Derrick Caracter: A-
We thought we couldn't fall any more in love with this guy and then in his first game not only does he display remarkable talent, but surprisingly a great deal of effort. He scraps for 7 rebounds, gets on the floor for a loose ball to create a lay-up, and is the first one off the bench and then subsequently the first one to be concerned during and after T-Will's amazing dunk.
As for the foul trouble, yeah he's young but at least two of them weren't his fault, and we actually thought that for the most part he did a pretty good job on Redenovic. He picked up his third foul after an ill-advised turnover by Palacios, his fourth (seen below) was one of at least eight phantom whistles against the Cards, and then his final foul was right after JDP saved the ball underneath his own goal right to an Arizona player and DC was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It's becoming more and more evident every time we see this kid on the floor that he is the key to success in 2006-2007.
Juan Palacios: A-
JDP avoids becoming the first player of the year to enter the CC doghouse by playing his best game to date.
Tello played hard, hit some big shots, came down with some key rebounds, and took the ball hard to the rack a couple of times when it was the right thing to do. He was still ridiculously awkward around the basket and couldn't hold onto the ball, but it's Juan Palacios and he's always ridiculously awkward around the basket and can't hold onto the ball. It comes with the territory.
David Padgett: B
If you have the game Tivoed or on DVR, watch it again and focus on what Padgett does in the first offensive trip after Caracter's first stint on the floor. Never before have we seen DP establish position with the force that he did on that possession. He isn't competing for minutes with Farley and Huffman anymore, and he certainly knows he's got to step it up.
Padgett made a few nice passes and did a good job of calming down the offense when no one else would, but his awful habit of going for blocks when he has no chance of getting to the shooter is hurting us on the defensive glass. It happened four times last night, and it's going to kill us if he keeps doing it against teams that can rebound.
Brad Gianiny: B
Played about 30 seconds and committed a foul, but didn't do anything that really hurt or helped us.
Terrance Farley: B
Still hurt. Got into the game for 5 seconds and didn't do anything.
Brandon Jenkins: B
Looking more comfortable moving laterally, and hit two gigantic threes last night. Made an uncharacteristically awful error on defense when he unnecessarily slapped Shakur's wrist on a jump shot in a key stretch in the second half.
This team has got to have a healthy Jenks to compete in the Big East. His defensive ability is the most valuable facet of any one player's game on the team.
Earl Clark: B-
The way Pitino is handling Clark is officially bothering us. Earl is getting the Jonathan Huffman treatment in that he's playing cleanup minutes against the cupcakes and then a few random minutes against good teams, and that's it.
This isn't Jonathan Huffman and when you see him out there it's quite obvious. He has made some tremendously impressive rebounds including last night's one-handed grab and follow up during a key stretch in the game, and he made a huge block in the waning minutes that could have been a game-changing play had he not thrown the ball away two seconds later.
The kid can play and we wouldn't be surprised to see Pitino use the "start and then play six minutes against a shitty team" move in one of the games this weekend. We've got a better idea, don't start him but play him 20-25 minutes on Friday against Ohio and see how he responds. We want to see this guy have a chance to get in the flow of a game and find out if he's somebody who could help us sooner rather than later. If he doesn't put forth much of an effort and consistently looks out of sync then we'll shut up.
Terrence Williams: C+
He's killing us, he's saving us, he's killing us, he's saving us.
We've got a deal for you T-Will, you miss your first three treys and you have to take the ball to the hole every time you touch it from then on. You hit a few early threes, then go crazy pal.
Will Scott: C
He looks like John Mark Carr. It's creepy. Sadly this may lead to him getting some undeservedly low marks in the future.
Jerry Smith: C
You're a shooter. When your teammates penetrate to create space against the zone and then find you on the wing, shoot the Goddamn ball.
Edgar Sosa: D
We love Edgar and think that he has the potential to be the best point guard in the conference by his senior year, but he killed us last night.
Louisville got back into the game by sharing the ball, and when Sosa inexplicably decided to stop passing, we stopped scoring. And then when he decided to start throwing the ball out of bounds or to the other team, the other team's lead started growing.
In all honesty this grade is pretty unfair because with Andre out there's really no other option at the point, especially in an up-tempo game like last night's where Gianiny isn't an option. If we were Pitino we would have played Sosa just as much as he did.
Of course it wasn't all bad. He made some nice drives and some nice dishes late in the first-half and in the first five minutes after halftime, but when his game left him for that critical stretch in the middle of the second-half, Louisville lost the game.
He played a bad game, but he's going to be fine. He's an easily excitable freshman point guard and this is to be expected.