Monday, February 27, 2023


University of Louisville News & Perspectives

Kentucky snuffs Louisville in just another game

That didn’t work out well. Talent over experience and coaching. A lingering theme in this rivalry.

Some players disappear during big games, some overplay their hand and others don’t show up at all, as was illustrated so clearly in University of Louisville’s 73-66 loss to Kentucky Saturday. Those who didn’t show up will be spared any mention.

  • Russ Smith, the leading scorer with 19 points, maybe trying too hard to impress all the pro scouts in Rupp Arena, too many impossible passes while trying to rack up an impressive assist total. Managing only four assists in the game while committing four costly turnovers. Sometimes you just got to let him go, do his thing. Too much thinking not a good thing.
  • Chris Jones, unfazed by the big time environment, making UofL competitive in the first half, connecting on three of nine three-point attempts, winding up with 18 points. UK apparently figured him out in the second half, and that may have been the key to the win.
  • Luke Hancock will never have a lack of confidence, no matter who UofL is playing in any situation. He may, however, still be having problems with that Achilles’ heal, badly affecting his stability and accuracy.

  • Stephan Van Treese logged 18 minutes too many in this game, taking up room, passing up shots, somehow managing five of UofL’s 12 offensive rebounds. One point total. Passing up an open shot at point blank range in the final minute.
  • Mangok Mathiang with four blocks? That’s a start. Keep watching those Gorgui videos but spend more time on rebounding. Three don’t get the job done.

All the pre-game talk by some players about the UofL-Kentucky encounter being just another game loses credibility when their facial expressions and their inability to perform suggest otherwise.

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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.