“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”

Well that was fun. Louisville followed a blowout win against UNC with another slow-start-fast finish-hold-on-to your-butt ending versus Boston College. They then got a depleted Georgia Tech team coached by the most punchable face in college basketball and probably could have won by 50 if Mack wanted to. It was a nice week, I have no complaints.

We will have to see Boston College again and I am sure it will be a test as they started to put it together towards the end of the game. I am still amazed that Ky Bowman decided to come back to school rather than enter his name in the NBA Draft. But we will cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, let’s just enjoy the fact that we are 4-1 in the conference and ranked for the first time in a year or so.

Let’s also enjoy the fact that we won’t have to see Josh Pastner’s face until next season unless we meet GT in the ACC tournament. I don’t know how Pastner walks around downtown Atlanta without a fist permanently lodged in his suckhole. But I digress.

The team is playing well in January, the defense is improving, and the fanbase is happy. Louisville basketball is fun again.

Let’s get to the notes.

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No bailiff today as I gave them the day off to observe MLK day. In respect to King’s legacy I am trying to take a non-violent approach and not promote any violence unless it’s to Josh Pastner’s punchable face which is always allowed. I should stop before he finds this and takes legal action.

  • Folks I know we have an amazing class coming in next season and the feel good vibes surrounding Louisville basketball are returning. But I really hope Jordan Nwora comes back for his junior year. We all know he can score the ball but his rebounding as well as his defense is improving. I selfishly want him back at Louisville but he is a rising star in the ACC and I can’t imagine him not testing the NBA waters after the season. It would also be a crime against humanity if he does not win the ACC’s “most improved player” award at the end of the season. I legit get upset knowing that he was on the bench the majority of last season. Now granted he has a new coach and a slimmer frame but still, we saw glimpses then. If Cunningham is the straw that stirs the Louisville drink, Nwora is the bourbon glass.
  • Is there any way we can get the NCAA to grant Christen Cunningham one more season of eligibilty? No? Ok. The grad transfer continues to lead this team on and off the floor. He also had 11 assists without any turnovers against G-Tech and that followed an 8 assist game against Boston College. In short, Cunningham is dropping more dimes than a DEA informant. And not to be negative here but we will definitely need Darius Perry to step up his PG duties before next season or you could see David Johnson (Trinity) coming in and starting early.
  • Steve Enoch, the EnochNess Monster, seems to still be thriving off the bench. He rolled into Atlanta and rolled out with 15 points and 6 rebs off the bench. I was concerned that losing his starting gig would hamper his game but I was wrong. While I would still love him to stop shooting so many 3’s, I can’t be upset with how he has responded.
  • What a difference a coaching staff makes. Case in point, Malik Williams. Last year he wouldn’t go into the post if you paid him to. This season he has added some nice post moves, some defense, a mid-range jumper, and improved three point shot. I was really worried that he would transfer after last season along with Nwora but it says a lot about this team that they would rather stick it out together rather than seeking greener pastures. Good to see that Malik is thriving in the starting role and he still has room to develop.
  • The Swiss Army knife Dwayne Sutton was back at it again. The Cards were struggling against Boston College and in comes Sutton like MacGuyver in a tough situation and bails everyone out. He finished that game with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The guy is a walking double double machine. While he didn’t quite light it up against Georgia tech he still had 8 rebounds to go along with his 5 points. He just does it all.
  • I think Darius Perry is struggling with his offense as much as VJ King is. Darius has always been known for his defense but his offense and point guard play has seen some tough times here lately. The main thing with Darius is that it appears to us fans that he is overthinking things and playing faster than Coach Mack wants. You see a lot of careless turnovers and rushed shots. It can and will be corrected and I am still a fan of his on-ball defense. Really like that regardless of his game, Perry is still the first guy to lead the bench mob every game. He doesn’t sulk, he doesn’t pout. He just cheers for his teammates.
  • Shout out to VJ King. No, he is not going to drop 20 points a night so stop expecting it. No, he is not going to be the greatest Card of all time, so stop expecting it. Yes, he is going to give you some key rebounds, play some defense, and maybe give you 4 points off the bench which is still a huge part of the team. You can expect things and then be disappointed when it doesn’t happen or you can access the situation and make the best out of it. What good is it to tear down VJ King when he is playing his part on the “TEAM” and helping to get a W. That’s my theory, and I really hope VJ shuts everyone up before the end of the season.
  • Ryan McMahon’s ankle is ok, you can exhale ladies. While he went scoreless against G-Tech it was good to see him back on the court. He did finish with two steals but I counted three after he stole the hearts in Fulton County, Georgia. By the way, Atlanta is now commonly referred to at “Rylanta”. I don’t make the rules, I just write about them.
  • Shout out to the Louisville fans who made the road trip seem like the YUM! Center South. If you remember, a large contingent of Card fans would always make the trip to Chicago when Louisville played DePaul each season. Now, the trip to Atlanta appears to be the destination for the annual trip. The last few times Louisville has played in ATL they have brought a ton of fans. Imagine being on a “road” trip and then seeing and hearing this:

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I will now open the courtroom for questioning.

Eathy Clark (@eathyuofl): Who would you rather beat by 30 points? Josh Pastner or Tom Crean ?

