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Our Louisville Cardinals rolled into Chicago tonight and had a scuffle on their hands but were able to overcome sluggish play to beat the Blue Demons 79 to 58. The Cardinals have now won nine straight against DePaul since both teams joined the Big East and ten straight overall. With the win tonight Louisville now leads the overall series 38 to 21.

The Cards didn’t make the trip up to Chicago until today and they may have been feeling the effects of that not being able to adjust to game-day mode. This was a very sloppy ballgame by both teams and there were 36 turnovers between the two teams with Louisville accounting for 18 of them. It’s the second highest turnover game for Louisville this season. But the Cards were able to overcome the ugliness in the second half as they turned up the defensive pressure and took better care of the ball. They completely dominated the Blue Demons scoring 42 points in the paint. Cards really had a decent offensive performance tonight with 5 guys in double-digit scoring albeit against the worst defense in the Big East. They are averaging 78.6 points over the last six games so the production on the offensive end of the floor has picked up through the season. This is a game where you take the good with the bad and move on with the rest of the season happy you got a win. I think at this point the players and the fans of college basketball are ready for the post season.

Russ led the team in scoring tonight with 17 points reaching the 1000 mark and became the 65th player in Louisville’s history to reach that achievement. Louisville is now two behind North Carolina for the most one thousand point scorers in the NCAA. Peyton was the second leading scorer with 16 points to go along with a very impressive stat line as he also had 4 Rebounds, 6 assist, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. He did a much better job of penetrating the lane tonight and he actually got to the free-throw line for the first time in 9 games. His play tonight reminded me of the post season Peyton Siva of last year. Tonight he moved into 52nd all-time in scoring passing Tony Kimbro and now has 1097 points in his career. He also only needs 8 more steals after tonight to be Louisville’s all-time leader in that category. Gorgui had 10 points tonight and for the second game straight looked much more efficient on the offensive end of the floor. He had some offensive moves that looked like NBA material tonight and perhaps that was a good thing because the Chicago Bulls scouts were in the building checking him out. Chane Behanan had 10 points tonight but his biggest moment of the game was a monster dunk he had in the first half. Chane is chasing Cardinal legend Darrell Griffith for the most dunks in a season and I think after tonight he needs just 13 more to reach that goal. He is one of the best dunkers in the history of Louisville basketball but tonight he had the best dunk of his career and perhaps the best dunk of the college season.

The Louisville bench did a great job tonight as well scoring 22 points. And we are still seeing a consistent substitution pattern of Hancock, Ware, and Harrell. I look for Van Treese to start to get more minutes as the season winds down. Was really shocked that Wayne Blackshear didn’t have a break-out game tonight in front of the home crowd. His mother was in the stands but Wayne was quite for the most part and only scored 4 points. I keep hoping that this kid will live up to his hype but so far he is just and average performer for his career. He may be that guy that really starts to stand out during his senior season or he may never be what we thought he would. Stay tuned!

Our Cards appear to have hit their stride and have won 7 of their last eight games including four straight. Things start to get a lot tougher now that the soft spot in the schedule has passed. The Cards will travel to Syracuse for a high noon battle with the Orangemen on Saturday. The Cards will be looking to avenge an earlier home loss this season to Cuse.

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Russ Smith A Naismith Award Candidate

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University of Louisville junior Russ Smith is one of 30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

Smith, who has also been mentioned by ESPN as a breakout star this season and has emerged as an All-America candidate for the No. 10 ranked Cardinals. He has been listed on the 2012-13 Midseason Top 25 Wooden Watch list and was named one of 19 third team recipients of the Academic Momentum Award. He is 4th in the Big East in scoring with 17.2 points a game and is 4th in free-throw shooting at 86.7% a game. Russ is only 15 points away from the 1000 club at Louisville.

Overall, Smith averages 18.4 points, 2.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 29.7 minutes per game for the Cards. He is hitting 40.2% from the field and 31.8% from long range.

The top 30 candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances to this point in the 2013 men’s college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the list to four finalists. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 7, 2013 in Atlanta.

For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.

“This season has re-defined excellence on the court, as numerous talented players have put themselves in a position to win the prestigious Naismith Trophy,” said Shane Battier, spokesperson for the Naismith Awards and the only men’s player to win both a high school (1997) and college (2001) Naismith Trophy. “I am excited to see which of these great players emerges down the stretch to win this award and become the newest member of the Naismith Awards family.”

