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


Let me start off by saying that I am fully aware these past two wins are not anything to boast about.  One team looked like they would rather be playing UNO and the other team is coached by Kevin from “The Office”.  But either way, ding-dong the losing streak is dead.  While we are not going to get a number one, two, or three seed after these two blowout wins, we avoided a Defcon 5 situation had we lost.  We also got the chance to see Lance Thomas foul out in 10 minutes,  the best things in life really are free.


On Monday we learned that UCONN is still UCONN but the Louisville women showed fight despite being down double digits the majority of the game.  There is no shame in losing to UCONN and the Cards will rebound from this. They are still in line for a one or two seed so all is not lost.  Proud of them and they still have unfinished business. They should finish strong in and be sitting pretty for the ACC tournament.


Before we get to the notes, let me just say that I appreciate all of you who read this column each week.  I know I say it all the time on Twitter but I really get a kick out of seeing this column, along with BucketHatism, bring so much joy to CardNation.  I am truly grateful for all of you, and thankful that Mark Blankenbaker brought me over to The Crunch Zone.   Some people may think that I am feeling myself now that I have made a few appearances on the radio, I assure you I am the same Cardinal fan / a-hole that I was before I started writing for any website.  I am no better than any other fan in CardNation, it just so happens I have a platform to express my thoughts and some good friends from social media (you) who retweet and share it.    Rather than assume that I am smug and arrogant, how about using your 24 hours better instead of sitting in your home mad at someone else’s progress. If you are wondering if that was a shot…..it was.


To the notes:


Any outbursts from the court and you will be removed by the bailiff SarahD~CARDS FAN~ (@sadnky).  She is a mom, a granny, and as she boasts in her profile she is mature but not old.  The BHK needs wisdom at times but also needs a fan that will swing on a hater when the situation calls for it.  SarahD fits the bill.  While she is a 49er fan and I am a Raider fan, I am willing to put our differences aside in that aspect to support CardNation.


  • New rule, VJ King must read our tweets at every official timeout.  After starting the Pitt game with a few missed layups, CardNation took to social media to vent. What followed was a pissed off, aggressive VJ who slashed to the rim and attacked without care.  We need that VJ every game.   Let me reiterate, we don’t dislike VJ, we just hate that he has not lived up to his potential yet.  We just want him to succeed and while some fans are jerks about it, most are just frustrated with his game. Here’s hoping that VJ turns it on to end the year,  we will need big games from him in next few weeks.


  • Let me just say, I don’t wish injury on anyone and I really hope that Deng Adel gets well soon.  But I would be lying to you if I said the offense has not run smoother without him the past few games.  The team is sharing the ball……I repeat….the TEAM is SHARING the ball.  Louisville had 18 assists against G-Tech and  followed that with 23 assists against Pitt.  I am singling Adel out because at times this year he has forgot to involve his teammates.  He is our leading scorer, but if the shot is not falling its time to get your teammates some attempts.  This is not a “bash Deng” thing, its a “let’s improve as a team before March” thing.


  • Jordan Nwora is making the most of his time on the court and coming up big while doing it.  We are going to need him going forward. I am not telling David how to run this team but we have to get away from playing Jordan two games and sitting him three sh*t.  He can shoot, he can score, he struggles to defend at times but we need him, plain and simple.  I hope that he comes in and lights up UNC and Virginia.


  • Time for Darius “The Bulldog” Perry love.  I am telling you, this guy is going to be the guy that will get the biggest ovation on his senior day assuming he stays.   He plays the game like its his last and he has fun doing it. We knew he could play defense, but now we are seeing his offense come around.  He is easily my favorite player on this team,  he makes it so easy to cheer for him.  Oh yeah, he should have his own reality show while on the bench. Call it  Perry’s Playhouse or  Darius’s Day Off.  Hell I don’t know, just make the show.  If the Jersey Shore crew can have a reunion show then Darius can get one too damn it.


  • I am really getting tired of Ryan McMahon’s antics.  It’s one thing to be the heartthrob of CardNation but now you’re wishing the ladies of Louisville a Happy Valentine’s day during timeouts??  The balls on this guy…..


  • Here’s to hoping Q continues to climb out of his shooting slump.  Sunday’s game against Pitt was a start.  I am sure he will be missed next year.  Good luck to Q,  I hope you end your Cardinal career on a high note buddy.


