Thanks to repeated highlight video viewings, new highlight packages coming out like the Montrezl Dunk Boner Jamz '13 earlier today and the baseball team playing in the College World Series, the time between the last Louisville basketball game and the first football game has been made much more bearable and downright enjoyable. We are still currently enjoying The Best Year In College Sports History and will continue to do so through at least this weekend. The present is precious.
But, I'll admit it: I've imagined the UK football game, looked for our bye week and tried to figure out if any of the teams later on the schedule could have gotten into the Top 25 by the time we played them. And, maybe even more than that, I've been playing out starting line-ups and rotation scenarios for the basketball team, monitoring social media for any scrap of "ZOMG MANGOK" or "SVT has added 5 inches to his vertical" or "Chris Jones and Russ Smith discovered they were related and are closer than anyone else on the team already" or Russ's nicknames for the new guys or....you get the picture. I can't help it. Sure, we just won the national championship, but we might actually have a chance to win it again next year! That's crazy!
Rick Pitino appeared on the Terry Meiners radio show this afternoon and thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to listen and transcribe as best as I could for those who could not. No one freak out, I mean it, just chill because everyone sounds like LeBron (or Danny Green) in summer practice reports......but...... hesaysTrezisdominating. Okay I'm excited but I said not to be.
Here's the full recap with my comments/contemporaneous thoughts in parenthetical:
- They are going to auction off and/or sign pieces of the NCAA Championship floor. (I would totally buy this if the price is not crazy high but who am I kidding that's going to be a bloodbath)
- He's already doing individual instruction with guys and will be doing some more this afternoon.
- Mangok is a 6'10" Otis George. (How tall was Otis? Like 6'9" I thought?) He's a shotblocker, quickest guy on the team, as fast as Peyton Siva end-to-end (there's no chance this is true), a shotblocker, very athletic and a better offensive game than Otis. He's not as talented and gifted as Gorgui, but he's only a freshman. (There's a lot going on here. I feel more confused about what to expect out of Mangok now than I did earlier today. And I've thought more about this issue than I care to admit)
- Mangok is not going to start. Because TREZ IS LIKELY GOING TO START AT THE 5 (shouting added because ZOMG that's a huge deal)
- Starting lineup likely: Trez at 5, Chane at 4, Wayne or Luke at 3, and then the backcourt is wide open.
- Backcourt will likely be Russ and Chris or Russ and Terry [Rozier] but it's wide-open. They are all talented, Ware will be coming back during the year (this seems it's not really news based on what we've seen the last few weeks but still a big deal), mentioned Terry, Anton, Chris Jones by name as all being talented.
- Said that starters don't really matter, last year team bought into Team concept between Trez/Luke coming off the bench even though they were playing better than Chane/Wayne.
- They all care about winning. They got the rewards because of the right attitude.
- Chane's biggest problem was that he didn't work last summer. Embraced Final Four and good freshman year and that's how you get a Sophomore jinx - think you arrive as a freshman, stop working on your game and not play well.
- Said that's why it took until February until Chane started playing well (I seem to specifically remember Chane playing his best games against Memphis, UK and UConn, all of which took place before February, and not playing well until the Final Four really, which took place in April. In fact, I am going to research this but I don't remember a good game Chane had in February.)
- Chane has vowed he would not do that again, he will be in great shape, he's not in great shape right now (this is of course all relative. I'm not in great shape. Pretty sure Chane is in great shape according to 99.9% of the world's idea of that concept.)
- (Hold onto your hats) Trez is working his butt off. He has dominated the practices we've had and "looks awesome" (zomg) (Terry Meiners decides to interject here that this shows Trez's "small town ethics" which, when coming directly after the discussion about Chane, seems vaguely racist or something and Rick seemed to not know how to react)
- Russ is really excited, is showing a lot of leadership, wants to make himself a first round pick and is working a lot on his jumpshot. Said in the NBA GMs are really into stats and from a PG they want a very good A/TO ratio (like 2.5-3:1) and want to see good shot selection, high percentage shots. Said he's got to change the opinion of GMs improve and have a good season for the Cardinals but also improve his A/T and FG%.
- This terrifies me enough I'm breaking the parenthetical thing. First, for stats guys, you'd think they would understand the concept of "exceptions" or "outliers" and "honest to God two seasons worth of actual results and performance." Second, Rick corrected himself but to the extent that Russ's NBA-readiness fits into our gameplan (high percentage shots, assists and good shot selection) that's great, but, I mean, Russ Being Russ was kinda our thing for the last 2 years and it worked out pretty well? If it ain't broke? You know?
- THAT BEING SAID, of all the guys who could cause problems by worrying about the NBA, Russ's personality and changes-to-his-game needed are the least likely to do so. But still, that's one of the many dynamics that will be interesting to watch next year, along with how Hendo handles his supermodel girlfriend who wants to soften his image to get more endorsement deals but causes him to lose a few miles an hour on his fastball.
- Peyton has had great workouts and looks like he is going to get drafted in the 2nd round. Gorgui has workouts this week and will go anywhere from 12-22, first round, and that's what is important.
- Terry asked about Jason Kidd and I don't care at all about this and can't believe he wasted time talking to Rick Pitino about this, but Pitino responded something about Rick's wife, NY newspapers and assistant coaches.
- Terry asked about the Finals and Rick said he was just talking to Russ about this (now why couldn't someone recap THAT convo??) and I got lost thinking about that conversation and mentally re-engaged in time to hear Rick say something about LeBron being the greatest choke artist of all time and how he should be called LeKukoc I'm completely kidding, he said LeBron is going to have a monster game tonight but the Spurs seem to have the edge.
- He's going to Omaha Monday to see the baseball team play.
- He talked about what a great year we've had (and for some reason named everything, because at this point I think everyone is well aware we won the Sugar Bowl, won the Men's National Championship and our Women's team was national runner up and now our baseball team is in the College World Series, but were you aware that we won the Sugar Bowl, won the Men's National Championship and our Women's team was national runner up and now our baseball team is in the College World Series, which no team has ever done?) and how everyone, the fans, etc., all share in the success and how it's all about Team Louisville (which if it is a real thing I would like to be a part of in some official way)
- Terry made some dumb jokes and Rick pretended to laugh.
Thanks for reading. Now, go enjoy the present.