VOLUME XVI • NUMBER 19 DECEMBER 23, 2011
FEBRUARY 3, 2011
DECEMBER 23, 2011
WHAT’S INSIDE THIS DOUBLE EDITION:
AMERICA’S FOREMOST AUTHORITY ON UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETICS®
VOLUME XVI, NUMBER 19 • DECEMBER 23, 2011
EDITORIAL STAFF GENERAL MANAGER - Jack Coffee SENIOR WRITER AND EDITOR - Russ Brown OPERATIONS MANAGER - Howie Lindsey ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES - Mickey Clark, Betty Olsen and Blanche Kitchen CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Dave Klotz, Shelley Feller, Gail Kamenish, Howie Lindsey and Chuck Feist CONTRIBUTING COLUMNISTS Matt Willinger, Jeff Wafford, Jason Puckett and Rick Cushing GRAPHIC DESIGNER - Scott Stortz COPY EDITOR - Rick Cushing
The Louisville SportsReport is printed in Kentucky and based in Louisville. It is published weekly in January, February and March, monthly in April, May, June and July and weekly mid-August through late December by Louisville Sports News, L.L.C., in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville Sports News, L.L.C.: Owner and General Manager - Jack Coffee. The SportsReport was founded in 1996. United States Postal Number: 015255 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Louisville SportsReport, P.O. Box 17464, Louisville, KY 40217. Four weeks advance notice is required on old addresses as well as new. Periodicals Postage paid at Louisville, Ky. Subscriptions are priced at $57.95 each (plus 6% Ky. tax) for 32 issues. Members of the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Athletic Fund receive a special group rate of $39.75 for their initial subscriptions and that amount is applied from each annual donation. Year-round firstclass mailing is available for an additional $53 per year. Please call for Canadian and overseas rates. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs unless accompanied by return postage. Publisher reserves right to accept or reject advertisements. Copyright 2008 by Louisville Sports News, L.L.C. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. For subscriber information or circulation questions call 1-502-636-4330. Office hours at 2805 S. Floyd St. in Louisville: By Appointment Only.
HIGH-FLYING SIVA As his health has improved, junior Peyton Siva has been the floor general Rick Pitino expected him to be this season. Siva is averaging 6.5 assists per game and is scoring 10.6 points. His ability to beat his man off the dribble is fuel for Louisville’s offensive system.
ROAD-WARRIOR REP TESTED
Louisville has been significantly better on the road than at home this season. They’ll be the road team in the Belk Bowl against NC State. “We love road games,” said UofL freshman safety Calvin Pryor.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BOWL
12 PREVIEWING THE WILDCATS
Parking, tickets, fan events, hotels and more... all you need to know before heading to Charlotte for the Belk Bowl in one convenient place. Trying to find tickets close to the UofL sideline? Check out the seating chart inside.
Breaking down the Kentucky Wildcats. UK is leading the country in blocked shots at 10.3 per game and is ranked highly in virtually every other statistical category. All five starters average in double figures.
15 WARE BELIEVES HIS TIME WILL COME
21 LOUISVILLE WOMEN ROLLING
Kevin Ware became eligible to join the team just last Wednesday, but three days later he played against Memphis. “I’ve never had a player in my life that I could put in after three days of practice,” Rick Pitino said.
Coach Jeff Walz has the Cardinals rolling, winning four straight games heading into next week’s final out-ofconference matchup with Tennessee-Martin. They just won three games on the road, including two in the Northwest.
BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAYS AND THE TUESDAY NIGHT BOWL GAME, WE WILL NOT MAIL AN EDITION NEXT WEEK. THIS WEEK’S EDITION HAS BEEN EXPANDED TO INCLUDE ALL THE NORMAL UK-UOFL GAME PREVIEW INFORMATION. THE NEXT MAILED EDITION WILL BE JAN. 3, AFTER THE BOWL.
Office Phone: (502) 636-4330 Fax: (502) 636-9265 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Web site:
www.cardinalsports.com THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT WILL BE MAILED JANUARY 3
COVER DESIGNED BY SCOTT STORTZ
CSPA COLLEGE SPORTS PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION
RUSS SMITH IS A STEAL
Louisville coach Rick Pitino didn’t think much of Russ Smith when he went to see Smith’s high school team play, but a suggestion from former assistant Ralph Willard changed his outlook. Little Russ is now a UofL sophomore. 4 7 8 9 10 14 16 17
BELK BOWL TICKETS, CAF TERRACE SEATS OPPONENT PREVIEW: NC STATE WOLFPACK By Rick Cushing LET ME COUNT THE WAYS BOWLING IS GOOD FOR UOFL By Jack Coffee LOUISVILLE, NC STATE FOOTBALL ROSTERS THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY By Howie Lindsey LOUISVILLE VS. KENTUCKY POSITION BREAKDOWN By Howie Lindsey OPPONENT PREVIEW: GEORGETOWN HOYAS By Rick Cushing CARDS SHOW THEIR GRIT, POISE, NOW NEED EXECUTION By Russ Brown
18 19 20 23 24 25 26 28
OPPONENT PREVIEW: WKU HILLTOPPERS By Rick Cushing TWO FLORIDA TRANSFERS VISIT LOUISVILLE By Jeff Wafford LOUISVILLE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULES SEVERAL TURNING POINTS KEYED CARDS’ LATE SURGE By Russ Brown BIG EAST: HOYAS WILL OFFER EARLY BIG EAST TEST By Howie Lindsey FRAZIER DONATES $25 MILLION TO UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE CARDINAL STARS OF THE WEEK By Howie Lindsey CARDINAL KIDS: PHOTOS OF THE YOUNGEST CARDINAL FANS
DECEMBER 23, 2011
SUPPORT LOUISVILLE ATHLETICS
HEADING TO CHARLOTTE
Ticket orders for the University of Louisville’s appearance in the Belk Bowl against NC State to be played Dec. 27 in Charlotte, N.C., will be accepted immediately. The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium at 8 p.m. ET. UofL football season ticket-holders were e-mailed instructions for the online purchase of tickets, priced at $90 for club level seats, $70 for lower level seats and $40 for upper level seats. Season ticket-holders received priority on tickets if they ordered tickets by Dec. 9. Ticket orders will also be accepted from the general public through a similar online procedure. If you do not have a My Cardinal Account, you will be prompted for the appropriate information through the online process. Complete directions are available online. Questions may be directed to the UofL ticket office at (502) 852-5151 or 852-5863. The UofL ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Those purchasing tickets will be informed by email when tickets will be available to be picked up at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Tickets will not be mailed. Additional information on the Cardinals’ participation in and events surrounding the Belk Bowl will be provided on the Cardinals’ web site at www.UofLsports.com as it becomes available.
FOR DAILY UPDATES ON LOUISVILLE SPORTS - FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, RECRUITING AND MORE - LOG ON TO CARDINALSPORTS.COM
DECEMBER 23, 2011
RECRUITING NOTEBOOK CARDINAL FOOTBALL 10 AMAZING AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF THE 2009-2010 SEASON
FANS WILL BE OUTNUMBERED BY WOLFPACK BOOSTERS
CARDS’ ROAD-WARRIOR REP TO BE TESTED IN BELK BOWL By Russ Brown It’s a bowl game at a supposedly neutral site, but it looks suspiciously like a road trip into enemy territory for the University of Louisville football team. Which, of course, isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering the Cardinals’ success away from home this season. When UofL (7-5) and North Carolina State (7-5) square off in the nationally televised Belk Bowl Tuesday night (8 o’clock kickoff), the Wolfpack could have perhaps twice as many fans as the Cards, turning Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte into N.C. State West. N.C. State sold out of its entire ticket allotment of 12,500 in just four days, and about 18,000 tickets had been sold through the school as of late last week, with the number continuing to rise. “They’re excited about RUSS BROWN going to this game,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said. “People stop you at gas stations and talk about how they’re going to get their bowl tickets and get ready to go. And we’re not finished. Let’s fill the stadium.” UofL’s ticket sales were approaching 10,000 as of Monday, but that doesn’t include any sold through other sources, such as TicketMaster. If Bank of America Stadium is a hostile environment, it will be nothing new to the Cards. Two of their most notable victories came on the road -- at West Virginia (38-35) and South Florida (34-24). It was UofL’s first win in Morgantown since 1991 and its first ever at USF, a significant accomplishment even though the Bulls were the last-place team in the Big East and won only one conference game. Overall, UofL was 3-3 in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and 4-2 on the road, a puzzling situation that neither coach Charlie Strong or his players could figure out, despite a season of trying. “We love road games,” UofL freshman free safety Calvin Pryor said. “We seem to like everybody being against us.” N.C. State’s campus in Raleigh is only a three-hour drive from Charlotte, and there are many Wolfpack alumni in the Charlotte metropolitan area. In its last bowl appearance in Charlotte in 2005 N.C. State sold 23,000 tickets, and it’s not a stretch to think that the majority of the 55,000 tickets sold for the game as of early this week were purchased by Wolfpack fans. Bowl officials said N.C. State fans have purchased at least 24,000 tickets. “Well, it’s a road game for us,” Strong said of the bowl. “I know our fans will get on board and come down there.” Senior linebacker Dexter Heyman urged Cardinal fans at a recent basketball game in the KFC Yum! Center to show their support as UofL seeks its second straight bowl victory. “Louisville is playing some really good football,” he said. “To go down there and see a young team that has a lot of potential take the next step, that would be something great that I feel like a lot of fans can take
Freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be tested by North Carolina State’s ball-hawking defense in Tuesday’s Belk Bowl. The Wolfpack lead the nation with 24 interceptions, and sophomore cornerback David Amerson leads the country with 11, four more than any other player. - photo by Howie Lindsey
home and feel really great about.” Although Strong has been involved with numerous bowls as an assistant coach, including two national championships at Florida, he’s a neophyte in postseason play as a head coach compared to O’Brien, who won his last six bowl appearances at Boston College and is 1-1 at N.C. State. Overall he’s 7-2 in bowl games. Before leaving for Charlotte this week, O’Brien said he had spent more time trying to improve his own team rather than preparing exclusively for UofL, one of the lessons he learned early in his career. “After I got waxed my first year against Colorado, one thing I did is I spent too much time getting ready to play that game instead of trying to become a better team,” he said. “Now it’s basically preseason camp, trying to get younger kids practice. We’re not X-andOing for Louisville. “We’ll take two days prior to going to Charlotte to work on Louisville. We haven’t shown the team anything. I told the coaches not to show a lot now. What you don’t want to do is be stale. You have to do a little bit before you go to the bowl site because it’s hard to get it done there. But you can’t do too much that by the time they get there they are bored with the opponent.” And in stark contrast to the Cards’ closed workouts, some of the N.C. State practices have been open to the public and media. “I think we practice better when there’s something going on,” O’Brien said. “They’ve got eyes on them. It’s like when alumni show up. They’ve got to go do something. It’s been a couple of years, but they’ve learned how to compete and have a good time.” Louisville and N.C. State traveled similar routes to earn their trip to the Belk Bowl, engineering mid-season turnarounds. The
Cards started 2-4, then won five of their last six. The Wolfpack stood 2-3 before winning five of their last seven, including three of their last four. “Two pretty hot teams coming into this,” O’Brien said. “They’ve found their stride. We know we’re playing a hot team. It should be a great game.” O’Brien has said that his team looked to be “dead in the water” before coming to life and salvaging its season. “We were in a ditch five games into the season,” he said. “But all of a sudden when things turned, they turned really fast in our favor and you have to give our kids a lot of credit. Anytime you get into a situation we were in, you’re either going to cash your chips or you’re going to make a move, and our kids showed a lot of character.” Said Strong: “They’re kind of like us. So it’s going to be a battle.” One thing the Cards won’t be able to do is rest easy late in the game, even if they have a seemingly comfortable lead. Just ask Maryland. The Wolfpack rallied from a 4114 third-quarter deficit in a wild 56-41 win against the Terrapins in their season finale. Junior quarterback Mike Glennon threw for five touchdowns and ran for another one as N.C. State scored 42 consecutive points. “That comeback against Maryland was unbelievable,” Strong said. “This is a really good N.C. State team, a team that’s loaded with talent. (They have) a quarterback who is able to move the ball downfield and has great receivers.” On the season, the 6-foot-6 Glennon has completed 62.4 percent of his passes (262 of 420) for 2,790 yards and 28 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Five Wolfpack receivers have racked up 300 or more yards in receptions, led by 6-0 senior T.J. Graham with 39 catches
for 641 yards and five TDs. Graham is also a dangerous punt and kickoff returner. N.C. State is formidable on defense, too, presenting UofL freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a major test with a nation-best 24 interceptions, 11 by sophomore cornerback David Amerson, who tied the ACC single-season record and set a school record. “You could continue to see them get better and better,” O’Brien said of his secondary. “They got beat about the head and shoulders the first year playing out there, but they learned from it. “As the front got a little bit better and we brought a little more pressure without blitzing all the time, it helps to stay in a zone defense and be able to see the ball thrown and break on it.” Strong sees the Belk Bowl as an opportunity to build on this year’s success and last season’s victory over Southern Mississippi in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. “We have to continue to build each year,” he said. “We should be in a bowl game every year, and we expect to be in a bowl every year. Then we need to play well.” UofL and N.C. State have played two common opponents in North Carolina and Cincinnati. The Cards lost to the Tar Heels 14-7 in Chapel Hill, while the Pack beat them 130. However, N.C. State was blitzed 44-17 by the Bearcats, while the Cards lost only 25-16 after leading at halftime. UofL owns a 3-0 record against the Pack, having beaten them 26-2 in 1951, 35-14 in 1994 and 27-10 in 2007. Big East teams have played in the Belk Bowl seven times and have won the last three in down-to-the-wire fashion -- USF 31-26 over Clemson, Pittsburgh 19-17 over North Carolina and West Virginia 31-30 over UNC.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
2011 BELK BOWL
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 27 Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET Site: Bank of America Stadium (73,778) TV: ESPN Radio: Louisville Sports Radio Network Series Record: Louisville leads all-time series, 3-0
MAJOR FAN EVENTS: BELK BOWL BATTLE OF THE BANDS Location: Piedmont Town Center Date: Monday, December 26th Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m. For the first time, come out and enjoy performances from each school’s marching band as they put on a show and compete for your applause.
SEATING CHART: Seating map: http://www.uoflsports.com/bowlcentral/11-lou-seating.html
BELK BOWL FAN CENTRAL Location: EpiCentre Date: Monday, December 26th Time: 6:30 p.m. - Late The official fan party of the Belk Bowl, EpiCentre will be THE place to be the night before the game. In addition to the restaurants, bars, and other attractions that call EpiCentre home, the main courtyard will be ready to host fans. With cheerleaders, marching bands, and mascots, the EpiCentre is sure to get fans ready for the big game. BELK BOWL FANFEST Location: Outside Bank of America Stadium, centered on the corner of Mint St. and Stonewall St. Date: Tuesday, December 27th Time: 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. A fan favorite, the Official Belk Bowl FanFest offers the perfect combination of family fun, great food, entertainment with live music, interactive games, face-painting, and official Belk Bowl and school merchandise. Cheerleaders and marching bands are sure to stir school spirit. And this year, presented by Belk, national recording artists Daughtry and Edwin McCain will headline the 2011 Belk Bowl FanFest. Louisville has been designated as the visiting team in the bowl game and will wear white jerseys with white pants. The Cardinals’ bench will be located on the west side of the stadium. THE STADIUM: The Belk Bowl is played in the state-of-the art Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL Carolina Panthers. Located in Uptown Charlotte, this 73,778 seat, open-air, natural grass stadium sits on a 33-acre site.
TICKET ALLOTMENT: 12,500 tickets Louisville Seating Sections: 101-105, 126-129, 134-140, 336-340, 348-351, 252-256, 543-548 Louisville Band Section: 101 WILL CALL Louisville will-call tickets will be located outside of the South Gate on Morehead Street and will be open at 6 p.m. for distribution.
PARKING INFORMATION: shown in black
OFFICIAL LOUISVILLE FAN HOTEL Omni Charlotte Hotel 132 East Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 (800) THE-OMNI
LOUISVILLE HEADQUARTERS HOTEL Hilton Charlotte Center City 222 East Third Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 (877) 667-7213
LOUISVILLE’S BOWL HISTORY 2010 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl Champions 2007 Orange Bowl Champions 2006 Gator Bowl 2004 Liberty Bowl Champions 2003 GMAC Bowl Champions 2002 GMAC Bowl 2001 Liberty Bowl Champions 2000 Liberty Bowl 1999 Humanitarian Bowl 1998 Motor City Bowl 1993 Liberty Bowl Champions 1991 Fiesta Bowl Champions 1977 Independence Bowl 1970 Pasadena Bowl 1958 Sun Bowl Champions
DECEMBER 23, 2011
BELK BOWL OPPONENT PREVIEW
DATE Sept. 3, 2011 Sept. 10, 2011 Sept. 17, 2011 Sept. 22, 2011 Oct. 1, 2011 Oct. 8, 2011 Oct. 22, 2011 Oct. 29, 2011 Nov. 5, 2011 Nov. 12, 2011 Nov. 19, 2011 Nov. 26, 2011 Dec. 27, 2011
OPPONENT TIME/RESULT Liberty (ESPN360) W 43-21 at Wake Forest (Ray/Com) L 34-27 South Alabama (ESPN360) W 35-13 at Cincinnati (ESPN) L 44-14 Georgia Tech (ABC) L 45-35 Central Michigan (ESPN360) W 38-24 at Virginia (ESPNU) W 28-14 at Florida State (ESPNU) L 34-0 North Carolina (Ray/Com) W 13-0 at Boston College (Ray/Com) L 14-10 Clemson (ABC) W 37-13 Maryland (Ray/Com) W 56-41 Louisville (ESPN) 8:00 pm ET
DB DAVID AMERSON
2010 RESULTS DATE Sept. 4, 2010 Sept. 11, 2010 Sept. 16, 2010 Sept. 25, 2010 Oct. 2, 2010 Oct. 9, 2010 Oct. 16, 2010 Oct. 28, 2010 Nov. 6, 2010 Nov. 13, 2010 Nov. 20, 2010 Nov. 27, 2010 Dec. 28, 2010
OPPONENT Western Carolina at UCF (CBSC) Cincinnati (ESPN) at Georgia Tech (ESPN) Virginia Tech (ABC) Boston College (Ray/Com) at East Carolina (CBSC) Florida State (ESPN) at Clemson (Ray/Com) Wake Forest (ESPN360) at North Carolina at Maryland West Virginia
TIME/RESULT W 48-7 W 28-21 W 30-19 W 45-28 L 41-30 W 44-17 L 33-27 W 28-24 L 14-13 W 38-3 W 29-25 L 38-31 W 23-7
FAST FACT: DAVID AMERSON LEADS THE NATION WITH 11 INTERCEPTIONS, FOUR MORE THAN ANY OTHER PLAYER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL.
