Hop in the Way Back Machine with me for a second, I want to show you something from back when.
Alright, actually just a short trip to last Sunday, to remind you how the Cards started against Youngstown State.
See how Louisville turned it over on the first possession after getting the tip.
Then the Cardinals scored on their next 11 possessions, draining their first 11 shots from the field.
So, here’s how Wednesday’s 91-62 romp over Indiana State began.
Cards get the tip. Cards throw it away on a similar attempt to pass it into the post on the first possession. Cards fall behind 5-8, then go on a 13-3 run, which featured a Jordan Nwora stepback three, a Dwayne Sutton long bomb on a feed from Nwora, and a Darius Perry trey.
U of L had drained 7/8 from the field for that 18-11 advantage at the first media stoppage.
That barrage from outside the arc continued. Ryan McMahon -- Remember him, he’s the kid who really knows how tickle the twine from way out there -- joined the fun on a feed from Samuell Williamson for a 23-11 lead.
Fresh Kimble bullseyed from out there for a 34-18 margin. At which juncture, you might have noted that Louisville was 6/6 from what Marv Albert calls “Downtown.”
(But since the Cards actually play downtown, I’m going to start calling them from the “burbs” as in suburbs. Just be ready for the nomenclature shift henceforth.)
Whatever we call, we are fast learning this U of L bunch can make some string music.
OK, one more look in the mirror back to the W over the Penguins. Remember how worried the Card Nation was beforehand about PG play. Kimble hadn’t really showed up yet. David Johnson is still MIA due to his shoulder injury.
But Darius Perry went for 12 assists and only one gaffe. So there was an exhale of sorts.
Now, back to the Sycamores beatdown. And here comes Fresh, and his first reveal of what Phillyball really looks like as a Cardinal. Got it to the hoop and finished. Hit some Js. 5/6 from the field. Notched three dimes on his stat line. A steal.
So, in consecutive games, U of L did what they’re supposed to do during this November run of lesser foes. And worries about the point have been somewhat abated.
* * * * *
And, this is the time, ladies and gents, when yours truly really starts to worry.
Because: Even though the three teams the Cards have beaten haven’t really challenged, even though it’s way way way early, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the University of Louisville Cardinals are truly a really good basketball team.
And David Johnson and Malik Williams haven’t even suited up yet.
Be still my beating heart.
* * * * *
So here’s where my mind went as the Cards were pushing the lead toward 30 in the 2d.
When those tight tussles comes, and they will soon enough ‘cause there are some real battles ahead next month, maybe even in Nashville against the Toppers, when that down to the wire barnburners are upon us, and the Cards need a guy to make a play, who is Chris Mack going to go to?
It appears at this juncture that U of L is blessed with three, actually four guys, who could make the game winning maneuver.
Ever improving Jordan Nwora, who went for 21 and 5 and was robbed of another deuce, when the zebras missed a goal tend.
Fresh Kimble, yes Fresh Kimble, who more and more is going to show the ACC how they ball in the City of Brotherly Love. And, now, DerbyPlace.
Or, my choice at the moment, rookie Samuell Williamson. Whom I believe is the best offensive player on the team. As Chris Mack said after the W over State, “Sam really knows how to play the game on offense.”
He is just savvy and assertive with the ball. Great short range shooter. Last night, he scored on a couple of floater off the glass. Plus he had four assists.
Or, you can set up a triple pick, and let Ryan McMahon launch a game winner from the burbs.
The options on this team are already manifest. And Thanksgiving is still two weeks away.
OK, dude, enough, back to here and now.
* * * * *
Louisville D is tightening up and becoming more tenacious by the game. Still with a way to go.
* * * * *
One must assume the Cardinals worked on rebounding between last game and this.
Louisville doubled up the Sycamores on the boards. 42 to 21. The visitors only tallied 7 2d chance points, and 12 in the paint.
Dwayne Sutton, with 14 and 10, ruled the area around the hoop. My favorite DS moment was his offensive rebound and drawn foul on the follow, which resulted in a couple made FTs and a 38-20 advantage.
Sutton also led the Cards in +/- at +33.
Steven Enoch also grabbed ten off the glass, including a man’s man snatch on an Indiana State miss on their fourth possession after halftime.
* * * * *
Louisville entered the tilt with the best FG% among ACC schools at 52.3%. They were second in % from -- all together now -- the burbs.
Last night’s numbers could only help those averages.
FGs: 31/53. 58.5%
Threes: 9/17. 52.9%
And, at the charity stripe, a lovely 20/25. 80%.
* * * * *
Always great to see Cardinal meme Rob Hickerson, standing on his chair and leading the fans in C*A*R*D*S cheer.
Call me old and cranky, if you must, BUUUUUUUUT THE MUSIC DURING BREAKS IS WAY TOO LOUD!!!!!!!!!
Except when they come with Wolfmother’s “Joker and the Thief” late. The lyrics are ridiculous -- google ‘em up -- but the song is invigorating and incendiary, a real rabble rouser.
Cardinal fans are notorious for exiting early during routs. (To be fair, I trust it’s like that in most arenas.) Especially on school/work nights. That acknowledged, I’m just not sure I can remember a mass egress like the one that came at the 4:22 timeout and the Cards up 81-53.
Old timers will remember that legendary Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach used to light a cigar on the bench when a victory was in hand. For this year’s Cards, the surest sign will be when Logan Orbaugh enters the game. He’s a 6-8 rookie walkon from Zionsville, Indiana.
Should I dub him, the “cigar?”
-- Seedy K