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


Well shoot…….sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield.  The past few games the Cards have been the bug.  Losing to Virginia was expected but also encouraging.  Losing to FSU was a head scratcher. Losing to Syracuse was just downright awful.  The Cards went from 16-5 and second in the ACC to 16-8 and back on the bubble.  Normally, the Cards are already at 20 wins and just trying to jockey for position in the ACC before the big dance starts….but this is not a normal year.


The Cards have finished in the top four of the ACC in all of the past three seasons.  And had they been able to sweep the three game home stand and get a win at Pitt they would have put themselves in great position to keep that track record going. But if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we would all have a Merry Christmas.  The Cards have 7 games remaining and an uncertain future ahead.  This sucks.


The Louisville women are undoubtedly the best team in the state of Kentucky and it’s not even close. Jeff Walz and crew will take their mojo to Stoors to face UCONN on Monday.  So to the fans that are frustrated with the current three game losing streak, please don’t forget that there is a top 5 team on campus still.  Let’s also not forget that the Cardinal 9 have begun to prepare for the baseball season.  Folks, there are going to be some dark days ahead for the men’s team, but that does not mean the rest of the athletic programs on campus should be ignored. Life will go on, and one day Louisville basketball will once again be back.


Let’s get to the notes:


Any outbursts and you will be removed from the courtroom by the bailiff People’s Champ (@Ville_Hayes).  If anyone knows about tough times it’s him.  He is a devout Colt’s fan and also watches soccer……for fun………soccer.  He is a Cards fan and his beard would make Rick Ross blush.  P-Champ remains a friend to the throne, just wish he would reconsider his NFL team.


  • Let’s start with some positive news.  Ray Spalding is playing out of his mind right now, hurt ankle and all.  For the life of me I am not sure why we did not feed him more in the Syracuse game.  Enjoy him CardNation for these next few weeks.  Ray will be in the league next year.


  • Deng Adel has regressed the past few games and I am not sure why.  FSU and Syracuse games have us all perplexed and looking for answers.  I have said that this team lacks a true leader and I stand by that.  Adel can score, that is not the issue. The issue with Adel is that at times (albeit the wrong ones) he forgets his teammates. It is both annoying and frustrating.  If Ray and Anas are your hot hands, keep feeding them!!! There was a moment in the Syracuse game where Malik Williams was so open he could have played a game of Fortnite and still scored.  Instead, Adel drove one on three and got fouled, he would miss one of the two free throws. So the Cards missed an easy two and only got one point of of it.   Adel is a Junior, but he has made the mistakes of a Freshman this year.  While I don’t think he should sit, I do think he should take a look at how his antics are at times hurting the team.


  • VJ King has been shooting better since the Miami game but the issue is consistency.  He played well in the first few minutes against FSU and Cuse but then faded as the game went along.  And I know fans have chosen King as this years punching bag but I can see the guy making some progress as well as playing through a frustrating sophomore year.  Whoever the coach is next year, whether its Padgett or not, I hope they can continue to work with VJ and hopefully improve his all around game.   Keep fighting.


  • The word is out on Ryan McMahon.  The sharp shooter is no longer an unknown and you can tell by what we are seeing on the court.   Jim Boeheim flat out stated in the post game press conference that they scouted Ryan and did not want him to get off any easy shot.  Still, the coaching staff has to draw up plays for Ryan and with that his teammates have to do a better job of finding him.  Once again, this team fails to find the hot hand and instead goes away from them at crucial parts of the game.


  • Padgett HAS to get his subbing patterns straight.  You can’t have guys out there playing 39 min and other guys only playing 5.  It is late in the season, we have to find a rotation that works.


  • Speaking of rotations, good to see Jordan Nwora back in it.  I am extremely perplexed by his playing time this season. Play two games, sit three games, repeat.  I am not in practice at all so I am not sure what the hell is going on but if it is defense then I want to know why he is made to sit when I see some other guys playing lackluster defense when on the court.  We have a team of shooters but won’t play them.