WOLFPACK QB GLENNON HAS BEEN IN THE FILM ROOM PREPPING FOR CARDS BY RICK CUSHING One of the main reasons for North Carolina State’s late-season resurgence was the maturation of junior quarterback Mike Glennon, who had never started a game before this HEAD COACH season. TOM O’BRIEN Glennon inherited a starting role when three-year starter Russell Wilson transferred to Wisconsin in order to play a season as a graduate student. It was a role Glennon badly wanted, although he admitted that he felt the pressure of being thrown into the fire. When the Wolfpack lost three of their first five games, Glennon had his doubts. But coach Tom O’Brien insisted that Glennon had his full backing, and things got better as N.C. State won five of its last seven games, including victories overarchrival North Carolina and then-No. 7 Clemson to finish 7-5. “There were ups and downs, but I feel like I learned,” said Glennon, a fourth-year junior who graduated last May. After a slow start in a season-opening victory over Liberty, Glennon got hot with nine touchdown passes and two 300yard games in the next three games. He hit a lull in late October and early November, with a three-game stretch where he threw only one TD pass in three games, two of them losses. But he closed strongly with eight TD passes in the final two games of the regular season -- three in a 37-13 upset of Clemson and a school-record five in the bowl-clinching win over Maryland. In the latter game he rallied the Wolfpack from a 41-14 third-quarter deficit to a 56-41 victory “It was a good way to finish,” Glennon said. Glennon, a dropback QB who is 6 feet 6, finished the season 262 of 420 for 2,790 yards and 28 TDs with just 11 interceptions. The TD passes rank third in school history for a single season, and Glennon has a chance to match or surpass Wilson’s 2009 total (31) in the bowl game. The yardage ranks seventh in school history, and his completion percentage (62.4) is sixth among single-season marks in school history. Now O’Brien expects Glennon to review the film of all 12 games and to learn from them before the Wolfpack’s Belk Bowl matchup with Louisville on Dec. 27 in Charlotte. “That’s how you get to be better,” O’Brien said. Glennon said last week that he had reviewed the game film of the Wolfpack’s 43-21 season-opening win over Liberty, as well as the film of State’s 56-41 comeback win over Maryland. He still needs to work through the other 10 games. “I feel like a different guy,” he said. “And it looks different on film.” BOWL SUCCESS: O’Brien has a 7-2 record in bowl games. He was 6-1 at Boston College and is 1-1 at N.C. State. One of the reasons for his success is that he knows the importance of departing from routine because the opposition has ample time to prepare for what a team prefers to do. Does that mean that the Cards can expect to see more of a rushing game from a team that did much better through the air during the season? The Wolfpack were 107th in the country in rushing at 108.2 yards per game but 52nd in passing at 238 ypg.
“That’s for me to know and you to find out,” said O’Brien. Nevertheless, you can expect N.C. State to offer several new wrinkles, from double-reverse passes to fake punts. A CRUCIAL MATCHUP will be UofL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against N.C. State’s ball-hawking secondary, especially sophomore cornerback David Amerson, who leads the country with 11 interceptions. No one else has more than seven interceptions. Amerson has averaged 12.7 yards on his INT returns, with a long of 47 yards. He returned one INT for a touchdown. The Wolfpack leads the country with 24 interceptions in all, and junior free safety Brandan Bishop is tied for 11th in the country with five. Junior cornerback C.J. Wilson also returned an INT 59 yards for a TD, and Bishop returned a fumble 33 yards for a TD. The Wolfpack is sixth in the country in turnover margin at plus-14, and it is tied for 11th in sacks with 33. It is 39th in the country in overall defense, yielding just 351.9 ypg, 41st in rushing D at 132.4 ypg and 55th in passing D at 219.5 ypg. WOLFPACK HEALTHY – Backup quarterback Tyler Brosius missed practice last week with a sore hand, but O’Brien said it was only a minor injury. “Everybody will be healthy and ready to play,” O’Brien said last week. Parts of this article gleaned from The News & Observer.
N.C. State Bowl Results (13-11-1) Year
1974 Bluebonnet Houston
1990 All-American Southern Miss W, 31-27 1991 Peach
1993 Hall of Fame Michigan
1998 Micron PC
2000 Micron PC
2010 ChampSports West Virginia
TUESDAY DECEMBER 27, 2011
NC STATE CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM 8 PM • ESPN
NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK
DECEMBER 23, 2011
COFFEE BREAK WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
LET ME COUNT THE WAYS THAT BOWLING IS GOOD FOR UOFL I love this time of year. I especially like what Thanksgiving and Christmas symbolize and the celebration of those two days with family and friends. For my wife and me, having family around is a joyous time and it’s like the celebration of Thanksgiving is a warm-up for Christmas. At our house there is a lot of good eating and bowls full of goodies (my wife is a great cook). If I said that’s why I married her no one would believe me because she’s too good-looking. But the bowl that makes this Christmas season especially enjoyable is a football bowl game with the UofL Cards as a participant. After nine straight seasons from 1998-2006 with a postseason bowl game, it just didn’t seem like the holidays from 2007-09 without a bowl game involving the Cards to travel to or watch. I’m happy to say that those dreary days are over and the Cards are once again annual visitors to a college bowl game. How can I make such a prediction? Trust me, I’m a sports columnist. Aren’t you aware that we know everything? Actually, that’s not such a bold prediction. A look at next year’s roster and a stable coaching staff is virtually a guarantee of yearly bowl participation. If you haven’t noticed, there’s a progression occurring that has happened previously with Cardinal football. When John L. Smith took Louisville to its fourth-ever bowl game in 1998, the Motor City Bowl, JACK COFFEE after four years with no postseason it started a progression of gradually increasing bowl payouts that culminated in the $17 million BCS Orange Bowl in 2006. Last season the Cards earned about $500,000 for the game in St. Petersburg, and this season the Cards will earn approximately $1.7 million in Charlotte. And next year, who knows? The good part is that the progression is on an upward slant. But there are a lot of reasons why a bowl game is good for a football program: A late-December bowl game keeps football on the front pages for an extra month, and anytime a sport gets extra attention in the media it is beneficial to the program, especially in regards the recruiting of local high school players, and builds enthusiasm for the following season. There are financial rewards to playing in a bowl game. The Belk Bowl has a generous payout for a secondary bowl. The $1.7 million will more than pay expenses and will help the income side of the athletic department ledger. Any bowl game gives a school added publicity, and that aids in recruiting because many of the young men UofL recruits are from the South, so a bowl game in North Carolina on ESPN will catch the attention of potential Louisville signees. Furthermore, being the only game on that Tuesday night means the Cards don’t have to compete with other schools in other bowl games. There also are no marquee college basketball games on that night involving top-20 teams. More joy and enthusiasm for fans: A bowl game is for the fans. It’s a reward for the players, but the fans seem to enjoy bowl games more than the regular season. Often, fans who don’t have season tickets and are off work during the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day get to attend a bowl game. It increases fan support, and because it is televised nationally it gives out-of-town fans a chance to see the Cards in action. Extra practice time: A bowl game means two more weeks of BOWL PAYOUTS practice on fundamentals even before working on the preparation PER TEAM for bowl opponent North Carolina State. It is especially beneficial ALL BCS GAMES 17M 4.55M for underclassmen and redshirts who get a jump on spring prac- CAPITAL ONE 3.625 tice because classes are out and they can devote much time to COTTON OUTBACK 3.5M football. CHICK-FIL-A 3.45M 3.325M National exposure: Being the only football game on ESPN is great INSIGHT 3.175M publicity for the Cards and helps build the “brand” of University of ALAMO GATOR 2.725M Louisville football. ESPN is the No. 1 cable channel and goes into CHAMPS 2.275M 2.015M more homes with cable and satellite than any other cable channel HOLIDAY 2M by far. Many sports fans tune to ESPN regardless of what is airing, SUN MUSIC CITY 1.83M and the channel is a magnet for “couch potatoes.” It also attracts PINSTRIPE 1.8M young viewers who are potential recruits, and being “on the air” is BELK 1.7M CAR CARE 1.7M appealing to potential Louisville students and student-athletes. LIBERTY 1.4375M A bowl game gives the Cards a chance to play a good out-of- INDEPENDENCE 1.150M conference opponent, which is always a positive for a program on MAACO 1.1M 1.1M the rise. Although not ranked, N.C. State did beat a top-10 team TICKETCITY 1M and finished the season strong. Louisville is No. 38 in the latest MILITARY COMPASS .9625M BCS rankings, with N.C. State No. 55. FIGHT HUNGER .8375M A final benefit of playing in a bowl game is that it leaves the GODADDY.COM .750M perception among those paying attention to college football that LITTLE CAESARS .750M HAWAII .65M Louisville is a winner. Perception means a lot when trying to build a ARM FORCES .6M “brand.” That is probably the most important benefit as Louisville BEEF O’BRADY .5375M .5M attempts to become an important player in the world of college POINSETTIA NEW ORLEANS .5M football. In the years to come, “brand” will be the key to confer- NEW MEXICO .456M IDAHO POTATO .325M ence affiliation, TV contracts and recruitment.
Cards in the Community
Former Cardinal football player Walter Smith is pictured in front of the LSR offices after a recent visit. Walter played football on the first Frank Camp-coached team in 1946. After graduating in 1950 he taught at Eastern High for three years and then worked for Pittsburgh Plate Glass. From 1962-1983 he owned Smith Glass Company and passed it on to his son, who moved the business to Indianapolis. It now has over 500 employees. Walter is retired and lives in the Highlands and spends much of his time following the Cards.
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DECEMBER 23, 2011
LOUISVILLE FOOTBALL ROSTER NO 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 18 19 19 19 20 21 22 22 23 24 25 26 27 27 28 29 29 30 31 32 33 33 34 35 35 37 37 38 38 39 39 40 40 41 42 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 51 53 54 55 57 59 62 65 66 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 78 80 81 82 84 85 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 99
NAME Josh Bellamy Michaelee Harris Preston Brown Charles Gaines Will Stein Teddy Bridgewater Greg Scruggs Damian Copeland DeVante Parker Dominique Brown Josh Chichester Chris Philpott Preston Pace Andrell Smith Andrew Johnson Marcus Smith Matthew Nakatani Titus Teague Terell Floyd Joe Castaneda Jerry Arlinghaus Victor Anderson Adrian Bushell Jordon Paschal Corvin Lamb Terence Simien Daniel Brown Calvin Pryor Zed Evans Mike Addesa Jermaine Reve Jeremy Wright Stephen Goodwin Hakeem Smith Kamal Hogan DeMarcus Topp Senorise Perry Grant Donovan Mike Evans George Durant Andrew Fletcher Anthony Conner Lincoln Carr Tyon Dixon Rashad Stewart Ryan Johnson Kenneth Jaboin Chris Zelli Agyei Williams Josh Bleser Stephan Robinson Champ Lee Jalen Harrington Deon Rogers B.J. Butler John Wallace Dexter Heyman Malcolm Mitchell Deiontrez Mount Jarel McGriff-Culver Mike Privott Jake Smith Mike Romano Mario Benavides Nick Heuser Zach Perkins John Clark Dylan Kupper Alex Kupper Kamran Joyer Chris Walker John Miller Chris Acosta Hunter Stout Hector Hernandez Ryan Mack Ryan Kessling Chase Petersen Aaron Epps Stephon Ball Chris White Eli Rogers Aaron Nance Nate Nord Kai Dominguez Jarrett Davis Scott Radcliff B.J. Dubose William Savoy Brandon Dunn Roy Philon Lorenzo Mauldin Randy Salmon Jamon Brown Jamaine Brooks
HT 6-0 6-2 6-0 5-11 5-10 6-3 6-4 6-1 6-3 6-2 6-8 6-0 6-1 6-3 5-9 6-3 5-8 5-11 5-10 5-10 6-4 5-9 5-11 5-8 5-9 6-3 6-1 6-2 5-11 5-11 6-0 5-11 6-0 6-1 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-1 5-10 6-0 5-8 5-11 5-9 5-11 6-0 5-11 6-1 5-11 5-11 6-1 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-0 6-3 6-2 6-5 5-11 6-0 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-0 6-4 6-2 6-5 6-3 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-3 6-4 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-4 6-7 6-4 6-4 5-10 6-3 6-5 6-0 5-9 5-10 6-5 6-1 6-3 6-3 6-4 6-3 6-6 6-4
WT 206 198 258 176 185 205 285 186 196 221 240 198 199 210 174 251 160 170 170 186 197 188 190 180 203 218 221 200 173 200 180 199 190 183 209 180 192 213 187 231 162 190 158 208 183 175 203 201 184 213 170 204 205 200 276 180 238 230 219 190 224 315 275 300 229 290 305 265 285 292 306 304 279 291 294 316 314 291 250 228 243 185 197 230 172 171 183 238 246 308 272 225 291 325 329
EXP WR WR LB CB QB QB DT WR WR QB TE K CB WR CB DE K CB CB DB QB RB CB CB RB S LB S CB LB S RB WR S RB WR RB LS S LB K CB WR LB DB P DB LB S P CB LB LB LB DE P/K LB DE DE RB LB OL C C LB OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OT OL OT TE TE WR WR TE WR WR WR DE DE DT DT DE DT DT DL
YR SR RS FR SO FR JR FR SR SO FR SO SR SR SR JR FR SO RS FR SO FR FR FR SR JR RS FR FR SR JR FR SO FR FR SO SO SO RS FR JR SO RS FR SR SO RS FR SR JR SO SO RS FR SR FR JR SR RS FR SO FR SO SO FR SR SO FR RS FR SO RS FR FR JR JR SO SR FR JR SO SO FR RS FR SO SR FR SR FR FR JR SO FR SO JR SO SO JR FR SR SO SO FR JR FR RS FR
HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL) St. Petersburg, Fla. (Butte CC) Miami, Fla. (Northwestern) Cincinnati, Ohio (Northwest) Miami, Fla. (Central) Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) Miami, Fla. (Northwestern) Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier) Bradenton, Fla. (Palmetto) Louisville, Ky. (Ballard) Cincinnati, Ohio (Winton Woods) West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) Atlanta, Ga. (St. Pius X Catholic) St. Petersburg, Fla. (Butte) Miami, Fla. (Palmetto) Miami, Fla. (Southridge) Columbus, Ga. (Hardaway) Shelbyville, Ky. (Shelby County) Pomona, Calif. (Pomona) Port Pierce, Fla. (Port St. Lucie) Covington, Ky. (Covington Catholic) Louisville, Ky. (Holy Cross) Louisville, Ky. (St. Xavier) DeSoto, Texas (Cedar Valley CC) Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison) Miami, Fla. (Northwestern) Sacramento, Calif. (San Mateo) Atlanta, Ga. (Douglass) Port St. Joe, Fla. (Port St. Joe) Seagoville, Texas (Seagoville) Bradenburg, Ky. (Meade County) Miami, Fla. (Northwest) Clermont, Fla. (East Ridge) Louisville, Ky. (St. Xavier) Jonesboro, Ga. (Riverdale) Montvale, N.J. (St. Joseph’s Regional) Paducah, Ky. (Paducah-Tilghman) Summerville, Ga. (Chattooga) Louisville, Ky. (Male) Los Angeles, Calif. (Nevada) St. Petersburg, Fla. (Boca Ciega) Nashville, Tenn. (Montgomery Bell) Houston, Texas (Butte CC) Crestwood, Ky. (Oldham County) Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain) Marietta, Ga. (Drake) Louisville, Ky. (DeSales) Miami, Fla. (NIACC) Jeffersonville, Ind. (Jeffersonville) Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) Park Hills, Ky. (Covington Catholic) Louisville, Ky. (Central) Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson) Fern Creek, Ky. (Fern Creek) Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Treasure Coast) Kissimmee, Fla. (Osceola) Cecilia, Ky. (Central Hardin) Louisville, Ky. (Male) Stone Mountain, Ga. (Dunwoody) Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Fort Walton Beach) Downers Grove, Ill. (Downers Grove North) Norfolk, Va. (Lake Taylor) Jacksonville, Ala. (Jacksonville) Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Treasure Coast) Los Fresnos, Texas (Los Fresnos) Louisville, Ky. (St. Xavier) Shepherdsville, Ky. (North Bullitt) Louisville, Ky. (St. Xavier) Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) Tampa, Fla. (Wesley Chapel) Louisville, Ky. (Ballard) Miami, Fla. (Central) Miami, Fla. (Hileah) Tampa, Fla. (Wharton) Naples, Fla. (Naples) Memphis, Tenn. (Wooddale) Tallahassee, Fla. (Chiles) Bentonville, Ark. (Bentonville) Tucker, Ga. (Tucker) Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier) Elizabethtown, Ky. (John Hardin) Miami, Fla. (Northwestern) Louisville, Ky. (Seneca) Boca Raton, Fla. (West Boca Raton) Montvale, N.J. (St. Joseph’s Regional) Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek) Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) Oakland Park, Fla. (Northeast) Elizabethtown, Ky. (John Hardin) Louisville, Ky. (Pleasure Ridge Park) Lexington, Ky. (Bryan Station) Atlanta, Ga. (Maynard Jackson) Atlanta, Ga. (Hutchinson CC) Fern Creek, Ky. (Fern Creek) Miami, Fla. (Palmetto)
