Posted on: November 24, 2008 9:00 am

South Alabama 23 Nov

Another warm up game, another highlight reel of dunks and pressured turnovers. This game turned out as expected as the Cards force the Jaguars into a low shooting percentage (36%) high turnover (23!).  Coach will continue strong focus on that rebounding though, as the feisty and somewhat seasoned Jags out hustle the cards 39-33 on the boards.

I watched Marquette decimate someone this weekend and found myself worried about playing 11 guards. (If you watch them, you'll understand.)  However, Preston looks as if he'll consistently be the amazing spark he showed himself to be last year. Absolute non-stop hustle and when combined with the new (?) Sosa (only 1 assist this night, a bit concerning and hence the question mark), the ever fast and efficient McGee (4AST 3STL!)  and Jerry Smith (1STl 1AST adn 3REB)  -- we might not have much trouble with Marquette after all.

Should we be talknig smack or proclaiming a stake on the title game?  Yes.  Despite the fact that we haven't played quality competition yet, the boys are doing almost exactly what is expected.  Just a few more rebounds from the guards and Samardo and this team will go all the way.  Not to make light of Psycho T and his fellow Heels, but the Cards have more depth and will run everyone into the ground dog tired.

Posted on: November 22, 2008 9:37 pm

Morehead 22 Nov 08

Tonight went as it should. Coach said at half time he wasn't worried about the score, just defense and rebounding -- and that the first half went well from that perspective.

Best shout I think I can give is to Jerry. Many wrote that he performed very subpar on offense of late. Until today. Probably an observation coach will share with him is his improved production (12pts) today came with his improved defense. And though his boxscore doesn't look great with a donut on steals or blocks, it's great that he had numerous touches leading to turnovers.

I haven't even bothered to check but I can tell you right now ESPN highlights will include a Sosa-fed E5 Thunder Dunk while mentioning 10 mostly sweet assists. Or was that Jerry. It's hard to keep all the fabulous guard play straight. Preson as usual was non-stop motion at both ends,  with a of of his unique frenzied harrassment D and at the other end shooting 2-3 outside the arc, 1-4 inside and 2-2 at the line. In 16min that makes 10pt, 1Stl 1Ast 4Reb and another fellow who helpled the Eagles into 17TO for the game.

The picture was awful from ESPN FullCourt. Apparently they recycled the cameras used back with I first watched color TV as a child.

Kudos to Eagle player Faried, who may we hope is the last player this year to get 11REB off our team. NIce job dude. I thought you had a steal too even tho it's not in the box.

My worst forboding now is TJen. Or a lack thereof (zero PT). It seems to me we've recently seen several vauge comments about 'moodiness' and I think one time it was alledged to eminate from TJen.  Louisville [meaning da godfather] has to put a stop to that quickly and avert any risk of another year of 'character' issues.  It will be a sad thing if he doesn't get with the program, because the fellow has ahtletic talent by the boatload and IMHO could be much talked about by March.  IF.  Cmon TJen, learn from history my man.  The reason I find this forboding more than just for your own future, is you might be the difference we need in a championship rematch with the Heels. You may not feel the same need for revenge as your fans do, seeing how as you weren't here last year. But I'd wager your first NBA paycheck you will be getting an NBA paycheck next year if you do what coach wants.  To the letter.  Whine= no paycheck. Man-up=paycheck. Any questions? 

Ok so I've had a beer or two.  It was a good night for it. You GOTTA have one when Sosa looks like key most pundits have said is essential for a UL title shot - a true, guiding and dishing honest to God point guard. He clearly delivered at the opending bell today, earning more minutes off the bench than the starting guards. I thought he still pushed his luck once or twice (1-5FG). At least it was a 3. Now cacn you dish out 10 per game just about 34 more times this eason please?

Wow that's 4 guards to be happy about because our gritty senior Andre still gives a 100% hustling 3Ast to 1TO ratio not bad when you add in a Reb and a steal. And plenty of defensive touches. Like Coach said, the shots will come don't sweat the donut.

Swop looiked a little tight, I think the jitters finally hit him. But I also think he'll work out of that in a couple games at the most.

TWill. Who doesn't love that smile. The smile [read: attitude] will get him several slots higher in the draft. Mark my word.  Actually the real word is collaborative, but most people don't understand that value. As usual and despite only 26min PT presumably to go easy on the knee, he stuffed his sheet with more than double Samuel's 5REB (11),, had 3AST to Samardo's donut, 2BLKs to Smardo's 1, 0PF to Samuel's 1,  

Please Lord don't let the new kid think 8/12 shooting will do the trick. Five rebounds isn't enough around the rim from Center. Hunger up!

Anyone else notice how smooth that Kuric shot was?  I remember Rick saying somethihg about him being a shooter. Yeah, that other "shooter" played today too. Actually had a nice play in making a STL fast-forwarded to Sosa high off the key, ran around under the bucket to the right wing to take a firey pass right back from Sosa and swoosh a trey. If we can keep his PT to 6min or less all season, we have a title shot.

