February 26, 2013
Terrence Williams' best game as a Celtic came last Friday against Phoenix when he scored 9 points and had four rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes of play.
There are just four games left in the 2012-13 season and the Cards look to be one of a dozen teams that could challenge for this year's National Championship.
The most encouraging sign is the play of big man Gorgui Dieng. He looks to have finally put his wrist injury behind him and has been playing aggressively over the past three games. Dieng had a career outing on Saturday against Seton Hall when he tallied a career-high 23 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds. He ended the game by hitting his last eight shots in a row.
Just 24 hours after Coach Pitiino said Luke Hancock would likely miss the game against Seton Hall, Hancock responded with his best game of the season. Coming off the bench to sub for Wayne Blackshear, Hancock posted 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc in the win over Seton Hall. It marked the seventh time in 27 games that he has reached double figures.
One time this season, both Hancock and Blackshear are going to have good games at the same time and that will be truly special. Blackshear was virtually non-exsistant against the Pirates. He played 18 minutes, but didn't score and was forgettable most of the game.
While Blackshear continues to cool, it's a promising sign that Kevin Ware is starting to heat up. Saturday's game was the first time we saw Ware on the floor at the three spot, playing alongside Peyton Siva and Russ Smith. The sophomore connected on a career-high 2-of-5 from behind the arc and also made some great plays on defense.
NFL Combine Update
Adrian Bushell is Louisville's only player at this year's NFL Combine. Part of that is due to the youth throughout Charlie Strong's football team and part of that is because a couple of UofL's offensive linemen were snubbed.
Bushell has done well thus far and looks to be a likely first day draft pick. NFL.com listed his player comparision to that of Tramon Williams. Here's what else NFL.com had to say about Bushell.
Confident outside cornerback with good length. Good short-area quickness to adjust to receiver moves off the line, stay with them on double moves, and avoid their blocks in the run game. Gives good effort as a tackler, fights through stiff-arms from larger receivers to drag them down and will shove ball carriers out of bounds-not simply escort them.
Possesses only adequate size to play man-up against more physical receivers, who can also carry him for a few yards after contact if he isn't the aggressor. Lacks explosiveness, will dance instead of hitting a lane hard on kick returns.
Bushell started his college career at Florida, and then transferred to a junior college to get things in order before re-joining his old coach in Gainesville, Charlie Strong, in Louisville. The 2011 and 2012 All-Big East pick's lean fame belies his persistent and confident nature, and may remind scouts of former Louisville corner Johnny Patrick, who was a third-round pick for the Saints in 2011 with similar size and speed. Bushell has the versatility to play both inside and out, and could be a potential weapon out of the slot due to his blitzing ability.
Speaking of Bushell
Let's not let the opportunity pass to acknowledge that Bushell was recognized earlier this month by the Scholar-Baller program as one of 63 student-athletes to receive an Academic Momentum Award, which honors academic improvement Bushell is an Administration of Justice major, graduated from Louisville in December. He earned the award because of the amount of credit hours he took over the last two years so that he could earn his degree upon completion of his athletic eligibility.
Francisco Garcia hasn't played since being traded to the Houston Rockets.
Earl Clark continues to be the best of the trio. He scored 8 points and grabbed one rebound in 23 minutes of play against Denver on Monday.
Can someone explain to me how Mario Benavides doesn't get invited to the combine? I mean, seriously? Super Mario's going to make a lot of scouts look dumb once he makes it to training camp.
Former Duke star Nolan Smith just got a new tattoo. It reads "Like Father, Like Son" and pays homage to Louisville's 1980 Final Four appearance and Duke's 2010 appearance at the Final Four in Indianapolis. Even though he went to Duke, Smith is still a big-time Louisville fan and keeps tabs on the Cards.
For those of you still in search of a great Sugar Bowl souvenir, the UofL Alumni Association is reissuing posters of the "Cards Come Marching In", along with two different collage posters. The price is $15 and you can purchase here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1157/internal-3column.aspx?sid=1157&gid=1&pgid=1410&cid=2501
The leading rusher in the Sugar Bowl has officially moved on from the program. Jeremy Wright is not enrolled in classes and is instead training for April's NFL Draft. Without Wright, Louisville will depend on Senorise Perry and Dominique Brown, both of whom are recovering from season-ending leg injuries. Behind them is Corvin Lamb and Brandon Ratcliff.
If the Big East Tournament were to start today, Louisville would be the No. 3 seed.
On his Monday night radio show, Coach Pitino reiterated the staff's priority in recruiting shooters. Pitino said "after this year, we've finally had it, but help is on the way". The help he's referring to is in the trio of talented guards he's bringing In - Chris Jones, Terry Rozier and Anton Gill. Pitino spoke the most highly of Jones, who he said was tough as nails and could definitely play defense.
Speaking of shooters, I wouldn't put much stock in the rumors that Seton Hall guard and Louisville native Aaron Cosby could return to his hometown. While it may be true that Cosby is looking to leave New Jersey, I don't see the Cards being an option. With three guards coming in next year and the likely return of Russ Smith, there aren't a whole of minutes available in Louisville's backcourt next year.
There was a big group of NBA scouts at the KFC Yum Center last Saturday. With Kentucky playing at 9pm Saturday night, it was a unique opportunity for scouts to watch four teams in one evening. I asked a few of them which Cards they were watching and the consensus was Siva and Dieng. Among the teams in attendance included: Minnesota, Chicago, Miami, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Memphis.
Late last week, Louisville soccer coach Ken Lolla announced that Andrew Brody, Romilio Hernandez, Jeremy and Michael DeGraffenreidt have all signed letters-of-intent to play for the University of Louisville next season. The Cardinals' recruiting class has been ranked No. 11 by Top Drawer Soccer, giving Lolla and his staff their highest ranked recruiting class in school history.
The UofL football team will conduct a camp for kids at Kosair Hospital and children from Down Syndrome of Louisville this Saturday in the Trager Indoor Practice Facility.
With his 10 free throws against Seton Hall, Russ Smith moved into a tie for ninth place in school history with Pervis Ellison (1987-88) and Felton Spencer (1989-90) with 146 free throws made in a season.
The Cardinals have collected double-digit steals in 20 of its 27 games.
Peyton Siva will make his 101st start on Wednesday at DePaul. In other Siva news, he is now tied for third all-time in career steals with the pride of Munfordville, Tick Rogers.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino owns a 32-9 record in games against his former assistants.
Coach Pitino is just three wins away from reaching 300 at Louisville in just his 12th season, where he has averaged 25 per season. Pitino has won at least 20 games in a season on 21 different occasions, which ranks sixth among active coaches in 20-win seasons and 15th overall.
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