NC STATE FOOTBALL ROSTER NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 11 11 12 13 14 14 15 16 19 20 22 24 24 25 26 26 27 27 28 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 34 35 35 36 36 37 38 39 41 41 42 42 43 43 44 45 45 46 46 47 47 48 48 49 49 50 50 52 53 54 55 55 57 58 59 60 61 62 64 65 66 66 67 68 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 78 79 80 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
NAME David Amerson Rashard Smith Curtis Underwood, Jr. Tobais Palmer Rodman Noel T.J. Graham Sterling Lucas Mike Glennon Brandon Barnes Ben Areno Donald Coleman Juston Burris Garrett Leatham Tyler Brosius Hakeem Flowers Jarvis Byrd Daniel Imhoff Brian Taylor Jesse Riley Maurice Morgan C.J. Wilson Chaz McQueen Josh Stanley James Washington Dontae Johnson Tony Creecy J.T. Zdanek Justin Dupree Earl Wolff Justin Byers Mychal Jones Dean Haynes Brandan Bishop D.J. Green Niklas Sade Mustafa Greene Marcellus Ballard Rickey Dowdy Jonathan Fisher Terrell Manning Wil Baumann Travis Leggett Tyrrell Burriss Hakim Jones Brandon Pittman Milton Hall Dwayne Maddox Audie Cole Dominic Deshaies Ryan Cheek David Hyde Logan Winkles Jake Lenox Michael Peek Rob Fronk Zach Powell Taylor Gentry Shane O’Toole Dillon Burdette J. Ellis Flint Zach Gentry Tyler Purvis Calvin Forbes Cameron Fordham J.R. Sweezy Camden Wentz Joe Thuney Joe Prater Brian Slay Scott Thompson Jacob Kahut Brandon Byars Garrison Pollack Evan Bumgarner Duran Christophe Andrew Wallace A.J. Ferguson Taylor Griswold Isaac Swindell Wayne Crawford Carl Escriva Dwayne O’Rear Thomas Teal Carlos Gray Alex Barr Zach Allen Andy Jomantas Tyson Chandler T.Y. McGill Mikel Overgaard Rob Crisp R.J. Mattes Bryan Underwood Asa Watson Anthony Talbert George Bryan Steven Howard Jay Smith Mario Carter Quintin Payton Benson Browne Mike Rose Markus Kuhn Darryl Cato-Bishop Theo Rich Dave Mann Art Norman Sylvester Crawford Forrest West McKay Frandsen Jeff Rieskamp
HT 6-3 5-11 5-11 5-11 6-3 6-0 6-2 6-6 6-0 5-9 6-0 6-1 6-4 6-3 6-3 5-11 6-0 6-3 5-11 6-2 5-11 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-3 6-0 6-0 5-8 6-0 6-0 5-9 5-11 6-2 6-4 6-3 6-0 5-10 6-2 5-11 6-3 6-4 5-11 5-11 6-2 6-3 5-9 6-2 6-5 5-9 6-1 6-0 6-1 6-3 6-2 6-4 5-11 6-2 6-0 6-2 5-10 6-0 6-3 6-1 6-3 6-5 6-3 6-5 6-0 6-3 6-0 6-4 6-2 5-1 6-4 6-6 6-5 6-3 6-1 6-4 6-3 6-4 6-3 6-2 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-7 6-6 6-1 6-6 6-7 6-6 5-11 6-4 6-4 6-5 6-2 6-2 6-4 6-4 6-5 6-4 6-4 6-4 6-3 6-3 6-1 6-4 6-1 6-3 6-3
WT 194 176 220 175 206 180 238 232 209 205 195 185 208 233 182 180 202 205 188 215 187 200 190 180 190 196 220 170 201 183 170 199 210 220 195 201 160 240 195 233 185 217 177 190 212 181 234 239 178 240 215 240 220 215 220 194 250 197 230 176 204 220 235 261 293 301 250 220 290 220 257 255 250 300 302 304 281 290 244 303 240 265 315 321 302 322 289 340 290 289 312 306 170 225 246 265 200 209 262 203 240 215 303 281 225 230 242 240 260 255 245
EXP CB CB HB WR DB WR LB QB HB HB S DB QB QB WR CB QB QB CB WR CB WR DB HB S HB LB WR S CB WR S S LB PK HB WR LB RB LB P HB DB DB LB DB LB LB WR LB FB FB TE LB FB DB FB DB LB PK LB FB LB OL DT C OL LS DT LS DT OL OL OL OG OG DT OL DE OL DE OL DT DT OL OG OG OT DT OT OT OG/OT WR TE TE TE WR WR TE WR TE DE DT DE DE DE DE DE DE DE DE
YR SO RS SO RS SR RS JR FR SR SR GS RS JR RS SR RS SO FR FR RS FR FR RS SO GS FR SO FR RS JR RS SR FR JR SO RS FR JR JR RS JR RS SR SO RS SO JR SO FR SO FR RS SO JR RS JR FR SR FR FR FR SO SR RS SR SO RS SO SR RS FR FR FR SO RS SR SR SO FR SR JR SO SR RS FR RS SR JR FR SR JR FR JR JR SO FR RS SO RS JR SO FR JR RS SR JR SO RS FR FR FR RS JR RS FR RS FR FR RS SR SO RS JR RS FR JR RS SO RS SR GS RS SR RS JR RS SO FR FR GS RS SO RS FR FR RS FR RS SO JR JR RS SR
HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL) Greensboro, N.C. (Dudley) Dublin, Ga. (Dublin) Lackawanna, N.Y. (Lackawanna) Pittsboro, N.C. (Ga. Military) Everett, Mass. (Millford Academy) Raleigh, N.C. (Wakefield) Orangeburg, S.C. (Wilkinson) Centreville, Va. (Westfield) Bunn, N.C. (Bunn) Greensboro, N.C. (SE Guilford) Detroit, Mich. (The Hun School) Raleigh, N.C. (Broughton) Apex, N.C. (Middle Creek) Waynesville, N.C. (Tuscola) Simpsonville, S.C. (Hampton) Pahokee, Fla. (Pahokee) Sanford, N.C. (Lee County) Lillington, N.C. (Harnett Central) Leland, N.C. (N. Brunswick) LaGrange,N.C. (N. Lenoir) Lincolnton, N.C. (Lincolnton) Cary, N.C. (Ravenscroft) Raleigh, N.C. (Leesville Road) Orlando, Fla. (Boone) Pennington, N.J. (Pennington Prep) Durham, N.C. (Southern) Chocowinity, N.C. (Clover Hill) Pinetops, N.C. (SW Edgecombe) Raeford, N.C. (Hoke County) Charlotte, N.C. (Vance) Raleigh, N.C. (Wakefield) Tunnell Hill, Ga. (NW Whitfield County) Boca Raton, Fla. (Boca Raton) Macon, Ga. (Westside) Wake Forest, N.C. (Wakefield) Irmo, S.C. (Irmo) Wilson, N.C. (J.B. Hunt) High Point, N.C. (High Point) Beaufort, N.C. (East Carteret) Laurinburg, N.C. (Scotland Co.) Wilmington, N.C. (Hoggard) Chadbourn, N.C. (West Columbus) Daytona Beach, Fla. (Mainland) Henderson, N.C. (Southern Vance) Raleigh, N.C. (Leesville Road) Burlington, N.C. (Williams) Shelby, N.C. (Crest) Monroe, Mich. (Monroe) Raleigh, N.C. (Athens Drive) Lancaster, Ohio (Lancaster) Cary, N.C. (Green Hope) Thomaston, Ga. (Upson Lee) Raleigh, N.C. (Wakefield) Grayson, Ga. (Grayson) Apex, N.C. (Hargrave) Fuquay-Varina, N.C. (Fuquay-Varina) Raleigh, N.C. (Leesville Road) Downingtown, Pa. (Downingtown West) Harrisburg, N.C. (Hickory Ridge) Amsterdam, N.Y. (Hofstra) Raleigh, N.C. (Leesville Road) Reinholds, Pa. (Lancaster Catholic) Mastic Beach, N.Y. (Coastal Carolina) Duluth, Ga. (LSU) Mooresville, N.C. (Mooresville) Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter) Centreville, Ohio (Archbishop Alter) Garner, N.C. (Garner) Ashburn, Va. (Stone Bridge) Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (Trabuco Hills) Wake Forest, N.C. (Campbell) Garner, N.C. (Garner) Winston-Salem, N.C. (Forsyth Country Day) Lenoir, N.C. (S. Caldwell) New Orleans, La. (Woodstock (Ga.)) Charlotte, N.C. (Olympic) Southport, N.C. (S. Brunswick) Zebulon, N.C. (East Wake) High Point, N.C. (SW Guilford) Philadelphia, Pa. (Chestnut Hill Acad.) Macedon, N.Y. (Cirillo) Charlotte, N.C. (Hickory Ridge) Bennettsville, S.C. (Marlboro Co.) Pinson, Ala. (Oak Ridge) Fayetteville, Ga. (Starr’s Mill) Tifton, Ga. (Tift County) Dayton, Ohio (Chaminade-Julienne) N. Plainfield, N.J. (Fork Union) Jesup, Ga. (Wayne County) Weiser, Idaho (Snow College) Raleigh, N.C. (Athens Drive) Concord, N.C. (Robinson) University Heights, Ohio (Cleveland Heights) Rock Hill, S.C. (Rock Hill) Cincinnati, Ohio (Winton Woods) Castle Hayne, N.C. (New Hanover) Charlotte, N.C. (Olympic) Norfolk, Va. (Lake Taylor) Pittsburgh, Pa. (Independence) Anderson, S.C. (T.L. Hanna) Cincinnati, Ohio (Walnut Hills) Simpsonville, S.C. (Hillcrest) Weinheim, Germany (Weinheim) Groton, Mass. (Lawrence Academy) Portal, Ga. (Portal) Fairburn, Ga. (Lithonia) Stone Mountain, Ga. (Chamblee) Charlotte, N.C. (Northside Christian Acad.) Canton, Conn. (Colorado) American Fork, Utah (Snow College) Cincinnati, Ohio (Elder)
DECEMBER 23, 2011
C O M M E N T A R Y
Despite having to come from behind to beat College of Charleston Tuesday night, the Louisville basketball team is on a roll. The Cardinals started the season 11-0 for the first time since the 1974-75 season. The Cardinals’ average margin of victory through 10 games was 17.8 points. Prior to the season, Louisville’s out-of-conference schedule appeared to be much tougher than previous seasons, but three opponents have fallen out of the rankings. Butler, Vanderbilt and Memphis have not had the type of starts they’d hoped for and are no longer ranked. That means Louisville’s next shot at an out-of-conference foe ranked in the top 25 will be Kentucky on Dec. 31.
We really like the depth Louisville has displayed in recent games. With Rakeem Buckles back from knee surgery and Elisha Justice back from a variety of minor injuries, the Cardinals can legitimately go 10 deep. Through the first 10 games of the season 10 players were averaging 10 or more minutes a game: Kyle Kuric (34.9), Peyton Siva (29.8), Gorgui Dieng (29.3), Chris Smith (28.5), Chane Behanan (24.5), Russ Smith (18.9), Jared Swopshire (17.5), Mike Marra (12.5), Buckles (12.0) and Justice (11.5). While Marra is out for the season, newcomers Zach Price, Angel Nunez or Kevin Ware could easily be that 10th man going forward. Price already averages 8.2 minutes per game. Louisville’s depth could be key to a successful run through the Big East season. If the Cardinals can use 8-10 players on a regular basis, they could out-run quite a few teams not used to seeing that much depth.
Speaking of depth, we loved the enthusiasm shown by Buckles after the Memphis game. The 6-foot-8 forward from Miami got his first start but was in foul trouble for most of the first half. But in the second half Buckles came back and made some big-time plays. He hit a three from the wing and had a couple of big rebounds, including one that impressed coach Rick Pitino. “He got as high for that rebound as he ever did when he was completely healthy,” Pitino said. “That was a great sign that he was able to jump that high for that rebound.” Buckles could be an X-factor for Louisville going forward, especially if his shooting touch from outside continues to be strong. While he was injured, Buckles spent significant time working on his shot, and that kind of work could help the Cardinals. If he can pull his man out to the three-point line, it leaves much more room for Dieng to go to work on the low block.
UofL fans and Courier-Journal columnists have joined to gloat over the football-coaching upheaval at Pitt, where Todd Graham suddenly up and left after less than a year to take the head coaching job at Arizona State. The prevailing opinion around here is that Pitt got what it deserved, having been a part of some shady dealings in announcing last fall that it would be jumping to the ACC while at the same time its chancellor was overseeing the Big East’s dealings on a new television contract. But few would argue that the Pitt players deserved to be treated as they were by Graham, who didn’t even address the players to inform them he was leaving but had his director of football operations forward a text message to them. Here is the reaction of a couple of Pitt players: “I usually have a lot to say, but I am at a loss for words,” Pitt senior wide receiver Cam Saddler said. “But this is disappointing to me, and I want to apologize to all Pitt fans for being so enthusiastic when they hired Coach Graham because I obviously jumped the gun in judging his character. It all sounded exciting, his offense and stuff, but here is a guy that talked about commitment, loyalty, faith and character, and yet he doesn’t seem to live by those things. A text message is all we get? That’s just wrong.”Senior defensive end Brandon Lindsey tweeted: “Todd grahams coaching commitments last as long as Kim Kardashians marriage,” and, “For someone who said they read the bible everyday, he must’ve missed the pg that said ‘thou shall not lie.’”
Wow, on Monday, Owsley Brown Frazier announced a $25 million gift to the University of Louisville. It is believed to be the largest outright gift to any Kentucky university ever. Frazier has been a tremendous benefactor to the University and its athletic program. He’s hoping his gift will inspire others to make donations as well. “I’m a proud graduate of UofL, and I���ve seen how its academic and research mission has flourished under President Jim Ramsey,” he said. “I hope my gift will further that mission and spur others to do the same.” We are reminded of the saying, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Yes, the Frazier family has been blessed with a thriving business and significant wealth for more than 100 years. And yes, they have been a blessing to many, many charities and
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colleges and universities through major gifts for several generations. Louisville fans should be very thankful to the Frazier family for its generosity.
Early last week, Yahoo! Sports released a ranking of basketball leagues that had the Big East sitting at fifth-best in the nation. Fifth?!? How could this be? We’ll let them explain: “The league that earned a record 11 NCAA Tournament invitations last season currently has the sixth-best conference RPI. The Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Mountain West and SEC are ahead of the Big East. While it’s too early in the season to focus on RPI - the ratings for individual schools get much more accurate as the season progresses – there’s no question the Big East is off to a slow start. The latest Associated Press poll has six Big East programs in the nation’s top 16: No. 1 Syracuse, No. 4 Louisville, No. 9 Connecticut, No. 11 Marquette, No. 15 Pittsburgh and No. 16 Georgetown. But the rest of the league seems weaker than usual.” As of Monday, five of the top 10 teams in the RPI were from the Big East, but Jerry Palm of collegerpi.com says the rest of the league isn’t as tough. “The bottom of the league is pretty poor for the most part, relatively speaking,” Palm wrote. “It’s certainly not tournament-quality.”
OK, we can see their point that the Big East may not be as strong top to bottom as it was last season, but ranking the Mountain West and SEC in front of the Big East? Are you kidding me? The Mountain West has strong teams in UNLV, TCU and San Diego State, but the rest of the league wouldn’t have a winning record in the Big East. And the SEC? Puh-lease! Yes, Kentucky and Florida look like legit contenders for a national-title run, but the third-best team, Alabama, has lost to Georgetown, the Big East’s sixth-best team in the AP rankings. Vandy has lost to Indiana State and Cleveland State, Mississippi State lost by 10 at home to Akron, and former league contender Tennessee is 2-6 and ranked No. 272 in the RPI as of Monday. We believe by tournament time the Big East will be right back in the mix for the nation’s top league.
Speaking of leagues not being as strong as they normally are, what about the Pac-12 (formerly the Pac-10, but now with Colorado and Utah added)? The league’s highest-rated RPI team, Arizona, is 7-4 and No. 35 in the RPI. Stanford, the Pac-12 team with the best record at 10-1, has played only one team in the RPI top 40, a 69-63 loss to Syracuse back in November. Due to a 220th-ranked schedule, Stanford currently is No. 65 in the RPI. The Pac-12 has only one team in the RPI top 50, and more than half the league is rated 100th or lower, including No. 193 UCLA (4-5) and No. 320 Utah (2-8). It doesn’t help that league contender Washington (5-5 and No. 104 in the RPI) lost to South Dakota State last week. Congratulations are in order for Louisville Trinity High, which earned the final No. 1 national ranking from RivalsHigh.com, the largest high school sports site on the Internet. RivalsHigh.com makes its case for the Shamrocks as No. 1: “The team, which started the year at No. 9, rose to No. 1 midway through the season and rolled to a perfect 14-0 record and its ninth Kentucky state title in 11 seasons, was dominant in all aspects of the game. Consider its offense: It had perfect balance, gaining 3,161 yards on the ground and 3,236 yards in the air; it had a quarterback who threw for just over 3,000 yards (Travis Wright), a running back who gained just under 2,000 (Dylan Dawkins), and a receiver who had nearly 1,500 yards (James Quick); it scored more points in the first quarter (148), in fact, in every quarter, than it gave up the entire season (116). And consider its defense: It gave up just three touchdowns in the first quarter all year – and just 61 firsthalf points. The school saw this super season coming and planned for it, scheduling six out-of-state games – taking on some of the top teams in Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana.”