“For nearly a decade, AT&T has helped honor college basketball’s elite and their amazing performances on the court,” said Jamie Kerr, Director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. “AT&T enables fans to play a central role in the selection process while bringing them closer to their passion for college basketball. With such a competitive pool of student-athletes, next month’s voting is sure to be close.”

Other notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, 73, 74) and Ralph Sampson (181, 82, 83), Michael Jordan (1984), Kevin Durant (2007) and last year’s winner, Anthony Davis of Kentucky. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s best player.

For more information visit

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As it stands right now our Louisville Cardinals are ranked #10 in the country and are firmly in second place in a brutal Big East. And with the Cards being a legitimate national title contender this season it could be a very memorable one. But whats next? With the news from Coach Pitino a few weeks ago that he will encourage Chane, Russ, and Gorgui to test the NBA draft waters plus Peyton graduating what can Cardinal Nation expect next season and beyond? ESPN offered their opinion on this very topic:

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Ballard High School Junior Quentin Snider, is considered a top candidate for the 2014 Kentucky Mr. Basketball award and was voted the Seventh Region Player of the Year this past week. We also found out yesterday that fellow 2014 signee Shaqquan Aaron was named to the Star Times all-area team.

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In addition to that information we found out today that future point guard Chris Jones has been named the Panhandle Conference Player of the Year for the 2nd year in a row. Not really a surprise considering he is the best Juco player in the nation.

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We also learned today that future Cards Anton Gill and Akoy Agau have been named to the roster for the 2013 Derby Festival Classic. The All-Star event will take place on Friday April 19th at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.

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“We were able to select and attract many of the best players in the country to complete the roster,” said Mike Gandolfo and Keith Conrad, the event’s co-recruiting chairs. “The 2013 class is loaded with really good players who will put on a great show.”

It is a very exciting time to be a Louisville basketball fan and everyday is filled with positive news about the future of the program. If you would like to read more about the incoming class next year check out the recruiting page.


GAME #28 BEAK BREAKDOWN “The Blue Demons”

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Winning their last six out of seven games our #10 ranked Louisville Cardinals (22-5, 10-4 Big East) will take to the road again on Wednesday night when they head to Chicago to face the DePaul Blue Demons (11-16, 2-12 Big East). They have only won 2 games in the last two months. Louisville leads the all-time series 37 to 21 and are 8-0 against DePaul in the Big East. The last time these teams played each other was back on February 18, 2012. The Cards won that game in overtime 90-82.

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Since coach Oliver Purnell arrived on campus the Blue Demons depth is better, the talent is better and they have more experience. But talent, depth and improved experience are only the building blocks. Teams that thrive take them and construct something beyond just potential and promise. That’s something DePaul hasn’t been able to do, because of their defense and rebounding. They are currently ranked dead last in the Big East in field goal percentage defense allowing their opponents to shoot 50.1% on average, and dead last in 3 point field goal percentage defense allowing their opponents to shoot 41.5% on average. They are currently ranked 14th in the Big East in rebounding margin getting out rebounded by 5.9 per game. Even though they struggle on the defensive end of the floor they aren’t that bad on the offensive end and this team can score points. The are currently ranked 1st in the Big East in scoring offense averaging 71.6 points a game, 8th in field goal percentage averaging 42.2% per game, 11th in 3 point field goal percentage averaging 30.7% per game and 4th in free throw percentage averaging 72.6% per game. They also do a good job of sharing the ball and are ranked 7th in the Big East in assist averaging 13.8 per game. The Blue Demons take good care of the ball and they are ranked 5th in the Big East in turnover margin at +1.07. Purnell has accumulated the pieces necessary for progress and this team has the potential to be better, provided its players learn how to win games and can improve their rebounding and defense significantly.
The Blue Demons rank nationally 55th overall scoring 73.1 points per game, 129th overall with 35.7 rebounds per game, 102nd overall with 14 assist per game and 154th overall shooting 43.6% per game. They are currently in 13th place in the Big East and are 182 in the RPI. Kenpom has their adj efficiency on offense at 103.7 ranked 123rd and their adj efficiency on defense at 101.5 ranked 192. He has them ranked 146 overall.

In-conference offense: 3pt-30.7%, FG-42.2%, FT-72.6%
In-conference defense: Turnovers-14.4pg, Steals-7.4pg, Blocks-3.5pg

Coach Oliver Purnell: “Our defense has to be improved,” “Because of our up-tempo style, we can have games where the other team shoots well, and we can win. But we can’t do that all the time. We have to get our opponents’ shooting percentage down. A lot of that is rebounding. We’ve got to clean the glass.”

