Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

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Cards Start Unwrapping a New Season: Louisville 74 Pikeville 55

Posted by frankpos on October 26, 2011

Are any first games ever pretty?

Particularly under Pitino, who’s always tinkering with dozens of substitutions in the early going.

Tonight was no different.  Louisville took on and took out defending NAIA champ Pikeville 74-55.

Some observations:

The starting five seem solid: Siva, C. Smith, Dieng, Kuric, and Behanan.  They worked smoothly together  with  an opening 16-0 run to start the game, and controlled the game whenever they were in as a unit.

There is a significant dropoff at this point to the second team subs–mainly I believe from sheer rust.  Jared Swopshire and Wayne Blackshear both have not played in a long time….and they showed it, with lack of touch and timing, particulalry on offense.

One of my biggest concerns?  A true back-up to Peyton Siva.   Elisha Justice certainly has some skills, but he got his pocket picked and his D abused by an NAIA guard tonight.  And there is no other viable person to step up, like Preston did last year.   A big concern…

Rebounding to me looked weak again. This was an Achilles Heel last year and is still a concern of mine this year, until proven otherwise.   In the post game presser, Pitino admitted that anticipated big rebounder, Chane Behanan, at least  at this point thinks offense first , rather than rebounding.   But Coach Pitino followed up by steadfastly stating that he believes this team will be a good rebounding team.  And he may be right, particularly when Behanan is properly focused and Rak Buckles comes back, and Swop and Shear round into shape.  In fact, Zach Price has proven to be a surprising new bright spot in this regard also.

Speaking of Zach…a last major concern was– and is- a back-up center to Gorgui Dieng.  But Zach has been pretty solid in his minutes as back-up center for this team.  But this is still bound to be a bit of a weak spot as the season toughens, simply because of his lack of experience as a freshman if nothing else

Let’s face it: We don’t want to see either Gorgui or Peyton in foul trouble –ever.

So begins a new season…ranked pre-season top 10…let’s see how we roll…..


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