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

I still have no idea what the think of Team #106. They can blow anyone out on a given night; they can also get blown out by a team they have no business losing to.

At times, they play like they know they are better than the other team on the court, but as soon as their lead hits double digits, it seems they put the game on autopilot. I don’t understand it, and it’s becoming a very troubling trend that has to be corrected if the Cards want to dance longer than one weekend in March.

A win is a win, no matter how ugly or sluggish it may seem. Until Louisville develops a floor general who commands his other four teammates to keep the pressure on, I fear this is the identity of the the 2019-2020 Cards: come out, build a big first half lead, squander a lot of it before the first half ends, and then fight for the next 20 minutes to secure the victory.

There is no way Miami should have been in the game after being down 20 on the road. Notre Dame was down by 16 at home and couldn’t buy a basket, they didn’t need to. It was summed up best in this post game video:

Spot on.

Until Louisville starts playing like they actually give a shit, we can expect more games like this for the rest of the season.

To the notes!

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Decided that in 2020 it was time to let people vent as freely as they want. Also due to budget cuts in the department we had to eliminate some positions, but don’t worry, no one was actually laid off. That being said, the weekly bailiff is no more.

  • We all remember the famous quote from our former coach where he said it was “Reece Gaines and a bunch of guys named Harry” or something. At times this season it’s Jordan Nwora and sometimes ____________(fill in the blank). That obviously has to change if Louisville is going to not only win the ACC regular season, but not be home the first weekend of the tournament.
  • Ideally, our leader would be Dwayne Sutton, who is seemingly always coming up with a key steal, block, rebound, or bucket when Louisville needed it (see last 2 minutes of ND game). The only issue is Dwayne is not as vocal as he should be, and that is something I don’t see changing in the next 2-3 months. If you have ever had the chance to watch a Sutton interview, you know he is a man of few words. All business, all the time. If Sutton starts talking, Louisville will be in good shape.
  • I would be doing a disservice to the fanbase if I didn’t point out the lack of leadership with this group. They like each other, they are family, but it seems when Louisville is ahead in the game all of that goes out the window. Once the lead hits 10 points or more, guys start jacking up shots like James Harden chasing a 40 point game. I just want someone on this team to step up and say ‘its MY team”.
  • Great to see Ryan McMahon come out of his recent shooting slump. The senior tallied 17 points against the Irish and also hit three of his five attempted three pointers. Oh yea, let’s not act like he didn’t have two of the smoothest layups which gave us an epic bench celebration:

I am here for all of the “Josh Nickelberry running in place while Quinn jumps around” gifs.

  • David Johnson played a good game on Saturday. The freshman finished with only five points, but he did grab three rebounds, dished out a few assists, and got a steal. Sucks that damn shoulder injury set him back, but we are starting to see some of the things the staff raved about in the off-season before the injury.
  • I really hope we start getting into positions where the freshman can get some valuable minutes other than garbage time in a blowout. What I am saying is, the hope is that we are up by a large margin to where Igiehon, Slazinski, and Nickelberry can come in and play some meaningful minutes and the lead be secured in the event mistakes are made. We are losing a lot off of this team, that worries me going into next season.
  • I think the staff is trying to get Sam Williamson involved in the offense more, but he may be green in a lot of areas on the floor. Against Miami he went 3-3 for six points. Against ND, he didn’t score but grabbed three rebounds. I thought he would be one and done, but now it may be a situation where we get him back next season.
  • The fan experience at the YUM! has gotten better, and I am not just saying that because I get to cover games. I believe there has been a real emphasis on bringing the gameday atmosphere up to date with hype videos as well as recap videos shared almost hours after the game. Kudos to the marketing team. Also, whoever decided to add the light show needs a raise. It’s great seeing the arena covered in red during the starting lineups. Holding out hope they can do something similar during night games at Cardinal Stadium.
  • We all had a gripe with the lack of participation by the students over the years. The student section was mainly about 15-20 students and a lot of kids on their phones. Whatever the Ville’ns did to switch it up has worked. During the Miami game, the crowd was dismal but the student section was nearly full, and they stood up the entire game.
  • It could just be me but Joey Wagner has one of the greatest jobs in the world. He literally gets to scream at fans to get loud at random times during a basketball game while the Cardinal’s national anthem is playing. To hell with an alarm clock, just have Wagner show up with a karaoke machine at 5am. “OK JOHN, ONNNNN YOUUUUR FEEET. YOU HAVE 6 MINUTES TO SNOOZE BUT AFTER THAT I NEED YOU UP AND SHOWERING…HERE WE GO!!!!”

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Person(s) or things that earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:

  • Jordan Nwora
  • Dewayne Sutton
  • Fresh Kimble’s late game buckets
  • Ryan McMahon still wanting the smoke with Notre Dame
  • Ryan’s layups. White Chocolate is in the building.
  • Darius Perry assist to turnover ratio against Miami.
  • Tennessee Titans, thanks for saving the world from yet another Patriots Super Bowl
  • The fan who poured a beer on his head on the Dilly Dilly cam.
  • Joe Burrow. What a ending to a senior season.
  • New parking guidelines and fan zone for Louisville football.
  • LSU, not just for saving us from another Dabo speech about guts and such but for generally being a team we all can root for. How can you not be happy for Ed Ogeron?

Person(s) or things that must agree with Booger McFarland’s MNF analysis.

  • Tennessee Titans. How fugging dare you ruin the good vibes?
  • Ryan Tannehill. First you ruined Devante’s first few seasons with Miami and now you muck up Lamar’s MVP season.
  • WKU fans, posing as Titan fans to somehow talk trash to UofL fans. Like…………….what???
  • FSU, not sure how you guys manage to get all the tall guys, but it’s really not fair.
  • Dabo Swinney. We get it, no one respects Clemson. This was cool back in 2016, but its annoying now that you have been in four National Championship games and won two of them.
  • Joe Burrow. Heisman winner, national champion, and likely on his way to becoming a Cincinnati Bengal. Life comes at you fast.

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And in closing:

  • Louisville vs. Pitt tonight at 7pm on the ACC Network
  • Louisville Football’s 2020 schedule should be dropping in a few more weeks. They will likely open the season up with a conference game and if I had to guess it will be on the road. Placing my money on it being at Boston College or Syracuse.
  • Duke on Saturday at 6pm. Louisville is really in need of another quality win. The ACC is down this year aside from Duke and FSU. Virginia is in a slump, but trust they won’t be when it comes to us. Cards have a chance to win the regular season championship if they can continue to beat the teams they should and get a few they are not expected to.
  • No Cardinal party for the basketball team, but here is a nice parting gift.

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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