The #1 Louisville Basketball team arrived in Madison Square Garden presumably for a victory lap around the Texas Tech Red Raiders for the Jimmy V Classic.
The memo about Chris Beard and his 2018 Elite Eight squad and his 2019 National Runner-Up Texas Tech teams apparently didn’t reach the desk of the UofL Basketball roster…….. No one sleep walks past a Chris Beard coached team.
Critical rebounds bounced in front of the Cards. Casual passes and an urgency that could be measured by a sundial befell the #1 Louisville Cardinals en route to its 1st loss of the 2019-2020 season.
UofL had 19 TURNOVERS. UofL had 18 made shots.
Give credit to Texas Tech who had lost 3 in a row. The Red Raiders played with passion and enthusiasm reflective of its head coach. Meanwhile the Louisville team took the floor not appearing to have taken Texas Tech seriously at all.
The knock on Jordan Nwora has always been that when a good defensive team decides that he isn’t going have his game….. he doesn’t. When will Jordan Nwora decide that his opponent doesn’t matter and he’s going to go out there and impose his will like a 1st Team All-American? Like the ACC Player of the Year? Nwora on the night was 4 of 16 from the floor. Texas Tech decided that for him.
But it’s not all about Nwora. This loss falls on everyone. They didn’t show up ready. Texas Tech ‘wanted it’ more than Louisville. Plain and simple. UofL Basketball may have been #1 coming into the game, but Texas Tech has accomplished more in its past two years than the any Cardinal currently on this roster… how do you not respect that? ……. And they did it without Texas Tech’s best player.
Lastly, Louisville MUST figure out its back court vs. similar style defenses. SIX turnovers from junior guard Darius Perry. Perry played just 15 minutes.
Louisville Basketball can still accomplish every one of its goals in 2019-2020, nothing except the current #1 ranking was lost tonight. The season is long enough to earn #1 back. But UofL Basketball isn’t going to be the team its fans all believe it can be without taking a serious approach to the game and playing with more enthusiasm than any opponent left on its schedule.
Texas Tech is as well-coached as any team in the country. Chris Beard is a magician. But Louisville has to own this one. The Casual Cards won’t be #1 on Monday.
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