Focus shifts just as quickly as the turnaround on Big Monday weeks, so we're going to keep the Providence review brief by playing a little game I like to call "Five Good, Five Bad, Five Not Really Worth Mentioning."
Good: Earl Clark
Clark is the one guy most teams (you're excused Kansas) aren't going to have an answer for defensively, so getting him going over these next three weeks is extremely important. David Padgett is not going to take the 12-foot jumper facing the basket, so against teams that play an extended 2-3 zone and leave the middle vulnerable (like Providence), Clark is the guy who has to step up and either hit the mid-range shot or finish strong around the basket.
He was enormous on Saturday and will need to put up a comparable effort on Monday for the Cards to beat Syracuse.
Bad: Missed two-footers
Padgett, Caracter, Williams, Clark and Palacios all missed chippies around the bucket that would have been viewed as the main contributor to a loss had Providence hit just a few more shots.
Not Really Worth Mentioning: Tim Welsh's attire
Did not look anywhere near cool. Also, constant posturing and faux outrage isn't going to save your job. A whole bunch of consecutive wins might.
Good: T-Will joining the 1,000-point club
It was far from his best overall game, but congratulations to Terrence Williams for becoming Louisville's 59th 1,000-point scorer. U of L now has more 1,000-point scorers than any other NCAA Division I program.
Bad: ESPN "Bonus Coverage"
This was so bizarre. The UConn/South Florida cutaway was at least somewhat understandable because it would have been a huge Big East upset and the game was being broadcast on an ESPN network, but UK/LSU? Two teams with a combined losing record playing on Raycom? Why in the world did anyone feel that this break-in was justified?
And if the cutaways weren't enough, we then had to hear Doug Gottlieb and Tom Brennan talk about the game for 45 seconds after it was over, while our game - the one people on the channel had presumably tuned in to watch - was being played. The whole thing was almost unbelievable.
I now understand the anguish of those tortured souls still without the Mega March Madness package, and perhaps I'm more of a man for it.
Not Really Worth Mentioning: U of L went 7-of-23 from three
Definitely not great, but not completely egregious, pretty altogether insignificant.
Good: Preston Knowles' defense
Jerry Smith has unquestionably been Louisville's most consistent performer this season, which makes it all-the-more remarkable that I feel such little anxiety when he leaves the floor. With Smith in foul trouble, Preston Knowles saw 17-minutes of court time, and responded with two big baskets and four steals. He also registered - I believe - his first dunk as a Cardinal.
Bad: Edgar Sosa's play in the last two minutes
We might not win without his baskets in the middle of the second half, but where Edgar Sosa's mind was in the last two minutes I have no idea. He stands and watches instead of going for a rebound that lands two-feet to his left, he attempts a jump shot with 56 seconds to play, 26 seconds on the shot clock and us leading by only six, and then he fouls on the other end of the floor and lets Providence score with the clock stopped. Andre McGee is then brought into the ballgame.
You just can't be doing this in mid-February.
Not Really Worth Mentioning: Geoff McDermott's use of his off-hand
Dude is thick, and not afraid to smack people up while keeping his dribble at the same time.
Good: Perimeter defense
I think we can all live wit 6-of-18 against a team that shoots it as well as the Friars do.
Bad: Derrick Caracter's free-throw shooting
I'm telling you, we're losing him quickly. He's dribbling the ball faster at the line than he was two weeks ago, he's not taking as much time between when he picks the ball up and when he begins his shot, and his facial expression has a combination of anxiety and apathy. The free-throws themselves aren't a colossal issue, but I think they're indicative of a player whose emotional state is dipping hastily.
Not Really Worth Mentioning: Providence won the rebounding battle 44-41
OK, even I'm getting tired of these.
Good: The Cards pulling out one that was in doubt late
Because Lord knows they're going to be in that situation again multiple times over the next month or so.
Bad: Terrance Farley's hands
I love the guy, but I feel like we deserve at least a quarter of a point every time he catches a routine pass. Of course it doesn't help that everybody seems hell bent on throwing no-look, bullet passes at his head whenever he checks into a game.
Just keep blocking shots and getting the troops fired up on the bench Terrance.
Not Really Worth Mentioning: Please God Let Us Win Baby moves to 6-0
Totally worth mentioning, but I needed one more.