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

So you wanna cheer for the Cards?? You’re sure about this. It’s January in Louisville. It’s ACC play in Louisville. This is not for the faint at heart…..no seriously if your heart is weak this is not for you. By doing this your are essentially signing the permission slip. Still in?? Ok, here we go.

Another winter, another season of Louisville basketball underway. The Cards enter the 2018-19 conference slate sitting at 9-4. They beat Michigan State, beat Seton Hall, were robbed against Marquette, and fought Tennessee tooth and nail before falling.

I don’t think we have a great team at the moment. We have a fairly good team with the potential for greatness by the time March rolls around. This team will take some lumps in conference play, but they also will surprise some teams as well. In the end, Mack’s promise that the team will be tough and work their asses off has definitely been kept.

I really think you will see this team not only make the NCAA tournament but also make some noise once they are there. Only time, and 17 more ACC games will tell. For now, lets all set back and enjoy being 1-0 in conference play with PITT and UNC on the horizon.

To the notes:

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No bailiff this week as we are still “technically” on Christmas break. I would think we are still getting back into the groove of things so I don’t expect anyone to break bad the first full week of the new year. If you do just know I have not worn real clothes in two weeks and I have survived off Ginger Ale and chess pie the entire time. I will throw hands if you chose to have any outbursts or get winded trying.

  • I normally recap the games played in the last two weeks of the season but there is really no reason to do that. If you want to know what happened against that team down the road here is a brief recap featuring Tyler Herro.

Throw in 20 points by Christen Cunningham and 17 points by Jordan Nwora and that was the ballgame. New coach, same befuddled loss as the previous years. I chose to leave this behind in 2018

  • The slow starts and fast finishes trend continued again for Louisville as they fell behind Miami by 15 points early in the first half. Although the Cards rebounded and eventually won by a 17 point margin it cannot afford to continue doing this. You get down by 15 against the likes of Duke, Virginia, or UNC and its lights out. Its like a boxer who is not motivated until he gets punched in the mouth hard.
  • Take a good look at Jordan Nwora, something tells me he could test the waters after this season and if the grade is that of a 1st rounder, he gone. Nwora has proven that he is our number one scoring threat this season but we also will need to develop a second threat at some point. Good defensive teams will try to shut Jordan down and if that happens we could be in trouble.
  • That additional help could come from Dwayne Sutton who is the swiss army knife of the team. Need a rebound, call Dwayne. Need a bucket, call Dwayne. Need every question answered in 90 seconds, call Dwayne. Love Sutton to death but it is hilarious to interview him after games. He is not much for long answers lol. My man is all business, he has exams to study for.
  • Malik Williams is showing major improvement this season. Last year he tended to stay out of the paint and jack up 3’s. With the addition of Mack we have seen Malik in the paint more while battling for rebounds and showing us his post moves. He will need to continue to get stronger down there but he notched a double double against Miami tallying 19 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Every time VJ King does something good a hater loses his hairline. I am here for VJ making all of his doubters look like complete fools. Keep grinding VJ. I am also here for all of the VJ putbacks. ALL OF THEM.
  • Darius Perry is currently in a funk. Seems the sophomore slump has hit him pretty hard this season. Part of that is being a young point guard. Another thing is learning a new system as a point guard. The main thing that I have noticed about Perry is that he tends to rush things and play too quickly which often leads to a turnover. Defensively he is still the same player he was last season and is still improving. Perry will rebound and break out of this and hopefully soon.
  • I will admit, I did not think Christen Cunningham would have this big of an effect on this team. I was just happy we had an extra body on the team since our recruiting class took such a hit. But wow, without him we would probably be in terrible shape. His ability to see the floor and distribute the ball is the key to this team. He can also shoot well. Hoping he stays healthy and continues to improve. Would love for guys like him, Kwan Fore, and Akoy to get a chance to play in the NCAA tournament.
  • So sick of Ryan McMahon and his antics. This guy has ripped apart more families than crack. Making all the women of CardNation swoon with every three pointer. Making Mrs. BHK’s smitten with every assist. Can’t wait for his senior day. All jokes aside he is going to be key this season and it was nice to see him break out of his recent shooting slump in a big way. Once he gets it going, its hard to turn off. That is good news for the team, terrible news for us married men. Attendance is dwindling because of him.
  • Big Steve Enoch started this season hot but has since cool. Not that is mainly because he is playing better competition and cannot impose his will in the paint as he did against smaller opponents. He has also been in foul trouble early which has hampered his game. We really need him to turn it up a notch especially with word being out on Jordan now.

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And now, for the first time in 2019 the court is open for questioning:

make satterdays great again (@hashtaggocards) : What percent chance do you give Jordan Nwora to go pro?

If he continues on this trend AND his defense improves I would put it at 80%. I think he definitely puts his name in to test the waters. He probably will not hire an agent until his draft grade comes back and if he is guaranteed a 1st round grade then say goodbye. Right now, I think he is coming back for his junior season but only time will tell.

Tanya Cowan (@CardsBballFan) : How many slid into Ryan’s DM’s after the Miami game?

After the game?? Hell who slid in there after he checked in for the first time? He will not divide us!!

Jason Sanders: How does Darius “The Bulldog” Perry get his mojo back?

I answered this some above but the main thing is to keep working and not get discouraged which is easier said than done. The good thing is, Mack keeps going back to him and letting him work. Unlike our last coach who would bury you on the bench for body fat issues, Mack seems to understand that slumps occur and encourages the players to play through it. Just because your shot is not falling doesn’t mean you can’t help the team in other ways. Perry still plays good defense and his ball handling will improve. He will be okay as time goes on.

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Person(s) who earned a ribeye from Ruth Chris:

  • Jordan Nwora
  • Malik Williams
  • Alabama’s basketball team
  • LSU football for saving us from another summer of UCF fans
  • Scott Satterfield and his window washing skills
  • Cort Dennison and Stephen Fields (welcome back)
  • Dave “Biscuit” Scull for his first post in a gaming magazine (proud of you buddy).

Person(s) who earned a well done steak from Logan’s:

  • Karl Hess and the NCAA who allows him to officiate in the year of our lord 2019.
  • Government shutdowns (don’t mess up tax refund season)
  • Tyler Herro for breaking out of his slump against Louisville
  • YUM! Center attendance
  • Drunk driving in this day and age when Lyft and Uber are available.
  • Monday’s after a long holiday layoff.
  • Basic_Dad on twitter who really argued what is and what isn’t a bucket hat with me. That’s like me arguing basketball with Jordan and Lebron. I am king for a reason Basic_Dad.

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And in closing I am back after a month away from writing. I feel rested and hoping to have some exciting columns this season after the hell we experienced in the fall. Be sure to follow us on all social media platforms. We are now available on Instagram, you can follow us at @the_crunchzone.

Next up, an improved Pitt team followed by a trip to Chapel Hill to face UNC. Should be interesting to see how the team responds to yet another marquee game. Now if you will excuse me I have to determine how I am going to punish Basic_Dad for his barbarism.

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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