The journey has arrived at a crossroads. One road leads in the direction of a possible Final Four appearance, the other to still another detour on the return to prominence.
When your team has played in the NCAA basketball tournament 34 times, made the semifinals eight times, and won the national championship twice, anything less than a Final Four appearance is frustrating.
The University of Louisvilleâ€™s fortunes this season have run the gamut â€“ from a lofty pre-season ranking of No. 3 in the national polls to a fall from the top 20 after shocking losses to Western Kentucky and Nevada-Las Vegas, followed by an amazing 10-game winning streak with wins over two top 10 teams, only to lose two of the last four games.
This team has shown flashes of making something special happen. But this same group of players has also been plagued by ongoing issues that would have to be resolved quickly to make the special possible. They have performed as spectacularly at times as they have played poorly.
Six more games. Two more weeks in the regular season. So close but yet so far, and the road ahead is anything but predictable.
*Â Â *Â Â *
As a freshman last season, Ijames batted .351 with eight homers and 39 RBIs. He also recorded 11 doubles, two triples and 98 total bases. Additionally, he had a .583 slugging percentage and a .401 on-base percentage.
“Stewart has had trouble with that arm since the summer after his high school career ended and it also bothered him last season,” Coach Dan McDonnell told Rivals.com. “In terms of surgery, it’s not necessarily a given that an outfielder with this injury must have surgery, but we’re still exploring our options.”
Ijames will receive a medical redshirt this season and will have three years to play.