Former mediocre head coach, once a reasonably astute color announcer, now calling games on Facebook, Bob Wentzel made some truly absurd and contradictory observations about the University of Louisville Cardinal basketball team during the Cards 71-54 measure of WKU.
But he got one thing correct.
He called Dwayne Sutton “essential.”
There is now ample early evidence meaning that descriptor might also apply to Malik Williams, who was a significant factor in the U of L win.
With 9:35 to play, the Cardinals one time 18 point advantage was cut to half to single digits, 51-42, for the first moment since the lead was 16-7 early on.
Enter Malik Williams, who is obviously still rounding into “basketball shape,” but remains ever the warrior he developed into during Chris Mack’s first campaign last year.
His first trip down court during that PT, he scored on a jump hook in the paint.
Louisville forced a missed Hilltopper shot, Sutton grabbed the defensive board, resulting in two Jordan Nwora FTs at the other end.
Sutton harvested another carom off the offensive board, resulting in a Jordan Nwora trey within the flow of the Cardinals offense.
The 7 zed run pushed U of L ahead 58-42.
Williams clamped down on Topper star Charles Bassey.
After a couple WKU FTs, the Toppers went 1-3-1 on D. Ryan McMahon found a spot and buried his only threeball of the contest. 61-44. Another defensive stop, another Malik Williams rebound, and a couple Fresh Kimble charity makes, and the measure was 63-44.
No reason to continue the play by play.
After putzing around for a segment of the game, as unfortunately this U of L team has a propensity to do, they steadied under the leadership, scoring and board work of Sutton and Williams, upped the lead to 21 and cruised home by 17, with an all frosh five playing the final 3;09.
Sutton finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Williams finished with 8 points, 9 rebounds and an assist in only 18 minutes on the Bridgestone hardwood. Malik prevented Bassey from scoring after Williams entered the game. He is forgiven for his 1st half follow slam goal tend. Josh Nickelberry hit the FTs.
After the Akron game, Chris Mack said, a paraphrase, “If all our guys played as hard and with as much focus as Dwayne, we’d go undefeated.”
Make that x2. Now a captain, Malik Williams appears to be performing the same way.
Now all he needs to do is change his first name to Micale.
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Jordan Nwora led the Cards’ scoring with 25 on 8/15 marksmanship.
He committed 6 of U of L’s 14 turnovers.
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So what the Turkey Weekend W in Nashvegas does is nothing less than this.
The putative #1 ranked Louisville Cardinals will host real #1 (at this time) Michigan Tuesday night in ACC/ Big 10 Challenge.
Rookie coach Juwan Howard’s Wolverines spent the week at Atlantis, smoking tough Iowa State, 83-76, #6 North Carolina, 73-64, and #8 Gonzaga, 82-64. Average margin over three squads considerably better than any Louisville has competed against so far, 18 points.
Buckle up, basketball fans, this is Big Time College Basketball.
Now is when the rubber meets the road. The next three contests will provide a legitimate assessment of where the Cardinals now stand. After Michigan, there’s a league tilt with improving 6-2 Pitt, and 5-2 Texas Tech in NYC.
-- Seedy K