I was really hoping that Sosa's shot (the time has come for "Sosa's shot" to be given an appropriately catchy official title...feel free to share your thoughts) would propel the boys to a start-to-finish throttling of the only sure thing in the Big East, but I'm willing to accept the fairly decisive, albeit not aesthetically pleasing, victory since "nothing is easy in the Big East" and this was actually our first true road game of the season.
Hope everyone enjoyed last night, because the comfortable viewing experience is on vacation until the Bulls come back to the Hall on Jan. 28.
At the risk of sounding like someone with unrealistically high expectations, Earl Clark should score 18-25 points against teams like South Florida. The Bulls have absolutely no talent in their frontcourt and even less of an answer for Clark than 95% of the teams on Louisville's schedule, which means he's basically going to be given the outside shot and he should still be able to beat his man to the tin.
Take the uncontested shot if it's given to you, go straight to the bucket if it's not. This can really be a simple game for Earl Clark.
Not that Clark's effort Wednesday night doesn't deserve to be applauded. Thirty-six minutes, nine boards, four steals AND he smiled.
Dante Cunningham awaits.
If someone out there could make this happen, I'd love to be able to juxtapose Edgar Sosa's stats from games in which he made his first shot with those from games where he missed his first shot. I said it for the first time somewhere around the halfway point of his freshman season, but the kid just plays at a considerably higher level when his first shot drops than he does when his initial attempt finds iron.
Sosa drilled a three right off the bat again on Wednesday, and just like that Good Edgar took his shoes off, put his feet up on the ottoman and got ready to read stories to adorable sick children for 40 minutes.
Sosa's been fantastic for two games, but neither Michael Porter nor Jesus Verdejo present anywhere near the challenge that the Scottie Reynolds/Corey Fisher combination will on Saturday. If Edgar plays within himself and delivers another stellar effort in a victory over 'Nova, then the "turned the corner" talk will have that much more legitimacy.
Kudos to our guards for wearing down Dominique Jones, who finished the night 1-of-10 and looked like he had zero legs after the first six or seven minutes of both halves.
I love the idea of wearing the black unis against South Florida. You can't just topple a curse in one game, you have to eat away at it slowly. During the '04-'05 season - commonly referred to as "The Year the Black Uni Curse Was Backpacking in Europe" - Louisville actually wore its black jerseys and scrimmaged the KCD junior varsity team every Wednesday from the start of practice up until the first round of the NCAA Tournament. You can't just take the power out of the jersey, you have to trick the jersey into believing that it has no power.
It was pretty obvious that Pitino was trying to get Samardo some work during the last four minutes of the game, and why not since the big man has been in foul trouble for about 110 of the team's last 120 minutes. He still looked like a man whose confidence has been considerably shaken for most of the night, but maybe that late jumper will serve as a solid boost heading into a game against another team that lacks a true center.
A very, very encouraging performance from Terrence Jennings, who seemed to be getting his hands on everything when South Florida had the ball. TJ got a chance to shine only due to Samuels' foul trouble and the fact that George Goode was resting the stress fracture in his right shin, but he played about as well as any of our big men have this season during his 17-minute stint on the floor.
Still, I don't think Jennings is a real option to play considerable minutes at the five just yet. The sloppy, up-and-down style that's always going to be prevalent in a game against South Florida allows for Jennings' raw skill to show itself, but outside of maybe Rutgers and St. John's, no one else in the league is going to allow the game to fall off to that level.
Last night showed exactly why Jennings can be a terrific center in this league, but it's going to take time and it's going to take effort, a pair of factors that are difficult to grasp for the modern prep basketball "star."
How much a power trip do you think the kid who undoubtedly spent at least one Halloween as a minor Star Wars character gets when he puts on the USF Bull costume every game? I could meet the kid before the game, know full well that he's 5-foot-3, 112-pounds, and if he told me to get him a pack of airheads while he was in that suit, I'd still sprint to the concession stand, knock over any woman or child in my way, give him his airheads, and then start bawling the moment it became obvious that he was going to let me live.
What a friggin' bad ass.
Jared Swopshire: weights and cake this summer, weights and cake.
Our first Reggie Delk experience in a couple of weeks was certainly a pleasant one. It was nice to see him have no qualms about pulling the trigger from deep, because that's an area where he might really be able to help us at some point down the road.
T-Will: still fully capable of dunking a basketball.
I wonder if Lee Steiden asked if he could dress for the game because he'd heard so many people ask who the manger was that prematurely ran on the floor after Sosa's game-winner. I'm not sure my heart is going to be able to take it if I don't witness a Lee shot attempt before the Big East Tournament.
Preston is second in the Big East in three-point field goal percentage, but I'm still not sure he's earned the right to launch an off-balance, contested trey one pass into a possession. He has, however, earned the right to a handful of any bag of candy I ever have in my possession. It's a big deal. I love candy.
"You gotta pick up your attitude or you're gonna deal with me in the locker room" instantly goes into the vault of Pitino classics. Apparently he was talking to McGee, whom he'd just gotten on for picking the ball up in the corner during the previous possession.
'Twas just not Andre's night.
Loved the pair of audible C-A-R-D-S chants at the beginning of the second half and near the end of the game. If you were in attendance, a tip of my cap in your direction.
And now we begin the two month "every night is going to give me a heart attack and I can tell that I'm driving everyone around me insane but I can't help it" tour of the Big East. I'd say that Villanova is an enormous game, but I feel it's a description that's going to be worn out before we even get into February.
Please check at this time to make sure your seat belts are securely fashioned, and that your tray tables are in their full and upright position.