The Blue Demon Players:

-Projected Starters

Donnavan Kirk JR (7.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.5 apg) 6-9 F was ranked among the top 30 power forwards by both and as a senior in high school. He transferred to DePaul from Miami in January 2011. He gives them size on the wing and has scoring ability. He ranks 5th in the Big East shooting 51.2%. He is shooting 39.3% from the 3 point line and 70.6% from the free-throw line.

Cleveland Melvin JR (16.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.8 apg) 6-8 F is the league’s top returning scorer and could be even more potent if he is more accurate from the 3-point line. He has connected on only 29.5% of his 3s. Despite that, Purnell wants him to keep firing from long range. He is ranked 10th in the Big East in scoring, and 9th in rebounding. He is shooting 47% from the field and 67.9% from the free-throw line.

Brandon Young JR (16.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.5 apg) 6-4 G a talented combo who can score off the dribble, distribute the rock and take care of it, too. Young’s biggest problem last year was his 28.1 percent success rate from behind the arc. But he has improved that this season to 31.3% and is one of the best guards in the Big East. He is ranked 5th in the Big East in scoring, 9th in assist, 8th in steals and 10th in assist/turnover ratio. He shoots 43.2% from the field and 75% from the free-throw line.

Worrel Clahar SR (7.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.4 apg) 5-11 G he is a very good athlete and is a pass first guard. He is ranked 13th in the Big East in assist, 2nd in assist/turnover ratio and 11th on free-throw percentage at 80%. He shoots 39.9% from the field and 27.3% from the 3 point line.

Charles McKinney SOPH (5.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.5 apg) 6-3 G is not going to put up big numbers on the offensive end of the floor but he is one of the best defenders for the blue demons. He has long, natural length with a big wingspan and a lot of quickness to go with it. He shoots 49.5% from the field, 41.7% from the 3 point line and 56.4% from the free-throw line.


Jamee Crockett SOPH (9.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.3 blkpg) 6-4 G/F who can score inside and out, he can distribute a bit, and his burly frame allows him to be a good rebounder. All of that allows Purnell to use Crockett at the three and two. He shoots 39.7% from the field, 26.3% from the 3 point line, and 66.7% from the free-throw line.

Durrell McDonald FR (3.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.7 apg) 6-1 G is a great athlete who can play either guard spot. He’s a 6-10 high jumper and has Purnell and his staff excited about his potential. He shoots 44.2% from the field, 43.5% from the 3 point line and 50% from the free-throw line.

Moses Morgan JR (6.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.1 apg) 6-6 F has a body capable of being more of a factor inside, even if he is a strong (30.4%) 3-point shooter. Purnell has had him help out at the four position this year, and that has lead to better rebounding. He is shooting 32.3% from the field, 30.4% from the 3 point line and 75% from the free-throw line.

Derrell Robertson Jr. SOPH (2.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.0 apg) 6-10 C is a defensive presence, and has blocked 14 shots this year. He shoots 55.8% from the field and 71.4% from the free-throw line.

The Blue Demons have turned into a train wreck in recent years, winning a total of seven Big East regular season games in the last five years combined. At 11-16 overall and 2-12 in the Big East this season, the Blue Demons are enduring another miserable year. But if they get their defense together I do think they are very capable at pulling off a upset. But don’t expect one on Wednesday night as the Cards inside presence will completely overwhelm this Blue Demon group. Gorgui and Chane should have their way and get plenty of rebounds and chances to score. I look for Wayne Blackshear to have a good homecoming and his athletic ability on the wing will be tough for Depaul to guard. Peyton and Russ will control this one from beginning to end.

As I mentioned above these guys have some of the tools to compete but their defense, rebounding and toughness is really lacking. In the physical Big East that just doesn’t work. This team shouldn’t be overlooked because of their record but at the same time it’s DePaul. Cards should cruise in this one and have the highest point total of the year.

The Beak Prediction:
Louisville 86 DePaul 58

Cards Pillage & Plunder The Pirates

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Our Louisville Cardinals have taken their play up a notch and finished the season sweep of the Seton Hall Pirates today with the 70-61 victory. Louisville now leads the all-time series over Seton Hall 13 to 5. The Cardinals have now won three games in a row and six out of their last seven. They are now within a half game of Big East Conference leaders.

