Cards, We Barely Know Ye

Not at the point of looking for answers, at least not yet.
Crunch time has arrived in Rick Pitino's most recent chapter.

The time has finally arrived.

The exhibition games, the embarrassing early-season loss, the coming back down to earth for inflated players and fans, the uncomfortably close games and run-away wins against no-chance schools.

Done.

Time for testing, time for growth, time to take the real measure of this year’s University of Louisville basketball team. The results during the early going really haven’t revealed much about how the Cards will perform. What we do know is that this is a team missing the leadership skills of David Padgett, and still waiting to see who will fill the void.

Rick Pitino says he likes this team but it’s obvious he has been using the early season to find the best player combinations. The question is whether he has found a few solutions or whether questions still outnumber answers.

The Cards have gotten off to slow starts in most games, even against lesser talented teams, largely relying on superior depth to wilt the opposition. No evidence whatsoever of a team that will dominate even average teams and little indication of a killer instinct.

At least, not yet.

Time to see how quickly a group of freshmen with vast potential will mature against real competition. Thus far, the Cards have played down to the level of the competition, or even below the level in the loss to Western Kentucky.

The real season begins against Mississippi in the Big East-SEC basketball challenge at Cincinnati. Conference pride at stake, time to salvage some of it after the the Big East lost the first two games in the challenge. Not good to lose to SEC schools; they will never let you forget.

Next in quick succession come Minnesota, UAB, Las Vegas, and Kentucky.

The time has arrived.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

2 thoughts on “Cards, We Barely Know Ye

  • December 18, 2008 at 9:10 am
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    “The real season begins against Mississippi in the Big East-SEC basketball challenge at Cincinnati. Conference pride at stake, time to salvage some of it after the the Big East lost the first two games in the challenge.”

    Kind of hard to take the “challenge” games seriously or think of pride being at stake after the ridiculous match-ups in the first two games. Pitting last year’s SEC #1 against last year’s Big East #6, and Last year’s SEC #4 against last year’s Big East #15 doesn’t make any sense. More of the same today with the SEC #2 against Big East #10. Only Louisville (#2) agains Ole Miss (#7) bucks the trend of favoring the SEC, but still doesn’t bear any resemblence to the traditional “challenges” like the ACC/Big Ten Challenge where teams that finished in the same position in each conference go head to head. It’s almost as if the current match-ups are an acknowledgement that the Big East is the better conference.

  • December 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm
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    This is a tough two game stretch for UofL. Similar to what they will experience in Big EAST tournament play or NCAA 1st and 2nd Round play. Best of luck to the CARDS and Hi to big sis Sonja!

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