Louisville’s defense slightly better than Vandy’s

Video courtesy of David Miller fresh back from Louisville’s 62-60 overtime win over Vanderbilt. Thanks Mr. Miller, thinking of his fellow fans (turn the volume way up):

Basketball is finally back for real, the preliminaries out of the way, time to get serious.

This University of Louisville team will have to battle for every basket against decent teams, accept the fact, get used to it.  Should come as no surprise, with defensive effort accounting for most of the wins Rick Pitino has accumulated over the past decade. Not good enough to hold John Jenkins of Vanderbilt under 27 points, but few teams will stop him.

Louisville ran into another good defensive team Friday, U of L blessed with every shot that made it home, falling behind nine points with eight minutes to go in regulation, and trailing by five points in overtime. When things get desperate, Pitino turns up the heat, all hell breaks loose, creating daylight and scoring opportunities.

  • Injuries have taken their toll on Peyton Siva who appears to be playing in slow motion since missing three games. Fortunately just enough speed and even more moxie to make those impossible shots under crowded baskets.
  • Russ Smith is so much quicker than everyone on the floor, may be that’s why Siva seems so slow. If Smith could only take advantage of the openings his speed creates, he would be a dangerous weapon.
  • Gorgui Dieng is at his best when he doesn’t have time to think about what he’s doing. When this game becomes less of an curiosity and more of a must-win attitude, he’s going to be hard to stop.
  • Chane Behanan reminds veteran fans so much of Rodney McCray with his wide body, the toughness and natural abilities. He will never be intimidated, that’s for certain.
  • Chris Smith kind of disappeared in this one, a testament to Vanderbilt’s defense.
  • Kyle Kuric, looking a little rusty for some reason, but still making the most memorable-shots-other-than-game-winner with that high-flying Alley Oop and another one of his specialties from the corner. The scorebook says he had 10 other points nobody will remember, leading U of L with 15 points.

The crowd, wow, those U of L fans, about as loud and crazy as any in recent memory, lovin’ that “Sand Storm” background. Jubilant, ecstatic. U of L basketball is back, front and center.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Louisville’s defense slightly better than Vandy’s

  • December 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    What a game. Never quite sure the Cards were going to win. Yet also, never counting them out. Reminds me of the Cardiac Cards of the 80’s.

    Now tha I’m older, and have a heart condition, I’m not sure I “like” this, but I will say, it’s very familiar, and somewhat comforting.

    CRP has done a top notch coaching job. The tream chemistry reminds me of the Grif’ Lancaster Gordon, Rodney McCray days. Anything is possible.

    It will be quite cool to see the team when they are healthly and whole.

    All-in-all, it’s been a helluva season so far.

    Go Cards!!!!!

  • December 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    What a SEC homer Jimmy Dykes was last night. Made me sick to hear over and over how this win would be so great for Vandy. Louisville never gets the credit they deserve from the media(ESPN). It’s time to make some noise Cards nation, we should complain, write, boo, whatever is needed to let the media know we have had enough. We need to fight to let everyone know what great programs and fans we have! Go Cards!!!

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