It’s an UGLY situation in Houston, where several coaches and athletic staffers lost thousands - millions even - in a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by financial advisor David Salinas. Even worse? The school’s Athletic Foundation lost nearly 40 percent of its assets because it chose to “invest” donor money into Salinas’ scheme. The Associated Press reported that more than $2.2 million of the nearly $5.1 million in assets listed by the foundation in its most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service was invested in bonds that the Securities and Exchange Commission claims never existed. The scheme defrauded more than 100 investors of $39 million. “We were tricked like everybody else,” said Matthew Houston, the foundation’s current treasurer.
THE NEXT EDITION OF THE LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT WILL BE MAILED JAN. 3. CHECK FOR A NEW ONLINE ONLY EDITION AT LOUISVILLESPORTSNEWS.COM ON DEC. 29.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
SPECIAL 2011 CHRISTMAS EDITION
DECEMBER 23, 2011
KENTUCKY PREVIEW WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
DECEMBER 31 Louisville at Kentucky 12 PM Noon
By Rick Cushing Everyone around here knows the UK story since John Calipari became head coach three years ago: three straight top-ranked recruiting classes, with two of them – his first in 2009 and third in 2011 – being among the top 5 of all-time. HEAD COACH The 2009-10 team, which had six playJOHN CALIPARI ers drafted in the NBA first round, earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament but lost to West Virginia in the regional final. His second class, the 2010-11 team, was a disappointment during the regular season and got only a No. 4 seed but made it to the Final Four before losing to eventual national champion Connecticut. The 2010 class, unlike his first class, which departed en masse for the NBA, saw two of its top players return to school, joining the 2011 class that boasts three of the top five recruits in the nation and four of the top 22. So tremendous things are expected of this year’s UK team, and anything less than a national title will be a disappointment to its fans. As of last weekend the Wildcats are 9-1 and ranked No. 3, having dropped from No. 1 after losing at Indiana 73-72 on a last-second three-pointer the previous weekend. They rebounded to pound Chattanooga 87-62 last Saturday and played host to Samford Tuesday. They’ll entertain Loyola, Md., on Thursday and Lamar next Wednesday before taking on the Cards on Dec. 31 at noon in Rupp Arena. UK is doing it this season with all-around excellence. The Cats are 14th in the nation in shooting at 49.6 percent, fourth in FG defense at 33.7 percent, 37th in rebounding margin at plus-6.7, lead in blocked shots at 10.3 a game, and on and on. All five starters average in double figures, with the sixth man at 9.2 ppg. Furthermore, the Wildcats are 39-0 in Rupp Arena under Calipari and will be 42-0 when UofL invades. GUARDS Doron Lamb, a 6-4 sophomore who started last season, leads the team at 15.7 ppg and is shooting 47.7 percent overall and 50 percent from three-point range (22 of 44). He’s also the team’s top free-throw shooter at 82.1 percent and fourth-leading rebounder at 4.0 rpg. The Cards will want to limit his three-point looks. Point guard Marquis Teague, a 6-2 freshman who had narrowed his college choice to UK and UofL, is fifth on the team at 10.8 ppg and leads in assists with 46 (as opposed to 27 turnovers) and in steals with 17. He’s shooting just 44.8 percent overall, 32.0 percent on treys and 58.3 percent on free throws, and he has had a couple of games where he lost his cool and was ineffective. Darius Miller, a 6-7 senior, is the top backcourt sub and is averaging 9.2 ppg while shooting 46.1 percent overall but just 24.2 percent on treys. The former Kentucky Mr. Basketball was a part-time starter last season and says he doesn’t mind his reserve role this season. Louisville Ballard H.S. product Twany Beckman, a 6-5 junior who transferred from Mississippi State, just became eligible and provides backcourt depth. BIG MEN Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a 6-7 freshman, is averaging 13.2 ppg and 7.4 rpg, both second on the team. He’s shooting 52.3 percent
overall, 41.2 percent on treys and is second in steals with 16. He’s becoming known as UK’s Energy Bunny with his non-stop hustle. Against Chattanooga he had 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists, a block and a steal. On the season he has more turnovers (26) than assists (18), however. Terrence Jones, a 6-8 sophomore who returned to school after being named SEC Freshman of the Year, is averaging 12.4 ppg and 6.2 rpg, both third on the team, and is shooting 48.4 percent overall and 47.1 percent on treys. He was held to four points and one rebound by IU and was benched for the closing moments while sulking, then dislocated a left pinky finger (he’s left-handed) and went scoreless in 10 minutes of playing time against Chattanooga. It’s unclear whether he’ll miss any games, but he should be ready for UofL. Anthony Davis, a 6-10 freshman, is fourth in scoring at 11.8 ppg and leads in rebounding at 10.0 rpg and in blocked shots at 4.4 a game, which is fifth in the country. His block at the close of the North Carolina game saved a 73-72 victory, and he had 14 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks against Chattanooga. Davis, who weighs just 220 pounds, has been pushed around at times this season. The top frontcourt sub is 6-9 freshman Kyle Wiltjer, who’s averaging 6.0 ppg and 2.7 rpg and is said to be a good outside shooter but is making just 31.8 percent of his treys. Providing depth in the middle is 6-11 senior Eloy Vargas, who’s averaging 1.7 ppg and 3.2 rpg. STAR It was supposed to be Jones, who can be dynamite but also can disappear. But this is a team full of stars, and any one of six players can fill that bill on a given night. STRENGTHS Just about everything. WEAKNESS It would have to be free-throw shooting at 67.5 percent, which is 178th in the country. COACHING RESUME Calipari is in his 19th year overall, his third at UK, having coached previously at Massachusetts (1989-96), having been recommended for that job by UofL coach Rick Pitino, and Memphis (2000-09), with a three-year stop in the NBA in between. At UK he’s 73-13, and he’s 476-151 overall, having lost a full season of victories (38) at Memphis in 2007-08 because his star played the entire season while ineligible, and four victories at UMass in 1996 because his star signed with an agent before the NCAA Tournament. He is only the second coach to take three teams (UMass, Memphis and UK) to the Final Four (Pitino was the first to do so), although Calipari had his first two Final Fours vacated. A common joke among UofL fans is that should the Wildcats win a national title under Coach Cal they’ll need to attach it with Velcro (because it may have to be pulled down). ALL-TIME SERIES UofL and UK have met 42 times in a series that dates to 1913 but had a 26-year hiatus from 1922-48 and a 24-year break from 1959-83 when the Kentucky Legislature ordered UK to play UofL yearly. The Wildcats lead 28-14 overall, 19-11 since the rivalry was resumed in 1983, including winning the last two. MAKING THE PICK? Just about every stat says UK will win, and the Cats will be favored by about 6-7 points. But I’m genetically opposed to picking UK, so I’ll just say, “Take the points.”
2011-12 KENTUCKY BASKETBALL ROSTER NO 1 3 4 5 10 12 13 14 20 23 25 30 32 33
NAME DARIUS MILLER TERRENCE JONES JON HOOD JARROD POLSON TWANY BECKHAM RYAN HARROW SAM MALONE MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST DORON LAMB ANTHONY DAVIS MARQUIS TEAGUE ELOY VARGAS BRIAN LONG KYLE WILTJER
POS G F G G G G G G G F G F G F
YR SR. SO. JR. SO. JR. SO. FR. FR. SO. FR. FR. SR. FR. FR.
EXP 3V 1V 2V 1V TR TR HS HS 1V HS HS 1V HS HS
HT/WT 6-8/235 6-8/252 6-7/215 6-2/185 6-5/205 5-11/155 5-11/190 6-7/232 6-4/210 6-10/220 6-2/189 6-11/244 5-9/150 6-9/239
HOMETOWN MAYSVILLE, KY (MASON COUNTY HS) PORTLAND, OR (JEFFERSON HS) MADISONVILLE, KY (MADISONVILLE HS) NICHOLASVILLE, KY (WEST JESSAMINE HS) LOUISVILLE, KY (BALLARD HS) MARIETTA, GA (WALTON HS) SCITUATE, NJ (SCITUATE HS) SOMERDALE, NJ (ST. PATRICK HS) QUEENS, NY (OAK HILL ACADEMY) CHICAGO, IL (PERSPECTIVES CHARTER HS) INDIANAPOLIS, IN (PIKE HS) MOCA, (MIAMI-DADE CC) DUMONT, NJ (RIVER DELL HS) PORTLAND, OR (JESUIT HS)
Coach: John Calipari Last Season: 29-9, 10-6 SEC Overall Record: 476-151 (19 years) At Kentucky: 73-13 (third year) Calipari has signed three No. 1 recruiting classes in a row.
2011-12 SCHEDULE DATE NOVEMBER Nov. 11, 2011 Nov. 15, 2011 Nov. 19, 2011 Nov. 20, 2011 Nov. 23, 2011 Nov. 26, 2011
Marist Kansas Penn State1 Old Dominion2 Radford Portland
W, 108-58 W, 75-65 W, 85-47 W, 62-52 W, 88-40 W, 87-63
DECEMBER Dec. 1, 2011 Dec. 3, 2011 Dec. 10, 2011 Dec. 17, 2011 Dec. 20, 2011 Dec. 22, 2011 Dec. 28, 2011 Dec. 31, 2011
St. John’s N. Carolina at Indiana Chattanooga Samford Loyola Maryland Lamar Louisville
W, 81-59 W, 73-72 L, 73-72 W, 87-62 7:00 pm ET 1:00 pm ET 8:30 pm ET 12:00 pm ET
JANUARY Jan. 3, 2012 Jan. 7, 2012 Jan. 11, 2012 Jan. 14, 2012 Jan. 17, 2012 Jan. 21, 2012 Jan. 24, 2012 Jan. 28, 2012 Jan. 31, 2012
Arkansas-LR South Carolina at Auburn at Tennessee Arkansas Alabama at Georgia at LSU Tennessee
7:00 pm ET 4:00 pm ET 8:00 pm ET 12:00 pm ET 9:00 pm ET 12:00 pm ET 9:00 pm ET 4:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET
FEBRUARY Feb. 4, 2012 Feb. 7, 2012 Feb. 11, 2012 Feb. 18, 2012 Feb. 21, 2012 Feb. 25, 2012
at South Carolina Florida at Vanderbilt Ole Miss at Miss. State Vanderbilt
6:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET 9:00 pm ET 4:00 pm ET 9:00 pm ET 12:00 pm ET
MARCH Mar. 1, 2012 Mar. 4, 2012
Georgia at Florida
9:00 pm ET 12:00 pm ET
DECEMBER 23, 2011
SOPHOMORE GUARD SPARKS WIN OVER MEMPHIS
RUSS SMITH PROVING TO BE A BIG STEAL FOR CARDS By Russ Brown Whether or not Russ Smith stays in the University of Louisville starting lineup or not is irrelevant. He already has shown he can be a major contributor for the No. 4 Cardinals at both ends of the court. Russ (we’ll use his first name to avoid confusion with Chris Smith) got the first start of his career that wasn’t prompted by an injury to a teammate against Memphis last Saturday, replacing Chris at shooting guard, and had the game of his life in sparking UofL past the Tigers 95-87. Russ’s sterling performance featured careerbests of 24 points and seven steals, along with RUSS BROWN three assists and two rebounds. And he had just two turnovers in 25 minutes. It all left the normally loquacious sophomore at a semiloss for words -- for him, at least. “I can’t put it into words,” he said. “It was just one of those days. It was my night. Everything just happened to work in my favor.” You’d never know that the Brooklyn, N.Y., native had a bad case of the jitters when his name was announced to the 22,733 fans on hand in the KFC Yum! Center. “I was very nervous, very tense,” he admitted. But he wasted no time getting started, scoring 13 of Louisville’s first 17 points. He settled down completely, he said, when he banked in a three-pointer from the left wing for his third field goal and began to sense that something momentous might be amiss. “I hit that three-pointer that went off the backboard and I’m like, ‘This is going to be a pretty decent night,’” he said. Decent? How about spectacular? Without Russ’s high-octane performance, UofL (10-0) suffers its first defeat of the season and fails to extend its homecourt winning streak to 18. Simple as that. “Russ was fantastic, big time,” UofL coach Rick Pitino said. “He has no fear.” “Russ is a phenomenal player,” freshman guard Kevin Ware said. “Russ was excellent,��� starting point guard Peyton Siva said. Senior forward Kyle Kuric sees Russ as a budding clone of departed guard Preston Knowles. “He’s kind of stepping into what Preston left,” Kuric said. “He’s a high-energy guard who plays great defense. He’s very quick,
Sophomore guard Russ Smith has been a sensational surprise this season. After seeing little action last season, Smith has played a significant role this year, averaging 9.6 points and 2.0 steals per game. He started last Saturday against Memphis and had a careerhigh 24 points and seven steals. “Russ was fantastic, big time,” said coach Rick Pitino. “He has no fear.” photo by Gail Kamenish
and he uses his natural ability to get steals, get on the break and get into the lane at will.” Russ got 15 of his points in the first half as he and Gorgui Dieng, who finished with a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds, combined to hit 8 of 18 shots while the rest of the Cards were a mere 3 of 21 in the half. “He kind of carried us in the first half,” forward Rakeem Buckles said. “One thing about Russ, he’s going to compete with whoever is on the court. If you put anybody in front of him, he’s going to go at them. You have to respect him for that.” Russ’ points came off a variety of shots that included drives, a dunk following a steal, a pair of three-pointers, a floating mid-range jumper and 10 of 12 free throws. He was most proud of his defense, however, the area that dictates playing time under Pitino. “Seven steals is just a great accomplishment,” he said. “Anybody can get 24 points, but seven steals is really special. Seven steals means I’m actually playing defense and causing havoc.” He was a whirling dervish on the court, helping disrupt the Tigers’ offense at every turn
“He affects the game in many areas, and not just scoring,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. “You have to give coach Pitino and his staff a pretty good compliment for continuing to get him better. I saw him in high school and he was a nice player, but he wasn’t as good as he is now.” Pitino can thank former assistant head coach and long-time friend Ralph Willard for Russ’ presence on the Louisville roster. Pitino recalled that he and Willard, who retired as UofL’s director of basketball operations earlier this year, were watching a potential recruit when Willard started promoting Russ, who also was playing that day. Pitino told Willard he had known Russ’ father since Russ was the MVP of his basketball camp as an eighth-grader but felt he was too short to succeed at UofL. “I have to give credit where credit is due,” Pitino said. “It was Ralph Willard’s discovery. We were watching a young man we were in with and I said, ‘Ralph, I don’t really like him.’ Ralph said, ‘I’ll tell you who I really like -- Russ Smith.’ I said, ‘He’s only 5-8 or 5-9, and Ralph said, ‘Go stand next to him, he’s 6 feet now.’ So I did and asked him how he was doing. He gave me a hug and Ralph kept saying, ‘He’s the guy we need.’ So Ralph, whatever you’re doing now, thanks.”
Russ said he paid little attention to college basketball growing up, preferring to watch NBA games until his senior season at Archbishop Malloy H.S. when he started attracting attention from schools like Baylor and Houston. Then on the summer AAU circuit prior to attending prep school at South Kent (Conn.), he suddenly began attracting interest from other major colleges. “So I was like, I’ve got to start watching college games now,” he said. “I’ve got to start doing some research, because I don’t know anything about these schools.” Russ was primarily recruited by former UofL assistant Steve Masiello, who now is the head coach at Manhattan College. He said he chose the Cards because of Pitino and Masiello after learning about the school’s storied basketball tradition. “That about sums it up,” he said. “This was one of the biggest schools that recruited me, and I wanted to be on the big level. I’m definitely glad I’m here. I wouldn’t give it up for nothing. I’m with a great coach, on a great team that’s like a family.” Aside from his skills on the court, Russ keeps things loose in the locker room. He’s one of the most outgoing and personable Cards and can be counted upon to ease any tension with a timely quip or two. “He’s a funny kid,” Siva said. “It’s fun to be around him. He’s just full of energy all the time.” And he sometimes takes an unorthodox approach to Pitino’s criticism. For example, after the IUPUI game when he raised Pitino’s ire for taking an ill-advised shot late in the first half of what was then a close game, he sent the coach a long text message that evening profusely apologizing for his miscue. “I knew what he was mad about,” Russ said. “I’m kind of used to it now, especially after last year. I was making mistakes every time I touched the ball, every second I was in the wrong spot. Now I know what I’ve got to do trying to keep him happy, but sometimes it doesn’t work out, so all I can do is apologize and move on.” Pitino has joked that Russ, who tends to free lance at times and considers a pass a virus, ruins opposing teams’ scouting reports because he doesn’t know the plays, but he seems genuinely fond of his student. “You’d like to have some pulse on what your players are going to do,” Pitino said. “I have no idea what he’s going to do, but I love the young man. I love coaching him because he’s such a great kid. I’m real proud of him.”
DECEMBER 23, 2011
LOUISVILLE VS. KENTUCKY: BY THE POSITIONS
2011-12 LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL ROSTER
2011-12 KENTUCKY BASKETBALL ROSTER
NO 1 2 3 4 5 10 11 12 13 14 15 21 22 23 24 25 33 44
NO 1 2 3 4 5 10 12 13 14 20 23 25 30 32 33
HT/WT 6-8/235 6-4/200 6-8/252 6-7/215 6-2/185 6-5/205 5-11/155 5-11/190 6-7/232 6-4/210 6-10/220 6-2/189 6-11/244 5-9/150 6-9/239
HOMETOWN MAYSVILLE, KY (MASON COUNTY HS) JACKSONVILLE, FL (PROVIDENCE HS) PORTLAND, OR (JEFFERSON HS) MADISONVILLE, KY (MADISONVILLE HS) NICHOLASVILLE, KY (WEST JESSAMINE HS) LOUISVILLE, KY (BALLARD HS) MARIETTA, GA (WALTON HS) SCITUATE, NJ (SCITUATE HS) SOMERDALE, NJ (ST. PATRICK HS) QUEENS, NY (OAK HILL ACADEMY) CHICAGO, IL (PERSPECTIVES CHARTER HS) INDIANAPOLIS, IN (PIKE HS) MOCA, (MIAMI-DADE CC) DUMONT, NJ (RIVER DELL HS) PORTLAND, OR (JESUIT HS)
Peyton Siva is the engine that makes Louisville’s offense run. He has missed a few games so far this season due to injury, and when he’s out there is a noticeable difference in Louisville’s effectiveness, but he appears to be 100 percent now. Through the first eight games of the season Siva was averaging 6.4 assists per game and had a 2-to-1 assist-toturnover ratio. A former McDonald’s All-American, Siva is coming into his own this season as a star. Backing up Siva is newcomer Kevin Ware, a lithe, athletic 6-3 guard who is just learning Louisville’s system, having joined the team only last Wednesday.
