Making The Right Turn

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 Louisville’s fortunes this season have run the gamut – 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.

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Stewart Ijames Out – Rivals is reporting the sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames will miss the entire 2009 baseball season, due to a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder (his throwing arm).  Ijames

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 “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.

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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.

One thought on “Making The Right Turn

  • February 18, 2009 at 10:06 am

    No easy road ahead for the Pitno guys to finish the regular season, but I firmly believe that there are no easy games in the Big East anymore. Do we really need 18 games in this conference? Fifteen would do just fine, in my opinion. Play everybody once and allow for a few more rivalry matchups. Who wouldn’t love to see the Cards play the Vols again, IU down the road or old pal Memphis?

    These six games that remain could be worse. No UConn, Syracuse, Notre Dame or Pitt to deal with. Chances are we’ll have to deal with Mr. Blair and Thabeet in the tourney and if you want an indiction of who will be the probable top two vote getters for Big East Player of the Year, here’s your sign.

    It begins tonight. Providence beatable, but we must stop the three and hit the three.

    Cincy is a trap game. We face a coach who knows the Pitino system and the Bearcats are fighting to get out of the five games in five days marathon that awaits in MSG.

    Georgetown could very well put one in the loss column for us. Guard play will have to be excellent in this one and T-Will wrist situation could be the difference here.

    Marquette in the Hall will be a knockdown, drag out brawl. These guys don’t like each other very much, and the Golden Eagles are still proving that the early season predictions about them were inaccurate and way off.

    Seton Hall is really the only one I feel confident about adding to the win column without hesitaion.

    Then, it’s Huggie and WVU in the Morgantown spaceship. Tough way to end the season. They’ll be pumped and looking for a little payback from the loss to us here.

    I’ll say a 4-2 finish. A very conservative estimate. Would prefer a 6-0. Gladly accept a 5-1. Pray it isn’t 3-3 or worse.

    Great time of the year, isn’t it?

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