Sun setting for Swopshire, Kuric and Chris Smith

Where did the time go?

Final game on Denny Crum Court, three more players making their way into the University of Louisville basketball archives. The calendar and clock running out of days and hours, mandating that we give up their presence, exchanging them for memories.

  • Kyle Kuric — Any farewell has to begin with him, going from walk on, to scholarship player, to walk on again during four seasons. So many distinct impressions, the most enduring his breakout game, the last one at Freedom Hall, 22 points in an unbelievable second half, legendary stuff. Over time, so many three pointers from the left corner, Kyle’s Corner, so many clutch shots. He also surprised, amazed us actually, with his leaping ability, those quick bursts of energy, resulting in impossible rebounds and dunks, among them the Dunk of the Year in a game against Notre Dame. So many minutes during his senior year, so many contributions, so hard to let him go.
  • Chris Smith — Resilient on defense but rarely getting into foul trouble. When his three-point shot was on, his team was difficult to contain. Second on the team in three-point shooting, hitting better than 40 percent of them.  When things were going downhill during his senior year, he called a team meeting to clear the air, the results becoming obvious on the basketball court. Toughness on the court, never backing down, no pushing him around. Taking care of the basketball, fewest number of turnovers among the starters. A quiet but steady force, his numbers in the box score often surprising, always a leader.
  • Jared Swopshire — A basketball name if ever there was one, conjuring up visions of greatness. Sadly his time at Louisville sidetracked by a groin injury taking too long to heal, also preventing him from bulking up, becoming more of a threat on the boards. Never accused of being a gym rat, seemingly holding back, not totally dedicated, the casual loping down the court, the blank expressions. Attracting the attention of NBA scouts before the injury, he had the look of solid potential, never getting past the look. A few more games ahead, time to let it happen if it is meant to be.

A farewell to KFC Yum! Center awaits them against South Florida but hopefully a season far from over.

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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.