-This was a fun one to watch. It was from January 17, 2009 and at Freedom Hall. Pittsburgh entered the game 16-0 and #1 in the country. Louisville came in 12-3 and ranked #20.
-Louisville’s starters: Edgar Sosa, Jerry Smith, Terrence Williams, Earl Clark, Samardo Samuels.
-Within four minutes of the game, even though Pitt was leading 14-5, all I could think of was how much I miss that place and the atmosphere.
-This was that extremely talented 2008-09 team that we were certain would make the Final Four after the throttling of Arizona before running into Michigan State. That didn’t matter in this game, it was just fun to sit back and watch that team. Well, everyone but one little short dude.
-It was Earl Clark’s birthday, and did he ever hit a HUGE shot at the end of the game! You will see it on the film review, of course. He finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and three blocks. Happy Birthday, E5.
-Terrence Williams did what he did best, stuff the stat sheet: 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists. He did something else he was really good at, and that was try to make the highlight play several times instead of the simple play.
-You really got to see in this game both sides of this team, the talent and the “trying to do too much” factor that made this season such a disappointing ending.
-Jerry Smith struggled, to say the least. 17 minutes, five fouls, zero points, zero shots.
-I got to see the Sam Young pumpfake 3,285 times. So that was exciting. I do try to make the film reviews on these older games more about positive things from Louisville because nobody wants to hear the mistakes and what this team needs to work on going forward. However, Sam Young did have a highlight reel sequence that I had to include.
-Pitt came into the game averaging 11.5 turnovers per game, good for 10th fewest in the country. They turned the ball over 20 times in this one. The press really got to them and that was a fun thing to see. And no, I am not getting into a debate over Pitino vs Mack style of play. It was just fun to see them getting after it in the backcourt.
-The Cards were down 55-45 with just under nine minutes to play and it just seemed like it wasn’t going to be their night. Then T-Will hit a jumper, Earl hit a jumper, Preston Knowles made a three, and Earl had a big dunk and suddenly it was 55-54 and a brand new game.
-Dejuan Blair was an absolute beast. He only played 20 minutes because of foul trouble and still had 10 rebounds. He picked up his fourth foul with Pitt leading by eight. When he came back into the game, it was tied.
-Got to wrap this up with something I already alluded to. Freedom Hall was the absolute best and nothing will ever be like it for me. That place was a second home and the atmosphere was so good for these big games.
-As always, thank you for taking the time to check this out. Hopefully it is fun to go back and read/see some of this stuff from older games. I mean, what else are you going to watch?
First Louisville possession, Edgar Sosa gets the switch and realizes he has a mismatch and can drive. He actually drew four fouls on Pitt in the first 8:27 of the game just from driving to the basket. pic.twitter.com/Opa6e0JqJz— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Preston Knowles enters the game for the first time and makes an immediate impact. Pressure defense and a trap with Earl Clark forces the timeout. pic.twitter.com/hfv4n06z1H— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Check out the quick hands from big man Terrence Jennings! pic.twitter.com/3nIi6gVmgu— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Some short dude misses a three and the Cards recover. Terrence Williams finds the birthday boy, Earl Clark, for the dunk. Cards coming back. pic.twitter.com/E03kCnEY8J— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Good hands by Samardo on the defensive end leads to a fast break. Terrence Williams gives a hesitation move and gets to the rim. pic.twitter.com/ueDKZOgY4W— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Pitt picks up the dribble in the worst spot on the court and Louisville takes advantage. Earl puts pressure on the ball. Watch everyone else deny the pass to their man so there is nowhere to throw the ball. pic.twitter.com/wCinMeYW3g— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Samardo did a great job in this game of passing out of the double team. He kicks to Sosa, who throws a skip pass to T-Will for the three before the defense can recover from the double. pic.twitter.com/9P08S3yIpH— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Earl drives and draws a second defender, leaving Preston Knowles open. He knocked down some big threes in this one. Quick catch and shoot. pic.twitter.com/Etdf2z7MU2— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Another Samardo kick out leads to another three, this one by Knowles. Samardo doesn’t get credit for these assists, but they were big plays to kick out from the double team. pic.twitter.com/CXPKUYV7Zp— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
This is all good for Louisville so far, but this sequence by Sam Young has to be recognized. Lordy. pic.twitter.com/vhK8CRoXOP— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Freedom Hall, man. Just enjoy this. pic.twitter.com/UeYWl7m6We— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020
Beautiful pick and roll with Sosa and Samardo. pic.twitter.com/fTLqkPYQiL— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) July 24, 2020