That’s the warning when reading this take about the game, a 23 point defeat that, as we are wont to say, was not nearly that close.
Louisville 69, Syracuse 92.
Because there’s really not much to write about here.
Or, let’s be brutally honest, about this state of Cardinal affairs for the rest of the season.
I was actually anxious Saturday morning in advance of Syracuse. After the efforts the last two times out, it seemed like the Cards had a legit chance against the 11-11 Orange, to break the current losing streak. Which stands now at what five in a row. Eight of last nine.
I was struck that U of L was a 7 point underdog.
Ah, the delusions of a diehard.
There was a harbinger for me that reality was about to strike.
My pregame conversation with Doc.
From back east, he didn’t grow up a Card fan. But has been fully invested since matriculating at U of L in the 60s. Doc’s a warm weather guy. He hates the cold. He and family look for opportunities to find a beach come winter time.
Except that Doc has traditionally sent bride and daughters off to some exotic clime without him, if it means missing a Cardinal home game. He doesn’t miss U of L games.
During our conversation late morning, he advised how he was off to get some fresh tennis shoes. He and better half are off to Jamaica on Wednesday. I was gobsmacked. This was a reality check of the highest order.
* * * * *
The Cardinals first shot was a wide open three.
After the opening five possessions, the Cards had missed four treys, and were behind 2-7.
At the first media timeout, U of L was 4/12 from the field. ‘Cuse was 4/4.
At 14-25, the victors had finally missed a shot. They were 9/10. Most uncontested.
Louisville’s shooting, the numbers skewed by some garbage makes, was horrid. An open trey hit the top of the backboard on its downward arc. An open baseline J hit the upper corner of the glass.
At the other end of the court, Louisville was “awful.” Mike Pegues descriptor of the defensive effort, just transcribing there.
Louisville was never a threat.
With 6:10 to play, Syracuse was up 32. Walk ons took to the hardwood, including a guard who hadn’t played a second all season. Normally the nervous type, Jim Boeheim appeared throughout like a man contemplating where he wanted to go to dinner.
* * * * *
Pegues who admitted to being “pissed off” at the team’s lack of enthusiasm, also offered this.
“We’re a talented team. But not talented enough.”
As much as I hate to admit it, I have to disagree with the first sentence. I had thought all along during the Mack meltdown that there was a good team somewhere in there.
It frankly, sadly, does not appear to be so.
The team, the program, is in need of an extreme total makeover.
That process has commenced.
Until then, some semblance of effort on the court, and acceptance among the faithful appear the most that can asked for.
— c d kaplan