This will be fairly short because I don't think anything outside of the team's resume has really changed all that dramatically since this time last week. Either this team will get it and go on another big-time run, or this will continue and Louisville will finish the school year as the most disappointing team in both football and basketball.
I vowed after last season to never doubt Rick Pitino again, and I haven't broken a vow since '87 (vowed to teach myself how to read in two hours, missed it by 17 minutes).
We can't win if Terrence Williams keeps shooting out-of-rhythm jump shots from just inside the three-point line. I cringe everytime he makes a shot like that, because it all but guarantees a miss on a key possession later in the game. There are trips where it's blatantly obvious that he's decided he's going to shoot before the ball even gets across halfcourt. How he thinks this helps the team or himself, I haven't the slightest idea.
I've gotten to the point where I think I'm accurately predicting the outcome of T-Will's shots about 80% of the time. It's really quite simple. Off-the-dribble, off-balanced or falling away: bad. Open, off the pass, straight up: good. To the rack under control: very good. To the rack out of control: very bad.
For us to turn this thing around, Williams has to realize that the best game he's played as a Cardinal was an eight point, seven assist, zero turnover performance at Pitt in an enormous 13-point road win last season. The year before against the Panthers he scored 25 points, had no assists and two turnovers, and we lost by four at home.
When he's bad, we're bad.
Probably the main reason I'm holding onto the belief that this team can still achieve something great (my grip is slipping and belief's face looks like it's starting to accept the fact that death is imminent) is what I saw from David Padgett on Tuesday. There is no tougher player in college basketball, and an established and vocal leader is something this team has obviously desperately needed for the last six weeks.
On top of his leadership and courage, Padgett actually looked to be moving extremely well, all things considered. If things continue to spiral out of control and this team does in fact miss the NCAA Tournament, it won't be because number four didn't do everything in his power to prevent it.
I'm tired of talking about Edgar Sosa, I really am. It's gotten to the point where I'm ready to say screw the best possible scenario for this team, and let's go with the kid who has played his ass off on defense all year and has shown for 13 games that he at least has a general idea of where the ball is supposed to go on offense (it's not Sosa).
Either Edgar's going to get it or he's going to continue to hurt this team every second he's on the floor, and that's all there really is to say about it.
Pitino said after the game that this team doesn't pay enough attention to scouting reports - which was obvious in the fact that John Williamson was handed open jumpers for 40 minutes - but some of the defensive mistakes that U of L made on Tuesday were things that everybody yells at guys in pickup games for doing. For instance, Deonta Vaughn had just hit consecutive triples in the second half, and on the next possession Jerry Smith inexplicably left him to make a wild slap at the ball on a driving UC player. I mean that's something you see at a bad middle school game, and even then the other four guys on the team are shocked that their teammate could do something so inexcusable.
You can rewatch the game as many times as you like, but you won't be able to catch the real reason we lost. I was given a black "The Ville" shirt on New Year's Eve by a schmuck who shall remain nameless, and wore said shirt during the game the next day. Not only did black "The Ville" notch its first loss in an extremely short existence, but it was also gracing my torso during a blizzard-dominated drive home that turned out to be three terrifying hours longer than expected.
I'm thinking about giving the shirt the Jumani treatment and chucking it in the Ohio, but I suppose it'd be bound to wash up on some African shore just when it looked like things were about to end up OK. (Note: If you never saw Jumanji and don't fully understand the previous sentence, do not, I repeat DO NOT, hit up Netflix just so you can obtain complete comprehension of this post. Just chalk this one up as a loss and read on).
A trio of NBA Draft picks will not come from the same NIT team. Perhaps the boys need a refresher course on the "Florida Model."
I think the "Mick Mamba" was the only thing that could've made me laugh after that game. Also, what the hell was he doing during the last four seconds? I know what happened on the play, and I have no idea what screaming and doing a spastic "back up sign" with your hands was supposed to communicate to your players. Congrats on the win.