but combining for 17 points.

Edgar Sosa with the acrobatics, under, over and in the basket, wow.

Jerry Smith being a nuisance on defense, doesn’t get enough credit. What one remembers are his three-pointers.

Andre McGee and Preston Knowles the microwave twins, making people forget how to dribble, how to pass, how to shoot, tormenting them, frustrating them.

On the road. The Big East.

Rick Pitino working his magic. One more time.

Georgetown In A Corner

By Paul Sykes

Georgetown University has its back against the wall. Unless the Hoyas win out in the regular season, they will be forced to play five games in five days if they hope to win a Big East Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament bid.

When cornered, instincts run to one of two options: Fight, or cover and duck. Louisville needs to force the Hoyas into a duck and cover scenario early in this game. Making it happen on Georgetown’s court could be a difficult assignment in tonight’s encounter. The Cards have been a second half team lately.  A DePaul-like first half domination would come in handy.

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Andre McGee’s second half shutdown of Cincinnati junior guard Deonta Vaughn was a thing of beauty. No points in the second half, after torching the Cards with three bombers from three-point distance. One can speculate on which guard combinations are the most effective for the Cardinals but the revolving backcourt door is fine, as long as as the right ones are out there at the right time.

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Nice to see the late Ed Jucker’s name on the floor in the Fifth/Third Arena. Jucker was the Cincinnati coach during the Bearcats’ great years in early 1960’s when they won two NCAA titles. I had an  opportunity to chat with him during a Conference USA tournament at Freedom Hall. He was doing some NBA scouting and wasn’t in great health bit you could see the fire and passion when he talked about Oscar Robertson and those magical Bearcat years. Jucker also revealed that he was responsible for recruiting Dodger great Sandy Koufax to UC. Jucker died in 2002 from prostate cancer.