UofL Band completes Ice Bucket dousing, challenges UK to do the same

Dr. Mark Lynn, Jr., assistant director of the University of Louisville Marching Band, and his proteges have completed the Ice Bucket Challenge for Lou Gehrig’s Disease and have challenged their University of Kentucky rivals to do the same. Thanks for sharing, Mark.

Memphis will bring heat, count on it

Memphis straight ahead.

Flash back to the end of the last basketball game between Louisville and Memphis — the championship game of the Conference USA tournament during the 2004-05 season. U of L enters the fray with a 28-4 record, needing a win to improve its seeding in the NCAA tournament.

No time on the clock. Darius Washington, Jr., thumping a fist into his chest, striding confidently to the free throw line, having been fouled by Francisco Garcia. Louisville clinging to a 75-73 lead. He will have three free throw attempts.

Total silence at the Pyramid, reflecting the collective tension of encounters between the teams over the years, the unpredictable, the unexpected so much a part of the series.

U of L fans getting that sinking feeling as Washington makes the first shot, visions of a devastating defeat presenting themselves. But the next two shots rim off the basket. He crumples to the floor face down, this hands covering his eyes, an image that lingers today for anyone who witnessed the episode.

As occurred after a four-year lapse in the series during the early nineties, it is difficult for some to imagine the intensity of the on-again, off-again series. But Memphis has been as good, if not better, in recent years than it was when the series was in full blossom. Having U of L on the schedule with a 9-0 record is all the inspiration a 5-3 Memphis team needs to get it going.

Think the rivalry is in the past? Think again. Here’s that 2004-05 finish:


Pitino torn between five candidates for assistant coaching spot

Rick Pitino still needs one more assistant basketball coach at the University of Louisville  after announcing the addition of Richard Pitino, Jr. and Wyking Jones to his staff Tuesday. He’s undecided on the third choice.

Pitino said Tuesday he is trying to decide between five candidates. “They’re all equal, they’re all great,” he said. “We will announce the name as soon as we make up our minds.”

He indicated that his son has played a key role in the search for the other two assistants. “I gave him a list of criteria and told him to go and find people who meet them.”

The criteria apparently is topped by recruiting, recruiting and recruiting in that order. The assistants get two-year contracts with major buyout clauses if they decide to go elsewhere in the future.

“I’m not looking for someone who wants to be a head coach and I’m telling them that,” said Pitino. “I want people who are ready to hit the road and get Louisville where we want to be.”

Other Pitino notes:

  • Says Jared Swopshire is getting better, has been using the treadmill and may be back before Rakeem Buckles is ready to return.
  • Says he is taking the approach that he doesn’t expect Terrence Jennings to return after submitting his name for the NBA draft. “I learned my lesson with Samardo,” he said.
  • The appeal to take his team to Puerto Rico was turned down by the NCAA. The primary reason Pitino took the job was so U of L could play against the Puerto Rico  national team. That not being possible, Pitino may opt out of the trip.
  • His team may travel to The Bahamas where they would be able to compete against a national team.
  • He will be meeting with some possible transfers into the program next Monday.
  • David Padgett, assistant strength coach, is “in on a couple of jobs” and may not return next season.
  • Richard’s baby girl was born Monday in Gainesville. 

More coverage of the press conference at Cardinal Laws.

Report: Troy Jackson gone

Jersey Chaser, a basketball blog, is reporting that Troy Jackson, a former University of Louisville basketball player, has died.

Jackson, who reportedly weighed in excess of 500 pounds at times, played under Denny Crum for two seasons, from 1996 to 1998. He later played with AND1 on the Streetball Mix Tape Tour.

He is the brother of Mark Jackson, a former NBA star and ESPN analyst, and the uncle of Mark Jackson, Jr., a member of the current Louisville team.

Always enjoyed watching Troy play.

Here’s a video:

Louisville interest in NBA franchise doubted

J. Bruce Miller, a former County Attorney, is out beating the drums again for a National Basketball Association franchise in Louisville, probably for about the third or fourth time in the last couple of decades.

Miller is joined this time around by a much younger group of proponents led by Zach Doyle who launched the “Bring the Sacramento Kings to Louisville” campaign, but apparently supports any effort to attract pro basketball.

Professional basketball is boring, night in and night out, a real yawner until the playoffs arrive.

The arguments are familiar, the ones about making Louisville a big league city, more than a college town, creating an economic boom, making a vibrant downtown area. As if communities like Oklahoma City and Memphis became world class cities after landing NBA franchises.

J. Bruce has already spent $60,000 in consulting fees in a few months, apparently with the encouragement of Metro Council member Dan Johnson. That’s without much of the community knowing city funds were involved.

Some of us were fans of the Colonels in the defunct American Basketball Association, quite disappointed actually when John Y. Brown, Jr. didn’t come up with the $2 million that would have made the Colonels an NBA team in the Seventies.

But we’ve long since gotten over the disappointment. Didn’t take long. You see the city already has a good basketball program, one to which we’re quite attached. We don’t like competition for the hearts and minds of local fans. There’s more than enough from Lexington already.

Professional basketball is boring, night in and night out, a real yawner until the playoffs arrive. But even the playoffs don’t get interesting until the final series. We wish you well, J. Bruce and Zach, but don’t expect any more support from UofL administrators, supporters and fans than previous efforts enjoyed.