EXP 3V 1V 1V 2V 1V TR TR HS HS 1V HS HS 1V HS HS
Louisville started the season with senior co-captain Chris Smith at shooting guard. A transfer from Manhattan with a strong build and great toughness, Smith is a tough defender and averaged 10.6 ppg through the first 10 games of the season. Recently, coach Rick Pitino has tried sophomore jitterbug Russ Smith at shooting guard. Russ is of slight build but has quick feet and extremely quick hands. He averages 9.6 points and 2.0 steals per game.
YR SR. SO. SO. JR. SO. JR. SO. FR. FR. SO. FR. FR. SR. FR. FR.
Senior co-captain Kyle Kuric has been a mainstay at this spot since his stellar game against then-No. 1 Syracuse in the final game at Freedom Hall to conclude the 2009-10 regular season. This season he is leading the team in scoring at 12.7 ppg and is averaging 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.4 assists through Louisville’s first 10 games. A deadly shooter from the corners, Kuric has the athleticism to stay with a bigger foe. His backup was Mike Marra, who is out for the season. If Kuric goes out, Louisville may use Chris Smith or junior Jared Swopshire on the wing in a pinch.
POS G G F G G G G G G G F G F G F
Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, another McDonald’s All-American, was considered the No. 1 recruit in the nation by several services (others picked Duke’s Austin Rivers or UK’s Anthony Davis). He’s a wildly athletic, ultra-competitive 6-foot-7 powerhouse with the ability to score off the dribble or off rebound putbacks. He averaged 13.2 points and 7.4 rebounds through the first 10 games. His length and quickness could be a problem for Kuric, who will be looking for space to get a shot off. Senior Darius Miller is another great option at either forward spot. He’s not spectacular, but he’s tall and can score (9.2 ppg).
Freshman Chane Behanan, a McDonald’s All-American, started nine of Louisville’s first 10 games, but now that junior Rakeem Buckles is back from knee surgery, the pair may split time at power forward. Behanan was averaging 9.3 points and 8.6 rebounds through the first 10 games, but Buckles had a breakthrough 12 points and six rebounds against Memphis last Saturday. The Cardinals also have Swopshire at the forward spot. He has been good for 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season after missing all last season with an injury.
NAME DARIUS MILLER STACEY POOLE JR. TERRENCE JONES JON HOOD JARROD POLSON TWANY BECKHAM RYAN HARROW SAM MALONE MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST DORON LAMB ANTHONY DAVIS MARQUIS TEAGUE ELOY VARGAS BRIAN LONG KYLE WILTJER
Sophomore Terrence Jones chose to return to Kentucky instead of making the leap to the NBA, and many believe he would have been a lottery pick. Now he’ll need to continue to prove himself after a few up-and-down performances. He’s averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds and has the athleticism and shooting touch to explode for 25-30 points in any game. Darius Miller and freshman Kyle Wiltjer also could see time at power forward if Kentucky shuffles its lineup.
Sophomore Gorgui Dieng has been a revelation for the Cardinals. Averaging nearly a double-double through the first 10 games (10.3 points, 9.5 rebounds), Dieng also is among the nation’s top shot-blockers (2.7 per game). Dieng was used sparingly last season but has blossomed into a full-time starter with added weight and strength. His backup is either freshman Zach Price, or Buckles. Price is 6-10, but very skinny. Buckles is stronger, but only 6-7.
HOMETOWN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY (NOTRE DAME PREP) BRIARWOOD, NY (SOUTH KENT SCHOOL) SEATTLE, WA (FRANKLIN) MIAMI, FL (PACE) MILLSTONE, NJ (MANHATTAN) DAKAR, SENEGAL, (HUNTINGTON PREP) ROANOKE, VA (GEORGE MASON) LOUISVILLE, KY (JEFFERSONTOWN HS) BROOKLYN, CALIF. (TAFT) EVANSVILLE, IN (MEMORIAL) LOUISVILLE, KY (CHRISTIAN ACADEMY: LOUISVILLE) ST. LOUIS, MO (IMG ACADEMY) PIKEVILLE, KY (SHELBY VALLEY HS) CONYERS, GA. (ROCKDALE COUNTY) CINCINNATI, OH (BOWLING GREEN) CHICAGO, IL (MORGAN PARK HS) SMITHFIELD, RI (NORTHFIELD MT. HERMON) INDIANAPOLIS, IN (LAWRENCE NORTH)
HT/WT 6-7/190 6-0/160 5-11/180 6-7/200 6-2/200 6-10/225 6-6/200 6-10/235 6-3/220 6-4/195 6-2/185 6-8/210 5-10/180 6-4/185 6-6/245 6-5/225 6-4/200 6-9/220
EXP HS 1V 1V 1V 1V 1V TR HS RS 3V 1V 2V 1V HS HS HS 2V 2V
YR FR. SO. JR. JR. SR. SO. JR. FR. FR. SR. SO. JR. SO. FR. FR. FR. JR. JR.
POS SF G PG F SG C F C G G SG F G G F SF G F
NAME ANGEL NUNEZ RUSS SMITH PEYTON SIVA RAKEEM BUCKLES CHRIS SMITH GORGUI DIENG LUKE HANCOCK ZACH PRICE MARK JACKSON KYLE KURIC TIM HENDERSON JARED SWOPSHIRE ELISHA JUSTICE KEVIN WARE CHANE BEHANAN WAYNE BLACKSHEAR MIKE MARRA STEPHAN VAN TREESE
One of the most physically freakish athletes to come out of high school in a long time, freshman Anthony Davis, yet another McDonald’s All-American, could be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA Draft. A 6-10 center with a 7-4 wingspan, Davis leads the nation with nearly five blocks per game. He’s averaging 11.8 points and 10 rebounds. Kentucky has been running a quick lob play for him from the wing which, if executed correctly, is nearly unstoppable because of his height, reach and leaping ability. So how can he be stopped? He’s still very thin at 215 pounds and can be moved off the low block. He’s also been dismal from the foul line at 52 percent through the first 10 games.
Freshman Marquis Teague, a McDonald’s All-American, was considered by many to be a Louisville lean throughout his sophomore and juniors years of high school, but when the time came to make his college choice public he put on a blue hat and chose Kentucky instead. His decision left Louisville fans fuming. Teague has struggled a bit this season, but his 10.8 points and 4.6 assists per game still are strong numbers. He’s not a threat from the outside but has an extremely quick first step. He doesn’t really have a backup, so foul trouble could be key.
One of two scholarship freshmen still on campus from last season, Doron Lamb is a handful for opponents. He’s deadly from three-point range (22 of 44, 50 percent through the first 10 games) and is hitting 82.1 percent of his foul shots. He leads Kentucky in scoring, averaging nearly 16 points per game. If he goes out, look for newcomer Twany Beckham to step in at shooting guard.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
NEWCOMER IMPRESSES PITINO IN PRACTICES
WARE STARTS SLOWLY BUT BELIEVES HIS TIME WILL COME By Russ Brown Kevin Ware finally made his long-awaited debut for the University of Louisville basketball team last Saturday against Memphis, but we’ll have to wait a while longer to get a true idea of what the 6-foot-4 swingman will mean for the Cardinals. Ware played only six minutes in UofL’s 95-87 victory -- all in the first half -- with no points or rebounds, a blocked shot and a turnover. He didn’t see the court in Tuesday’s 69-62 home win against the College of Charleston. UofL coach Rick Pitino said he planned to use Ware more until Memphis (5-4) sprung an unexpected 3-2 zone defense on the Cards in the second half. He said Ware, who had started practicing just RUSS BROWN three days earlier, wasn’t familiar with Louisville’s zone offense. Still, Pitino said he has been surprised at how quickly Ware has adapted to UofL’s system. “I’ve never had a player in my life who I could put in after three days of practice,” Pitino said. “So he has done well. He is going to be a very good player. He’s going to be fine. We are very excited to have him.” Ware was simply excited to get back on the court, even if only for a brief time, after taking a circuitous route to Louisville and then failing to gain immediate eligibility. A highly rated recruit, Ware signed a financial aid agreement with UofL in June but was denied initial eligibility by the NCAA in August due to academic reasons. He had originally signed with Tennessee but re-opened his recruitment when then-coach Bruce Pearl was fired. He then was set to attend Central Florida but backed out when the NCAA announced an investigation for alleged recruiting violations. He was cleared by the NCAA last month but had to wait until the first semester ended Tuesday before joining the Cards. In the interim, he stayed home in Conyers, Ga., and stayed in shape by working daily with a personal trainer. “I was itching bad to get out there,” he said after the Memphis game. “It was hard sitting at home, just training, training, training, not being around your teammates. My trainer stayed on top of me, had me running, staying in the gym consistently, and that’s all I did basically. It’s all right putting in the work, but it’s nothing like playing the game.” In his few practices before Memphis Ware said he felt he picked up UofL’s offense faster than the defense. “The defense was a lot harder, knowing exactly what to do,” he said. “When a man goes through, you’ve got to do certain things, or the press, run and jump, a lot of
Freshman guard Kevin Ware became eligible to join the team just last Wednesday but picked up enough of Rick Pitino’s system to see action Saturday against Memphis. He played just six minutes and didn’t score, but he had a spectacular block. “I’ve never had a player in my life who I could put in after three days of practice,” Pitino said. “...He’s going to be a good player.”- photo by Gail Kamenish
different things. But I know in time I’ll be good. I just want to be another good player in Coach Pitino’s system and play hard.” Pitino plans to use Ware as a backup to both Peyton Siva and small forward Kyle Kuric. “He’s been a pleasant surprise,” Pitino said. “He’s in much better physical shape than we expected. I was actually shocked that he was physically able to stay with double sessions, mentally pick up all the things so quickly. “He gives us something we don’t have, great length at the guard spot. He’s extremely quick, extremely fast, a very good athlete, and he’s very long. Although he’s 6-4, his wingspan is sort of like Gorgui’s (6-11 center Gorgui Dieng). For his size, he has a very, very long wingspan, which we don’t have at the point position especially. “He’s much more of a point guard than I anticipated. I watched him play in the summer and was very impressed with his athleticism. It’s obvious he’s a terrific athlete, but you really don’t know what position he is. Peyton has been a great help to him because Peyton tells him exactly what to do. I can give him three different sets to concentrate on, and he doesn’t have to run the whole gamut. He’s fresh, he’s ready to go.” Pitino also said he has no worries about Ware meshing with the Cards after the other players have practiced together for two months and played nearly a third of their regular-season schedule. After all, with a number of injuries a half-dozen or so players have come and gone already this year.
“I’m sort of used to this because I had so many 10-day contracts with the Celtics,” Pitino said. “We were so bad in the beginning and were trying new people, and that’s been our (UofL) season, a game of musical chairs. So there’s been so much of that, it’s nothing new and our players are used to it.” Sophomore guard Russ Smith said he and his teammates were just as impressed with Ware as Pitino was. “Kevin caught on to the system in probably the first couple minutes of practice,” Smith said. “He’s really good, he’s quick off the bounce, he’s lanky. And you wouldn’t think just looking at him, but he’s pretty tall with his arms (wingspan), too. He’s a great asset to our team.” Smith said he and Ware hit it off immediately because they had something in common -- ties to New York City. Smith was raised in the Big Apple and attended Archbishop Malloy High School in Queens, while Ware has family in the metropolitan area. “We caught on quick and got along real smooth,” Smith said. “We were talking about things that happened in New York when I was about 11-12 years old, so me and Kevin had a good understanding of each other. “He knew some of the players that used to play basketball that really don’t anymore, so we had a lot to talk about on that kind of point. And as far as the team goes, he fits right in. He’s funny, he’s a little bit quiet at times, so it was definitely cool.” NO MID-MAJORS IN HOOPS Last week, with UofL’s Tuesday night game against College of Charleston loom-
ing, followed by a visit by Western Kentucky on Friday, Pitino made a case, as he often has done before, for eliminating the term “midmajor” from the college basketball vocabulary. Pitino didn’t have to remind anyone that two so-called “mid-majors” -- Butler and Virginia Commonwealth -- advanced to the 2011 Final Four, the Bulldogs for the second straight year. This season Murray State is ranked 24th in the AP poll after upsetting Memphis, Creighton is No. 25, Harvard has been ranked and is now first in the also-receiving-votes category, and Charleston has won at Clemson and also beat Massachusetts and Tennessee. “Anybody who knows the game, if you’re playing Murray State, Ohio U., Middle Tennessee, it’s a 50-50 game,” Pitino said. “You may have the homecourt edge, but outside of that you don’t have the talent edge. I think we make the mistake (of calling) Creighton or Ohio U mid-major. “We’re not football, so the mid-major is a bad expression. In football they have different levels; in basketball, we’re all the same level. Now, there are some exceptions to the rule, but if you play Iona, these teams, you’re in jeopardy of getting beat.” Whatever the case, after WKU, Louisville’s games against teams from supposedly lesser conferences will come to a screeching halt. No. 16/17 Georgetown (9-1 going into Thursday’s game against Memphis) invades the KFC Yum! Center on Dec. 28 to open the Big East Conference season, and that will be followed by the Cards’ trip to Rupp Arena on Dec. 31 to face No. 3 Kentucky (9-1). PITINO LAUDS MEMPHIS SCHEDULE Pitino claimed that nobody has played a tougher schedule than Memphis, and he’s unlikely to get any argument on that point. All of the Tigers’ losses have come against teams currently ranked in the top 25 -- UofL, Murray, No. 20/18 Michigan and Georgetown. Those teams have a combined record of 38-3, and the Tigers faced all but Murray away from home. Furthermore, Memphis faces a rematch against the Hoyas in Washington, D.C., Thursday. Coach Josh Pastner figures he has to book good non-conference teams to raise the Tigers’ RPI and NCAA Tournament profile because Conference USA is so weak. But Memphis also needs to beat some of those teams. Louisville, on the other hand, hasn’t played any team currently ranked in the top 25, although Vanderbilt was No. 20/19 at the time of the Cards’ 62-60 overtime win. UofL also is relatively untested on the road, having ventured out of the KFC Yum! Center only for a trip to Indianapolis to play a mediocre Butler (4-7) team. The Cards’ strength of schedule is ranked 99th by RealTimeRPI.com, but that, of course, will skyrocket once Big East play starts.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
DECEMBER 28 Georgetown at Louisville 7 PM
By Rick Cushing After a late-season collapse last season (the Hoyas lost six of their last seven games and were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament) and the loss of three starters, Georgetown HEAD COACH figured to have a down year, with some JOHN THOMPSON III even predicting that the Hoyas would struggle to reach postseason play. So far, however, the Hoyas have been playing well, with a 9-1 record and No. 16 national ranking following an 8155 victory over American University last Saturday. Their only loss came to Kansas, 67-63 in the Maui Classic, and among their victories are Memphis in the Maui Classic (91-88 in OT) and at Alabama (57-55). They’ll play Memphis again at home Thursday before traveling to Louisville to take on the Cards Dec. 28 in the Big East Conference opener for both teams. Georgetown’s strengths this season are shooting and rebounding. The Hoyas led the Big East in shooting last season at 47.5 percent and, so far this season, are doing even better at 49.2 percent, which is 28th in the country. Rebounding has long been a staple for the Hoyas, who are outrebounding their foes 36.9 to 30.2 a game, their rebounding margin of 6.7 a game ranking 38th in the country. The Hoyas also are making just 11.4 turnovers a game, 17th in the country, are shooting 74.4 percent on free throws, 32nd in the country, are holding their foes to 38.1 percent shooting, 38th in the country, and are allowing just 57.8 points a game, 31st in the country. Spearheading Georgetown’s attack are the two returning starters, senior guard Jason Clark and junior forward Hollis Thompson, while sophomore Markel Starks and freshman Otto Porter are making significant contributions. GUARDS The 6-2 Clark is leading the team at 15.5 ppg and in steals with 17. He’s shooting 45.8 percent overall and is an outstanding free-throw shooter at 90 percent. His only poor stat is 24 turnovers to 13 assists. The 6-2 Starks is averaging 9.3 ppg, fourth on the team, and is shooting 51.6 percent overall, 40 percent on treys. He led the team with 18 points against American. The top backcourt sub is 6-5 freshman Jabril Trawick (3.8 ppg), who is shooting 50 percent overall but is just 1 for 7 on treys. After those three Georgetown is getting little production in the backcourt.
