“I felt the energy in the locker room after the game was back to what it is used to feeling like around us.” – Trey Lewis
On Wednesday Night the Louisville Basketball team put on a show inside the KFC Yum! Center when it took down Syracuse 72-58 with style. The Cards had 3 separate plays in Sportscenter’s Top 10 (11:00 p.m. show). The post-game locker room and vibe from the fans was what you might expect after a win in mid-February with everything building towards a March run……. except that the season’s end is just 5 games away. Still these Cardinals were able to spin a negative week around and turn the attention back to the ‘feel good team’ Louisville fans have grown to love over the course of the 2015-16 basketball season.
It was easy to become negative. Post-Season Ban. 2 tough road losses in a row. Trey Lewis had a moment of frustration, the Cards came home and things turned around. It is the kind of flip that can only come as a result of a special group.
Rick Pitino talks about a One-Day Contract and Living in the “Precious Present”. What Louisville has in front of them is a chance to play in front of the KFC Yum! Center two more times. Once on Saturday vs. Duke and again on March 1st for what is sure to be an emotional senior night vs. Georgia Tech. There will also be trips to Pittsburgh & Miami before a revenge game finale in Charlottesville vs. Virginia.
Trey Lewis after Louisville’s thrilling win over Syracuse said: “He (Pitino) challenged us. That’s what you have to do as leaders, players, human beings. You have a choice on how you are going to react to things, you can get down or can fight through it and look for the good in it. It’s all about perspective. We are playing at the highest level we have nothing to be hanging our heads about we have an opportunity to play for a great crowd like this. Have fun. Of course things aren’t exactly how we would want them but you have to make the most of what you are given.”
The Cards may have been downtrodden in the week that followed the devastating news of a post-season ban but they were focused and back on track Wednesday vs. Syracuse. “We don’t make excuses, they are a sign of weakness, ” Donovan Mitchell said after beating the Orange.
Damion Lee added, “We needed to prove to our ourselves that we can’t let any outside distractions get into us. We have to continue to focus on us like how we have since the start of this season.”
Now the ‘feel good Cards’ are back. They aren’t dwelling on what might have been or worried about whether or not they were victimized by a broken system. Donovan Mitchell still thanks his coaches after each practice, Damion Lee suggested to Coach Pitino that Deng Adel take his minutes, Trey Lewis talked about the blessing of playing in front of the fans at the Yum! Center.
Nanu is smiling, Donovan is Dunking. We’ll never quite know what March held for this Louisville team but it is their positive attitude that fans will always remember. This Louisville team has it’s identity back for the final 5 games of 2015-16 showcasing the character of a hard luck squad that hopefully carries over next season.
But for now these Cards are living where their feet are. Ready to enjoy the final few weeks of the season and taking advantage of the opportunity of the day.
Better. Not Bitter.
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