  • Ryan “home-wrecker” McMahon and Darius Perry gave us a glimpse of the back-court next year and I must say the offense ran well when they were on the court.   This is not a Q diss but it is hard to ignore. I think if Padgett wanted to tinker with the lineup he could insert either at the 2 spot and let Deng play the 3 spot.  That would put VJ on the bench but that also gives us another weapon we can bring in the game.  I don’t know, I am not a coach but each time re-watch a win I feel like one.


  • Big Play Ray and the Big Egyptian have been playing well lately,  they just have to stay out of foul trouble especially against UNC, Duke, hell anybody.  We need both on the court to defend and score in the paint.  You can tell Padgett has really worked with the bigs in the off-season.


  • LOL, bless Lance Thomas.  Dude collected 4 fouls so quickly in the Pitt game he had not even broke a sweat yet.   Just glad he was able to get some playing time along with Redding and Joe Griffin.


  • Josh Pastner walked by me and a group of reporters the other day after the game. I can confirm his face is still punchable. Ol’ Jesse Eisenberg looking a** boy.  Despite his legal drama that was made known before tipoff last week,  he still has the face of a guy who has just left his first strip club after getting his first lap dance.


  • Speaking of losing,  Kevin Stallings has single handily ruined PITT.   I thought the worst hire in college basketball was Clyde Drexler at Houston and  Billy the Drunk at that school down the road but apparently I was wrong.  In steps Kev and Pitt plummets to last place almost immediately.  Meanwhile, Jamie Dixon has TCU looking nice in the Big 12 while Pitt is now looking like an automatic win.  Kevin Stallings looks like the guy who splits his pants on a daily basis each time he bends over to pick up something.  I can see him falling down for absolutely no reason.  I can see him spilling mustard on himself before every press conference and his staff has to keep a replacement shirt on deck.  He strikes me as the type to have chili dogs and plain Fritos for lunch every day. I can see him entering wing eating contest just to avoid paying for the meals.  I don’t know……but hey, at least he didn’t pay his guys $100,000 dollars.


  • Shout out to the lady who called me from the Alumni Association during the game on Saturday.  For those of you who do have my phone number, I would advise you never to call me during a Louisville game. Unless it’s an emergency, I am not picking it up, leave a vmail or shoot a text.  The only reason I picked up is because they have been calling me all week and I was making sure it wasn’t about my football season tickets.  It was not (narrator voice)….they called me during a enjoyable beatdown of Pitt to ask for donations to the school.  I cannot donate to a school who does not have a full time president and that employs a guy who sneaks out of side doors to avoid questioning.  I also cannot donate to a school who has two guys in charge that are both leading us into the abyss.  While I trust Vince Tyra and hope he gets the interim tag removed,  I fully trust we are screwed as long at Walter Mathau and Jack Lemmon are in charge. 566 days and counting.


  • Also,  a radio personality recently said that UofL fans do not care about what goes on with the admin at their school.  I respectfully disagree.  I care about what goes on at my alma mater whether good or bad and I fully want my school to succeed both academically and in athletics no matter the sport.  I respect his opinion,  he is entitled to that, but I know a ton of the fanbase is unhappy and they do care about what goes on at the Belknap Campus.  We are all waiting to hear something to ease our anxiety and not just about the 2013 banner.  Is Tyra going to stay on? Will David return?  Who is the hell is going to be our next president at UofL and when is the school going to start the search?   As I said,  respectfully disagree, the fanbase cares bro despite what you may think.


And in closing, thus ends the winnable stretch of games for Louisville. The Cards had 4 games that they should have won but instead they finished 2-2 and now head into the toughest stretch that I can remember.  UNC, Duke, V-Tech, Virginia, and NC State.  So we battle the state of North Carolina one week and the state of Virginia the next before ending the season against Kevin Keatts and his reformed NC State squad. FUN…….

Folks, We are sitting at 18-8 without a marquee win and one terrible loss.  I think if Louisville can at least go 2-3 or 3-2 in this stretch they are securely in the tournament.  Beat UNC and Virginia at home and steal one on the road and I think we can all exhale.  Here’s the thing,  even by winning a two of the next five, the Cards could also stand to get a few in the ACC tournament.  There are no more gimme’s on the schedule, this is what makes or breaks a team.  So as a fanbase, lets all rally behind the team these next few weeks.  We have been here for one of the most tumultuous seasons on record, and we will continue to be here because die hard fans don’t cower when their team faces adversity.


March is coming, let’s do this.


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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