Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

Dedicated to the joyful noise of the Card faithful

STREEEEEEEEEEEAK ! Cards 67 Cuse 57

Posted by frankpos on January 25, 2009

Coach Pitino and Jerry get fired up, as the Cards sizzle for their 7th straight W.

Coach Pitino and Jerry are fired up, as the Cards sizzle for their 7th straight W.

God, I’m pumped, aren’t U ?

Seven straight.  Five against four ranked teams and your arch-rival, including two in  the most frenzied arenas on the rocky Big East road.

This time, the  Cards silenced over 25,000 orange-clad fans in the largest BBall arena in the land, and kissed-off the #8 Cuse and their Hall of Fame coach with a 13-2 lock-down in the last 3 minutes of the game.

Syracuse entered the game leading the Big East,  shooting 50%,  averaging 80 pts per game, and had 5 players posting double figures per game.

But  the Cards badgered them into their worst  aim of the year–35%–including 27% in the second half.

And pounded them on the boards.

And turned them over 18 times to our 10.

Fellow Card Fans:  This Card team is turning into the monster we had all dreamed it could be.

We may not shoot well, but by god, we’ll make you shoot worse.  And  after we’ve sent   shock wave after wave of kamikaze D-men at you, you will crack.

Yes, you will crack.

In this game, Louisville frankly controlled most of the game in both halves. The passing was again crisp–our A/TO ratio was 1.8/1 !  Which is very high for us–well above our 1.2/1 avg.   I remember some great bounce feeds from both Edgar Sosa and Preston Knowles.

Terrence Jennings played his best game of the season, anchoring the post better than Samardo in this contest.

Terrence Jennings played his best game of the season, anchoring the post better than Samardo in this contest.

***************************************************************

I can’t say enough about our rebounding this game or for the last several.  Just a month ago,  many were questioning our toughness on the boards. Over the last three weeks, we have now  faced some of the great big men and front courts in the country and flat out-rebounded them.

In this game, as usual, we were led by a familiar duo:  Earl Clark double-doubled again with 16 pts and 13 BIG bounds (and had a UK- like 7 BIG TO’s again! ).  T Will almost doubled-up, coming in at 15 pts and 9 boards, and frankly lead the Cards at most of the big moments again.

I’ve never been a big T Will fan until the last several games…but he is THE MAN right now, a Griff -like super-human that can take us to the promised land.

But two other Cards also continued their string of significant contributions during this streak–and Good Edgar and Terrence Jennings may prove to be the final pieces of a national championship team for us.

A title  team needs an above average point guard.   Good Edgar has been back since his Lazarus-like rebirth against UK, and he had another great outing against the Cuse, with 13 pts , with 3 of 7 3-balls, and most importantly 3 assists and –NO turnovers.  He showed daring AND control.

A title team needs a good back up center.  Terrence Jennings has now proven over the last few games he has arrived.  He has split time with Samardo recently, and this  new Samardo/Jennings combo is quite a multi-faceted beast for opposing teams to handle.

The only disappointment this game was Samardo Samuels, who seemed to regress and shrink against the Syracuse front wall.  It was back to one of those games where he could not finish 2-footers.

(Damn it , Sammy,  use a head fake or two, and get the +1 too.)

But I’m a Sammy fan:  He’s figuring it out slowly but surely.  As are the rest of this very talented Card team.

We are #1 in defensive efficiency in the country–and 103rd in O efficiency.

Our D isn’t going to get worse.  So in my opinion, we only have upside–and a lot of it still, even though our team is playing like a monster now, 1/3 the way through this season!

For instance, if Jerry Smith gets going  again, we ratchet up our outside threat considerably.  Right now, our best shooter is taking only a handful of shots each game.

Now I understand Jerry is the ultimate  team player – he whips that towel harder than anyone! But we need him to care enough to fight through those screens.. because erratic, low shooting % from outside is one of our last Achilles tendons to a third ring.

A last word from Earl: “This was real important. “Everybody was telling us how tough it is to play in here. When we walked in and saw how many people there were, it was just great.”

Yes, Earl, it is great…and now you all are coming back home  as conquering heroes to our own glorious cathedral to the god of basketball for the next three games.

Do you think it’s going to be a little crazy in the Hall?

Good Edgar...are you really here to stay?

Good Edgar...are you really here to stay?

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