George Goode to Missouri

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The Tim Fuller connection may have finally benefited someone in Louisville.

George Goode, former University of Louisville basketball player, has found a new home. He will be playing at Missouri next season, according to a report from the Kansas City Star. He had reportedly also been considering Kansas State and Morehead State.

Good for Goode. Let’s hope he does well.

Goode, Van Treese finally get out there

Not much to be learned from the University of Louisville basketball team’s 73-54 sleeper over Seton Hall.

Between the yawns, however, are glimpses of George Goode and Stephen Van Treese throwing their bodies around, neither of them timid, okay with the physical aspects of the game.

Goode with a half decent 12-foot shot, six points, three rebounds in 10 minutes. Enjoying the game, having fun.

Van Treese five offensive rebounds, five defensive. Swaggering, lumbering down the court, best to stay out of his way.

Big guys clogging up the middle, making the effort, bothering people, wearing on them.

Between them, only one minute of playing time in the fiasco against Kentucky. Wondering if maybe they could have contributed in some way.

Swopshire not getting any better

The word is not good on Jared Swopshire, the only returning starter from last season’s University of Louisville basketball team.

“My guess is he’s not coming back anytime soon,” said coach Rick Pitino during a Thursday press conference. “His injury is refusing to heal and he is not getting any better.”

Swopshire, a 6-foot-8 junior, was the leading scorer, with 7.5 points and six rebounds per game.

Other notes:

  • The starting lineup in Sunday’s exhibition game will be Rakeem Buckles and Kyle Kuric as forwards, Terrence Jennings at Center, and Preston Knowles and Peyton Siva at guards.
  • Knowles will be the team captain. “He’s a natural leader and his teammates follow him.”
  • Pitino said Kuric is coming out of his shell and is coming into his own, reminding him of how much Larry O’Bannon improved during his junior and senior years.
  • Said Terrence Jennings has the opportunity to be an NBA prospect or play overseas. “If he remembers his role as running, rebounder and shotblocker, he will do well.”
  • The eligibility of Gorgui Dieng will make Jennings a better player. “TJ doesn’t have any problem shooting over Steve Van Treese or George Goode,” he said. “Dieng will make him work for his shots in practice.”

Easing Into Louisville Basketball

Goodbye college football season.

No big games this weekend. The regular season all but done. The coaching issue  resolved at the University of Louisville. No more Steve Kragthorpe to kick around. Get a life and move on to other interests.

Those passionate about their football have little choice but to switch gears, focus on basketball. Shouldn’t be that difficult at a “basketball school,” right?

Wouldn’t be:

  • If it wasn’t one of those seasons already plagued by injuries. Preston Knowles, Peyton Siva, Jerry Smith and, now, George Goode? Knowles and Siva may return this weekend.
  • If U of L’s current big men didn’t play like small forwards. Coached by two of the game’s great coaches and teachers, and 20 to 25 hours in the gym a week apparently not enough.
  • If Rick Pitino’s teams weren’t so slow leaving the gate, having already incurred two losses, with the Western Kentucky hurdle just a week away.
  • If the rest of the Big East weren’t so strong, with six teams in the top 20 — Villanova, No. 3; West Virginia, No. 6; Syracuse, No. 7; UConn, No. 14; Georgetown, No. 15; and Cincinnati, No. 19.
  • If the Lexington school didn’t look like it was going to go undefeated during the regular season, with only the Southeastern Conference presenting the only challenge now.
  • If one could be dead certain Rick Pitino’s team would make one of those classic Rick Pitino late season runs. Seems highly unlikely at this point, but stranger things have happened.

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The fact that Jeff Walz’ women’s basketball team is getting off to a rocky start doesn’t make the transition to basketball any easier. The 5-3 Lady Card take on IUPUI at 2 p.m. Sunday at Freedom Hall.

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Darrell Griffith will be signing autographs of the Freedom Hall print at the Kroger on Central Avenue, across from Jim Patterson Stadium, from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Missing-David Padgett Syndrome

A new attitude has to be permeating University of Louisville basketball practice sessions, now that the worship and adulation has been replaced by realism and disappointment. If the UofL basketball team were the stock market, a depression would have been declared.

The first clues that all was not well should have been picked up when Jerry Smith and Edgar Sosa were not introduced as the starting guards. Smith apparently focused on something other than weight and basketball during the summer. Sosa had that familiar look of frustration and an inability to manage a dribble drive.

Based on Sunday’s performance, this team closely resembles last season’s team before David Padgett returned to the lineup. Samardo Samuels is playing, to be sure, but at least one opposing coach has figured out how to stop Padgett’s replacement. Other coaches will be applying the same measures to stop Samuels.

Padgett bequeathed his ability to manage the floor and find open shooters to Terrence Williams but T-will apparently left it on the bus.

Excluding Samuels with 36 minutes in the game, the other additions to the active roster accumulated only 11 minutes of playing time — Reginald Delk had five, Terrence Jennings had three, Jarod Swopshire had two, and George Goode had one.

Coach Rick Pitino’s apology is accepted. This team has to be reshaped and reinvented. The tools are available but he’s got a lot of work to do. David Padgett is not walking through that door.