Like Louisville Can Still Get Ticket Punched

Here goes an exercise in futility.

For the University of Louisville basketball team to get to the NCAA tournament, some unlikely things will  have to occur, including some unbelievable breaks over the next three weeks or so. Meanwhile, here’s a few suggestions:

  • Samardo Samuels — Quit being nice. Shock teammates, get in their faces, demand intensity and toughness. Transform that permanent look of disappointment into a scowl. That seems to be what gets attention these days.
  • Terrence Jennings — Wise up, get serious in practice, learn the offense, know what a rebound is, guard someone, admit it’s not cool looking lost. Otherwise, quit wasting the scholarship
  • Edgar Sosa — Pick up where he left off before the St. John’s loss, remembering why he wasn’t in the last five minutes of that embarrassment — not finding his teammates, not making clean passes, not protecting the ball.
  • Jerry Smith — Return to being a long-range shooter, convince himself he’s not in a permanent slump. Time is short, playing days almost over.
  • Jared Swopshire — Show some kind of emotion — happy, sad, even bored will do, proving he’s not a robot. Looks mechanical whether he’s shooting a free throw, rolling around in a scuffle or diving for a loose ball.
  • Preston Knowles — Take care of the ball, go back to being fearless.
  • Peyton Siva — Take more of those NBA-range three-point shots, being careful with the passes.
  • Rick Pitino — Figure out which of the seven or eight players are most effective. Get past the experimentation and mind-playing games. Constantly changing the formula not good science or good for team chemistry.

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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.

12 thoughts on “Like Louisville Can Still Get Ticket Punched

  • February 12, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Who knew when Shakespeare had Hamlet say “Perchance to dream” he was pre-channelling the UofLCardGame?

    • February 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

      That’s quite a compliment there, cbcard. Probably too many challenges but until the New York Daily News story broke, we were already in. Louisville was due for a clunker.

  • February 13, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Charlie, The first step is getting Coach Pitino to relinquish the head games – do you think he can do that?… or is that so ingrained in his being that he can’t? Until he does the proper chemistry and line up may never happen.
    He just needs to be a smart-direct coach with his team.
    I wish he would tap into your suggestions…they make so much sense.

    • February 13, 2010 at 9:32 am

      One has to wonder if he even listens to Willard.

  • February 13, 2010 at 7:46 am

    After watching the St. John’s game where we gave up, and only 7 points and 7 turnovers in 64 minutes by the seniors, shooting 4-21 combined in FFs, 3s, AND FGs, I agree with T-Will and Crum, and the salvos they have volleyed at Pitino and the Cards.

    I love my boys, but damn, to just give up in a game? that is not Louisville basketball…..that is Louisville football under Kragthorpe.

    I hope we make it, but it will mean a lot of bench time for our seniors, and putting the best players out on the floor, regardless of class.

  • February 13, 2010 at 10:38 am

    A lot of people talk about Pitino’s lineups and substitution patterns. There is something of value in this.

    Playing 10 or more guys in an ever changing pattern looks great when we win. Everyone can brag about depth and wearing down the opponent. But the other side of the coin is when we lose, or win but play poorly, the comments are about lack of rhythm, not getting into a pattern, and not giving players confidence and a sense of their role. There is validity to both sides.

    I do know that when Denny was winning here, and in the last several years losing, I would turn to my wife and say “so and so is coming in for a different so and so” and be three seconds ahead of the player standing up to go in. I have never, ever, been able to do this with Pitino. Nor have any of the friends with whom I talk basketball. But then again we don’t get paid millions to coach.

    The bottom line is whether I (or we) like what I perceive to be mind games, shifting lineups and bizarre substitution patterns I am not the coach.

    But I sure have to wonder.

  • February 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Amen, cbcard, I too have questioned rotation of everyone on the team except the team managers and ballboys. When you put someone in cold off the bench (Marra, Kuric, Knowles) and expect them to start bombing threes like they do in practice, you need to have your head examined. No one should be expected to hit threes until they’ve had 2 or 3 defensive sets to work up a little sweat.

    The whole deal looks like patch work, helter-skelter crisis management, where the victories come when the players out play the coaching.

  • February 14, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Nothing gets under my skin more than to see this team play down to their competitions level, as witnessed last Thursday at St. John’s. I got a feeling the Cards can pull this one off later today. When they play good teams, it’s the only time they seem to bring it.

  • February 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I love it when a plan comes together.

      • February 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

        I hope so. There are no easy one’s left. Every game from here on is a must win.

  • February 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Funny thing. I woke up this morning feeling strangely optimistic about this game. And now that we’ve won it, I have a sense of foreboding about the rest of the season.

    We have to take care of business against the likes of DePaul, Marquette and Notre Dame, and another win against Georgetown or Syracuse wouldn’t hurt. As we learned against St. John’s, and Syracuse learned today, there are no gimmes in the Big East.

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