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Seedy K’s GameCap: Boston College

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There are times in life when I revert to the smart aleck Sports Editor of the Atherton Aerial in a staff meeting decades ago. And the school paper’s advisor, bow-tied Mr. Bishop, after one of my snarky pubescent remarks, would admonish me to “get my head above my belt buckle.”

Those moments come often when the Cards are allowing a lesser, under-talented foe to stay close on their home court in a league game.

Like Saturday in Chestnut Hill, during U of L’s eventual W by a dozen over Boston College.

Quinn Slazinski had hit a monster trey, coming out of a Cardinal timeout with 10:31 til buzzer, after the Eagles had cut their deficit to 42-49.

But the homies stayed close, and Q again took charge after the 7:57 stoppage. A great board out of the timeout. Then a beautiful dish to Jae’Lyn Withers for a layup.

At that moment, I was back in HS on Morton Avenue.

“Grab this one by the short and curlies,” I yelled into the void between me and the telly.

To no immediate avail.

Three horrid interludes ensued. Sam Williamson committed his fourth foul, allowing BC to pull closer. Then the Cards stood around with their thumbs up their butts on the ensuing offensive possession, coming up empty without even a decent shot. After stealing the ball back, David Johnson gave it away. (His only turnover of the tilt.)

During that same tweedly sequence of events, Williamson was DQed with five fouls. And Withers was called for an iffy charge.

The Cards were still up 61-48 at the 3:52 media stepaway.

But, having seen such “battles” slip away all too many times, I was Nervous Norvis.

* * * * *

Then came The Play of the Game.

Gabe Wiznitzer snared a Carlik Jones miss, and followed with a deuce for a 63-48 advantage.

OK, maybe it wasn’t The Play of the Game. That reference is for my pal Doc, who is not as enamored with the rookie as Coach Mack or me. Doc’s compared Wiz with Marty Pulliam. (If you’re too young to know the reference, here’s a hint. Take a gander back to the end of the bench in ‘80.)

But the play did help.

The rest of the game was a FT contest.

The Cardinals held BC at bay, netting 11/12 at the charity stripe down the stretch. While BC was 8/10.

* * * * *

Chris Mack was surprisingly upbeat after the 76-64 victory to push the Cardinals to 7-1 (2-0).

To paraphrase:

“I thought we were locked in and played with extreme confidence.”

“The guys were ready to play.”

“We were locked in on who could beat us. We did a terrific job against Tabbs and Heath on the road.”

* * * * *

Even though I was too nervous — I’m always too nervous when the Cardinals take to the floor, especially foreign hardwood — I thought U of L was steady.

Especially at the defensive end, where they held the Eagles to 33% shooting, 8/33 from Faneuil Hall.

BC had no FGs in the final 7:04 of the 1st.

The Cardinals were +13 off the glass, +18 in the paint.

* * * * *

For the second outing in a row, DJ appeared to be developing into the sophomore force he was expected to be.

He had 14 at the break, including 4/5 from beyond the arc. His three right before intermission was bigly. He finished with 20, 8 rebounds, three assists, and that lone giveaway.

Quinn Slazinski was simply solid. 8 points, 6 rebounds. Tenacious D.

He led the Cards at +/- with a +17.

Mack on Q: “He’s an excellent communicator.

“He knows the game, understands what’s happening.”

“He did a great job.”

Dre Davis was oh so quietly effective during the fray. 11 points on 5/5 shooting. Plus a nifty dime, which I thought I’d made note of, but can’t seem to find in my scribbles.

Even though Sam Williamson fouled out, he seemed more comfortable when Louisville had the ball, finding a sweet spot in the middle of BC’s zone. He was 5/10 from the field, while playing less than twenty minutes.

Carlik Jone remains INDISPENSABLE. Despite 3/13 shooting, and 3 turnovers. He was U of L’s leading rebounder with 9, and dished out 6 assists, also team high. And 9/11 at the line, including his last eight at crunch time.

* * * * *

Louisville’s trouble inbounding against pressure is troublesome.

* * * * *

Here’s what else I screamed at the TV:

“Show the Game!!!!!!!!!!”

Why do the folks in the truck feel compelled to show coaches or guys on the bench or cutouts in the stands, when there’s action on the court?

* * * * *

Next (Hopefully): Virginia Tech (Hopefully) at the Yum! (Hopefully) on Wednesday, January 6 (Hopefully.)

— c d kaplan