as we wait for the cards’ first game in MSG against Seton Hall, my esteemed colleague and new co-author dougnotfunnie ushers in his birdswag tenure with a personal introduction and some reflections on the season thus far
I sit writing this for you in the little free time that I have found. Having taken a job tending bar at the best restaurant in Louisville, RYE on Market (shameless plug, come in, say hello,tip me well) I have fallen off the map as a u of l fan. Yes, i record every game, but I have rarely watched any of them. I read the write ups on the chron and then cannot force myself through the impending disappointment. The past couple of weeks have been the most tormenting and I am repulsed with myself when I say that I’m glad that I did not have to suffer through watching u of l bball (bring on football season!). But that being said it is game day today and instead of previewing what will hopefully be a notch in the win column this evening (I’ll leave that for the other writer on this site). I will instead give you with reflections and thoughts.
Before that begins, let me tell you a couple of things. First, I am a huge fan of m-dashes, parenthesis, semi-colons, the Oxford comma, and proper grammar. Second, I could give a shit less about capitalization. It will be sporadic and mostly done when word changes it for me. Is that going to be a problem? Didn’t think so, if it is go and read the shitty and boring writing on espn, or the humorous and insightful shit that Rutherford posts over on cardchronicle.
This is where I stand about the team right now. We have potential, a shitton of potential. But it’s march and potential in march means absolutely nothing. Like most of you (hopefully) I came into this sea on with the highest of hopes, a definite shot at the national title with anything less than an elite being a disappointment, but as the season has played out there has been one thing that has become more evident than anything. We miss Preston. That is all it comes down to. You can blame injuries if you want and they certainly have been a major factor, but Preston brought something to the team last year that no one on this squad has been able to do, and that is provide leadership. I thought that Kuric and siva were going to fill that role but I was absolutely wrong. I can see two people on this years squad that have the potential to fill that role in the future, and they are Russ smith and chane. Siva and Kuric are too soft-spoken to take that sort of role and Russ and chane were too young. This team didn’t have that one player that would take the team on his back and carry them forward, both on and off the court.
One thing that stuck out to me this season was the players only meeting after the bad loss to shitty team x. That was a players only meeting that was called by the coaches, and that is something that Preston would have never let happen. In fact, if memory serves it’s something that he didn’t let happen last year when he called a players only meeting in early January.
All of this being said I am tired of lamenting what I have considered to be a lost season for the cards. Holding big east crowns in the final year of it in the iteration that we have known it would have been sweet, and the only way that we can make that happen is with a run in the garden, which is certainly a very feasible task and here is what needs to happen for that dream to come into fruition.
As outlined in lordwillin’s post yesterday, gorgui is crucial to the success of our team. Not only do we need him to be on the court, but we need him on the court and not cautious because of his fouls. How does he do this? Well first off Jim burr should not be one of the officials (I haven’t checked yet, is he). But more importantly, he needs to stay within his game, sit under the basket and block shots. While it’s only natural for him to accumulate fouls when he’s banging around the paint, it’s the ones that he gets when he’s out of position that are truly frustrating.
Also, all year we’ve heard that this team can go only as far as siva can take it. He needs to make the decision that he does want to lead this team and do so by distributing the ball. I have no problem with him driving the lane and shooting uncontested shots, but when he is taking outside contested shots to prove that he can shoot it we are going to lose, no doubt about it.
Finally, certain players need to step up and those players are everyone else on the team, but moreso than anyone else it’s our seniors Chris and Kyle. They need to get shit done and make an immediate and substantial impact on the game. When they start out performing well their confidence carries over to the rest of the team, but when they are struggling their defense suffers and the team goes into a funk that Russ and chane fight to get us out of.
Finally, let me address the coach, I couldn’t be a bigger supporter of coach p and love having him as our coach, that said, with the exception of Wayne, go with what got you there and don’t start playing freshman who you haven’t played all year because they haven’t been able to grasp the offensive and defensive schemes. It just doesnt make sense to me.
Either way, I am doing my best to keep my confidence high for the postseason. Let’s start it off right and blow the doors off seton hall. Go cards.