Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

Dedicated to the joyful noise of the Card faithful

Feeling It

Posted by frankpos on December 28, 2008

T Will was feeling it.

With a minute to go in the first half,  he  had already lasered two 3’s, skied for 6 bounds, and dished  4 A’s.  The Cards were on a 8-2 run that had given them some daylight in a closely fought game. The crowd was rowdy in the steamy Hall.

Then the sublime occurred.

T got the ball at the top of the key.  He faked 3 ball,  drove the length of the lane, and jammed it home.

The Card faithful erupted in full scream.

And once again, Terrence Williams had proven that he alone is worth the price of admission.

t-will-uab-1208-bilde

That jam pushed the Card lead to 11, which  stood until about 8 minutes to go in the game,  when Louisville finally began to pull away to their final 20 point margin, 82-62.

T Will flirted with a triple-double for the game: 21 pts, 10 bounds, 7 assists–and 5 for 8 from 3 pt land.  Except for a couple of early out-of-control drives,  it was a one of his transcendent performances that Card fans fervently wish T could produce with consistency, but are gladly willing to savor whenever seen.

He was not the only hero.  Samardo Samuels doubled up also, with 17 pts and 11 rebounds.  More importantly, he passed out of double-team pressing situations much more quickly and effectively.  He still had 5 TO’s, but let me tell you:  This guy impresses me with his willingness and ability to learn.  He has rebounded well in the last few games after being properly scolded, and he is the leading free throw shooter on our team, after a mediocre start.

Jared Swopshire continues to surprise and please too.  In his first start, he frankly showed E5 how to play forward–in 14 minutes Swoop collected 4 bounds, 8 pts and –importantly–ZERO turnovers.  Compare to Clark’s 26 minutes: 4 bounds, 12 pts —and his typical 4 turnovers.

swopshire

It’s so frustrating–Earl could dominate virtually any game if he really had a killer instinct and alertness.  But he seems to play in a lazy daze many times, always wanting  to jack up his low % 3’s. And his soft rebounding for a  6’9″ guy is pathetic and gives little help to SS underneath.  Which is why we have lost most of our rebounding battles in games this year.

Yesterday, we pounded UAB on the boards 40-26.  At least, Swoop knows a forward needs  to stick around the basket.

Let’s talk about Preston Knowles a few minutes too.  In an unusal starting role, the Cards’ dynamic 6th man delivered a solid 20 minutes of action, with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, only 1 TO  and, of course, 2 steals.  This team needs this man to play more minutes–period.

Oh, and Preston also nailed 2 of 5 (40%) of his 3’s, continuing his hot hand in that realm.  Can we please emphasize more 3 ball shots by  our two best three point shooters  (Preston and Jerry), and tell our worst shooters–guys like Earl– to get under the  damn basket?

Preston chillin' with his puppy, Lil Buckets.

Preston chillin' with his puppy, Lil Buckets.

Andre McGee  also deserves praise, coming off the bench and playing a very solid game.  But Edgar …..

The last two years, every so  often Pitino tosses out some sound bite about how Edgar is the linch-pin to making a true, championship team.  Even last week, he declared it again.

However, at Friday’s presser, Pitino noted that there are 4 or 5 “moody” guys on the team.  He basically stated that Edgar was the poster child for this, and that Sosa had really not improved  from his freshman year.

Edgar played a worthless 6 minutes yesterday.  He will never be the answer unfortunately, but hopefully can be a productive player at some point.

This team can’t wait for him.

Against UAB, the Cards showed significant improvement in moving the ball– not lightning quick as with David Padgett– but still much improved.  This led to more open shots and 50% shooting–and to a  better than 1/1 assists/TO ratio.

We also showed we could knock down some free throws, finishing at 75% for the game.

All in all, a solid game against a top 40 opponent, who was on a 3 game win streak.

It was certainly not a perfect game:  We had way to many turnovers again–17.  And our D in the game was porous, allowing them to shoot 50% in the second half and  stay close in the game. UAB only had 6 scholarship players, yet we struggled to break away until the final 8 minutes.

And frankly, UAB doesn’t play the toughest D.

But…the Cards certainly looked much better in a lot of areas, and this and 71 December degrees shone some rays of hope.  We looked like a legit top 15 team…with upside.

I’m eager to see if this improvement continues against UNLV.  If it does,  we’ll be ready for that little  tilt on Sunday against the Cats.

So, like T Will, I’m feeling it…

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One Response to “Feeling It”

  1. Charlie said

    Good read, Frank. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

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