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It was a great effort today on both ends of the floor. And coming off one of their best defensive efforts of the season last week against USF the Cards backed that up with another solid performance today forcing 21 turnovers including 12 steals. And Seton Hall hit just 10 of 26 field goal attempts. The biggest improvement is on the offensive end of the floor as the scoring has been much more balanced over the last couple of weeks and again today three guys finished with double digits.

I had mentioned in my pre-game breakdown how I wanted to see Gorgui Dieng be more productive on the offensive end of the floor and today he had his best offensive performance as a Louisville Cardinal leading all scorers with 23 points. Coach Pitino said in his post-game that they had worked on plays to help Gorgui get his shots and it certainly appeared to pay off today. To go along with his offensive efforts Dieng also had 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocked shots. With talks of Gorgui entering the NBA draft after the season we may be watching his farewell tour.
Russ Smith continues to be the most consistent offensive player for the Cardinals and today he had another solid performance and was the second leading scorer with 19 points. He was also an impressive 10 for 10 from the free throw line. Russ is only 15 points away from joining the 1000 point club at Louisville.
Also mentioned in my pre-game breakdown that I would like to see Peyton Siva get into the lane and get to the free throw line. That didn’t happen and it makes 8 straight Big East games that Siva hasn’t had an attempt from the charity stripe. He did do another great job of distributing the ball and running the Louisville offense. He had 5 assist and now has 163 assists on the year, which is currently the 10th best assist year in UofL Basketball history. He needs 106 for #1 All-Time. He is 2nd in the Big East in that category. He also had 2 steals today and passed Alvin Sims on the All-Time Career Steals List with 220 tying Tick Rodgers for 3rd. Siva needs just 10 to tie Darrell Griffith for the All-Time Record.
Bench scoring was great today behind solid efforts from Luke Hancock with 13 and Kevin Ware with 8.

The Cards come into this one today wanting to fine tune some things and I’d say it was mission accomplished. We are starting to see more consistency and balance. We have also started to see a more consistent substitution pattern. Coach Pitino set a short term goal for this team to win its last seven games of the season. Now with 3 down and 4 to go next up is a trip to Chicago to face DePaul.

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GAME #27 BEAK BREAKDOWN “The Pirates part 2”

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Our #10 ranked Louisville Cardinals (21-5, 9-4 Big East) have won four games out of their last five and will return to the KFC Yum center on Saturday afternoon to face the Seton Hall Pirates (13-14, 2-12 Big East). The Pirates are struggling in the grueling Big East and have lost their last 8 games. The Cards lead the all-time series with Seton Hall 12-5. The Cards beat the Pirates back on January 9th at their place 73-58.

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This is coach Kevin Willard’s 3rd season at the helm at Seton Hall. Last season he led the Pirates to a 20 win season for only the third time in the last 19 years and they got their first NIT win since 1956. This season hasn’t been so kind to coach Willard and the Pirates. They had some pretty big obstacles to overcome heading into this season without a true senior on the roster and losing their best two players from last season in Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope. But add in all the injuries that have piled up and it really has turned into a tough year for the Pirates. They recently lost sophomore Brandon Mobley (9.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.7 apg) with a season-ending shoulder surgery, junior Patrik Auda (7.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.2 apg) is out for the season with a broken foot, and both junior Aaron Geramipoor and junior Brian Oliver have missed significant stretches due to injury as well. To top it off coach Willard just found out Thursday that sophomore guard Haralds Karlis has been playing with a groin hernia and will require surgery at the end of the season. To say that there is a lack of depth for this Pirates team is an understatement. And the one thing you can’t deal with in the rough and tumble Big East is a lack of bodies. This team ranks at or near the bottom of every statistical category in the Big East but three. They do shoot the ball well and rank 7th shooting 32.9% from the 3 and 1st in made 3’s at 7.1 per game. They also do a decent job of sharing the ball and are ranked 10th with 12.9 assist per game.
The Pirates rank nationally 211th with 66 points per game, 185th with 34.6 rebounds per game, 98th with 14.1 assist per game and 152nd shooting 43.6% from the field per game. Their current RPI is 122, and they are in 14th place in the Big East. Kenpom has their adj efficiency at 102.1 ranked 139th and their defensive adj efficiency at 96.9 ranked 111th. He has them ranked 115 overall.