BIG MEN The 6-7 Thompson, who has been highly touted ever since arriving on campus, is showing why this season. He’s averaging 14.7 ppg and 5.8 rpg, both second on the team, and is shooting 53.5 percent overall, 50 percent on treys (20 for 40). He’s also a good free-throw shooter at 82.6 percent. Henry Sims, a 6-10 senior, mans the middle. He’s averaging 12.6 ppg, third on the team, and 5.2 rpg, fourth on the team. He leads in blocked shots with 16, in shooting at 58.5 percent and in assists with 39, as opposed to just 18 turnovers. Against American he had 17 points and six assists. The Hoyas run their offense through Sims. The third starter up front is 6-8 sophomore Nate Lubick, who’s averaging 4.3 ppg, sixth on the team, 5.4 rpg, third on the team, and 2.4 assists, second on the team. He’s one of the team’s worst shooters at 44.7 percent, just 47.1 percent on free throws. The 6-8 Porter is the team’s top frontcourt sub. He’s averaging 8.6 ppg, fifth on the team, and a team-leading 6.1 rpg. He’s shooting 50 percent overall but just 23.8 percent on treys (5 of 21). Two freshmen – 6-8 Mikael Hopkins (3.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg) and 6-9 Greg Whittington (3.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg) – are the other main frontcourt subs. STAR Thompson is a smooth operator who can score from all over. TEAM STRENGTHS Shooting, rebounding, defense and ball-handling, ingredients that spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S. TEAM WEAKNESS Backcourt depth could be a problem, especially against the Cards’ full-court pressure. COACHING RESUME John Thompson III, a son of a Hall of Fame player and coach, is in his 12th year of coaching, his eighth at Georgetown, where his father won a national title. Before coming to Georgetown Thompson III coached for four seasons at Princeton, where he was 68-42 and won three Ivy League championships. At Georgetown he is 169-74, and overall he is 237-116. ALL-TIME SERIES The Cards and Hoyas have met just 11 times dating to 1948, although they met just five times before beginning Big East play in 2007. The Hoyas hold a 7-4 advantage after winning the last two meetings. It was 62-59 at Georgetown last year. MAKING THE PICK? The Cards should prevail in a close, physical contest because of their pressure defense, but it won’t be easy.
2011-12 GEORGETOWN BASKETBALL ROSTER NO 0 1 2 3 5 14 21 22 23 25 32 34 55
NAME TYLER ADAMS HOLLIS THOMPSON GREG WHITTINGTON MIKAEL HOPKINS MARKEL STARKS HENRY SIMS JASON CLARK OTTO PORTER AARON BOWEN JOHN CAPRIO MOSES AYEGBA NATE LUBICK JABRIL TRAWICK
POS C F F F G C G F F G C F G
HEIGHT 6-9 6-8 6-8 6-9 6-2 6-10 6-2 6-8 6-6 6-5 6-9 6-8 6-5
WEIGHT 270 205 205 222 175 242 180 200 210 210 250 240 205
YEAR FR JR FR FR SO SR SR FR FR SO SO SO FR
HOMETOWN BRANDON, MS LOS ANGELES, CA COLUMBIA, MD HYATTSVILLE, MD ACCOKEEK, MD BALTIMORE, MD ARLINGTON, VA SIKESTON, MO JACKSONVILLE, FL NORTH CALDWELL, NJ KANO, NIGERIA SOUTHBOROUGH, MA JENKINTOWN, PA
Coach: John Thompson III Last Season: 21-11, 10-8 Big East Overall Record: 207-104 (11th season) At Georgetown: 139-62 (7th season) HOYAS ARE HOPING TO ERASE THE MEMORY OF LAST SEASON’S LATE COLLAPSE
2011-12 SCHEDULE DATE NOVEMBER Nov. 12, 2011 Nov. 14, 2011 Nov. 21, 2011 Nov. 22, 2011 Nov. 23, 2011 Nov. 28, 2011
Savannah St UNC-G’boro at Kansas1 at CHAMINADE2 Memphis3 IUPUI
W W L W W W
DECEMBER Dec. 1, 2011 Dec. 3, 2011 Dec. 10, 2011 Dec. 17, 2011 Dec. 22, 2011 Dec. 28, 2011 Dec. 31, 2011
at Alabama NJ TECH Howard American Memphis at Louisville Providence
W 57-55 W 84-44 W 62-48 W 81-55 7:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET 2:00 pm ET
JANUARY Jan. 4, 2012 Jan. 7, 2012 Jan. 9, 2012 Jan. 15, 2012 Jan. 17, 2012 Jan. 21, 2012 Jan. 28, 2012
Marquette at West Virginia Cincinnati at St. John’s at DePaul Rutgers at Pittsburgh
7:00 pm ET 12:00 pm ET 9:00 pm ET 12:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET 12:00 pm ET 4:00 pm ET
FEBRUARY Feb. 1, 2012 Feb. 4, 2012 Feb. 8, 2012 Feb. 12, 2012 Feb. 18, 2012 Feb. 21, 2012 Feb. 25, 2012 Feb. 27, 2012
Connecticut South Florida at Syracuse St. John’s at Providence at Seton Hall Villanova Notre Dame
7:00 pm ET 11:00 am ET 7:00 pm ET 1:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET 2:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET
MARCH Mar. 3, 2012
2:00 pm ET
83-54 86-45 67-63 88-61 91-88 81-58
DECEMBER 23, 2011
RUSS SMITH, GORGUI DIENG COMING ON STRONG
CARDS SHOW THEIR GRIT, POISE, NOW NEED EXECUTION By Russ Brown The University of Louisville basketball team is undefeated, ranked fourth in the country and owns a 19-game winning streak in the KFC Yum! Center. Just think what could lie ahead for the Cardinals (11-0) once they combine their grit and determination with better execution. The Cards won yet another game they could have lost Tuesday night, erasing an eight-point second-half deficit, then closing out College of Charleston (9-2) with withering defense to post a difficult 69-62 victory and put coach Rick Pitino in a holiday mood. Winning close games after falling behind has become second nature for this group, a carRUSS BROWN ryover from last season when the modus operandi was often the same. “We’d rather be up, but it’s kind of a familiar place,” said senior forward Kyle Kuric, who contributed 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals. “If we get down late, we don’t get rattled by it, we stay calm, come together, pick up the pressure and capitalize on the other team being tired. “If we’re down with two minutes, four, three, whatever to go, we just all come together, get stops, pick up the intensity and pressure, force turnovers, get easy baskets. There’s still a lot of time, it’s not like there are only a few seconds left.” The win over Charleston was vintage Louisville. In a game that had five lead changes and two ties down the stretch, the Cards outscored the Cougars 11-3 in the final 3:13 and held them scoreless for the last 1:30, forcing several turnovers and taking Charleston out of its offense with suffocating defense. “We had a chance here, but their pressure finally caught up to us down the stretch,” Charleston coach Bobby Cremins said. “They are just relentless with their pressure.” UofL senior guard Chris Smith figures such tight games will prove beneficial when the Cards get into Big East play, starting Dec. 28 with a visit by No. 16 Georgetown (9-1). “These close wins go a long way toward building our character,” he said. “We look for ways to find the win. Doing this the way we have early in the season will only prepare us for the Big East. We need to be ready for a stretch run, and closing out tough games is going to prepare us.” Of the Cards’ late surge and work ethic throughout the first one-third of the season, Pitino said: “I’ve seen a lot of teams play hard, but that was overboard. We
Sophomore center Gorgui Dieng has four straight double-doubles including 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 69-62 win over College of Charleston Tuesday night. - photo by Gail Kamenish
just showed tremendous poise and fortitude down the stretch. We have to get a lot better, but we play our tails off. I don’t think you’re going to find many teams that play as hard as we do. What you witnessed tonight is very difficult to do. Those guys were exhausted. “We have great heart, great character, now we have to get great execution. There are two things that will stop us -- stagnation with our zone offense and guarding the three-point line.” Pitino said he’s not sure UofL is really the fourth-best team in the country and indicated that he certainly doesn’t want his players to think they’ve arrived. “I think the key to success is humility, not hugging yourself,” he said. “It’s obvious that if you’re (11-0) and ranked fourth in the country you’re pretty darn good, but we are not even in January yet.” The players acknowledge that they have plenty of work to do, but add that they can see the pieces starting to fit. “We feel we have a lot to work on, but I can definitely see it coming together,” point guard Peyton Siva said. “We just
know we need to improve, because we’re catching a lot of breaks now.” Said Russ Smith: “As you can see, we could have lost today, we could have lost to Ohio U., we could have lost to Vanderbilt. We could have lost six times, and with a team of our stature and talent, we can’t let that happen. We’re nowhere close to where we want to be. We’ve got to live for the moment and be ready to play hard at crunch time.” By the time UofL returns to action against Western Kentucky Friday night, Pitino wants to see more ball and player movement offensively and better defense, especially on the perimeter. Charleston hit 12 of 23 three-point shots for 52.2 percent, which kept the Cougars in the game despite their 22 turnovers. It marked the fifth straight game in which UofL’s opponent made six or more treys, and Cardinals’ foes are shooting 41.7 percent from beyond the arc over that span. “We’re happy with the wins, but earlier in the season we were defending the three a lot better than we are now,” Kuric said. “We’re giving up way too many open
shots. We have to correct that before we can move forward.” Said Pitino, “You don’t normally win when you give up 12 threes.” UofL, meanwhile, made 8 of 22 threes for 36.4 percent and shot 43.5 percent overall for the game. “We know people are going to play a lot of zone because of our screening and back-screening and Peyton Siva off the bounce,” Pitino said. “Preston Knowles is not walking through that door, and we’re not the greatest shooting team, so we have to be a great ball movement team. Then you will see better cuts instead of when the ball goes inside standing and watching.” One encouraging aspect of Louisville’s play recently has been the boost provided by sophomore guard Russ Smith and sophomore center Gorgui Dieng. Russ followed Saturday’s 24-point, seven-steal performance against Memphis with 12 points, five more steals and four rebounds. Dieng notched his fifth doubledouble of the season, and fourth in a row, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He also had five blocks, giving him 11 in the last two outings, and probably altered a halfdozen more. Pitino said both players “played like men possessed,” adding, “I think Gorgui is really improving. He is 20 pounds away from being a great player. He’s making big plays, and he guards the basket well. I told him, ‘Gorgui, you don’t know who Bill Russell is, but he was one of the best players who could block a shot and keep it in play,’ and Gorgui did a great job of that tonight.” Said Kuric: “Gorgui is stepping into a role this year we desperately needed with TJ (Terrence Jennings) leaving. He’s a lot more confident and comfortable, rebounding, blocking shots, just playing his game. That’s something he’s improved on a lot since last year, blocking it without goaltending, coming from the help side to make a great play, a great stop.” After drawing a starting assignment against Memphis, Russ was back to his usual role against Charleston, providing a spark off the bench. He made two key plays at crunch time, flicking the ball away from a Charleston player and dunking a layup at the other end, then drilling a three-pointer with UofL clinging to a 60-59 lead. The shot he took, perhaps, was an unwise one, coming early in the shot clock and after just one pass. But it swished. “Russ was a pickpocket in crucial situations, and you have to live with the occasional bad shot by him,” Pitino said. “You’ve just got to live with him because he is so unique and so talented -- a very unique talent.” Of Russ’ play you also can say this: “He’s fearless.”
THE NEXT PRINTED E D I T I O N O F TH E L O UI SV I L L E SPO RT SRE PO RT W I L L B E M A I L E D J A N . 3 . A NEW ONL INE-ONLY ED I TI O N W I L L B E PO STE D AT L O UI SV I L L E SPO RT S N E W S . C O M O N D E C . 2 9 .
DECEMBER 23, 2011
WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS
WESTERN KENTUCKY PREVIEW
DECEMBER 23 WKU at Louisville 7 PM
By Rick Cushing The Hilltoppers are off to a horrible start this season, and fans are unhappy. They are voicing that unhappiness with their seats, the ones that are going unoccupied, that is. Those seats outnumHEAD COACH bered the occupied ones as only 3,192 KEN MCDONALD showed up last Saturday night to watch Furman beat the Toppers 76-63 in E.A. Diddle Arena. Western is 4-8 after the Furman loss, which came one week after WKU lost to IUPUI. That 84-76 defeat was even more galling to WKU fans. At least Furman has a winning record at 6-4. IUPUI was 2-8 going into its game with the Hilltoppers. Poor shooting and turnovers have plagued the Toppers. They are shooting just 37.8 percent on the season (318th in the country), 28.8 percent from behind the arc (256th in the country), and are making just 64.7 percent of their free throws (215th). Against Furman they made just 22 of 60 shots (36.6 percent), 7 of 24 treys (29.1 percent), and they were miserable from the foul line (12 of 25, 48 percent). They have almost twice as many turnovers (210) as assists (122). Their assistto-turnover ratio ranks 329th in the country out of 338 teams. No wonder the fans are staying away. Coach Ken McDonald, in his fourth season, was on the hot seat last year, and perhaps only an 8-2 late-season run salvaged his job. WKU finished 16-16, and only two starters returned from that team. One of those two, 6-4 junior guard Caden Dickerson, is out for the season with a shoulder injury sustained early this season. McDonald brought in a highly rated recruiting class, but that doesn’t seem to be working. Look for a coaching change in Bowling Green after this season, and not just because of his coaching record. GUARDS Freshman Derrick Gordon, a 6-3 guard, leads the team in scoring at 10.7 points a game and in rebounding at 6.4 a game but is shooting just 34.6 percent overall, 26.5 percent on treys. He also leads the team in assists (28) and turnovers (39). He scored a team-high 12 points against Furman but made only 2 of 7 shots and 7 of 14 free throws. Jamal Crook, a 6-3 senior, is the team’s other returning starter. He is averaging 6.9 ppg, fourth on the team, and is shooting 50 percent (33 of 66). He scores mostly on drives to the basket and has attempted just two three-point shots, making one. Kevin Kasper, a 6-3 freshman who has started nine games, is averaging 6.4 ppg, fifth on the team, and is shooting 41.9 percent overall, 37.5 percent on treys.
T.J. Price, a 6-3 freshman who has started three games, is averaging 9.3 ppg, second on the team, and is the team’s top three-point shooter at 41.2 percent. He scored nine points against Furman but made just 3 of 11 shots. Kahlil McDonald (no relation to the coach), a 6-2 senior and sometime starter, is averaging 6.3 ppg but is shooting just 27.8 percent overall, 25.9 percent on treys. He is the only Topper seeing action regularly who has more assists (13) than turnovers (11). He scored 11 points against Furman. BIG MEN The Hilltoppers lack height, which is one of their problems. The leading scorer on the frontline is 6-5 freshman George Fant at 8.5 ppg, third on the team. He’s second in rebounding at 6.3 rpg. He’s making 45.3 percent of his shots (24 of 53) but is not an outside threat (0 for 1 on treys) and is not a good free-throw shooter (52.6 percent). The other starter up front has been a revolving door. Three players – Teeng Atol, Nigel Snipes and Kene Anyigbo -- each have started four games, and Vinny Zollo has started three. Atol, a 6-11 junior, is averaging 6.2 ppg and 4.0 rpg. Snipes, a 6-5 freshman, is averaging 5.8 ppg and 2.7 rpg. Anyigbo, a 6-5 sophomore, is averaging 3.4 ppg and 2.5 rpg. Zolllo, a 6-8 freshman, is averaging 2.1 ppg and 2.5 rpg. STAR You’d have to say it’s Gordon, a four-star recruit who’s the only Topper averaging in double figures. His poor shooting makes it a stretch to call him a star, though. TEAM STRENGTH I’m hard put to cite one, but WKU has blocked 4.4 shots a game, which is 88th in the country. TEAM WEAKNESSES Shooting, ball-handling and, naturally, scoring. WKU is averaging 59.7 ppg, 301st in the country. COACHING RESUME McDonald was an assistant at Clemson from 1995-98, at WKU from 1999-2003 and then spent one year as an assistant at Georgia and four years as an assistant at Texas before taking over at Western in 2008. He is 66-46 in three-plus seasons, and his teams have been progressively worse. ALL-TIME SERIES UofL and WKU have played 74 times in a series dating to 1926, with the Toppers holding a 39-35 advantage, although the Cards have won 19 of the past 22 meetings. CUSH PIX It’s hard to see anything but a blowout victory for the Cards, who romped 114-82 in Bowling Green last year as the Toppers threw in the towel early. This young WKU team may try harder, but the result figures to be about the same.
2011-12 WESTERN KENTUCKY BASKETBALL ROSTER NO 0 1 3 5 10 11 14 15 21 22 24 25 41 44 52
NAME KENE ANYIGBO KEVIN KASPAR KAHLIL MCDONALD DERRICK GORDON CADEN DICKERSON SPENCE SHELDON JAMAL CROOK O’KARO AKAMUNE NIGEL SNIPES TEENG AKOL STEPHON DRANE JAY STARKS VINNY ZOLLO GEORGE FANT T.J. PRICE
POS F PG G SG G PG G SF SF C F SG PF SF SG
YR SO. FR. SR. FR. JR. FR. JR. SO. FR. JR. SO. JR. FR. FR. FR.