Goode was a pleasant surprise tonight, with a team-second 9 REB and game leading 5BLK. Woo hoo go George!

The game's 47%FG rate was a bit tepid as was 33% 3P. A 10-16 fouls advantage, 10-2 block advantage and 17-9on turnovers was to be expected.  But as we expected, our boys look very athletic and seemed somewhat jelled together by the end of the game..

Tomorrow's question is: Do they coast on early success or do they come to play a full 40?


Posted on: October 28, 2008 2:53 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2008 3:05 pm

Red n White Scrimmage 26 Oct 2008

The best surprise of the night: Terrence Jennings. I thought TJen was fearless and frankly that he out-hustled Samardo. I can see why the Godfather said he jumps out of the gym; he will probably be the team's lead shot blocker unless his PT is extremely limited.  In fact, I bet by the time February rolls around, I will be digging up UL blocking stats to see where he stands. TJen is to UL as Thabeet was to UConn last year.  (I give him credit for being more developed as a frosh than Thabeet was.)

'Swop', as I heard his teammates call him, showed more determination and skill than I expected; he was the second best surprise of the night. Fearlessness is a word everyone is using for this kid and for good reason. Alas, the long dreadlocks are gone. I was so looking forward to that change of scenery on the floor.

Jerry Smith, on the other hand, was the biggest let down of the evening. Outside shooting was off as was his ball handling. I almost felt as if the level of talent surrounding him over whelms him.  If you think about it, that could mean great things about the team. Meanwhile Jerry, we still luv ya. If you're looking for your place on the team, just keep listening to coach.

Samardo got lots of love for his 36-16 night out. Yes, he's as athletic as hyped; a very flexible, quick and strong post player. Nice hands showed with some putbacks. The best part?  Hitting free throws!  I bet coach doesn't like that fade step-back he does at the end of his shots, but hey it works.  SS will command a double team because of this; opponents will have to try to prevent entry passes.  So the key for a title run as far as SS goes is for him to be able to spot the open wing or guard for an easy jumper or open 3.

Reggie..  is it ok if we call you Reggie? I wrote right after last year's scrimmage that you were the best scoring talent on the floor. Keep using your head like you do man, your PT will come and it's all good for the title run because the other BE coaches are paying attention to the headliners.  You and Swop and Preston,. you guys are the depth that's going to wear out the other teams.

Andre.. is it ok if we call you Roadrunner!?  Dude, where'd you get those new wheels!? You were fast last year, this year you look fantastic. If we could just get you and Preston on the starting 5, the Cards would lead the conference in steals and breakway layups. Congrats on all your hard work Andre; I think it's going to pay huge dividends this year.

I continue my man crush on Preston. Hasn't slowed down a bit. I watched him get angry when he couldn't shut down E5 in the paint after a mismatch pick paired them up. Preston, mad that he couldn't shut down our next NBA draft. What does that say about this kid! Thanks to front row seats courtesy of my now-favorite CBS poster Russ, I could also hear Preston hollering directions to his frosh teammates when he ran the point.  This kid will be a future team captain.

Speaking of man-crushes, are there any UL fans without one on TWill? Barred from playing due to his knee injury, the guy was all over the place handing out towels and water, slapping high fives, cheering on his teammates and shooting practice shots during the breaks.

Samardo has a very nice freethrow touch. He didn't seem active enough on his D, so I'm not sure if that made TJen look more potent than he really is. Both big men showed some flashes of good hands, too.

Earl. The man. Well, not the man any more, and I fear I saw that precise emotion in his eyes. Seemed frustrated that he wasn't able to dominate and perhaps forced a couple of plays. Fear not E5, it's only that you have much more talent surrounding you now, and those other guys, well they know you extremely well. You will get yours when real game time comes.

George Goode: I can't say much about him as he switched teams more than once. I had lasik surgery 3 days before the game and was unable to keep a good eye on him because of the switching.

Sosa..  Jury's still out dude. Some folks think you looked better. I didn't.  It's now or never though dude. If you don't produce - and do so exactly in the way coach wants - there is plenty of bench to turn to.  I personally think Preston should get your spot now. See Edgar, I'm just not the patronizing kind. I do think you have the talent and ability to do special things, but you kept letting your head get in the way. Here's hoping you are as reformed as my friends think you are.

Brickley. Who?? I have to go re-read our scouting archives. I remembered Steiden, who I am eagerly waiting to see what he does with the small minutes he will get, because he was one of the first Pitino targets of this class.  Oh yeah, and Will Scott is still there.

I am more excited than i was before seeing the kids - and I was already quite pumped.  It's very hard to remind myself that this was only a scrimmage and not to be considered a very telling display of what to expect.

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