In-conference offense: 3pt-32.9%, 2pt-40.6%, FT-64.4%
In-conference defense: Turnovers-10.7pg, Steals-5.9pg, Blocks-2.0pg

Coach Kevin Willard: “One of our biggest weaknesses, we don’t have the horses.” “I think it’s wearing down on us more mentally than physically. Physically, we’re getting out-matched. It’s tough to keep battling when you’re so undersized.”

The Pirate Players:

-Projected Starters

Haralds Karlis SOPH (3.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg) 6-5 G is decent long range shooter for this team, he also defends well at the shooting guard. He found out this week that he will have to play the rest of the season with groin hernia. He shoots 32.5% from the field, 20.8% from the 3 point line and 69.6% from the free-throw line.

Eugene Teague JR (11.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.5 apg) 6-9 C is a transfer from Southern Illinois with two seasons of eligibility. He gives the Pirates a good inside presence. He’s strong, got great touch around basket, runs the floor well and demands a lot of attention down low. He shoots 55.4% from the field, and 55.4% from the free-throw line.

Fuquan Edwin JR (17.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.4 blkpg) 6-6 G/F is the top returning scorer and rebounder for the Pirates and has a steal rate so good it looks like a typo. Indeed among major-conference players, only our Peyton Siva can look Edwin in the eye when the topic turns to steals. Edwin is ranked 2nd in the Big East with 2.6 pg and Siva is 3rd with 1.9 pg. Edwin shoots 45.3% from the field, 41.4% from the 3 point line and 69.8% from the free-throw line.

Aaron Cosby SOPH (11.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.9 apg) 6-2 G is a pretty good long range scorer and he ranks 12th in the Big East in 3 point percentage and 5th in 3’s made per game at 2.2. He is shooting 40.9% from the field, 36.8% from the 3 point line and 73.2% from the free-throw line.

Tom Maayan FR (2.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.4 apg) 6-1 G is a solid player and very good on the ball defender. He shoots 38.6% from the field, 30.8% from the 3 point line and 35.3% from the free-throw line.


Kyle Smyth SR (4.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.1 apg) 6-4 G is a graduate transfer who played for Willard at Iona, and was eligible immediately this season. He fills into that depth the Pirates have at the wings. He shoots the ball well and has a great basketball IQ. He shoots 34.5% from the field, 33.7% from the 3 point line and 89.5% from the free-throw line.

Brian Oliver JR (7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.2 blkpg) 6-6 G/F is a transfer from Georgia Tech. He started 12 games his final season at Georgia Tech in 2010-11 and was the third-leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets. He has brought scoring to the floor this season for the Pirates. He shoots 34.2% from the field, 34.8% from the 3 point line and 92.3% from the free-throw line.

Aaron Geramipoor JR (0.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.0 apg) 6-11 C has not played any significant minutes this season. He has struggled with a stress fracture in his right foot. He shoots 33.3% from the field, and 50% from the free-throw line.

Kevin Johnson FR (2.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.0 apg) 6-9 C had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus, and has missed time this season. He is shooting 50% from the field and 45.2% from the free-throw line.

Rick Pitino has a lot of respect for Kevin Willard and says that he is the best young X and O guy coaching the game right now. And Willard is putting together a decent program at Seton Hall. He is just having one of those tough transition seasons and luck really hasn’t gone the way of the Pirates. They will be severely outmanned Saturday and really don’t have much of a chance against a Cards team that is now poised for a major NCAA run. This will be a great game for the Cards to fine tune and work on some things. I really would like to see Peyton Siva driving the lane more and taking the ball to the basket. He is gonna have to start getting to the foul line. Will be watching to see if Wayne and Kevin continue to produce, and if Gorgui can get it going a little more on the offensive end of the floor.

I would never say that any game is a guaranteed victory but this is as close to a guarantee you will see this season.

The Beak Prediction:
Louisville 80 Seton Hall 58


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Our Louisville Cardinals rolled into the Sun Dome in Tampa Florida this afternoon and rolled over the South Florida Bulls 59-41. This completes a two game sweep of the Bulls this season and Louisville now leads the all-time series 27 to 4 and 10 to 1 in the Big East regular season. With this win, Louisville stays within a game of first place in the Big East race.

Like every game, I’ve watched when these two teams play each other there were moments when the game was very ugly. But today the Cards made the most of USF’s grueling grind it out style of play. The Cards had some nice dunks, plays and their passing was as good as it has been all year long. The team played more as a unit today instead of a group of individuals. I really do think these guys are finally hitting their stride.

