South Florida Mirage

Louisville fans can be forgiven if they relax against South Florida. The Bulls have been down so long it’s hard to remember if they were ever a serious basketball threat. USF is trudging along with 10-9 won-lost record and is mired in a five-game losing streak.

But Cardinal fanatics should know better by now. This team can’t let up against anyone, not at home, not on the road. This South Florida team was very much in the game at Seton Hall last Thursday before finally succumbing by 10 points. Highlights include a win over Florida State 68-67 at Tallahassee and a 23-point spanking of Rutgers at Tampa.

The Bulls are backed into a corner, trying to salvage their season. They view the U of L game as an opportunity to salvage their manhood, ala Seton Hall. USF has a balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging double figures. They are led by 6-foot-9 Kentrell Gransberry with 16.9 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Their rowdy fans have always hated anything U of L, often taunting coaches and players on the bench. This is not a team to be overlooked or pitied.

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Anyone else needing a college football fix? News from the Schnellenger Complex is that the Spring Scrimmage has been set for April 19th. By the way, football signing day is February 6th.

View From The Valley

U of L looked like a team to be reckoned with in the Marquette win. Persistence on defense. Patience on offense. Brimming with confidence, surely headed back to the top 25.

The Cards didn’t play that badly in the loss to Seton Hall, at least not until the final four minutes. From that point on, they suddenly couldn’t pass, shoot or play defense. Ran out of gas, lost their poise, rolled over and died.

Seton Hall, meanwhile, was playing the game of its life, buoyed by the prospect of beating what their coach described as a “legendary program.” The Pirate fans were pumped, on the verge of hysteria, at the prospect of pulling off the big upset. The players and fans were feeding off on each other. Hazell who? Just throw the ball up from anywhere, that’s who. Crazy stuff.

It’s a game U of L players and fans won’t soon forget. A letdown was inevitable after Marquette, even though it didn’t become obvious until the fatal four minute mark. May be fortunate that such a loss comes early in conference competition. Need to get a chip on the shoulder, and keep it there. Can’t take anything for granted when every game against the Cards means so much to every opponent.