Who wakes up first, the fans or the players? Had to be the players today because the crowd wasn’t feeding anyone but itself. Excuse me, but there is a basketball game going on.

The lighting effects, the blasting music, the shrill announcing, that stuff is old hat, creating an artificial atmosphere. Rob Hickerson, the aging cheerleader, was doing his thing in the southeast corner but still heads were nodding. The younger crowd, the brashers always criticizing the older crowd, still recovering from the holiday cheer, one ventures.

The slumber continued until Preston Knowles made good on a three-pointer at the 10 minute mark in the second half to put the University of Louisville ahead to stay at 58-56.

Nothing wakes up a Freedom Hall crowd faster than when the Cards start taking an opponent seriously. The fans are sure to follow.

— UofL would be unbeatable with Preston Knowles playing 30 minutes a game. He plays defense with a ferocity not seen around here since the Roger Burkman days. The bonus with Knowles is that he’s also a shooter, claiming 21 points today.

— Terrence Williams not quite himself yet, still recovering from the knee operation, possibly. And what’s the arm-length bandaging of his left arm? He’s still among the most physically talented players on any floor but he is still working on feeling totally healed maybe.

— Earl Clark just can’t get excited about playing teams without name recognition. Needs to working on his intensity now to be able to manage it in Big East competition.

— Have to keep congratulating Edgar Sosa when he makes good passes like the one to Knowles but we have to look the other way as he mows through people going down the lane.

— Nice to see Samardo Samuels being seen hauling in rebounds, five on the offensive boards (!) and six on the defensive end. Fortunately, he’s a great free throw shooter (9 of 10 today).

— Jarod Swopshire, Terrence Jennings and Reginald Delk need to quit acting like typical freshmen. Talent will get you somewhere.

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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.

10 thoughts on “Shaking Off The Nods, 94-75

  • December 13, 2008 at 4:43 pm
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    The sleeve you’re referring to on T-Will shooting arm is worn by several college & NBA players, it’s designed to keep the shooting arm warm and also keeps persperation from dripping down onto the shooting hand. Not sure if Michael Jackson was the designer or not.

    We usually make our runs in agame when McGee and Preston Knowles aare out there turning up the defense untensity. Rick agrees, stationg so in his post game radio interview this afternoon.

    He also mentioned something about Terry Meiners being an idiot or asking an idiot question at halftime? Any of you who watched the game on TV care to fill in the blanks?

  • December 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm
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    Terry told Pitino they weren’t shooting free throws very well. Pitino didn’t want to be reminded, the old psychology thing nobody likes to talk about.

  • December 14, 2008 at 12:32 am
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    The whole “holier-than-thou” fan routine gets old very quickly. We get that you show up early and stay until they turn the lights off. Lots of people do the same; criticizing those that don’t is shallow.

  • December 15, 2008 at 7:18 am
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    Not sure where or who that comment is intended for, Kool-Aid…but if it was toward me, I’ll just tell you that I fully understand that people arrive and depart games at various times for various reasons. I have a friend who attends every men’s game. He’s headed to the exits with five minutes left. Every time. Doesn’t like the traffic situation post-game. His choice. I also know another couple that gets in there
    when they open the doors. They head straight to one of the hospitality rooms, sometimes never even make it to their seats (which are quite good) and they don’t leave until the hospitality room closes, well after the game is over. Different strokes for different folks..you pay your money, you get to choose. Personally, we never leave until it’s over…regardless of the sport, score or situation. Wasn’t that way all the time when our kids were young…but I’ve seen countless game-changing plays, shots, etc. in the final ticks of the clock over the years, and was glad I’d stayed to see them. But, as I said…there were times years ago when family matters over-ruled length of game attendance. Just make some noise while you’re there, I guess and support your team in the manner you see fit. I try to keep in mind that there are a lot of folks out there who would love to be there but can’t for whatever reason, so I try to make a little extra noise for them, too.

  • December 15, 2008 at 11:35 am
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    For kool-aid above, I am critical of alleged “fans” who are more worried about beating the traffic out of Freedom Hall, than supporting the boys.

    It is not a “holier than thou” routine, it is called being a REAL fan, and taking your support further than a few t-shirts and a UofL license plate on your vehicle……

    Peep game.

    But glad you and all those other “let’s beat the traffic” alleged fans who leave early, or stop coming to games all together in lean times,

    Are NOT true fans. They just follow UofL.

    Sorry if what I said upsets you, and I am not trying to make waves. Just stating my opinion, and I am passionate about supporting our boys (and girls:->).

    I solve the problem it by getting there early, and leaving late. I do my part.

    But then again, I consider myself a fan, and true fans go above and beyond the call of duty. As much as it pains me to say, and as annoying as they are, MANY UK fans make us look sick in comparison as far as fan support. Just look at how the fans travel with the team for example, and UK basketball has been far from stellar last few years. They may bitch, but they have Rupp packed EVERY game, good season or bad season.

  • December 15, 2008 at 4:18 pm
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    Totally agree with Shannon above.

    I would agree about the rather lackluster fan support of UL games. I don’t have season tickets, but whenever I get a chance to go, no matter how good or bad the seats are, I’m there, cheering for the team. The vast majority of the fans at the games are great, but the awful aforementioned fans really get to me. There’s a lot of people who would love to attend every game and would actually show 100% support for the entire game. Non appreciative fans make us look bad.

    I’m not sure if the writer of this blog post watches any other basketball games other than Cardinal basketball…but any self-respecting basketball fan should know a shooting sleeve when they see one. Whether or not it benefits T-Will or he is wearing as a fashion statement is unknown, but players like Kobe, Lebron, and Iverson have been sporting them for years.

  • December 15, 2008 at 5:35 pm
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    I’ve been watching basketball for 50-plus years and the shooting sleeve is a new one to me, possibly because I never watch NBA games.

  • December 15, 2008 at 9:33 pm
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    The shooting sleeve has been pretty common as of late. A good example on the NCAA level we all are familiar with is Dominic James, the point guard at Marquette. He has been wearing one of those for as long as I can remember. All I know is, with that sleeve on, Dominic shoots pretty damn good IMO.

    If I said I knew the exact purpose of the sleeve off the top of my head, would be a lie without refrencing through a quick google search,

    But I am sure it is some kind of principle of stabilizing the elbow to restrict movement for less error in the shooting motion. Like that “brace” thing bowlers wear……..

    Hell, come to think of it, I wonder if one of those “sleeves” would help my lackluster dart game………

    Plus, I could look suave doing it………

  • December 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm
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    Dominic James is a great example. I’m thinking Johnny Flynn or some other Big East guard has worn one for a while now.

    I could be mistaken, but I think T-Will wears his around his left arm, which is kind of strange. Most shooters wear it on their shooting arm. As mentioned above, alot of players wear it to keep the joints warm, restrict elbow movement, or absorb sweat.

    When Pitino was asked about it by an older lady during a coach’s show last year, he simply answered that he sees Kobe and Lebron do it.

    It’s also been speculated that some players wear them to cover offensive tatoos.

  • December 17, 2008 at 10:09 am
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    The sleeve is on his left arm and he is NOT a leftie. He may carry the ball with his left hand but he shoots with his right. Maybe he has tendonitis and the support just feels good. Whatever the reason, he is a warrior and I absolutely love the guy. Go CARDS!

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