Russ Smith led all scorers in the game with 15 points but I was impressed with his overall stat line, and I think this might have been one of his best games from an all around standpoint. To go along with his scoring he had six rebounds, four assist, one steal and was 7 for 7 from the free-throw line. Russ finishes this day only 34 points away from the 1000 point club. This type of play makes a dangerous Russ Smith lethal to opposing teams. I have mentioned Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware several times this season in my post game rants. I have wanted to see these guys step up and contribute all season. Well today, they answered my call. They were the Cardinals offense in the first half that led to a 22 to 3 run. These guys accounted for 19 of the Cardinals final 59 points. I hope they can keep it going like this because this is a different team when they play like they did today. Chane Behanan has had his struggles from the line this season but he has been the most consistent player in the last couple of weeks. He had another solid outing today scoring 12 points. Peyton Siva did his job again today a distributed the ball well leading the game with seven assist. But I would really like to see him get to the free-throw line more. In the Cards 13 Big East games today marks the seventh time that Peyton has not been to the free-throw line. Really, think this has to change for a post-season run. Gorgui was a beast again today on the boards leading the way with 10 rebounds and also had 5 blocked shots. Again, he struggled on the offensive end of the floor and seemed very timid at times. I have my fingers crossed that his confidence will return offensively before March. The Cardinals defense held South Florida to just 24.5% on 13-53 shooting and forced 16 turnovers. And they scored 23 points off of those turnovers.

This was a great effort today from the Cards in a hard fought game. They really did have a very complete day. How is this for a team effort? In these categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks the Cards had four different players that lead in each. The Cards have now won four games out of their last five and 2 games in the 7 game goal to complete the season. They will now get a week to prepare for their next game at home against Seton Hall.

Coach Pitino won his 650th game today and said that it was the best played game of the season because of passing and defensive effort. Here is some of his quotes after the game:

Coach Pitino: “When we pass it we’re tough to beat. Nights we have struggled are when we didn’t pass it well.”

Coach Pitino on Russ Smith: “I thought it was one of his best games of the season. He might not think so but it was.”

Coach Pitino on Dieng’s five blocks: “He should’ve had 10, he kept going for shot fakes, but he played well. This was a really good team win.”

Coach Pitino: “The reason sometimes we’re not a good shooting team is we haven’t been a good passing team. One area we have struggled all year.”


GAME #26 BEAK BREAKDOWN “The Bulls part 2”

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Our #12 ranked Louisville Cardinals (20-5, 8-4 Big East) hit the road for another Big East battle with the South Florida Bulls (10-14, 1-11 Big East) on Sunday. This is the second time these teams have met this season. The Cards beat the Bulls easily in the last game back on January 12th 64 to 38. Louisville leads the all-time series 26-4 and 9-1 in the Big East regular season.

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Playing against the Bulls is like watching basketball in quick sand. They love slowing down the tempo to a crawling pace and locking down their opponents on defense. This season was expected to look different for them thanks to a deeper, more versatile roster and the Bulls were hoping to be able to score more and be much more effective on the offensive end of the floor. But so far that hasn’t been the case. They rank 15th which is last in the Big East in scoring offense with 53.5 points per game, 15th in field goal percentage at 36.7% a game and 15th in 3 point percentage at 26.4% a game. They do shoot their free-throws well and are currently 5th in the Big East at 72.2% a game. Stan Heath is know for his defense and this year that hasn’t changed. The Bulls rank 8th in the Big East in scoring defense at 65.2 per game, 7th in 3 point defense holding teams to 32.4% a game, 8th on steals at 6.3 per game and 7th in turnover margin at +.50 a game. The Bulls are also struggling on the boards this season in a very physical Big East and they are ranked dead last in offensive rebounding, 14th in defensive rebounding, and 15th in rebounding margin.
Here are some other national ranks to consider. The Bulls are ranked 323rd nationally scoring 60 points a game, 278th with 32.4 rebounds a game, 271st with 11.5 assist per game and 321st in field goal percentage shooting 39.5% a game. Kenpom has their adj efficiency on offense at 99.3 ranked 180. He has their adj efficiency on defense at 98.3 ranked 141. He has them ranked 158 overall. Their current RPI is 124 and they are dead last in the Big East standings.

