• joined Jan 10, 2009
  • last login Jul 26, 2014
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User Blog

We aren't the only ones that question the worldwide leaders motives


"We can't be purely journalistic because we have too many business interests with the subject we're supposed to cover objectively" Not that we didn't already know most of this, but its nice to see ESPN getting put on blast.

Russ moment... Love it. From Bozich's article on the CJ: "They even had a few bloopers, highlighted...


Russ moment... Love it. From Bozich's article on the CJ: "They even had a few bloopers, highlighted by Russ Smith losing a possible dunk because he said he had too much lotion on his hands."|topnews|text|Sports

What if the most profitable basketball programs won each match of the tournament?


Pretty nice article on the profitability of the NCAA tournament teams. UL hammers the competition. (Bracket included)

Louisville about to be tested


I really miss Rick Pitino's blog. The Louisville head coach temporarily (I hope) suspended his blogging activities in September, at the height of the Big East's latest reshuffling. ("I can't wait for my next recruiting trip to New York to find out [if] the Yankees are moving to Chapel Hill.") In a profession plagued by bland coach-speak, Pitino is almost always tart and interesting. I wish he could keep the blog going during the season, but I guess the coach is pretty busy. Pitino may be as good at coaching as he is at blogging. As proof, allow me to direct your attention to the 2011-12 Louisville Cardinals. This team's top two scorers are Kyle Kuric and Gorgui Dieng. Fine players, to be sure, and indeed I'm about to direct some well-deserved praise toward both. Still, I think it's fair to say these particular fine players are not exactly nationally renowned. Too bad: Here are the Cardinals, 11-0 and ranked No. 4 in the nation. You can say that's merely a default ranking, of course. Louisville's played 10 of its 11 games in the friendly environs of the KFC Yum! Center. Then again, default rankings can turn out to be correct. If you're a blue-chip Big East program coached by a legend and you reach the holiday season still undefeated, you'll likely be ranked in the top five nationally. It's a presumptive ranking, but not necessarily a presumptuous one. This isn't Pitino's first barbecue. Anyway, the question's about to become moot. Next week, the Cardinals will host Georgetown in the Big East opener for both teams. Three days later, Pitino's men will head to Lexington to take on Kentucky in Rupp Arena. I'll go out on a limb here and say that two-game stretch will advance our knowledge of Louisville dramatically. We're on the eve of discovery with this group, but in the meantime, here's how the Cards look to me: We're yet to see this undefeated No. 4-ranked team at its best Just how banged up has Louisville been this year? When my colleague Andy Katz has to resort to alphabetical order simply to organize the entirety of your team's injuries, it's probably not a good sign. That being said, this team is, at last, getting healthier before our eyes. True, Mike Marra isn't walking through that door -- he was lost for the year when he tore an ACL in the second game of the season -- and Pitino will have to wait a while longer before highly touted freshman wing Wayne Blackshear (shoulder) joins the fun. But in just the past few days Rakeem Buckles, Elisha Justice and Kevin Ware have all either surfaced for the first time this year or resurfaced. The rotation is looking deeper and healthier all the time. This defense is probably as good as we think it is The Cardinals won a 64-possession game against Arkansas State by the score of 54-27, and the important thing to know there is that John Brady's Red Wolves are actually a halfway decent opponent. So this is another Pitino-variety strong defense, one that's going to carry the Cardinals through thick and thin this season, right? Probably. Dieng's blocking 11 percent of opponent's 2-point attempts during his minutes, while 6-foot-6 freshman Chane Behanan has proved to be highly effective on the defensive glass. On paper this is one of the best defenses in the country, one that creates a lot of turnovers but has also held opponents to just 1.10 points per "effective" (turnover-less) possession. There is, however, one dark cloud on this horizon. Few observers besides Pitino himself seem to have noticed, but Louisville's last five opponents (Vanderbilt, IUPUI, Fairleigh-Dickinson, Memphis and College of Charleston) have shot 42 percent from beyond the arc. This offense may be better than we think As the heath of this team improves and players become accustomed to one another, it's likely this offense can grow more effective even as the schedule becomes more challenging. This season so far, the Cardinals are making almost exactly half of their 2s -- not amazing, but not bad, either. Dieng's been a monster on the offensive glass. Junior point guard Peyton Siva won't win any medals for shooting accuracy, but he sprays assists around like a Big East-style Kendall Marshall (while also adding a little something called defense). And if Kuric starts hitting 3s (so far he's shooting 33 percent from outside) like we know he can (last year he shot 45 percent), look out. He's already been amazing inside the arc this season, draining 66 percent of his 2s. "Controlling the pace" against Pitino is overrated Louisville's fastest game of the season was, of course, its 95-87 win at home over Memphis on Saturday, a track meet that clocked in at a (somewhat foul-inflated) 85 possessions. Conversely, the Cards' slowest game of the season was their 59-54 win at home over Ohio back on Nov. 25, a 56-possession contest that would have been right at home in the Big Ten. Both games were in doubt for the balance of 40 minutes, and of course, these are merely illustrative cases and not portents. We know in advance that once Louisville gets to Big East play, they'll likely average between 65 and 66 possessions for every 40 minutes they play. We know this because that's precisely what's happened in each of the past two seasons. Pace is not likely to be much of a factor. Russ Smith can really fill up a box score As a freshman last season, Smith couldn't crack Louisville's veteran rotation, so our effective introduction to the young man has come in this, his sophomore campaign. He's made quite an impression. Smith has started three of the Cardinals' 11 games, but whether he's there for the tip-off or comes off the bench, he takes what can only be termed a James Dean approach to hoops: live fast, miss a lot of 2s, foul out young and leave a good-looking steal percentage. OK, I'm exaggerating, a little. In truth, Smith has fouled out just once this season (against Vanderbilt), but he's recorded four or more fouls in five of his 10 appearances. While he's on the floor, he personally accounts for 32 percent of this offense's shot attempts, meaning he's more prominent in this offense than stars like Purdue's Robbie Hummel or West Virginia's Kevin Jones are in theirs -- albeit in fewer minutes. And in the last two games (against Memphis and College of Charleston) Smith recorded 12 steals in just 101 personal defensive possessions. If he keeps that up, he'll win Big East Defensive Player of the Year in a walk, and Pitino will gladly look past some erratic 2-point shooting. The Cardinals haven't won an NCAA tournament game since 2009, when they reached the Elite Eight as the overall No. 1 seed. This is the year that streak comes to an end -- with a vengeance, if this roster's health continues to improve. That should give Pitino more than enough material for his blog in the offseason.

