—Eric Crawford recaps a Vince Tyra press conference form Thursday where he announced that he was cutting his own salary, had signed three contract extensions for coaches, and ripped Dan Dakich. Some people were more impressed by the other items, but the last one spoke directly to my heart.
—Jeff Greer gives an updated look at Louisville’s NCAA tournament resume.
—SB Nation Bracketologist Chris Dobbertean has Louisville as one of the last four teams in his bracket from this morning.
—The AJC has five reactions from last night’s U of L-Georgia Tech game.
1. Off their game
From the start, the Jackets were a step slow and lacked focus. They weren’t able to complete seemingly simple passes, missed several shots at the basket, were consistently beaten to loose balls and did not vigorously challenge Louisville’s 3-point shots.
“It’s one of those things where no one knows exactly why,” center Ben Lammers said. “It’s just, everyone came out flat and not a lot of energy.”
Lammers struggled through one of his poorest games in the past two seasons, scoring two points on 1-for-8 shooting from the field. The misses included a couple jump shots that were well off target. Coming out of one timeout in the first half, Tech ran a play where Lammers flashed coming across the lane, which got him a relatively clean look at a layup, which he missed.
Lammers had four rebounds – none in the second half – and seemed to lack his usual bounce. He said it wasn’t related to his playing all 45 minutes of Tech’s overtime loss to Boston College on Sunday, the first time a Tech player has done that since the 1998-99 season. (Guard Jose Alvarado also played all 45.)
“Physically, I felt pretty much fine,” he said. “It was just one of those things. I don’t know why I just didn’t have the normal adrenaline or energy that gets me going. I always have a routine I do pretty much the same stuff before a game, so I can’t explain why it happened. I guess I should have recognized it earlier and tried to do something to psyche myself up.”
Guard Josh Okogie had a similarly unimpeded shot at the basket on a layup in the open court, but he missed that as well. He also had a jump shot from the free-throw line blocked by guard Ryan McMahon, just the second block of the season for the 6-foot-0 guard.
“I didn’t even see him,” said Okogie, who is 6-4. “He just jumped out and I tried to shoot it. He came out of nowhere. It was a great defensive play by him. We need more of that on our defense for us.”
—Charles Barkley was in mid-March form last night when he was asked about the current state of college basketball. He first argued that he thought Iowa was the best team in the country, and later that Iowa and Indiana are in the same state. Nailed it.
—Bill Connelly’s first S&P projections for the 2018 college football season are here, and Louisville is No. 29.
—This is probably the worst technical/ejection I’ve ever seen.
JACOBI BOYKINS WITH NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE TURNING DEFENSE INTO OFFENSE AND A....— beIN COLLEGE SPORTS (@beINCOLLEGE) February 9, 2018
technical foul? @LATechHoops' Boykins is ejected after receiving his second technical foul of the night. Jason Capel does NOT agree. Now on @beINSPORTSUSA pic.twitter.com/Qygq4yjFIc
Still doesn’t excuse bumping Mr. Tastee in the tunnel though.
—Jeff Brohm and Purdue recruited the state of Kentucky better than either U of L or UK in 2018.
—Get this kid to a game.
@CardChronicle can you share that if these lower bowl people who don’t come to games want to give me their tickets I’ll drive the biggest 4-year-old fan down from Northern Ky and take him to the game. pic.twitter.com/ALEpOqD7L8— Caleb Finch (@Cards_14) February 9, 2018
—Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic lists Louisville in the “should be in” section of his latest Bubble Watch ($$).
Louisville (17-8, 7-5 – RPI: 43, SOS: 27): The Cardinals dominated Georgia Tech, 77-54, on Thursday night, which will elicit a sigh of relief from the faithful after three straight losses, two of which came in the Yum! Center. Louisville is 1-6 in its seven Group 1 games, but to be fair, six of those games were played on the road. Avoiding disaster at Pittsburgh on Sunday is imperative before North Carolina arrives on Feb. 17.
—Here are the 19 biggest takeaways from National Signing Day 2018.
