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


This is getting ri-doggone-diculous.  OK, so lets recap again

  • Suggest Deng Adel needs to sit, he winds up playing some of the best b-ball this year
  • Suggest Ryan McMahon shouldn’t start, he winds up hitting HUGE shots to help us win.
  • Suggest Malik Williams stop shooting 3’s and watch as he keeps shooting….and hitting them.
  • Mention the fact that Louisville has not won in South Bend since Clinton’s first term and how tired I am of the pit of misery  and watch as Louisville wins there in double OT.
  • Mention Jordan Nwora and how weird it is he has not played much and watch him come in against Notre Dame and Boston College and help Cards win both games.

I am not sure what is happening anymore.  I just show up, cheer, tweet some profanity, and then write about it.  Louisville basketball is owning the month of January.  The Louisville Men’s team is 15-4 including 5-1 in conference. The Louisville Women’s team is the best team in the state and one the top teams in the nation and it’s not even debatable. Once again, basketball is fun in the city of Louisville and I choose to be happy about it despite the storm that is coming.

Look, I am not claiming this winning streak but since BucketHatology has came out the Cards have not lost, Deng Adel has played out of his mind, and Ray Spalding is looking like a lottery pick.   And while the Louisvile Women tasted defeat for the first time on Sunday, they still are a top 5 team.   Enjoy both teams while you can, because I have a feeling there will be a day we wish we had it this good.

Now let’s get to the notes before some bandwagon fan decides to kill the vibe.


Any outbursts from the court and you will be removed by the bailiff @ferncreekmic, known to  you as SmokinBaliff.   There is a lot of things I don’t question in life,  like why do we park in driveways and drive on parkways.  Why the Louisville Football intro video, outside of the Ali tribute,  is SO BAD every year.  Why there is a lack of Frisbee dogs at basketball halftime shows.  And why they have a commercial with a Dr. Pepper vendor but you never see anyone selling Dr. Pepper at any football game.  But I have never questioned Mic about why his tailgate grill is the size of a private school and how does he transport it without a police escort.  I just shut up and eat the burgers he made….then I mind my business.


  • Welcome back Jordan Nwora, although you never really left.  Turns out the freshman just had to get some practice habits together and it has translated to the court.  I am just glad he is contributing again and in a big way.  I am also glad it is not something dumb that was keeping him on the bench……..like body fat percentages.   Here’s hoping Jordan Nwora continues to be a huge spark off the bench.


  • Take a good, long look at Ray Spalding.  Cherish every game that he plays in that beautiful Louisville jersey. Because I do believe this season will be the last time you see him take the court as a member of the Louisville Cardinals.  He was already a good defender and shot blocker. Now he has a mid-range jumper and can score baskets using his left hand.  Sweet Jesus,   Big Play Ray.


  • Nick Coffey does not like the fact that I use “Nwor Zone” to describe Jordan Nwora:


Hater in the house!!!!   Tweet “Nwor Zone” each time Nwora does something great.  (Eat it Nick).

Oh, I can’t stay mad at you Nick.  Nick’s blazer game is strong, not as strong as Jeff Greer’s but it’s up there.


  • Shout out to Coach Padgett who has beat a ranked team on the road and now ended 24 years of misery in South Bend.  I may have got a little carried away after the win and the adrenaline drove me to say we need to remove the interim tag.  I am going to retract that statement now and pump my brakes.  Things are going well but we have a hell of a schedule coming up.  UNC, at Duke, at V-Tech, and then home for Virginia. Get through that and I will stand by my original statement.  This season of college basketball is so weird.  UNC is getting beat on a weekly basis,  that team down the road is out of the top 25 for the first time since 2014,  Clemson was #1 in the conference a few weeks ago, and Pitt remains trash so I guess not everything has changed.   What I am saying is, I think Coach Padgett is building a hell of a resume and if at the end of the year he has a 20+ win team that wins a few games in the ACC/NCAA tournament it may be hard to tell him his services are no longer needed.   Plus,  are you sure you want to face this guy afterwards:

  • One thing Padgett could do is work on late game subbing.  He nearly killed the YUM! center crowd the other day when he pulled the starters way too early and BC came back to cut the lead to two.  After the win, and after we all un-clenched our butt-cheeks we could all laugh and breathe normally again.


