Louisville On The Road Again

One doesn’t go into hibernation after a loss, hiding the ratty head in the sand, believing everything is for naught. Losses occur, but one has to keep advancing. Learning from mistakes this University of Louisville basketball team.

Syracuse, meanwhile, possibly afflicted with the not-taking-an-opponent-seriously virus, showing up for a sure win with its 31,000 followers. The number had to include a half dozen swollen-fingered twitterers who had predicted the Orange would  “pummel” Rick Pitino’s team.

  • What will be remembered about this win is the play of Mike Marra, the freshman with the questionable three-point shooting ability. Apparently just a matter of time finding the right trajectory. Finding it against the second-ranked team in the country, showing why Pitino wants him in there.
  • One could watch the replays numerous times and still wonder why Rakeem Buckles was getting so much playing time. He makes up for his shortcomings with boundless energy, getting in people’s faces, keeping the ball alive, even scoring at times.
  • Samardo Samuels, still sluggish since the second half at St. John’s, finally coming around in the final 20 minutes at the Carrier Dome, crashing the boards, making impossible shots along with that thundering dunk.
  • Edgar Sosa again missing a free throw and a chance to seal a game. But he’s going to do that, it’s part of his repertoire. So are those three-point shots he collects every so often. But when he adds five assists, Sosa is keeping Louisville in contention.
  • Jerry Smith, back to slumping or not, not getting pushed around, somehow managing five rebounds. Making only two points, but two free throws coming when they are needed the most.

So Louisville is back on the rocky road to the NCAA tournament, the disbelievers forced to return to the wagon. Perhaps the best news is that Louisville will take all of the remaining opponents seriously, even DePaul. Surely.

Louisville-Syracuse Box Score

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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.

4 thoughts on “Louisville On The Road Again

  • February 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    How bad is our outside shooting? Marra is a hero for hitting .333. But maybe he is ready to be the shooter Pitino has said he is. That would prove to be huge.

    No matter what though this was a great win. We seemed to have thought about spitting the bit again but for the first time all year didn’t. A great win. Who would have thought we would be 1-1 on this trip with a loss to St. John’s and a win at Syracuse.

    • February 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      .333 from 3-point range = .500 from 2-point range. I’l take it.

      • February 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

        Your math is fine but 33% is only the breakeven point. The best teams generally have a guy or two shooting 38-43% as we did last year. We are lacking as an outside shooting team. And that makes it tougher to get the ball to our bigs. Our designated shooters need to be better than 33% for us to be a better team. Hopefully Marra will use this game as a springboard to get there.

  • February 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Jennings was big in the first half when Samuels went to the bench with foul trouble. Buckles still has freshman hands and a freshman mentality, but he goes hard out there and continues to improve.

    Finally, a quality win for the Cards. Back on the bubble and a win against Notre Dame Weds would be huge. With Harangody’s status up in the air, the Cards need this next one in a big way.

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