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Friday, January 20, 2017

MBB Blows the Brakes off of Clemson -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Overcome Slow Start; Win 92-60


I'll start this post with full disclosure. I was nervous about last night's game. Louisville's starting point guard, Quentin Snider (maybe you've heard of him), is laid up for the next couple of weeks with a strained hip flexor, an injury which he sustained early in the second half against Duke. Despite his ability to play through the pain for 18+ second half minutes, Snider is out for at least three more games. As many opined after the injury, Snider was the one player that this team could not afford to lose. That fact alone is enough to make you nervous about a game. Add in the fact that Louisville barely escaped Clemson last year, Clemson coach, Brad Brownell, is likely fighting for his job, Clemson is ranked 30th by KenPom, and the 1-4 Clemson team has very nearly knocked off ACC powers this season. It looked like a recipe for disaster.

Of course, all of those things became magnified when Louisville started the game down 7-0 in the first two minutes. It started to look like the aspect of Louisville's game that shouldn't have suffered without Quentin Snider, defense, was going to suffer just as much as every other aspect. To be frank, Louisville looked bad. They continued to look bad as they sputtered their way through the first half, trailing 21-12 with 9:12 remaining when Rick Pitino called a timeout. That timeout must have done the trick, as the Cards went on a 8-0 run to cut the lead to 1 over the next two and a half minutes. Clemson nailed a three to snuff the run, but Louisville wasn't done booming the Tigers. Louisville used its momentum to finish the half on a 29-10 run, leading 41-31 following a Donovan Mitchell three at the buzzer. It was Donovan Mitchell's eighth shot of the half, and his eighth make.

The second half belonged completely to the Cards, although it didn't belong to Mitchell. After an 8/8 shooting performance in the first half, he was a whopping 0/7 in the second half. He finished the game with greater than 50% shooting from the field, but there may come a time when his hot hand is needed for more than just stretches of the game. The rest of the Louisville team picked up Mitchell's slack in the second half with four Cardinals scoring 8 or more points in the second half. This included Jaylen Johnson, who picked up a monster 10 and 8 in 12 second half minutes to finish his double double before being ejected for his role in a near fight. Johnson and Clemson's Elijah Thomas both received a technical foul before failing to break it up and receiving second technical fouls, resulting in their ejections. They were Johnson's first two fouls, but he was gone nonetheless. Since the ejection came at the hands of two technical fouls, there is no automatic suspension. Hopefully, additional punishment is not handed down, as Louisville can likely not afford to be without Snider and Johnson against Florida State tomorrow. 

Put Paul in the Hall
Last night was a great game for Louisville's 3 spot, as Deng Adel and VJ King both got the
opportunity to show off their talents. If those two guys can both come into their own in the second half of this season, Louisville will be much better for it. The two combined for 32 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, only 3 turnovers, and only 1 foul. The Cards have needed these two to have a game like this, and what better than when they'll be desperately needed going forward without Snider. 

Louisville's next test will be a big one, as the Cards travel to Tallahassee tomorrow. Rick Pitino's squad will take on the 10th ranked Seminoles, who lost their first ACC game last week against North Carolina. Florida State is no joke this year with wins over Florida, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Notre Dame. Louisville still has the ability to win without Quentin Snider, as they showed last night, but it will take another heroic shooting effort from the team. The game begins at 2PM and will be televised on ESPN. Here's hoping for a positive result.

The Boys are Back...


in the studio. Prior to tomorrow's game, join Paulie, Worldwide, and me for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on WCHQ, Crescent Hill Radio. We'll discuss mostly basketball, but the volleyball move to Cardinal Arena is likely to be a topic of discussion as well. It should be a good time!

Please also let the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame know that you would like to see Paul Sanderford selected for inclusion. He has now been officially put on the Selection Committe's list for nomination but fan support will help get this legendary coach where he belongs. In the Hall. Please e-mail Josh Sullivan -- Director of Operations at jsullivan@wbhof.com

Until next time, Go Cards.
-CH-

10 comments:

  1. Clemson just gave up in the second half. The disqualifications for the players was unwarranted. Johnson never threw a punch. I didn't know Sanderford wasn't in the hall. My daughter played for him at WKU. A nicer and more sincere man you'll never meet.

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  2. Interesting that Volleyball wants to move back to Cardinal Arena. What will the reconfiguration seat?

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  3. No punches thrown, but I liked the ejections anyway. Shut up and walk away.

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    1. I'm gonna agree here. All Johnson needed to do is point to the scoreboard and walk away. Or just smile and walk away. No one likes getting hit in the mouth, granted, but Jaylen could have been the better man in this situation and just been cool.

      Mariya Moore took one of those in the Georgia Tech game (from Pugh, I think) and just gave her that Mariya "look". The old Mariya probably would have retaliated. Maturity. It's a good thing.

      Paulie

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    2. Pugh was being a total punk the whole game. From that way over the top celebration at the start of the game when she made a layup to when she blasted the ref when she missed a layup and thought she got fouled and drew a technical at the end of the first half. I remember she was a punk in high school down in Tennessee. Vandy and Tennessee wouldn't touch her. Ohio State won out over Georgia Tech but she wore out her welcome there and MaChelle brought her on board.

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    3. And, Pugh left OSU after the first semester her freshman year. The word from McGuff is that she wanted to be closer to home but I've heard she was a disrupt-er.

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  4. Cards looked OK without Snider. Hoping that Hicks can continue to play like last night.

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    Replies
    1. Hicks can ball that's what he came here for.

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    2. I hopes he plays better .

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  5. You have to use your head in those heated moments!

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