Sinking Expectations For Louisville Basketball

Can anyone come up with any reason to believe this University of Louisville basketball team is going to get better anytime soon? Probably peaked somewhere between the unbelievable ups and downs in the Villanova and Pittsburgh losses.

Drained emotionally and physically, unable to get anything going until the game is almost completely out of reach against Seton Hall. The home team relaxing, almost paying for it.

If Seton Hall is indicative of what to expect, there’s a huge vacuum of expectations.

More than a little discouraging.

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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.

23 thoughts on “Sinking Expectations For Louisville Basketball

  • January 22, 2010 at 12:53 am

    I was frustrated watching the game. WE would catch up somewhat and drop back – it was a tease that got old quick.
    Honestly, I think Pitino is drawing blanks on how to patch up the team and line up. Between Ralph Willard looking blank on the bench and Pitino pacing waiting for a miracle of some kind. The team has no connective vibe – help! anybody!

  • January 22, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Time to go with Siva and Knowles. Jennings and Samuels. Put anyone you want at the “3”..I like the idea of Marra or Kuric. I can’t bear watching these guys anymore. Turn it around,Cardinals.

    • January 22, 2010 at 9:59 am

      Agree that Jennings needs more pt, but you can’t be serious about benching Sosa. He is our second leading scorer, and he does that while shooting a very good percentage. I know he doesn’t make great decisions with the ball all of the time, but that is because he IS NOT a true point guard!

      The problem is that Pitino will not adjust his system to the players he recruited. He is too busy trying to mold them into what he wants them to be rather than tailoring his game plan to their natural strengths. Denny Crum has been preaching it for several weeks now. It’s time to put the best players on the floor. I’d like to see him go with Jennings and Samuels inside, Swop or Kuric at the 3, and use Siva as our primary point with Sosa starting at the 2. As the players need breaks Sosa and Siva can split the point guard duties while Sosa and Knowles take the bulk at the 2. Jerry should only see the court when there is foul trouble or players need breathers.

  • January 22, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Given the number of offensive rebounds for scores that Seton Hall collected I cannot figure out why Kuric didn’t get a single minute as he is clearly our best (and only) rebounder at the three spot. In 39 minutes the less than dynamic duo of Delk and Marra had exactly one rebound. That’s only one more than I.

  • January 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

    This team just can’t seem to get it. Bad Karma. It happens sometimes. I agree with putting Siva in. Lots of upside to that strategy. He puts energy out there and it gets him experience for next year, even if this year doesn’t pan out. There is no floor leadership out there right now. Siva may not be ready yet, but he might get there.

  • January 22, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Sosa has NEVER understood how to operate in this system. He is a selfish player that thinks HE is the only one that make things happen. He has proven time and time again that isn’t the case. Pittsburgh was a prime example–never mind that Samardo had 25 points and was ruling the paint. Seton Hall just solidified it. His poor decision making has hurt this team for the last four years. Neither he or Smith are acting like the senior captains they should. Siva has great potential and am looking forward to the time when Sosa is gone and this young team can mature together. Good riddance, Edgar.

    • January 22, 2010 at 11:11 am

      Again, he’s being asked to play a position that doesn’t fit his talents. He is not a true point guard no matter how much Pitino wants him to be.

      The team fed Samuels the Pitt game and we had that one on ice. Sosa choked. Big deal, it happens. My guess is you weren’t complaining about him too much last year when he won the UK game for us.

      Did you even watch the SH game? They were clearly denying Samuels and daring our forwards to beat us. Why do you think Buckles was so wide open the whole game?

      There is plenty wrong with this team, and I know that Sosa plays selfish at times. Yet you try and act like he is killing our team when in fact he is one of the few players who kept us in these close games.

      • January 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

        Yes it’s true they doubled down on Samuels,but our problems go deeper than just the Seton hall game. Sosa is a senior who has not grown in four years under Pitino. I still see the same bone-headed plays he made his freshman year. Pitino drills him time and time again. I want Pitino to realize hes not gonna get through to him with only a couple of months left in his career. It seems to me Pitino is gonna let him finish out the season as a starter and we’ll go to the NIT.

        To prevent this from happening Siva should start over Sosa! He is better than Sosa as a freshman! Siva isn’t prone to turnovers like Sosa. Jennings and Samuels should play together to compete in a very physical Big East conference as well!

        Jerry Smith isn’t as bad as Sosa but he isn’t very far off! Starting 5 that would compete the best together would be Samuels,Jennings,Delk,Knowles,and Siva! Off the bench Marra,Buckles,Smith,Kuric,and then Sosa in that order! Sosa has proven in four years hes not a leader and more of a role player. Mr. Pitino please give this line up a try! Sincerely a HUGE CARDS FAN!

  • January 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

    After this disappointing loss, it’s clear that Rick needs to do something to get this team rolling again. How about a starting lineup of Siva at point, Sosa and Kuric at the wings and Samuels and Jennings in the paint?