  • I hope Louisville wins soon because this losing streak is bringing out the idiotic statements again.  The latest  “Louisville should hire Kevin Ollie after UCONN fires him”.    I thought the Kenny Payne rumor was dumb but then another so called fan comes and tells us to hold his Red Bull while he tries to one up it.  At no point in his incoherent tweeting did he bother to look at Ollie’s record at UCONN so allow me to post this:


Okay kids, lets review.  Kevin Ollie won a championship with Jim Calhoun’s team.  He followed that by not making the tourney the next year.  He made the tourney the year after that  and was out in the first weekend and he has not had much success since.   My question to this tweeter is did you actually read your tweet before you sent it or are you missing the attention you once had so bad you are now relegated to sending dumb s*** like this down the timeline??  Craving attention makes people do and say dumb things.  I refuse to let a guy who was run out of the city come back and tweet garbage taeks without any consequences.   If you’re wondering if that was a shot….it was.


  • The Cards have seven home games left and are sitting at 16-8.  They will have to go 4-3 or better in my opinion to have a decent shot at making the tournament.  I know most projections have us in as a low seed but I am not too sure about that.  In my opinion, the Cards are grasping to the bubble with one hand while the other is holding a bottle of bourbon.   If you ask me, the Cards have to do the following:


-Beat Georgia Tech,  you cannot lose to a bottom team in the ACC and be fine. Syracuse is a bad loss, but G-Tech would be worse.

-Beat Pitt.  You cannot lose to the worst team in the ACC.  Pitt’s team consists of 4 walk-ons and a usher. Louisville loses to them then you can stop the chatter about Padgett being coach next year and start cleaning up Freedom Hall for the NIT.

-Find a way to beat UNC.  UNC is having a terrible year by their standards. The defending champs have lost to a lot of teams including Wofford.  This game doesn’t look as juicy as it once did on paper but still, a win against them at home does wonders for the resume.  Also, you have to hope they beat Duke tonight.

-Hope that the refs are not paid at Duke.  I joke, but not really.   Seriously, I think we can compete with Duke but Marvin Bagley and Grayson Trippin’ are too much.  I think we drop this one

-V-Tech has gave us all we wanted the past few games and I think they get this one in Blacksburg.

-Normally, I would chalk this one up to a loss but the way we played them at their place I feel better. I think the defense clamps down and I also that Jerome and Guy don’t hit those playground shots.  I will say this one can go either way.

-NC State  is good, and Kevin Keatts was someone I wanted here as the head coach.  This can go either way but giving nod to NC State due to home court.


That puts Louisville at either 20-11 or 19-12 depending on how is shakes out.  That is gonna get you in, but barely. Louisville also has ACC tournament to pad the resume some.  Of course, I am hoping Louisville goes 7-0 and I eat a nice plate of crow.


  • I can accept a ton of things, but losing to this guy is not one of them:

Josh Pastner is the guy who still makes fart noises when people bend over.  He has a extremely punch-able face.  I find it hard to focus on anything he says because I just want to punch him in his month.  He reminds me of a public defender that loses all of his cases, the absolute last guy you would want on your side in a courtroom.  He looks like he goes to strip clubs during the day with his polo tucked into his khakis.  Pastner looks like he gives awkward high fives.  He would mess up a fist bump.  Sorry, this hate derived from his time at Memphis…..and his face.


And in closing,  we have not won in nearly two weeks.  I have forgot how to tweet my Trent Johnson pic.  We need a win, then another on Sunday, then another after that.  I am not ready to talk about the future so lets just get behind the team and hope they can get this corrected and shock the world a few more times before we put a bow on this thing.

We have 3 more home games so that gives you 3 more times to enjoy this team while you can.  Ray, Q, Anas, and most of all Padgett deserve that much.  Next year could be even worse, so if you thought losing to Syracuse was the worst thing just wait.  For now, we focus on beating Georgia Tech tonight……..please.


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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