Well I went to sleep feeling happier than an Oompa-Loompa on heroine, and woke up feeling like death (which, coincidently, is also how Oompa-Loompa's who shoot heroine wake up). I blame T-Will...who I hope had a wonderful night of sleep.
Anyhow, my head's still sort of spinning so this post will have to be in list format in order for me to maintain any sense of equilibrium.
Here are eleven thoughts on last night's game and one on something that has nothing to do with last night's game.
1. With so much attention being paid to David Padgett's role as leader, passer and offensive facilitator in recent weeks, I think the fact that he's a pretty hellatious scorer in the low post has been a bit overlooked. The guy does so many little things for this team that sometimes you forget about the big things, like leading the Big East in field goal percentage (in league games) and averaging just under 17 points per game over Louisville's last six.
My only worry is that there are at least four games left in the season, and I'm pretty certain I've already run out of compliments to pay one guy.
2. I thought this was the best combination effort we've gotten from Earl Clark and Juan Palacios all season. Earl had to be a beast for us to win, and he absolutely was. He came up with 14 huge points and seemed to snag a big rebound every time we had to have one. The only thing he did wrong consistently was leave his man (Ayers) open in the corner and come down to help out on a penetrating guard when help wasn't needed. But again, these are the mistakes that are acceptable for Clark to make, so long as he's playing hard and crashing the boards.
JDP again struggled to put the ball in the basket, but he was all over the place on defense, coming up with five rebounds and a pair of steals. I've heard a rumor that the promotion for Sunday's Senior Day game is "Juan Palacios Goggles Night," which if true would probably be the coolest thing that's happened on Earth since man discovered fire (because fire, let's face it, is pretty cool). Also cool is the fact that Clark volunteered to give up his starting spot for Palacios in his last game at Freedom Hall.
3. The quote of the night Thursday evening didn't come from Rick Pitino, it didn't come from Mike Brey or anybody on television, it came from the gentleman sitting directly behind me. After a furious 4-0 Notre Dame run trimmed the Louisville lead to a wiry 34-20 in the first half, this guy (who I'm praying isn't anyone reading this) felt the need to shout at the top of his lungs: "Come on Pitino, put a team on the floor that actually knows how to play the game of bass-keet-bawl!!"
4. How Luke Harangody is able to do what he does is nothing short of amazing. I mean the guy employs the same awkward looking right-handed push shot that every fat guy who never made a grade-school basketball team still utilizes. It sort of reminds me of Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly. He warmed-up about 20 feet in front of me, and my mind just wouldn't be convinced that this was the Big East Player of the Year it was watching.
He plays remarkably hard, he somehow manages to make the shot when he kamikazes toward the basket, and the only explanation for him managing to shoot such a high percentage with that jump shot is tireless practice. There are very few people for whom the phrase "the kid's just a player" accurately applies to, but Harangody is certainly one of those.
5. Edgar Sosa is about 25 times as accurate when he's shooting from just behind the three-point line as he is when he's about a foot further back. I think this is probably also why he's been better from the corner this season than any other spot on the floor: he's got no room to move back.
This was a Good Edgar performance with the exception of an ill-advised lob pass to T-Will in the first half, and a wild shot in the lane in the second. He's playing far more under control with the ball in his hands, he's not taking bad shots from the outside, and perhaps most important of all, he looks more at ease both when he's on the bench and on the floor. It couldn't be happening at a better time.
6. I got the following text message from Web early in the second half: "DORIS BURKE HAS US IN HER FINAL FOUR!"
7. It was another tremendous defensive effort from Andre McGee. You couldn't really appreciate the job he did on Tory Jackson until you saw someone else try and guard the lighting quick sophomore. Andre was tenacious at the head of the press, at the top of the zone, and in the man-to-man. The ten points were a nice little addendum too.
8. Is anybody else finding themselves hoping that Georgetown wins at Marquette tomorrow? At this point I'm not sure if it behooves us to do so, but I just think the prospect of a regular season conference championship game in which the winner claims the title outright is pretty exciting.
Also, Crean sucks.
9. I really think that we would have won by 12 or 15 had they not called a foul on the play where Palacios found Jerry Smith for the open three in the corner. I think that would have put us up 17, and the place would have gone ballistic had the whistle not blown.
Also, I saw Smith miss three three-pointers. It actually happened. He's now 89 of his last 92 from beyond the arc.
10. I'd just as soon stay away from Notre Dame in New York. Not being able to relax when you're up 14 with four and-a-half minutes left is less fun than being able to relax when you're up 14 with four and-a-half minutes left.
11. If this team hasn't figured out how to obtain the coolest looking score possible in the last 15 seconds (and going by last night's finish, I'd say they haven't), then I don't think it's ever going to happen.
1. I think Primary Colors is the most underrated movie of the last ten years.