Big East out with conference basketball opponents

Back to reality for the overly optimistic.

The Big East is out with the conference basketball opponents. No dates. They usually save those for the eve of the home football openers just to remind everyone of an eccentricity with basketball.

No gimmes among the opponents the University of Louisville will play twice — Notre Dame, Seton Hall, South Florida and Syracuse, each loaded with returning talent.

The good news is U of L won’t have to compete on the home courts of Cincinnati and Marquette but tempered by having to play at DePaul again.

Home Cincinnati, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse
Away Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse, Villanova

Quadruple double for Gorgui Dieng?

The official scorer credited Gorgui Dieng with his fifth double-double in as many games for his 11 points and 14 rebounds.

What’s more noteworthy, however, was the number of blocks the scorer missed in Louisville’s 60-51 win at Seton Hall. Astonishing, the final stats give Dieng credit for only five blocked shots.

Should have been a triple double. We’re pretty sure he had at least three blocks on each of a couple of sequences beneath the Seton Hall basket.

A block here, a block there, a block everywhere all night long.

No plausible explanation for anything under a dozen blocks.

While replays are readily available, we’re not about to watch that game again for verification. An ugly one no matter who one was pulling for.

If the number of times the big guy intimidated shooters or altered shots were tracked, Dieng would surely have had a quadruple-double.

While his teammates were shooting air balls, slipping and sliding, throwing passes away, and gasping for air, Dieng was the barrier Seton Hall could not overcome.

Dieng doing everything he could to protect his teammates from themselves. He never seems to get emotional, approaches his job in a matter of fact way, focusing on the business at hand.

Whether that business shows up in the official box score or not.

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.

Louisville Baseball Extends Win Streak To 7

University of Louisville shortstop Adam Duvall bounces a pitch off home plate during the eighth inning of Friday’s baseball game against Seton Hall. Not the best day for Duvall who was hitless in four at-bats. U of L won, 4-2.

Andrew Clark Schools Seton Hall Catcher

Big guy, Andrew Clark. Stands 6-foot-3, weighs 225. All muscle.

Better be ready Frank Esposito, Seton Hall catcher.  He’s barreling down on you from third base.  Hold on to that ball. Got it. Here he comes.

Boom. Where’d the ball go? Oh, there it is, over there. Runner safe.

Andrew Clark and Dan McDonnell

Clark had led off the eighth inning with the score tied 2-2. A towering blast to right center, putting him on third base with his second triple of the season.

He headed for home plate while Ryan Wright was arriving at first base on a fielder’s choice. Clearly beaten by the ball, Clark had no choice but to go full force. Esposito was examined by the team trainer for several minutes, and left the game after the inning was over.

Louisville would go on to win 4-2, notching its seventh consecutive win, improving its record to 31-6 overall and 10-4 in the Big East.

Clark had doubled in the fourth, crossing the plate after a Wright single.

The Louisville first baseman is the leading hitter on the team, with a hefty .388 batting average. Opposing pitchers — and catchers — hate to see him coming coming their way.

Louisville Baseball Place To Be

The best entertainment dollar, well, it’s free for now, in town is University of Louisville baseball at Jim Patterson Stadium. U of L is scheduled to take on Seton Hall in a three-game series this weekend, opening Friday with a 6 p.m. game. The 11th ranked Cardinals are 30-6 overall and 9-3 in the Big East Conference. The starting pitcher nod will probably go to Thomas Royse (7-1). Below, U of L President James Ramsey, with his unusual delivery, throws the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday prior to a 7-4 win over Western Kentucky. (Click on photos to enlarge.)