    The window on UofL gaining an NCAA tournament invite is slowly closing. 12 regular season ganmes remain. Honesty, none of them except maybe DePaul and Rutgers are guaranteed wins. If ten BE wins is the “magic number” according to Rick, to get the Cards in the NCAA tournament and UofL is currently 3-3, where do the final seven come from?

    A hopeful win thought/projection: 1) Cincy 2) Rutgers 3) at St. John’s 4) Notre Dame 5) at DePaul 6) at Marquette 7) Syracuse. Three road wins, a hard thing to do. Beating Notre Dame given the way Harangoty loves to play us.

    A tough rough road remains.

  • January 22, 2010 at 11:28 am

    As disappointing as this year has been, next year looks even worse. Louisville loses Sosa, Delk and Jerry Smith. Pitino has a commitment from a 5-10 150 G that appears to be the only signing. I know the 2011 class looks strong, but are we going to have to go 2-3 years without a NCAA tournament bid?

    • January 23, 2010 at 11:14 am

      Actually wouldn’t we look better without Sosa and Smith? I read Edgars stats,, fine, BUT his mistakes are outweighing his successes. He just does bonehead things. If he is a shooting guard (the excuse used so often that he is out of position) then HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE FREETHROWS! Come on now let’s get real about this kid, he just doesn’t have it. Jerry must be overwhelmed because he can’t put together 5 minutes of foul/mistake free basketball. Sad. I don’t like it, but it’s realistic.

  • January 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Do you think Coach Pitino would read some of the great information shared on this site? He has got to change something — anything – now. The CARDs are in a real rut.
    The mojo isn’t there and boy we need some change now.

  • January 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I do not think there is anything Pitino can do. The talent level is just not high enough and I think Pitino knows it.

  • January 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    You are right – good common sense answer.. thanks

  • January 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    The original post was made minutes after the game and it reflects the disappointment of the observer. As we should all remember, Rick Pitino has accomplished much more with less. Not time yet to throw in the towel.

    • January 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      I agree Charlie! We have enough guns to get it done but Mr.Pitino is not utilizing his guns properly in my opinion. All of our losses have come down to the end of the game when we needed a leader to get us a victory! Mr. Pitino has to realize that Sosa isn’t the leader everyone expected him to be after four years under Pitino. He’s still jumping down his throat for the same bone-headed plays he’s made for four years now. Siva is the future so lets roll with him in the starting line up. Siva plays hard and doesn’t do things to hurt you at the end of the game when we need leadership the most after a full game of pressure defense! Sosa is killing everyones hard fought effort with his bone-head plays at the end of games! Coulda beat pitt,villanova, and seton hall but no Sosa was in the final minutes of the game!

      I will always be grateful for Sosa hitting the big shot against UK, but that doesn’t out weigh the games hes lost for us. He plays hard I give him that,and thats why he should come off the bench and not be in the final minutes of the game! He is a role player and not a leader even though he should be!

      Also I think Mr.Pitino should play Jennings and Samuels together. Not sub for one another! Swopshire is a three man not a Power Forward! Im a concerned UofL fan and this is a true remedy for success the rest of the season! If these actions don’t take place then we are headed for the NIT at best! Sad Face!

      • January 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

        I’ll agree as well. Future HOF coach for sure but what’s wrong that he isn’t getting through to these guys? He can’t (at least he isn’t) getting excellence from them. His Unforgetables were average to above average and he got alot out of them. I don’t know but it LOOKS to me like some of the athletes we are getting are lacking the heart it takes. Maybe more local players?

        • January 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

          Debby, a couple of local players certainly wouldn’t hurt the cause. The game means more when you’re playing close to home. Preston Knowles, while not a Louisvillian, is a great example. The game just means more and they put in extra effort because it does.

  • January 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    With around 10 minutes left in the game, the ESPN cameras showed Coach Pitino’s face. He had that same “deer in the headlights” look that Kragthorpe had for many games. It was disturbing…

    • January 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      I saw that look, Terry, and had the same thought. All coaches get it when the situation doesn’t appear likely to improve anytime soon.

  • January 23, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Ouch! Pitino compared to Kragthorpe. I think that is going to far…..

  • January 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I agree with most that Sosa should not be starting! Swop should not be getting as much play either especially not at the 3…Samuels, Jennings, Siva, Knowles, & Smith in my opionion should be the starters! I know Smith will never be a T Will (moment of silence please)…….I miss him terribly lol….but he is more of a team player than Sosa. If him and PK were at the 3 instead of Swop…whom is a good rebounder, but reminds me of a mini Sosa trying to make a basket everytime he touches the ball instead of using his head and seeing there is no way he could make that shot…I think we would see a difference. I think Smith could be a much better leader than he is, but he does WOW me so much more than Sosa does. Yes, it’s true Sosa helped us last year with the win against Kensucky, although I was happy we won, I still thought it was stupid because he could have cost us that game as well. I am a huge CARD fan and always will be no matter how bad we suck, I’m just disappointed in them this year but I will always be there cheering them on every single game!

    • January 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      If I were coach for a day, I would insert Siva into the starting lineup instead of Smith. Siva would free up Sosa to do what he wants to do, more shooting.

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