In-conference offense: 3pt-26.4%, 2pt-36.6%, FT-72.2%
In-conference defense: Turnovers 12.1pg, Steals-6.3pg, Blocks-3.0pg

Coach Stan Heath: “Every year you’re different,” “You’ve got to turn the page. We have a new roster, and we have to play to our strengths.”

The Bulls Players:

-Projected Starters

Kore White SR (3.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.5 apg) 6-8 F is a Florida Atlantic transfer. He can block shots, rebound and has a good shooting touch. He’s a solid player. He has missed time this season with a back injury. He shoots 47.4% from the field, 46.7% from the 3 point line and 50% from the free-throw line.

Toarlyn Fitzpatrick SR (10.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.9 apg) 6-8 F is a big defender and the teams most effective defensive rebounder. He is shooting 38.9% from the field, 32.6% from the 3 point line, and 73.5% from the free-throw line.

Victor Rudd JR (11.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.1 apg) 6-9 F has great athletic skill and is a real force inside and out. When he plays up to his potential he has star potential. He is shooting 38.8% from the field, 27% from the 3 point line, and 69.8% from the free-throw line.

Anthony Collins SOPH (9.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 6.6 apg) 6-1 G is fearless at both ends of the floor. He is a pass first guard but can score when he wants to. He is one of the best guards in the Big East Louisville will play this season. He is 5th in the Big East in assist with 5.4 a game, 10th in Free Throw% at 80.6%, 9th in assist/turnover ratio at 1.8.

Javontae Hawkins FR (1.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg) 6-5 G is the Bulls top rated recruit. ESPN rated him the No. 33 forward in the country. He is long, skilled and can get to the basket. He is a solid catch-and-shoot guy.


Martino Brock JR (4.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1apg) 6-6 G is a transfer from South Alabama. He is strong off the dribble and can step back to hit the jumper. He’s very versatile in the backcourt. He’s a great defender and aggressive on the offensive end. He is shooting 35.1% from the field, 25% from the 3 point line and 60.4% from the free-throw line.

Jawanza Polan SR (10.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg) 6-4 G is a feast or famine type of player but can hurt you if he does get it going on the offensive end as Louisville found out last year when they lost to the Bulls as he scored 16 in that game.

Jordan Omogbehin FR (0.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg) 7-3 C missed last season due to a knee injury. He is a big man and can be a defensive force in the paint.

Zach LeDay FR (4.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.2 apg) 6-7 F has been a key reserve for the Bulls this season. He can shoot the 3, run the floor and defend some.

South Florida has been struggling this season but they do have a decent bench and a group of capable athletes. They play great perimeter defense and will do a good job of keeping Russ and Peyton out of the lane. Once again our front court players will have to step up in this one to open up some offense against this good Bulls defense.

Are the South Florida Bulls capable of getting the win on Sunday? Yes they are capable but it would take an epic collapse by a Louisville team that seems to have things back on track. The Bulls will be outmanned in this one. Louisville is just on another level this season. No upset this weekend folks.

The Beak Prediction:
Louisville 70 South Florida 52


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It was a game of runs tonight in the KFC Yum center as 22,086 Cardinal fans watched these teams go back and forth for much of the first and some of the second half. The game had five lead changes and was tied twice before the Cards finally made a run that the Red Storm wouldn’t have an answer for putting the game away 72-58 and giving Louisville it’s 11th straight 20 win season.

Many of us were wondering how the Cards would respond after the gut shot they took last weekend in South Bend. But our guys came out tonight and didn’t appear to have any hangover from that game. They Bounced back very nicely and took care of business against a young but very talented group of St Johns players. I was especially surprised and happy to see the Cards control the paint area tonight. That is usually where this Red Storm team thrives and they came into this game 2nd in the country in blocked shots, and lead the Big East in that category. They did have seven blocked shots to Louisville’s 3 tonight but the Cards dominated nonetheless. They outscored the Red Storm in the paint 32-16 and out-rebounded them 45-37. Again keep in mind that St Johns is very long and athletic in the paint.

