Rick Pitino made a big point about taking care of the basketball in his pre-game remarks, pointing out how teams with fewer than 10 turnovers had done well against Georgetown.
May have been a little too emphatic. University of Louisville players perhaps concluding, “Take fewer chances, make less mistakes, our team wins.”
So they go overboard taking care to protect the ball. No crazy stuff, no reckless abandon, and no emotion but a lot of missed hook shots, layups and other close-in shots.
Reminded the observer of a mid-season NBA game, players expending a minimum of effort on both ends of the court. A plodding, mechanical, methodical affair with a minimum of risk and emotion.
Louisville makes only nine turnovers. Mission accomplished in that area.
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The crowd also being careful, guarded, tired of being jerked around, displaying a minimum of emotion in the next to last scheduled game at Freedom Hall. Little, if any, spontaneity, cheering only when expected, sitting on hands, young and old. Against Georgetown, the nation’s 11th-ranked team.
Perhaps U of L having been spoiled by late February runs in recent seasons, waiting for it to happen again on schedule. Poke us when it’s time to get excited, okay?
By the time many Freedom Hallers returned to their seats after the intermission, Georgetown was in the midst of a 21-3 run.
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With apologies to Edgar Sosa and his 24 points, eight assists and two rebounds, Terrence Jennings seemed to be the only Louisville player not on automatic pilot. His backboard rattling dunk was one of the few genuinely exciting moments all night. He was also intimidating Georgetown shooters, daring them to shoot over him.
Alas for Jennings and anything to get the crowd stirred, Jennings would become a rare commodity in the second half, wasting away, getting still more on-the-job training riding the bench.