Scout breakdown of Chi-Daddy


Not glowing, but not terrible. "A tall, long armed strider who can run vertical routes, track the football from the inside and come down with the catch."

Great article on ESPN and Conf Realignment


But the dangerous conflict of interest is not that ESPN is inappropriately throwing around its money and weight. It's that while journalists at ESPN are ferreting out the latest tip about conference realignment, the network's programming people are sitting in another part of the Bristol campus with inside information -- details of which they must keep to themselves in order to honor the business relationships.

ESPN Practice Report 8/24/2011

ESPN Nearly every Big East team has broken fall camp. So what are the unanswered questions remaining with less than two weeks before the season begins? Next up in my team-by-team look is Louisville. 1. Your starting cornerbacks are ... The biggest question mark on the team was not resolved during fall camp. Louisville has yet to announce its starting cornerbacks, hoping to give their players a few more days of competition before making a decision. Anthony Conner, Titus Teague and Jordon Paschal appear to be the top three players vying for a starting spot. None of them have very much playing experience. Conner started two games in 2009 before missing all of 2010 with a torn ACL. Teague appeared in four games last season; Paschal is a redshirt freshman. Behind them, Calvin Pryor, Charles Gaines and Andrew Johnson are options as well. Luckily for the Cardinals, they have excellent safeties in Shenard Holton and Hakeem Smith, which should help immensely. 2. Can Josh Bellamy keep it up? By all accounts, Bellamy had one of the best fall camps of any Louisville player. Can he keep that up headed into the season? The Cardinals have a lot of talent at receiver, but need a go-to guy to emerge. Last season, he had 29 catches for 401 yards and tied for the team high with five touchdowns. He has showed flashes of being the big-play receiver that is much needed. Now he has to prove it on game day. 3. Offensive line issues. The most solid player on the Louisville offensive line missed most of fall camp, a development that surely has Cardinals fans worried. Mario Benavides, one of the best centers in the league and the anchor of the unit, has missed a significant portion of camp with a foot injury. Louisville already had to replace four starters on the offensive line. The last thing the Cardinals need is to play without Benavides. There has been no update on his status since camp broke. The good news is he is a veteran, so he does not need as many reps as everyone else on the line. The bad news, of course, is that the Cardinals could go into the season with an entirely new offensive line.

Louisville tackle Byron Stingily rising on draft boards


Louisville offensive tackle Byron Stingily is rising on draft boards following an impressive Pro Day workout, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. Per a source, Stingily is garnering third round and fourth round grades from several NFL teams. Stingily is a junior college transfer who ran the 40-yard dash between 4.85 and 4.98 seconds at his campus workout. The second-team All-Big East Conference selection bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times and registered a 9-2 broad jump. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder was privately called the most talented player in the program by Louisville coach Charlie Strong, but is regarded as somewhat raw. Stingily has been scheduled for five visits.

Still creepy, but still news - DaMarcus Smith may be eligible for Fall 2011


"…It’s looks as if DaMarcus Smith’s career at Central Florida will be a very short one. The quarterback recruit out of Kentucky, who appeared to be a steal for the Knights, wants out of his letter of intent and wants a full release, according to Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier-Journal. It is believed that Smith still wants to attend Louisville, where he was committed for more than a year before Charlie Strong pulled his offer and then reinstated it. The signal-caller has not attended classes at UCF so he should be eligible at Louisville this fall if he is released and ends up with the Cardinals. With UCF’s starting quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey not moving to wide receiver, perhaps Smith feels it’s in his best interest to move on. Will head coach George O’Leary let go that easily?" LInk

A plea to AnVillen.... I realize we lost, but there exist times and situations that call for...


