When you’re winning, things are fine, the shortcomings or flaws easy to overlook. But it’s pretty obvious that Louisville is not a decent three-point shooting team and there’s a big drop off when Rick Pitino goes to the bench. Other worrisome, bothersome things, needing to get them out of the system; throwing them out there:

lville21.jpgBack before the nine-game winning streak began, one got the feeling that games were heavily scripted. When the Cards deviate from the script, things can go awry. The players forget their lines, Rick Pitino calls time out, gets them back into their roles. Give the talent level, it’s a shame they need so much direction.

lville21.jpg David Padgett seems to need increasing amounts of rest, he will need even more during the tournament grind. When he leaves, you know it’s coming, the sputtering offense, the scoring droughts.

lville21.jpg Earl Clark’s passes to invisible players, usually just when the Cards appear to be gaining some momentum.

lville21.jpg Juan Palacios bounding around the court, seemingly out of control much of the time.

lville21.jpgFree throw shooting, getting worse instead of better. Hit them, other teams do, mental or not.

lville21.jpgDefying all logic, Derrick Caracter becoming one of the team’s better free throw shooters lately.

Every team has weaknesses, U of L is not unique. What’s surprising is what the Cards been able to accomplish this season in spite of their weaknesses. Pitino never gets enough credit because he’s expected to be a good coach. The achievements this season should underscore his exceptional abilities, and give U of L fans plenty of reason for optimism as tourney time begins.

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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.