EXP 1V HS 1V HS 2V HS 2V JC HS 1V 1V JC HS HS HS
HT/WT 6-5/250 6-0/173 6-3/200 6-3/185 6-4/200 5-11/165 6-3/175 6-6/205 6-5/205 6-11/217 6-7/228 6-3/187 6-8/240 6-6/245 6-3/220
HOMETOWN BELAIRE, TX (BELAIRE HS) ISTANBUL, (FINDLAY PREP) BROOKLYN, NY (BLINN COLLEGE) PLAINFIELD, NJ (ST. PATRICK) ARGYLE, TX (ARGYLE) BOWLING GREEN, KY (IMG ACADEMY) LOUISVILLE, KY (BRIDGTON ACADEMY) MIAMI, FL (EASTERN OKLAHOMA STATE J.C.) MARIETTA, GA (WHEELER) WIAN, (IMG ACADEMY) RALEIGH, NC (GARNER HS) SCOTTSVILLE, KY (VOLUNTEER STATE C.C.) WINCHESTER, KY (GEORGE ROGERS CLARK) BOWLING GREEN, KY (WARREN CENTRAL) SLIDELL, LA (SALMEN)
Coach: Ken McDonald Last Season: 16-16, 8-2 in final 10 Overall Record: 46-22 (Third season) At WKU: 46-22 (Third season) WKU HOLDS A 29-25 SERIES ADVANTAGE ON LOUISVILLE. THE CARDINALS HAVE WON 19 OF THE LAST 22 MEETINGS. DERRICK GORDON
2011-12 SCHEDULE DATE NOVEMBER Nov. 11, 2011 Nov. 14, 2011 Nov. 17, 2011 Nov. 18, 2011 Nov. 20, 2011 Nov. 23, 2011 Nov. 26, 2011
St. Joseph’s Tennessee St. Tulsa1 at LSU2 at Virginia Com.3 Virginia Com. SE Louisiana
L W L L L L W
DECEMBER Dec. 1, 2011 Dec. 4, 2011 Dec. 7, 2011 Dec. 10, 2011 Dec. 17, 2011 Dec. 23, 2011 Dec. 29, 2011 Dec. 31, 2011
Murray St. Bowling Green at Southern Illinois at IUPUI Furman at Louisville at ULM Florida Int’l
L 70-59 W 60-53 W 62-55 L 84-76 L 76-63 7:00 pm ET 8:30 pm ET 2:00 pm ET
JANUARY Jan. 5, 2012 Jan. 7, 2012 Jan. 12, 2012 Jan. 15, 2012 Jan. 21, 2012 Jan. 26, 2012 Jan. 28, 2012
Louisiana-Laf. Troy at North Texas at Denver Arkansas-LR at Florida Atlantic at Florida Int’l
8:00 pm ET 5:00 pm ET 8:00 pm ET 3:00 pm ET 2:00 pm ET 7:00 pm ET 7:30 pm ET
FEBRUARY Feb. 4, 2012 Feb. 9, 2012 Feb. 11, 2012 Feb. 16, 2012 Feb. 18, 2012 Feb. 23, 2012 Feb. 25, 2012
S. Alabama at Middle Tenn St. at Troy Florida Atlantic at S. Alabama Arkansas St. Middle Tenn St.
8:00 pm ET 8:00 pm ET 2:00 pm ET 8:00 pm ET 8:05 pm ET 8:00 pm ET 8:00 pm ET
72-61 52-49 65-49 76-57 69-64 68-45 72-67
DECEMBER 23, 2011
TWO FLORIDA TRANSFERS TARGETED BY UOFL MAKE OFFICIAL VISITS By Jeff Wafford University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong is intimately familiar with University of Florida football, having been the defensive coordinator there for the Gators’ last two national championships. In his two seasons at UofL Strong also has been successful with transfers from there, a case in point being cornerback Adrian Bushell, who played at Florida as a freshman, then left that program and ended up at UofL last summer. He went on to play a crucial role in UofL’s success this year and was named first team All-Big East Conference. Strong now has his eye on two more Florida transfers -- tight end Gerald Christian and versatile athlete Robert Clark -- both of whom were in town last weekend. They were joined by at least four other prospects who were making official visits to check out JEFF WAFFORD the UofL program. While none of the group had made verbal commitments as of press time, several were impressed by what they saw. Christian (6-3, 225) said he was surprised by what he saw on the visit – in a good way. Christian decided to leave Florida after his sophomore season because he is looking for more of a role in the offense. He has two more seasons of eligibility remaining, although he’ll have to sit out next season. “I enjoyed myself,” said Christian who was rated as the No. 2 TE in the class of 2010. “I had a good time. It was a lot different than I thought it would be coming up there. Thinking about Kentucky, I was thinking about horses and stuff like that. But after seeing the city and stuff, I liked it up there.” A four-star recruit coming out of Dwyer H.S. (Fla.), Christian was hosted by Bushell. In addition to numerous UofL players and coaches - Strong, Vance Bedford and Clint Hurtt to name a few - Christian said he was very comfortable with the people he met on the visit. “I know all of those guys from when they were recruiting me at Florida and when Coach Hurtt was at Miami,” he said. “I’m feeling the coaches up there. I like that place.” The coaches seem to be very high on Christian, too. “They said they have a good team coming up with a lot of young players, and they were saying they were kind of low on tight ends,” Christian said. “They have a senior who’s leaving now and then another kid who will be leaving, too - who will be a senior - after I sit out a year. They said they are low in depth at that position and need help there.” With two years of eligibility remaining once he begins playing again, Christian said the opportunity to play early is important to him. “They’re talking to me like I’m going to come in and play,” he said of the Cardinals. “I know I’m going to have to come in and work hard no matter what happens, but I like what they’re saying.”
The No. 2 tight end in the nation in 2009, Florida transfer Gerald Christian was a U.S. Army All-American.
Christian, who has no other visits set up yet, mentioned that he may take a visit to West Virginia. He said he would like to make a decision before the spring semester starts to he could join his new team for spring practice. Clark (5-10, 170), a teammate of Christian’s at both Dwyer and Florida, is a versatile player who could play defensive back or wide receiver. Like Christian, he decided to leave the Gators’ program in hopes of finding greener pastures elsewhere. Clark, who was a three-star athlete coming out of high school in 2010, said his visit was “great” as he sat at the airport await-
ing a return flight home Sunday afternoon. “I just liked the city part of it and had a great time going around through the city,” said Clark, who also was hosted on his visit by Bushell. “I liked the players and the coaches and Coach Strong. “(Coach Strong) was just telling me to come there and how they need some speed. He said I could come and see how good of a program it is, how it’s a program on the rise, and how the coaches will be real with you and stuff.” Clark, who noted that he doesn’t have any other visits scheduled at this point and doesn’t know when he’ll make his decision,
2012 FOOTBALL COMMITS PROSPECT Sid Anvoots
HOMETOWN Indianapolis, Ind.
HIGH SCHOOL Bishop Chatard
Savannah Christian 6-1
Big, tough offensive lineman from a strong program in Indianapolis.
Rated one of the top kickers in the Southeast. Appleby figures to replace senior Chris Philpott.
Strong tight end with a big frame could easily develop into an offensive lineman. Bowles’ Dad played baseball for Kentucky.
One of the top 15 defensive linemen in Georgia, Brown picked Louisville over offers from Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and USF.
Big, physical lineman is nicknamed “Nacho.” A three-star lineman with several other BCS offers before he picked Louisville.
Iowa Western CC
Louisville’s top choice at quarterback in the 2011 class. Also had offers from Alabama and Mississippi State.
Big, heavy and mean offensive lineman just set a school record with seven pancakes in one game.
Four-star defensive back is ranked the No. 2 overall prep school athlete in the class of 2011. Elite safety prospect.
South Euclid, Ohio
Fast with speed to burn. Likely a cornerback, but could also return kicks.
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Productive pass-catcher will enroll at Louisville in January and will compete for playing time in spring practice.
Lake City, Fla.
With a 405-pound bench press, Ivery is ready to play. He had offers from Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Syracuse and Southern Miss.
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Three-star linebacker with great size and speed from a program that produced UofL players Deon Rogers and Mike Romano.
College Park, Ga.
Reminds of BJ Dubose or Aaron Epps. Tall, athletic lineman who will gain weight, strength.
Clone of Eric Wood? Maybe. Same height, same weight and same high school.
Bowling Green, Ky.
Has a long way to go to live up to his massive potential. Raw but huge frame.
Four-star defensive back is among the best cover men in the nation for 2011.
A big, physical defensive end, Sibiea claimed offers from Florida, Cincinnati, Minnesota, USF and many, many others.
Miami Gardens, Fla.
Could he be the fastest wide receiver in Florida for 2011? Maybe. Scouts really like him.
said he’s also considering West Virginia and Wisconsin at this point. He noted that he doesn’t mind going through the recruiting process a second time around. “It’s fun to take trips and see different places,” he said. As to what will influence his final decision, Clark said: “(I’m looking for) honest coaches and team chemistry. And I want coaches I can trust and see myself talking to every day and spending time with every day.” Clark noted that he and Christian would like to play together at their next college destination if that turns out to be possible. Several “traditional” high school recruits also took their official visits last weekend. Among them was another pair of teammates – Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology (N.C.) players Nick Dawson and Kedrick Davis. Dawson (6-3, 225), who has family in the Louisville area, is thought by many to be UofL’s top linebacker target. The fourstar player also is considering North Carolina State and Clemson, but things seem to have cooled between him and the Tigers of late. He told ESPN.com recently that UofL and N.C. State now are the two schools left on his list. “It was a great, great experience,” Dawson said on Sunday evening after returning home from the visit. “I’m from Louisville, but there’s been a lot going on since I’ve been there. I hadn’t been in a long time. “They said it’s nice there and that the middle linebacker spot is going to be open. There’s a chance to come in and start right away. That’s what I’m looking for.” Dawson is slated to play in the U.S. Army All-American game in early January, and he could make an announcement of where he’ll attend college at that game. In last year’s game two players – Andrew Johnson and Gerrod Holliman – announced they would attend UofL. The Cardinals are hoping for more of that this year. Strong and his staff have made Dawson a priority since early last year, and they’ll get a chance to showcase their program one additional time for Dawson when the Cards play in the Belk Bowl next Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., oddly enough against their competition for Dawson – N.C. State. Davis (5-10, 170) is a wide receiver who is committed to North Carolina. However, with the coaching transition taking place at Chapel Hill, Davis is keeping his options open and wanted to take an official visit with his good friend Dawson. Local prospect Anthony “Ace” Wales (5-9, 175), a running back from Central H.S., also made on an official visit over the weekend. Wales finished his high school career third in rushing yards all-time in the state of Kentucky. He also is considering Kentucky and Western Kentucky. It’s unclear whether he’ll make a decision public before Jan. 27, but that date is when he said that he’ll have a signing party to celebrate his college decision. Defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins (6-3, 260) also was in town. A product of Eastside H.S. (Ga.), Rankins also is considering Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Florida and others.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
2007 CARDINAL CARAVAN
2011-12 MEN’S SCHEDULE DATE
OCTOBER 10/14/11 Red-White Scrimmage KFC YUM! CENTER 10/22/11 Red-White Scrimmage KFC YUM! CENTER 10/26/11 vs. PIKEVILLE * KFC YUM! CENTER NOVEMBER 11/03/11 vs. BELLARMINE * KFC YUM! CENTER GLOBAL SPORTS INVITATIONAL 11/11/11 vs. TENNESSEE-MARTIN KFC YUM! CENTER 11/13/11 vs. LAMAR KFC YUM! CENTER 11/19/11 at Butler Indianapolis, Ind. 11/22/11 vs. ARKANSAS STATE KFC YUM! CENTER 11/25/11 vs. OHIO KFC YUM! CENTER 11/28/11 vs. LONG BEACH STATE KFC YUM! CENTER DECEMBER BIG EAST / SEC CHALLENGE 12/02/11 vs. #19 VANDERBILT KFC YUM! CENTER 12/07/11 vs. IUPUI KFC YUM! CENTER 12/10/11 vs. FAIR. DICKINSON KFC YUM! CENTER BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME SHOOTOUT 12/17/11 vs. MEMPHIS TV KFC YUM! CENTER 12/20/11 vs. C. OF CHARLESTON KFC YUM! CENTER BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC 12/23/11 vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY KFC YUM! CENTER 12/28/11 vs. GEORGETOWN # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 12/31/11 at Kentucky TV Lexington, Ky. JANUARY 01/03/12 at St. John’s # TV New York, N.Y. 01/07/12 vs. NOTRE DAME # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 01/10/12 at Providence # TV Providence, R.I. 01/14/12 vs. DE PAUL # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/16/12 at Marquette # TV Milwaukee, Wis. 01/21/12 at Pittsburgh # TV Pittsburgh, Pa. 01/25/12 vs. VILLANOVA # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 01/28/12 at Seton Hall # Newark, N.J. FEBRUARY 02/04/12 vs. RUTGERS # KFC YUM! CENTER 02/06/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/11/12 at West Virginia # TV Morgantown, W.Va. 02/13/12 vs. SYRACUSE # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/18/12 at DePaul # Chicago, Ill. 02/23/12 at Cincinnati # TV Cincinnati, Ohio 02/26/12 vs. PITTSBURGH # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/29/12 vs. USF # KFC YUM! CENTER MARCH 03/03/12 at Syracuse # TV Syracuse, N.Y. BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden) 03/06-10/12 TBD * - Exhibition game, # - Big East Conference game
TIME / RESULTS
White, 86-85 Red, 105-60 W, 74-55
2011-12 WOMEN’S SCHEDULE DATE
TIME / RESULTS
VS. LINDSEY WILSON *
KFC YUM! CENTER
W, 118-41 W, 73-64
OCTOBER 10/30/11 NOVEMBER 11/13/11
at Missouri State
at #4 Texas A&M
College Station, Texas
W, 83-48 W, 68-48 W, 69-53 W, 54-27 W, 59-54 W, 79-66
at Eastern Kentucky
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. AUSTIN PEAY
KFC YUM! CENTER
at #24 Florida State
at Florida A&M
vs. MURRAY STATE
KFC YUM! CENTER
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Cincinnati #
at Washington State
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. MARQUETTE #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at St. John’s # TV
vs. SOUTH FLORIDA #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Rutgers #
vs. PROVIDENCE #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Georgetown # TV
vs. VILLANOVA #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at DePaul # TV
DECEMBER W, 62-60 W, 90-60 W, 80-58 W, 95-87 W, 69-62 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. TBA TBA 9:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. TBA
FEBRUARY TBA 7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. TBA 9:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. TBA
at West Virginia #
vs. CONNECTICUT # TV
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. SYRACUSE #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Pittsburgh #
vs. NOTRE DAME # TV
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. DEPAUL # TV
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Seton Hall #
South Orange, N.J.
MARCH BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Hartford, Conn.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
LOUISVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
CARDS RETURN 3-0 FROM ROAD TRIP
WALZ’S CARDINALS ON A ROLL AT 11-2 By Howie Lindsey The University of Louisville women won their fourth straight game Monday night at Washington State. The Cardinals, returning to Louisville Tuesday after a week on the road, are ranked No. 14/12 in the nation. UofL (11-2) will host Tennessee-Martin next Wednesday at noon before resuming Big East play against Marquette at 7 p.m. on Jan. 3 at the KFC Yum! Center. TECHNICAL HELPS SEAL WIN Monday night in Pullman, Wash., Louisville got 16 points from freshman Shawnta Dyer and 14 from sophomore HOWIE LINDSEY Shoni Schimmel in a hardfought 75-71 victory over Washington State (6-5). Schimmel, who had been quiet for much of the game, had eight of her points in the last two minutes. “I was really impressed with how Shoni held it together and came through down the stretch for us,” coach Jeff Walz said. “She was basically shut out in the first half.” After being down by nine points in the second half, Louisville came back to tie the score at 57 on a layup by freshman Cierra Warren with 6:16 left. That began a 10-0 run that put the Cardinals up 65-57. “I was proud of how the entire team came out and played after halftime,” Walz said. “Even when things weren’t going our way, they continued to fight. It showed a lot of maturity on our part.” After UofL’s run, Washington State rallied, and a three-pointer by Sage Romberg with 12 seconds left cut the lead to two, but a technical foul called on coach June Daugherty for excessive timeouts sealed the victory for Louisville. “We were close, we needed to do the simple things and keep our focus on Schimmel and Becky Burke, and we didn’t, and you see what Shoni did to us in the end,” Daugherty said. Burke finished with 14 points. LOUISVILLE THUMPS PORTLAND The Schimmel sisters, Shoni and freshman Jude, returned home to Portland, Ore., last Saturday for a game against their hometown school, and their homecoming was sweet. The Schimmels, who played for Portland’s Franklin High, helped the Cards beat Portland 71-42. Shoni finished with 14 points and four assists, while Jude had five points and three assists. “They both played well,” Walz said. “They both had their stretches where they looked really good, and then they had times where they tried to force some things. But having the chance to get back and play in front of family and friends, it’s going to happen. I was really pleased. Now what we have to do is continue to learn and grow from it.” Louisville’s smothering defense forced Portland (5-7) into 24 turnovers, and the Pilots missed 36 of 50 shots. The game was tied at 10 about five min-
CURRENT AP TOP 25
Louisville coach Jeff Walz applauded his team’s effort during a recent game. The Cardinals are 11-2 and ranked No. 14/12 in the nation. - photo by Howie Lindsey
utes in before the Cards broke off a 20-4 run to take control. They held a 40-16 lead at halftime. Burke scored 17 points and had five assists, and sophomore Antonita Slaughter grabbed eight rebounds to help the Cardinals improve to 10-2.
dislocating her shoulder midway through the second half. “The first half wasn’t all that great for us, it just felt out of the loop -- it was a weird game,” Shoni Schimmel said. “But we bounced back in the second half and just got our head on our shoulders and played with control.” Louisville’s defense was the difference in the second half. “Our game plan was pretty much to stop their dribble drive, stop them going to the middle and pretty much close out on their shooters,” said freshman guard Bria Smith, who finished with 12 points. “I think that we executed that better in the end part of the second half.”