A plea to AnVillen.... I realize we lost, but there exist times and situations that call for bucking the trend. If there were a highlight video featuring ONLY the Kyle Slam, set to something epic, I think it would be...well...Fantastic...

Cantwell signed to Ravens practice squad


Albeit only for the game against Carolina, most likely.

Harry Douglas - "On the Radar"

More former Cards getting some run. On the national radar, Harry Douglas’ No. 83 is almost invisible. In Atlanta, No. 83 might be the most interesting Falcon to follow in 2010 and beyond. Harry Douglas had 23 catches for 320 yards and a touchdown during his rookie season, but missed all of 2009 with a knee injury. Even though the Falcons held Douglas out of team-related drills this offseason coming off his knee reconstruction, Douglas is expected to be a big part of the offense. That might sound strange for a player with only 23 career catches, but the Falcons realize he is more than just a good slot receiver. Douglas worked the slot as a backup in 2008 and immediately won the respect of coaches and players. In 2009, Douglas’ knee injury robbed QB Matt Ryan of a value target in the middle of the field and the passing offense suffered. But there are many players and coaches in the Falcons’ organization who believe Douglas should be a starting receiver on the other side of Pro Bowler Roddy White. The plan this summer is to work Douglas gradually into the lineup, not wanting to risk an injury setback. If he does well, the Falcons will have a formidable three-receiver set of White, Douglas and Michael Jenkins. Don’t forget Tony Gonzalez as the tight end. If Douglas achieves the level of play the organization expects of him, he could press for Jenkins’ starting job in 2011. Douglas offers a player with great hands and run-after-the-catch ability. He averaged 13.9 yards per reception in 2008, which is two-and-a-half yards more than most slot receivers. His role in the Falcons’ offense could be one of the keys to a possible 11- or 12-win season.

Gary Barnidge marked as "breakout" player for Carolina


10. Gary Barnidge, TE, Carolina Panthers For seven years now, the Panthers have failed to find a pass-catcher at tight end who could follow in the footsteps of the retired Wesley Walls. Kris Mangum couldn't run. Jermaine Wiggins went from eight catches in 2003 as a Panther to 71 in 2004 as a Viking. Mike Seidman and Michael Gaines never developed. Dante Rosario only teases, and Jeff King is a blocker first, second and third. Barnidge, a fifth-round pick out of Louisville in 2008, is the guy they've been waiting for. He has the speed to effectively run up the seam and take out the Cover 2. He also has the hands to hold onto the ball when Darren Sharper hits him or LaRon Landry breezes past him. He's the Panthers' second-best receiver. Once Carolina realizes it, Barnidge immediately becomes a sleeper tight end for fantasy purposes.

I guess its that time of year...


I don't know how this article got onto the site it did, but...

Louisville's Scott Long ran a 4.46 [...] and measured in at 6-foot-2 and helped [himself] by...


Louisville's Scott Long ran a 4.46 [...] and measured in at 6-foot-2 and helped [himself] by showing a combination of size and speed. Long also had the best vertical jump among receivers at 41.5 inches and topped all wideouts in the 3-cone drill and 60-yard shuttle.

Scott Long's getting some hype at the Combine


If there was ever anyone that deserves a shot, its Scott. Best of luck, sir.

Jim Nantz Quotes, quoted


hyperlink alert- i assume royalties are involved While personally I'd prefer a petition to get Dick Vitale to stop screaming or Jim Nantz to stop scripting his cheesy game-ending calls during the national title game, I can understand the sentiment behind this cause as well.

John Hollinger tells us how he REALLY feels about E5


Earl Clark, Suns He's a lottery pick, he played three seasons in college and he plays for a team with a limited bench. Yet, he still can't get on the floor. Ladies and gentleman, I bring you Earl Clark, the early leader in the race of the biggest draft bust of 2009. Clark sports a PER of 6.99 on 37.1 percent shooting in 36 appearances, and increasingly seems to be falling out of favor, playing a total of seven minutes in Phoenix's past three games. This is a particularly sensitive topic for Suns fans since the draft has been their bugaboo in recent seasons; the Suns have sold picks that became Rudy Fernandez, Nate Robinson and Rajon Rondo while keeping the likes of Alando Tucker, Robin Lopez and Clark. It's the major reason they haven't been able to keep pace with the other elite teams in the West in recent seasons.

"The little guy sitting over there is a pretty good coach" - Bob "Huggy Bear" Huggins when asked...


"The little guy sitting over there is a pretty good coach" - Bob "Huggy Bear" Huggins when asked about HCRP

Charlie Stubbs is a Head Coach


I bet you-know-who is pissed that a guy he fired has a job before him...

ORU is gonna be fired up on Wednesday


think they wont have something to play for? Oral Roberts, a pioneer in televangelism who founded a multimillion-dollar ministry and a university that bears his name, died Tuesday.

CJ: SK's evaluation of himself


SK: "I need to be a better playcaller" The Cards are averaging 21.8 points per game, which ranks last in the Big East Understatement of the year....

RP on lil Eddie


we've heard all of this before. thought i'd share...

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