By Paul Sykes

Not a lot of defense in the Derby Classic Saturday night at Freedom Hall, as the Louisville-loaded Black team defeated the White team 133-124 before an estimated crowd of 6,500.

For most of the game, it wasn’t nearly that close. The Black Squad with U of L signees Justin Coleman, Russ Smith, Elisha Justice and Cardinal recruit Giogia Dieng led by 20-plus points throughout most of the second half.


Coleman tossed in 24 points to lead his teammates to the win while also winning the slam-dunk contest at halftime with an incredible dunk, thanks to an assist from Dieng. The 6-foot-10 Dieng, also a soccer player, flipped the ball into the air with his feet to a soaring Coleman.

Dieng, with 15 points, received the Black team’s MVP award, an honor which surprised several Cardinal fans.  “Dieng played a great game inside but Coleman was clearly the best player out there on the court.” observed U of L fan Ernie Garvin. “Rick Pitino is going to love Coleman’s versatility and shooting skills. I think they gave the MVP to Dieng to try and sway him to commit to U of L”

UK fan Park Muhlheizler agreed. “Coleman has the potential to be a game changer. I wish he was headed to Lexington for college. I’m happy with the signing of Stacy (Poole, Jr.) and I think he’ll fit Calipari’s system real well … but Coleman, that guy’s got game.”

Elisha Justice delighted the pro-U of L crowd with contributed 12 points, five assists, five rebounds and a game-high four steals, prompting Tom Cahill, a long time Cardinal supporter noted that “Justice understands what a point guard needs to do on the court. He’ll fit Pitino-ball very well.”

Share this

By Paul Sykes

Paul Sykes owns Paul Sykes Advertising and does contract work for other advertising and publishing firms. The proud husband of Sonja, he has a fascination with bears, bars and Cardinal sports. He's also the moderator of

6 thoughts on “Louisville Recruits Prevail In Derby Classic”
  1. Coleman was a beast, he is good player next terrence williams he is the guy we was missing on that wing spot,,he can rebound score and run the floor he is good good player, but I was surprise by Justice the kid can play and was very impressive he looked good as everyone else,,but Dieng was best big man in game with 8 blocks. I hope he signs with cards

  2. Dieng was a heck of a post player. Coleman was really athletic and versatile. Don’t get too hyped on justice, it was a all star game with no defense. He will get eaten alive by teams from the big east.

  3. If the past has taught us anything, we have learned that a basketball team can never have enough guards ready to step in if needed. Ask Jeff Walz. Justice may not ever start or garner All-Big East honors but he’s a point guard that really want to play that position. I’m glad he is a Cardinal and he just may surprise a few people with the skills he has.

  4. Justice may be one of those typical Indiana or Kentucky kids, like Kyle Kuric or Preston Knowles, respectively, who just go about doing their jobs, having great games now and then but players you can consistently count on to contribute in one way or another. They listen to their coach, they keep working to get better and they make for a stronger team overall. You don’t have to worry about them thinking about going pro; they just want to play and win.

  5. Don’t get me wrong, more than happy to see pitino win over an in state boy and I hope he does well just don’t see him doing much more than a lee steiden or stuart miller.

Comments are closed.