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Hump Day Hoedown

Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

My throwback.

If you don’t know which former Cardinal it references, you be in the wrong place. Just sayin’.

If you do, eat your heart out.

I throw it up there, because all signs are pointing to the Cardinal men’s hoops returning to where it once belonged.

It’s going to take awhile. So, be patient.

* * * * *

My man who is periodically at practice reported in last evening.

FYI, he shall henceforth be known as Gym Eyes. Here anyway. Not sure his bride will find it as cute as I do.

Unfortunately, I was sitting in my car outside the grocery when he rang me up. So I didn’t have paper and pencil in hand to take notes. My memory on the wane, I’ll only be able to talk in generalities.

The big takeaway is that everybody on every drill looked markedly if incrementally improved over GE’s last look see a couple of weeks ago.

The coaching staff is emphasizing conditioning. Drills will be blown dead if players are not going full speed. As happened at least once when Josh Jamieson blew a stop the proceedings of the guys he was working with. I’m advised the team was broken into two groups on Tuesday, the bigs and the perimeters.

Mike James is apparently feeling more comfortably by the day, after extended rehab. He’s teammates were impressed by his hops, especially on a couple of slams.

Lots of drills where ball handling was important. Taking moves with 2-3 dribbles, then passing or shooting. Gym Eyes advises Kamari Lands has a pretty good handle. He also mentioned Hercy Miller, who all things considered will probably see action of consequence, despite his walk on status.

The first report on Devin Ree, former future LSU Tiger, is that he’s long and skinny. Good shooter. He hasn’t been around all summer until recently.

Another drill had players driving to the hoop, either to go all the way, or dish it off. When some seemed to be going less than full tilt when their intent was to pass the rock, KP chastised, pointing out such actions don’t work if they all don’t look the same. Meaning full tilt.

The other significant observation to Gym Eyes was that all seemed to be really pulling for teammates, a palpable sense of togetherness.

* * * * *

Fascinating read this morning in our burg’s Once Great Newspaper about new men’s hoops strength coach Adam Petway. He like many these days is an analytical nut case.

Joking aside, it’s a good thing. Even if I don’t understand more than I do of the data minutiae.

He and another fellow, now an assistant in the NBA, have literally written a book about footwork. What works best in, say, a pick and roll. So, Petway’s not just about getting stronger, bulking up.

I like it.

* * * * *

At another news outlet this day, Eric Crawford reported in on 502 Circle, the new NIL collective to support U of L athletes.

Former Cardinals Chris Redman, David Padgett, Jacob N. Eldemire Smith and Larry O’Bannon have been named to the Board.

Curious to see whether names of the fat cats coming with the cash will be revealed, and, if so, whom they be? Here’s hoping the list includes at least some of the Fickle Forty.

Louisville double alum Marc Spiegel, a software entrepreneur, is the founder. Apparently Leo DeCaprio is among those who provided some seed money. Might the actor get in touch with his inner Bill Murray, and show up at some games?

I’d love to be able to fully explain what 502 Circle can and will do.

But, I Have No Clue.

It’s the Wild West out there, college sports fans. Where it goes, nobody knows.

* * * * *

Football media day is this coming Tuesday.

None too soon, says I. Season kickoff can’t get here soon enough.

Which means sooner rather than later there might be some actual wheat mixed in with the chaff of these reports.

— c d kaplan