How is Spida Mitchell so Cardinal Red?

 By Steve Springer
 
I grew up my entire minor life in Louisville.  My mother took me with her to a teachers’ in-service at Male one summer when I was a wee little Card. Probably early eighties. Alumnus Griff was shooting by himself in the gym. She took me in and Dr. Dunkenstein held me up to slam it through.  I don’t remember it but my parents are proud to remind me of it. 
 
Donovan Mitchell having some fun at John Gillian’s expense during game against Syracuse last season (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

In the following years I was blessed to have been provided the opportunity to go to game after game at Freedom Hall and see his mug here and there and always reminded of his place in Cardinal Lore, in record books, posters, memorabilia adorning my parents’ home.  He was a fixture of my childhood. 

 
We ran into him again on the Toonerville Trolley by the Galt House a few years later and I of course recognized him and got his autograph.  He seemed pleasantly humbled that a young kid would recognize him after being gone from UofL for so long, and so did my mother.
 
I’ve lived the UofL life. I’ve known him since I was able to have conscious memories. I went to all the home games as a kid. I skipped school when I was old enough to drive to sneak to the daytime C-USA tourney games. I went to UofL out of high school. I know the whole story. Griff is fully appreciated by me, as he is by you probably if you took the time to click on this article. 
 
This begs the question, how is Donovan Mitchell so Cardinal?  How is he so Louisville?  How is his blood so red that Don dons a #35 jersey in the process of becoming the first Cardinal to win a Slam Dunk contest?  We’ve had four Cards try to bring home the trophy, with Billy T, Greg Minor, and of course Griff, coming up short.
 
Spida exudes L1C4 as much as I could. If I was six inches taller I would be in the NBA doing what he does. At least in my imagination.  I would be ripping off my team jersey and dunking in my throwback Mike Abrams #44 Dunking Cardinal jersey.  But where does he get it?
 
He’s not from The Ville. He is from friggin’ New Hampshire, grew up in New York, and went to school in Connecticut.  Not a recipe that had him popping cups at Redbird games.  He didn’t count down the days until Derby Festival. He didn’t party at Kentucky Kingdom Friday Night Dance parties with N2Deep and cruise Preston Highway.
 
He spent two years as a Cardinal, yet he’s tweeting pictures of custom red Adidas kicks that he’ll wear in honor of a championship team he didn’t play a second for.  He’s being honored by Griff himself to receive his trophy in Salt Lake tonight.
 
As cliche as it is, Donovan embodies everything that is L1C4, us against the world right now.  His character, demeanor, and sentimentality for everything that is so sacred to Cardnation is so refreshing right now that it is such a breath of fresh air in all of the moral repugness that is the NCAA and its shenanigans against UofL the last couple of years. 
 
The shoes Donovan is wearing tonight have a “D” that looks like a wing. Some or most would say a that is a Cardinal wing. I think it just might be an angel wing…
 
 
 

“Biggest Fan of the Big East”

 

Deng Adel shows aggressive streak, Louisville coasts past Boston College

Another yawner, the University of Louisville basketball team blowing out still another Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. Boston College the latest victim by a score of 90-67.

Deng Adel discovers aggressive streak against Boston College.

Far too easy of late, resembling some of the winning streaks in the Metro and Conference USA days. Wins are not supposed to come this easily in the ACC. Treasuring each one, however, knowing that there will be some major obstacles straight ahead.

What kept the game interesting was the performance of Deng Adel who seemed to be making up for lost time, scoring in every way possible, living up to the promise expected of him. He would share game scoring honors with Donovan Mitchell with 19 points each.

Signs of a newfound shooting touch from the sophomore forward from Australia.  No reluctance, going for it but playing within the system, connecting on seven of 10 field goal attempts, including three of four 3-point shots, and two of two at the free throw line.

“Coach said we needed to step up,” said Adel afterwards. “He told me to be aggressive so that’s what we did.”

Mitchell, meanwhile, was quietly having a very efficient game himself, dishing out four assists, making four rebounds and three steals. He was making seven of 10 field goal attempts as well, including two 3-pointers, and all three of his free throws.

Mangok Mathiang getting in on the act, scoring 16 points on seven of 11 shot attempts. And, yes, two of two free throw attempts.

One never knows which UofL player is going to have a break out game. Don’t be surprised when freshman V. J. King does. He hasn’t been scoring much but when he does he makes it look easy, winding up with 11 points against Boston College.

 Louisville travels to Virginia on Monday for a crucial game.. The Cardinals and Cavaliers, with 7-3 conference marks, are tied with Florida State for second place in the ACC. North Carolina is first with an 8-2 conference record.

No danger of anyone nodding off in that one. The odds of another runaway are remote.

Mitchell ends recruiting frenzy, chooses Louisville

Donovan Mitchell was an unknown quantity a couple of months ago, just a top 100 recruit looking for some attention from college basketball coaches.

A 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Wolfeboro Brewster in New Hampster, Mitchell did just that during the summer recruiting camps, attracting attention from a long list of colleges that included Boston College, Creighton, Florida State, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina, Providence, Villanova and others.

Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell

Among the others was the University of Louisville. Rick Pitino was on hand at an Under Armor camp in Atlanta last month when Mitchell lit up the gymnasium scoring 27 points, setting off a recruiting frenzy for one of the summer’s hottest stars.

Mitchell visited UofL on Thursday and wasted little time making a verbal commitment to become a part of the 2015 recruiting class. If reports are accurate, the newest commit is equally impressive on both ends of the court. Eric Bossi, a recruiting analyst for Rivals. told the Kansas Jayhawks Slant last week:

“It was an absolute monster of a month for Mitchell. He put on a show pretty much anywhere he went and was solid on both ends of the floor. He hit clutch jumpers at buzzers to win games, he dunked his own misses in traffic, and he played physical, in-your-face defense. 

“He was probably a bit underrated to begin with, but there is no question he has improved in every aspect of the game,” he added. “It is safe to expect that Mitchell makes a big jump in the next 2015 ranking update.”

A prolific shooter, a serious defender and a good student as well, Mitchell should be a good fit in Pitino’s system. No dragging out the recruiting process, he’s decisive, capitalizing quickly on  a great opportunity at UofL.