Good way to start the basketball season, against an undermanned opponent that will get much better when all the suspensions are lifted, making a University of Louisville 96-66 win over Arkansas difficult for the NCAA tournament selection committee to overlook in March.

  • A deserved pasting for John Pelphrey, the Kentucky mountain man. Pelphrey having mental contortions, losing to the school he hates the most, coached by Rick Pitino, the man and coach he idolizes.
  • Jared Swopshire the pleasant surprise. One never knows what Pitino is trying to accomplish when he says a player is the most improved. He was right for once, Swopshire a force on the boards with 13 rebounds. Good form on that three-pointer as well.
  • Pitino may have been right, too, about Edgar Sosa being a changed man. Not one sulk to go with his five assists, three rebounds and 12 points. Played with high levels of confidence.
  • Not a good debut for Mike Marra who Pitino said was the best high school shooter he has ever seen, not coming close on any of his four shots.
  • The inside game still needs lots and lots of work, because it doesn’t come naturally for Samardo Samuels. Still playing far below the rim, getting pushed around. Not an offensive threat against legitimate teams when it counts.
  • Reginald Delk didn’t let a year on the bench shake his psyche, 18 points for scoring honors. A role player playing his role to perfection.
  • Peyton Siva providing a little preview of many good things to come with that reverse layup while taking a pounding.

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By Charlie Springer

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

7 thoughts on “For Starters, A Win Over Arkansas”
  1. The inside game is a glaring weak spot right now. Samardo showed so much promise at the beginning of last season only to melt into the woodwork. He will get eaten alive all over again in the Big East if doesn’t start manning up.

  2. I can’t call this game one you can count. Really-
    Pelphrey and his team did their best – for the circumstances at hand.
    This win was predictable for the Cards.

  3. this was the same arkansas team that dropped 130 in their season opener. and of those 5 players, 1 was a walk on, 1 was a freshman, and only 1 would have seen real minutes. good job cards.

  4. Can someone tell me what is going on with George Goode? Is he injured? He looked healthy and happy on the bench last night, but it appeared that he never took his warmup off. I thought that he showed some good inside potential last season.

  5. Marra’s shot struggles looked like an adrenalin overdose to me — all his misses were long. He’ll be fine.

    “Bad Edgar” made a couple of cameos, but for the most part Sosa looked equally jacked about distributing and defending as scoring.

    Samuels isn’t as dominating inside as he could be, but by the same token, the guards need to develop a better sense of when and where to get him the ball. Most of the entry passes were about half a beat late, IMO.

    Similarly, if Terence Jennings doesn’t see the ball more often, he’ll never gain any confidence on offense. C’mon, guys — we still need inside presence when Samardo’s on the bench….

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