That should get somebody’s attention.

A mere formality this trip to Nashville to play Western Kentucky. Handling the Hilltoppers not much to get worked up about on a wet and lazy Sunday afternoon. No reason to be too concerned as the Cards miss their first eight field goal attempts. It’s only Western Kentucky.

With the quote of the South Alabama coach about “may be looking at the next national champions” ringing in their ears all week long, the Cards were looking down the road but they were looking way past WKU.

Always a danger with young players is looking back at what has been accomplished in the past, combining it with lofty expectations, and expecting to win by simply going through the motions. Conveniently forgetting what it took to get to the Elite Eight last season, all the work it took to get there.

Complacency was reflected in the court demeanor of the players — the lack of emotion, the missing sense of urgency, the look-at-me-I’m-too-cool-to-get-excited feel about playing Western Kentucky attitudes were dominant until the final two minutes when the misplaced arrogance was finally replaced by desperation.

All the inflated confidence about depth, how really deep this team is, was exposed as a myth for the time being. Six of the players being counted on this season have three or less college games behind them. Remains to be seen whether any of them are ready for the big time, based on today’s result.

Unfortunate that it takes a loss to get the attention of not only the newcomers but the veterans as well. Rick Pitino will undoubtedly have their undivided attention this week.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Casual Trip To Nashville, Cards Bow 68-54”
  1. As awful and humiliating as this loss was, it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I believe Coach P will have their attention now after that debacle. We’ll be ok with the talent we have and will probably be in the Final Four when WKU is sitting at home. Western played a great game (Slaughter was awesome and it’s great that he could “show Louisville” what we missed). Horrible loss but let’s hope the guys learn from it and come to play EVERY game for the rest of the season. Go CARDS!

  2. OK. I’ve had a few hours to calm down after this one. A meal. Some light phone conversation with my sister-in-law on the West Coast. The Bears come on in a few minutes. The sun will rise tomorrow. It’s not the end of the world. What it is though, is a truism of an old Denny Crum adage. Coach used to say…you practice like you play, and according to Coach P. ..the Cardinals had an awful week of practice leading up to this one this afternoon. We can list the litany of Cardinal shortcomings this afternoon…horrible outside shooting, horrible rebounding, repeated one of of two from the foul line. You get the idea. It was the perfect storm for the Toppers. Fired up, a chance to prove against a top three ranked team. A Cardinal team that wouldn’t punch them in the mouth inside early and kept letting them hang around.
    A spectacular buzzer beater at halftime to build momentum by a lifelong Cardinal worshipper who ended up as a Hilltopper.

    This is still a very good basketball team. Sometimes a early season slip up can set the motivation for a hard working rest of the season. Opportunity out of defeat. Don Quoxite fighting windmills on horseback. The test, now…is to see if they buy in. We know Rick Pitino can coach. The question now is…will they listen? Unlike the Lady Cards last night, who had to play basically eight on five in the second half last night…the guys lost this one all on their own. Time to clean up the spliied milk, regrab the glass with a strong and steady hand and repour. The talent is there…is the desire and motivation?

  3. And, now you know part of the story behind why WKU leads the series all-time…

    We were not strong rebounders last yr, and we were also erratic shooters from outside, when stuffed on the inside.

    With all our strengths, these two bigweaknesses will keep us from the promised land if not corrected or mitigated.

  4. I hate this playing one game a week crap. Hopefully this will be the last season of that noise. With the new arena there will be no more Freedom Hall scheduling issues. There is a reason teams play two or three games a week. It is to get in the groove with repetition. This UL team simply is not ready for Prime Time. What a waste of an afternoon.

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