Well, since we have blown Tech out in consecutive seasons and being that Pastner’s face is already a 30 point beatdown I would easily go with Crean. We did blow out IU by 20 when he was the coach so that helped but the guy is so creepy I am not sure he wouldn’t get off to the fact he lost so badly. I could see him sitting a dark room with Nutella smeared all over him and hitting himself with a leather belt while watching the game recap on repeat.

Fat Luke Hancock (@ArayC87): When if ever will we get highlight videos as professional as @CrumsRevenge ?

To me, there were never be a greater duo than CrumsRevenge and VillenHD. Those guys would make videos that were as timeless as the Godfather saga. I am not sure anyone will top those and as we have seen many have tried and failed to. And that is not to crap on someone’s work, it is just to say that those videos were that much more great. CrumsRevenge, a fellow TCZ member, welcomed twins last year so you can’t fault him for not having time to sit and edit a video. VillenHD had to retire because the games were too close together and like Crums, that required time he didn’t have. For now, all we have is memories (and YouTube). Trust and believe that if I knew how to do it I would. Hopefully one day someone will step up to fill the void.

Friends Call Me Jeff (@JTWard831): Are you for changing NFL OT rules? If so, how would you change them?

I am all for changing NFL OT rules. It is the dumbest format and makes no sense to have ANY game in any sport end in a tie. And no, I am not just saying this because of the AFC Championship game, I thought it was dumb at the beginning of the season when the Steelers and Browns ended in a tie in week 1. You play until there is a winner. If Texas A&M and LSU can play 7 overtimes until a winner can be reached, why can’t the NFL?? To answer your question, the NFL should demolish the current format and use this one:

  • Each team gets a possession in the overtime period.
  • Each team will start at the 50 yard line.
  • Each team will have one timeout for the overtime period
  • The game cannot end in a tie unless there is extreme weather in the area which prevents it.

Boom, I should be the commish.

Good Time Charlie: When Chris Mack pulls into the BK drive thru what is his order?

Easy. Mack is getting a #2 which is a Double Whopper meal. He is throwing cheese on that bad boy and upgrading to a large fry and drink. He chooses Coca-Cola to wash it down with. And for good measure he is bringing home some dollar nuggets for the kids and a Jr. Whopper for Bubba Mack who is such a good boy. Christi gets a #1.

Tammaland (@theTammaland): Do you think we will get another shimmy shake from Chris Mack this season?

It’s possible we already have and we don’t even know it because no one was there to record it. I think if Louisville beats Virginia or knocks off Duke there is a good chance you see one. I would like to think Mack does the shimmy for every thing. Successfully makes an omelet, shimmy. Merges on to I-71, shimmy. Fries from BK are hot and fresh, shimmy. Takes trash out and makes it back to watch his favorite show before the commercial break ends, shimmy. Wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes he has 4 more hours before alarm goes off, shimmy. Van Halen removed from football games, shimmy……..wait that’s my personal shimmy moment.

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Person(s) or things who earned a trip to J. Michael’s Spa and Salon:

  • Jordan Nwora (57 points in two games)
  • CC’s passing (11 assists, no turnovers)
  • Dwayne Sutton’s everything (See Boston College first half)
  • Ryan McMahon’s ankle
  • Deng Adel (two way contract with Cavs after going undrafted)
  • Malik Williams post moves
  • Ethan Moore (terrible cold but he did two post game shows this week)
  • Paoli Peaks and Dog Hill (get your skiing, tubing and sledding on folks)
  • John Wick fans
  • The Punisher Season 2
  • Season 3 of True Detective (totally making up for that sh*t show that was Season 2.
  • New Orleans Saint fans (tough break)

Person(s) or things who earned a trip to a dark alley for a massage from Gary in accounting:

  • Refs from NFC Championship
  • Benny Snell for the “Snell Yea” campaign and anyone pushing the “Snell Ya Later” slogan. It’s so bad.
  • Slow starts in basketball games
  • NFL OT rules
  • Covington Catholic field trips
  • Frank
  • Tony Romo’s “OH I DUNNO JIM, IT’S GONNA BE CLOSE” slogan.
  • Ice Storms
  • Billy McFarland and anyone who helped him fraud ppl for the FYRE festival
  • Ja Rule
  • Matt McGavic (just because I can)
  • KY Lotto commercials. Just grab a coin and scratch the damn ticket, why are you using a Foosball table?

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And in closing I would like to thank you all for contributing again this week. We have a legit chance to win our last three games and finish the month of January one terrible game away from being undefeated. We have another huge test on Thursday against a ranked team and then we have a shot at revenge on Saturday. Luckily both are at the YUM! Center.

If Louisville can go into February 16-5 (7-1) then I would say they are pretty much 3-4 games away from being a lock. Beat Duke, UNC, or Virginia next month and go ahead and write it in stone. In my opinion the Cards will have enough quadrant 1 wins to safely exhale. But that is a big if, so I would much rather they win them all. Leave no doubt.

Have a nice, safe week folks.

Be cool in this hot city.

Court adjourned (bangs gavel)

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LJ Nesbitt

The BHK. Writer for thecrunchzone.com , 1/2 of the TCZ Podcast. Surviving in the great city of Louisville, in the not so great state of KY. Loui$ville KY thecrunchzone.com

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