  • I made a joke about our student section the other day,  all 6 of them, and while I don’t take it back I will say those 6 students are very passionate along with the pep band.  It is very puzzling though.  We are a top 10 program regardless of any scandal and you would think the students would be rabid at every home game.   Sometimes I miss the Red C,  those guys were insane at Freedom Hall games.   I blame Matt McGavic (@GeneralWasp)


  • Congrats to Quentin Snider on joining the 1,000 point club in the Notre Dame game.   And middle fingers to the people who still can’t fathom that he is a good point guard doing what he needs to do to secure a win for us.  These same people are the ones that complain about free samples at Sam’s club.   Just take your cheesecake truffle and go…


  • I find myself screaming internally when VJ does not finish around the basket. If he can start doing that he will be a valuable asset for this team. He gets fouled a lot and attacks the rim which is great but if he starts converting some of those to “And 1’s” then Louisville will go far.   VJ’s game has improved especially on defense and shooting 3’s.


  • Darius “The Bulldog” Perry was back at it again on Sunday.  Ky Bowman was killing Louisville until Perry entered the game and was in his bag.  Perry may not have the offense (yet) but his defense is superb. Again, his attitude and work ethic will be sorely needed in the years to come, I really hope he stays here despite the unclear future of the program.


  • Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  My advice to you is to make plans at a nice restaurant, shower your significant other with love prior to Feb. 14th, and by all mean’s be on the lookout for this guy:



Every time McMahon enters the game they should play Shawn Michael’s intro music.   Let me talk to K-Dogg, we can work something out.


  • Deng Adel is finally playing like we all knew he could.  He has stopped focusing on scoring and began doing all the other things to help the team.  The guy collected a double double in the second half against BC the other day, that is insane.   It also appears Deng, along with Spalding have stepped up to become the leaders on this team which we will need going forward.


  • At halftime of the BC game I went back to the press room to get my cookie and drink refill and on the way back to my seat the then 20-0 Louisville Women walked by.  I am not ashamed to admit that I fan’d out like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Timberlake concert.  When perfection walks by, you can’t control how you react.  Also Sam “Fury” would physically hurt me so I give respect where it is due.


  • Anas has been battling illness the past few games so he is not really playing like himself. Hopefully he gets well soon because we will need him.


  • The title of “Best Hair”  that was once held by Lance Thomas has now been given to Jordan Nwora.   Lance decided to cut off the high top and with that he lost the prestigious award.  Nwora now has stiff competition from Darius Perry.


And in closing the Cards travel to Coral Gables on Wednesday to face a tough Miami team.  The Hurricanes played Duke tough, even leading by double digits before the bottom fell out.  Last year they had Louisville on the ropes until a late Snider three pointer sealed the deal.  I am not sure how long this winning streak will last but I beg all of you to enjoy it.  Yes this team needs work in some areas. Yes the rebounding on the defensive glass is not great and Notre Dame feasted is still collecting offensive rebounds as I type this. But all of this can be corrected and we have a team that is 5 wins away from yet another 20 win season and double digit wins in the ACC.  I have always said the Cards magic number was 10 or 11 wins in the ACC, they should lock up a tourney seed with that number.

Stop worrying about not being ranked, the AP poll will be useless in a few more weeks.  Who cares if we are not one of the top 25 teams, as long as we are one of the top 68 teams in March that is all that matters. With everything that has happened,  to be in this position at this point of the year is truly remarkable.  This is Cardinal basketball, enjoy it.   And hide your wife when McMahon is on the floor.


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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