With Marshall two days away and Notre Dame just three, U of L's blowout of Jacksonville State is officially a thing of the Internet past. Still, I slept with Ray Ganong to get really good seats for the JSU game and there are a handful of important items from the experience that deserve at least a brief mention.
1. I frantically pulled out my phone in the game's final seconds hoping to capture video of Trent Gilbert sticking a three, but wound up getting a glorious shot of Matz Stockman's first points as a Card.
Matz then gave me a thumbs up as he was walking off the floor and I have been sleeping on a bed of Laffy Taffy (not banana) and Kelly Kapowskis ever since.
2. Rick Pitino was relatively subdued, saving his only real tongue-lashing for Anton Gill after Gill had let Jacksonville State's best 3-point shooter take mildly contested shots from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions. Pitino laid into Gill during a timeout and then again on the bench. He then started to walk away before turning around and adding, "do you not understand that the culture of Louisville basketball is built on defense?"
3. After Gill's mistake, an added emphasis must have been placed on recognizing where the shooter was on the floor. Two possessions later when he broke behind the line and looked to receive a pass, literally every player on Louisville's bench held up a hand and yelled in unison. It was pretty cool to see.
4. Fist-bumping every coach and every player during both pre-game introductions and whenever a player is taken out of the game is my new favorite U of L tradition. I think we were all concerned that this group might not be as likable or as easy to cheer for as the last four, but it seems like the group has really answered the bell when it comes to the "pass down the culture" talk.
5. When it comes to pure intimidation on a basketball court, the only player I'll put above Montrezl Harrell is Kenyon Martin. Watching both in person is akin to sitting close to the stage for a performance of "Dracula" when you were a kid. You know nothing bad is going to happen to you, but still ... it's a little nerve-wracking.
It's also so comforting to have a guy like that wearing your team's uniform. If I was Dillon Avare I would talk ish to everybody.