It was suspected last weekend that Rick Pitino might have sought out some wise counsel for his guard duo from the Lakers Steve Nash. I don’t know if Nash has reached out to our back-court tandem yet but they came out tonight with a swagger that we hadn’t seen from them in several weeks. Peyton was able to control the game and was able to keep his team in a nice tempo throughout. He had 12 points but more importantly was the games leader with 6 assist which now puts him at 600 for his career in Louisville. I’m not going to lie; it baffles me how Gorgui is still playing so timid on the offensive end of the floor. That hand injury really set him back in that part of his game. Fortunately for the Cards it hasn’t hurt him on the defensive end of the court or on the glass. He had 17 rebounds tonight and 2 blocked shots. I wish he would carry some of that intensity into his offensive game because I think we will need him to be stronger with the ball in his hands in scoring position in the tourney. Russ Smith has them talking again. After the Notre Dame game it seemed that the talking heads were trying to back out of some of their previous assumptions about the Shooting Guard. Russ took over the game at the 14:25 mark and scored 12 straight over a 3:03 stretch that put Louisville ahead for good. He had a 21 point second half and lead all scorers with 24 for the game. Check out the ESPN highlights. Ha! He has them talking again. After his amazing offensive performance tonight Russ is now only 49 points away from joining the 1000 point club as a Louisville Cardinal.

Other positives to take away from tonight is that in a game where we only scored 15 points off of turnovers we won handedly, free-throw shooting was a lot better at 76.7%, we had 4 guys in double figures and the Cards had 8 steals making it the 23rd time this season with more than seven.

Was really happy with the way this team looked tonight. Coach Pitino said on his radio show this week that he wanted to finish the season with 7 wins in a row. With one game down and six to go I don’t see that being a problem if this team plays like it did tonight. The Cards should be favored in all the remaining games except one. I expect Cuse to be favored when we travel to play them. Next up for the Cards is a road trip to South Florida to play the Bulls in what will be a battle in quick sand Sunday afternoon.


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Coach Pitino: “Great defensive effort tonight. Really happy with the victory, still many things to work on.”

Coach Pitino on Gorgui: “If I could just learn to play him four minutes less, he would do a lot better.”

Coach Pitino on Blackshear injury: “He’s fine, Just tweaked it”

Coach Pitino on Russ: “He shoots a better percentage at home than he does on the road,” Has to improve on the road.”

Coach Pitino on Bench: “I’ve got to have more confidence in Stephan or Zach. I should have it, they’re playing very well.”

Coach Pitino on St. Johns: “I think they’re really turning the corner and becoming the St Johns of the old days.”

Coach Pitino on the Big East: “Of all the teams I’ve watched lately, I think Providence is playing the best basketball of any team in the Big East.”

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The Louisville student section got in on the “Harlem Shake” craze tonight and decided to record their version of the youtube sensation. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:


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Louisville Point Guard Peyton Siva has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2012-13 Men’s Basketball Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

Siva received the 2011-12 BIG EAST Conference Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award for men’s basketball, an honor presented to an individual in each of the league’s 24 sports which recognizes academic and athletic achievement as well as community service. Siva, who has a 3.41 cumulative grade point average in sociology, was named to the 2011-12 Capital One Academic All-District 2 men’s basketball first team. He has been named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll (3.0 or better GPA) in each of his six semesters at UofL.
As a senior, Siva will serve as the Cardinals’ co-captain for the second straight year. He has been called by Louisville Coach Rick Pitino as “one of my top five of all-time as a person.” He wears No. 3 because of his Christian faith for the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and has been involved in Bible study since his high school days. The story of him as a 13-year-old locating and convincing his father on the verge of suicide not to end his life became a national story.
Siva has made several visits to Kosair Children’s Hospital to help brighten the lives of many youth. He has spoken to children at Louisville area elementary schools about the importance of doing well in school and has shared his Christian faith at local school FCA meetings. After completing an internship with the Boys and Girls Club in Louisville, he continued to help out at the facility when possible.
Siva was a preseason first-team All-America selection by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He was named to the West Region All-Tournament team while leading Louisville to the 2012 NCAA Final Four. Siva earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the 2012 BIG EAST Championship, leading Louisville to the title. Siva is second in the Big East in assist and 20th in the nation averaging 6.1 a game. He is currently #56 All-Time Scoring with 1060 points, and 2nd All-Time in Assists with 594. Needs 119 to tie LaBradford Smith.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in October. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through March 25. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.

The men’s Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Final Four in Atlanta, Ga., April 6 and 8.

2012-13 Senior CLASS Award Finalists
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s
Mike Groselle, The Citadel
Jordan Hulls, Indiana
Jonathan Lee, Northeastern
C. J. McCollum, Lehigh
Mike Muscala, Bucknell
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Peyton Siva, Louisville
Andrew Smith, Butler
Marc Trasolini, Santa Clara