Something magical happened with Samardo Samuels a few games back. A flash of light. An awakening. A whole new outlook. Different approach to the game.

Going from being clumsy and awkward, unable to catch a pass, letting other bigger guys have their way with him, and unable to make a contested shot to …

To a Samardo Samuels, who is confident, self-assured, aggressive and driven, not backing down to anyone anymore, knowing how to score, determined to make things happen. No longer out there just marking time or taking up space, he has found purpose and desire.

The University of Louisville defeated Notre Dame 91-89 in two overtimes riding on the shoulders of Samardo Samuels. Bruised and battered, he was just too much for FOUR defenders fouling out in their efforts to slow him down.

And guess who blocked the final Notre Dame shot?

An epic performance by Samardo Samuels, with a career high 36 points, including 16 or 19 free throw attempts, refusing to wilt during his 46 minutes of playing time. He is a changed man and every player on this team knows he’s the man.

Yes, he has absorbed an infinitesimal number of Rick Pitino motivational speeches. Nodding yes, yes, yes, uh huh, okay.

But it wasn’t until Samardo Samuels looked deep within himself that a turnaround began a few weeks ago, finding a big heart and an abundance of fortitude and determination, resulting in a new and overwhelming desire to win. The outlook for University of Louisville basketball changed with him.

Notre Dame-Louisville Box Score

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

7 thoughts on “A New Samardo Samuels Leads Louisville”
  1. OMG, I’m still a nervous wreck – what a game and awesome win for our Cardinals. SamSam was unstoppable… to go take a nitro pill…cardiac Cards do it again (4-1 in February) GO CARDS!!!!

  2. AAAAAH! I am so impressed….. and surprised — they fought so hard – I can’t believe it!!!! – I screamed at the TV until I was horse. GGGGOOOOOO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The big RED WAVE has ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Being in the Hall last night to watch this unforgettable win was like being hooked up to a generator…with the enthusiasm and occasional jolt of disappointment keeping the fans standing, cheering and basically going nuts the entire second half and thru both overtimes. Screaming in frustration as Hansborough methodically worked the ball down the left side of the court and answered for N.D. time after time.

    Enough cannot be said about the way Samuels took control and decided to “own it” last night. Notre Dame fans will mutter and point to the fact that Harangody was sitting on the bench in a sweater vest watching…but this was just one whale of a great basketball game to watch…regardless of who won.

    I’m glad it was us.

  4. Great game and one we would have lost earlier in the year. But every coin has two sides. We absolutely have no one who can defend dribble penetration. What is worse is that as the game went on this penetration became more and more one sided. In fact in the second overtime it was virtually 100%.

    What am I talking about? Every time the ND player went to his left! Every darned time in the second OT!!! It’s bad enough we can’t stop drives to the hole but we can’t even stop one dimensional penetration.

    No matter how much heart this team plays with this failing is likely to doom us when matched up against the wrong opponent in the NCAA.

    But then again, after St. Johns who’d a thunk we’d be dancing. Go Cards.

  5. Truth is, we miss Andre more than anyone from last year’s team. With his incredible defense, he really was the guy who made things happen. T-will and Clark were off and on but Andre was consistently good.

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