—Really good story from ESPN’s Andrea Adelson on Virginia standout Isaiah Wilkins, who has decided to speak out about his personal struggles with depression with the hope that it will help others.
—That Mario Bros shirt though.
—Reid Forgrave of CBS includes Western Kentucky on his list of the 10 most likely NCAA tournament Cinderellas.
—Unless there’s some sort of remarkable turnaround over the last month of the season, Pitt is going to go down as one of the worst power conference teams in recent memory.
From 63 offensive possessions, the Panthers (8-17, 0-12 ACC) managed just 48 points, tying their lowest average of the season. In conference games, they are averaging fewer points per possession (0.85) than Virginia, the ACC’s best defensive team, is allowing opponents to average in that same span. In effect, a team can statistically resemble the sport’s most decorated and suffocating defense merely by playing Pitt.
It marked the second time in the past six games the Panthers failed to crack even the 50-point barrier and it was the ninth time in 15 ACC games they had scored fewer than 60.
That’s unreal. Please don’t beat us on Sunday.
—We are now less than a month away from the first day of the ACC tournament.
—Louisville has no players on the top 100 of Sam Vecenie’s NBA Draft big board.
—If the Cards are going to go on a major run down the stretch, they’re going to need their freshmen to have more nights like they did against Georgia Tech.
“I think we all have a lot to bring to the table,” Nwora said. “When our name is called, we’re able to show that.”
Defined roles make it easier for teams to play together. But it’s been a struggle for Louisville this season, with players over-compensating at times to fill in for what the Cardinals lack.
Because of that struggle for identity, Louisville’s defense has come and gone, its offense surged and stagnated.
Part of that, redshirt sophomore Ryan McMahon explained, can be blamed on the monotony of a long season with 31 games and a daily routine that becomes a grind that wears down sharpness and self-awareness.
But in the win over Georgia Tech, a much-needed victory to halt Louisville’s recent struggles, the Cards rejuvenated their spirits and hoped they snapped out of the funk that produced three consecutive losses and four defeats in five games.
”It was crucial for us,” senior center Anas Mahmoud said. “It’s a boost for our confidence. It’s a refresher for us to understand how we can play as a team.””I think we all have a lot to bring to the table,” Nwora said. “When our name is called, we’re able to show that.”
—Louisville baseball’s 2018 television schedule has been announced.
—The season’s promotional calendar is also here.
—Great to see Eric Wood at the Yum Center last night. Few people love Louisville basketball (and football) more.
—Season tickets for the 2018 U of L soccer season are now on sale.
—We like college basketball, part 3 billion.
Duke-UNC: Raleigh-Durham earned a 9.0 rating, the market’s highest local rating for any game this season on ESPN. The Top 10 local markets are: pic.twitter.com/bpYV8mfH0E— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) February 9, 2018
—The story of U of L baseball superfan Todd Esser is worth your time.
—What does this allegedly compromised FBI agent mean for prosecution in the ongoing college hoops saga? Pete Thamel examines.
—After finding out all of the news regarding their head coach’s potential firing on Twitter, Colorado State players boycotted practice on Thursday.
—If you have basketball tickets but can’t make it to a game, there’s now an easy way to transfer your tickets so they don’t go unused.
Last minute change in plans? Can't make it to the game tonight? Don't let your ️go unused... Let a friend, family member, or client enjoy @LouisvilleMBB with the new & easy ticket transfer process.— UofL Athletic Tix (@gocardstix) February 8, 2018
️credit: @CardsPA pic.twitter.com/u9EXIhZ6OG
—We’re now just a few days away from the Louisville-UConn showdown in Storrs.
—New contracts show that four Louisville football assistants received raises for the 2017 season.
—This is a pretty wild look into what it’s like to be Grayson Allen walking onto the court inside the Dean Dome.
How it feels to be Grayson Allen pic.twitter.com/uByArsIqbw— Shawn Krest (@ShawnKrest) February 8, 2018
—Here’s the official U of L recap from last night’s game.
—And finally, we’re recapping last night’s game and looking ahead to the weekend from 3-6 this afternoon. Listen here.