RK TEAM RECORD PTS 1 Baylor (40) 11-0 1,000 2 Connecticut 9-1 944 3 Notre Dame 10-1 926 4 Stanford 7-1 878 5 Maryland 11-0 825 6 Tennessee 7-2 802 7 Miami (FL) 9-1 758 8 Kentucky 10-1 692 9 Duke 7-2 657 10 Texas A&M 8-2 613 11 Ohio State 11-0 585 12 Rutgers 10-2 546 13 Georgia 8-1 500 14 LOUISVILLE 10-2 483 15 Texas Tech 9-0 476 16 Penn State 9-2 390 17 Georgetown 9-2 363 18 Green Bay 8-0 300 19 Delaware 8-0 259 20 Purdue 8-3 213 21 DePaul 10-2 204 22 Texas 8-2 162 23 North Carolina 7-2 114 24 Nebraska 10-1 110 25 Vanderbilt 10-1 103 Others receiving votes: Virginia 26, California 19, LSU 15, South Carolina 10, Arkansas 6, Northwestern 5, Georgia Tech 3, Gonzaga 3, USC 3, Brigham Young 2, Michigan 2, Kansas 1, St. Bonaventure 1, Tulane 1
CARDS OPEN BIG EAST PLAY WITH A WIN “We appreciate Charmaine’s effort and UofL opened Big East play last Wednesday dedication to our program last year,” said night with a 64-59 victory over rival CincinWalz. “We respect her decision to return to nati (6-3) on the Bearcats’ home court. Trailthe East Coast to be closer to home so she ing for most of the second half, Louisville tied can concentrate on her academics. We wish the score at 55 with 2:37 left and took the Charmaine the best of luck wherever she lead on a three-pointer by Shoni Schimmel. chooses to continue her career.” “It wasn’t a pretty win,” Walz said. “I A 5-11 guard from Irvington, N.J., Tay saw thought we rushed some shots; we didn’t action in 30 games last season, averaging 3.4 execute. And when you do that, you’re playTAY TRANSFERS ppg and 2.8 rpg. She gave the Cardinals a ing right into their hands.” Sophomore guard Charmaine Tay will big lift off the bench during the postseason, With less than a minute left, Bjonee transfer following the fall semester. Tay did Reaves’ jumper pulled Cincinnati within one, not see action for the Cardinals this season scoring a career-high 11 points against Xavier but Dyer responded quickly to give Louisville a after being ruled academically ineligible for in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. three-point lead with 39 seconds remaining. not meeting NCAA academic requirements. Burke, who had 14 points, made four free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the victory. NO NAME HT POS YR HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL) “I was really pleased to see Becky call for the 1 SHELBY HARPER 5-4 G JR SCOTTSVILLE, KY. (ALLEN COUNTY SCOTTSVILLE) ball right there at the end 3 SHERONNE VAILS 6-4 C SO ODENTON, MD. (ARUNDEL HS) of the game,” Walz said. 4 ANTONITA SLAUGHTER 6-1 G SO LOUISVILLE, KY. (LOUISVILLE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY) “She wanted the ball in her 10 SARA HAMMOND 6-2 F FR MT. VERNON, KY. (ROCKCASTLE COUNTY HS) hands, and that is encour11 BECKY BURKE 5-11 G SR CLARKS SUMMIT, PA. (ABINGTON HEIGHTS) aging to see.” Monique Reid, who was 12 SHAWNTA’ DYER 6-1 F RS FR MARION, OHIO (MARION HARDING HS) averaging a team-high 14.6 21 BRIA SMITH 5-10 G FR MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CHRIST THE KING HS) points per game coming in, 22 JUDE SCHIMMEL 5-6 G FR MISSION, ORE. (FRANKLIN HS) scored three points before 23 SHONI SCHIMMEL 5-9 G SO MISSION, ORE. (FRANKLIN HS) being helped off the court 25 TIA GIBBS 5-9 G JR LOUISVILLE, KY. (VANDERBILT UNIV.) with a knee injury. Cincin31 ASIA TAYLOR 6-1 F JR COLUMBUS, OHIO (WHETSTONE HS) nati’s Dayeesha Hollins, who was averaging 14.3 33 MONIQUE REID 6-1 F SR LOUISVILLE, KY. (FERN CREEK) points, scored 15 before 42 CIERRA WARREN 6-4 C RS SO RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIF. (NORTH CAROLINA)
2011-12 LOUISVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ROSTER
DECEMBER 23, 2011
SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULES
MEN’S GOLF DATE OPPONENT / EVENT Francis Marion Invitational 02/20-21/12 Francis Marion Invitational USF Invitational 03/04-20/12 USF Invitational Irish Creek Collegiate 03/31/12-04/01/12 Irish Creek Collegiate NC State Wolfpack Invitational 04/14-15/12 NC State Wolfpack Invitational Notre Dame Invitational 04/22/12 Notre Dame Invitational BIG EAST Championship 04/29/12-05/01/12 BIG EAST Championship NCAA Championship 05/17-19/12 NCAA Championship 05/29/12 NCAA Championship
WOMEN’S GOLF LOCATION
TIME / RESULT
Hilton Head, S.C.
South Bend, Ind.
TBA Los Angeles, Calif.
ALL DAY ALL DAY
BASEBALL DATE OPPONENT / EVENT Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge 02/17/12 vs. Minnesota 02/18/12 vs. Illinois 02/19/12 vs. Michigan State 02/22/12 vs. EASTERN KENTUCKY 02/24/12 vs. OAKLAND UNIVERSITY 02/25/12 vs. OAKLAND UNIVERSITY 02/26/12 vs. OAKLAND UNIVERSITY 02/28/12 vs. EASTERN ILLINOIS 03/02/12 vs. PEPPERDINE 03/03/12 vs. PEPPERDINE 03/04/12 vs. PEPPERDINE 03/06/12 vs. INDIANA Alabama Tournament 03/09/12 vs. Oral Roberts 03/10/12 at Alabama 03/11/12 vs. East Carolina 03/13/12 vs. OLE MISS 03/14/12 vs. OLE MISS 03/16/12 vs. BALL STATE 03/17/12 vs. BALL STATE 03/18/12 vs. BALL STATE 03/20/12 vs. OHIO STATE 03/23/12 vs. CINCINNATI # 03/24/12 vs. CINCINNATI # 03/25/12 vs. CINCINNATI # 03/27/12 at Purdue 03/30/12 vs. VILLANOVA # 03/31/12 vs. VILLANOVA # 04/01/12 vs. VILLANOVA # 04/03/12 vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY 04/05/12 at Georgetown # 04/06/12 at Georgetown # 04/07/12 at Georgetown # 04/10/12 at Kentucky 04/13/12 vs. SETON HALL # 04/14/12 vs. SETON HALL # 04/15/12 vs. SETON HALL # 04/17/12 at Indiana 04/20/12 at USF # 04/21/12 at USF # 04/22/12 at USF # 04/24/12 vs. KENTUCKY 04/27/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # 04/28/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # 04/29/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # 05/01/12 at Western Kentucky 05/05/12 at West Virginia # at West Virginia # 05/06/12 at West Virginia # 05/08/12 at Vanderbilt 05/11/12 vs. ST. JOHN’S # 05/12/12 vs. ST. JOHN’S # 05/13/12 vs. ST. JOHN’S # 05/15/12 vs. MOREHEAD STATE 05/17/12 at Pittsburgh # 05/18/12 at Pittsburgh # 05/19/12 at Pittsburgh # 05/23-27/12 BIG EAST Championship
DATE OPPONENT / EVENT UNLV Spring Tournament 02/20-21/12 UNLV Spring Tournament Sir Pizza Cards Challenge 02/27-28/12 Sir Pizza Cards Challenge LSU Golf Classic 03/09-11/12 LSU Golf Classic Mountain View Collegiate 03/23-24/12 Mountain View Collegiate Bryan National Collegiate 04/06-08/12 Bryan National Collegiate Big East Championship 04/22-24/12 Big East Championship Regionals 05/10-12/12 NCAA Regionals NCAA Championship 05/22/12 NCAA Championship
TIME / RESULT
Las Vegas. Nev.
Baton Rouge, La.
Brown Summit, NC
TIME / RESULT
Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla.
1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 9:00 a.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 9:00 a.m. ET
Greenville, N.C. Greenville, N.C. Greenville, N.C. Greenville, N.C. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM
11:00 a.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 9:00 a.m. ET 9:00 a.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET
Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn.
1:30 p.m. ET 8:15 p.m. ET 12:15 p.m. ET 2:30 p.m. ET 9:00 a.m. ET TBA TBA TBA
ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Bowling Green, Ky.
11:00 a.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET
Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento, Calif. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Lexington, Ky. Chicago, Ill. Chicago, Ill. Chicago, Ill. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Villanova, Pa. Villanova, Pa. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM South Orange, N.J. South Orange, N.J. South Orange, N.J. Bloomington, Ind. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Jamaica, N.Y. Jamaica, N.Y. Jamaica, N.Y.
1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 6:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 5:30 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 6:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 4:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET TBA 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET
South Bend, Ind.
TIME / RESULT
Clearwater, Fla. St. Petersburg, Fla. St. Petersburg, Fla. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM
10:00 AM ET 4:00 PM ET 10:00 AM ET 3:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET
Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM West Lafayette, Ind. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Bethesda, Md. Bethesda, Md. Bethesda, Md. Lexington, Ky. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Bloomington, Ind. Tampa, Fla. Tampa, Fla. Tampa, Fla. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Bowling Green, Ky. Morgantown, W.Va. Morgantown, W.Va. Morgantown, W.Va. Nashville, Tenn. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh, Pa. Clearwater, Fla.
2:00 PM ET 5:05 PM ET 11:00 AM ET 6:00 PM ET 12:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 4:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 4:00 PM ET 12:00 PM ET 6:30 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 2:00 PM ET 5:30 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET TBA
DATE OPPONENT / EVENT Florida International University Tournament 02/10/12 vs. Michigan State vs. Illinois 02/11/12 vs. UAB at Florida International 02/12/12 vs. Massachusetts East Carolina University Tournament 02/17/12 vs. Virginia 02/18/12 vs. UNC Greensboro 02/19/12 vs. Fordham 02/18/12 vs. Hofstra 02/25/12 vs. Creighton 02/26/12 vs. Creighton Tennessee Classic 03/02/12 vs. Middle Tennessee State vs. Dutch National Team 03/03/12 vs. Memphis at Tennessee (W) 03/04/12 vs. Boston University 03/02/12 vs. Tennessee Tournament 03/03/12 vs. Tennessee Tournament 03/04/12 vs. Tennessee Tournament Red and Black Tournament 03/10/12 vs. Saint Louis vs. Michigan 03/11/12 vs. Saint Louis 03/12/12 vs. Illinois State vs. Illinois State 03/14/12 vs. Western Kentucky Sacramento State Capital Classic 03/16/12 vs. Colorado State vs. Princeton 03/17/12 vs. Akron at Sacramento State 03/24/12 vs. Pittsburgh # vs. Pittsburgh # 03/25/12 vs. Pittsburgh # 03/28/12 vs. Kentucky 03/31/12 vs. DePaul # vs. DePaul # 04/01/12 vs. DePaul # 04/04/12 vs. Kentucky 04/06/12 vs. Rutgers # vs. Rutgers # 04/07/12 vs. Rutgers # 04/11/12 vs. Villanova # vs. Villanova # 04/14/12 vs. Longwood vs. Longwood 04/15/12 vs. Longwood 04/18/12 vs. USF # vs. USF # 04/21/12 vs. Seton Hall # vs. Seton Hall # 04/22/12 vs. Seton Hall # 04/25/12 vs. Indiana 04/28/12 at Georgetown # at Georgetown # 04/29/12 at Georgetown # 05/05/12 vs. St. John’s # vs. St. John’s # 05/06/12 vs. St. John’s # BIG EAST Championship 05/10-12/12 BIG EAST Championship
DECEMBER 23, 2011
SEVERAL TURNING POINTS KEYED CARDS’ LATE SURGE By Russ Brown A head coach who was tired of talking, an injured senior cornerback and a players-only meeting. Those were the elements that led to the turnaround executed by the University of Louisville football team after a wobbly start that could have led to a disastrous finish. Instead, the Cardinals (7-5) regrouped and earned their way into the Belk Bowl, where they will meet North Carolina State (7-5) at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The first turning point came after UofL had lost its third straight game, 25-16 at Cincinnati, after leading 16-7 at halftime. It was the Cardinals’ fourth defeat in five games, including upset losses at home to FIU and Marshall. And coach Charlie RUSS BROWN Strong had had enough. He wondered whether the Cards would win another game, let alone qualify for a bowl. So he called the seniors in on Thursday night prior to a home game against Rutgers. “I told them, ‘I’m tired of talking. I want to hear someone else talk. You tell me what is wrong with this football team,’” Strong recalled. “We had no direction, we didn’t know where we were going.” The players were stunned. “We were like, this is something new right here,” sophomore defensive back Hakeem Smith said. Senior cornerback Anthony Conner was one of the players who stood up that day, telling his teammates how badly he wanted to play in one more bowl game before leaving Louisville. He said the Cards weren’t playing well enough and weren’t playing together. After Conner broke the ice, others followed. “It wasn’t about talent at that point because I knew we had a lot of talent on this team top to bottom,” senior linebacker Dexter Heyman said. “It was about finding something to play for, and most of us are playing for each other. That’s how you build great teams. We started playing harder and playing with a purpose.” As fate would have it, Conner became part of that purpose when he suffered a career-ending broken neck against Rutgers.
nator Mike Sanford with quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson, who took over the play-calling duties for the North Carolina game and has remained in that capacity since. On the field, the three biggest factors were the maturation of the young offensive line, the continued improvement of freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the move of sophomore Dominique Brown from backup quarterback to running back. “We were 2-4 and for us to make a run in the last six games to go 5-1 speaks volumes for this program, the leadership, the direction and just how far it’s come,” Strong said. “We have some youth on this team, but it’s a team that grew up really fast, and I’m excited about the way this team was able to overcome a lot of adversity in the beginning and then get ourselves in position to become co-champions.” And now UofL will be seeking to win bowl games in consecutive years for the first time in school history. “It’s overwhelming,” Benavides said. “To be 2-4, fight back and be 5-1, I couldn’t have imagined it going that way.”
The steady maturation of freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was one of the main reasons that the Cards won five of their last six games and finished in a tie for the Big East Conference title. He has been named to several Freshman All-America teams.- photo by Chuck Feist
The Cardinals won that game, 16-14, and dedicated the rest of the season to their popular teammate. Conner underwent surgery to stabilize his spine shortly after the injury and spent the rest of the season standing on the sideline wearing a neck brace cheering on his teammates. “We just owned up to each other,” junior center Mario Benavides said. “Guys were calling each other out, but out of loyalty, not out of spite. It ended up working out for us, and people started trusting each other, and I think that was the turning point. “Coach Strong told us this team needs to be a players-run team and we need to handle it, and guys started stepping up. He knows what he’s doing; there’s a method to his madness. He saw the look in our eyes and knew we were ready to take on that responsibility.” The Cards went on to win five of their
last six, including a 38-35 upset of top-25 West Virginia in Morgantown, and finish in a three-way tie for first place in the Big East Conference after being picked seventh in the preseason poll of coaches. The only slipup after Cincinnati was a 21-14 home loss to Pittsburgh, after which Strong accused his players of paying more attention to a new video game, “Call of Duty,” than to preparations for the Panthers. That prompted more soul-searching by the players, who got together and decided they were determined to refocus and end the season on a positive note. “We had a heart-to-heart, emotional talk with each other,” Smith said. “We said we had to make some changes because we had worked too hard in the offseason and it wasn’t showing.” If the players overcame adversity, so did the coaching staff. After the fourth game of the season, Strong replaced offensive coordi-
DECEMBER 23, 2011
BIG EAST NOTEBOOK
UCONN, SYRACUSE, MARQUETTE ALSO IMPRESSIVE
HOYAS WILL OFFER EARLY BIG EAST TEST FOR CARDS By Russ Brown Most of the University of Louisville players who see extensive time on the court have been through the Big East Conference wars and know what to expect. But for those who haven’t, like freshmen Chane Behanan and Kevin Ware -- and to a great extent, Russ Smith, who played a total of only 41 minutes in nine Big East games as a freshman last season -- Peyton Siva offers a warning. “I’ll tell them that it’s going to be something they’ve never experienced,” the junior point guard said. “It’s going to be a tough battle, a physical battle. Sticking together is going to be a key thing, and never backing down from anybody.” The Big East grind starts earlier than ever for No. 4 UofL (11-0) when No. 16 Georgetown (9-1 going into Wednesday’s game with Memphis) visits the RUSS BROWN KFC Yum! Center next Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game (ESPN2). So how is the league shaping up? Based on the preseason poll, current polls and nonconference results, it’s looking like a fourhorse race among No. 1 Syracuse (11-0), UofL, No. 9 Connecticut (9-1) and No. 11 Marquette (10-1), with No. 15 Pittsburgh (91) and Georgetown also looming as possible title contenders. If there have been any surprises so far, it’s Marquette and Georgetown. The Golden Warriors were picked sixth in the league and the Hoyas 10th in the preseason poll. “I’ve been really, really impressed with a few teams, and Marquette is one of them,” UofL coach Rick Pitino said. “They look like they’re in February form defensively. They’re a team that has it together defensively, plays real hard, doesn’t let you get an easy shot off. Syracuse is very impressive. They’re definitely a top-10 team, no doubt in my mind.” However, Pitino’s evaluation came before Marquette lost starting 6-10 junior center Chris Otule indefinitely with a damaged anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and before the Golden Eagles suffered their first loss of the season at LSU (8-3) on Monday, 67-59. Otule, who was playing about 20 minutes per game, was averaging 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. He was replaced by 6-8, 290-pound sophomore Davante Gardner. Gardner had seven points and a game-high eight rebounds against the Tigers. Otule is unlikely to be back by the time UofL faces Marquette for the only time this year, on Jan. 16 in Milwaukee. Marquette coach Buzz Williams already uses a three-guard starting lineup and sometimes goes even smaller. Of more pressing importance to the Cards, of course, is Georgetown, which could come to Louisville with an eight-game winning streak, depending on the outcome of Wednesday’s home game against Memphis. The Hoyas have been a consistent nemesis for UofL, winning three of the last four meetings and four of the last six. The Hoyas’ only loss was to No. 12 Kansas, 67-63, in the Maui Invitational, where they beat then-No. 8
Georgetown coach John Thompson III will bring a young team to Louisville next Wednesday that, surprisingly, is ranked No. 16 in the country and is 9-1 before playing host to Memphis Thursday. “No one had any expectations of us going into the season,” Thompson said, adding that he knew his team would turn out to be good but “didn’t know when it would happen.”
Memphis 91-88 in overtime. Coach John Thompson III’s mostly inexperienced team wasn’t supposed to be this effective, but it quickly bonded after its international incident during a “goodwill” trip to China when the Hoyas got into a bench-clearing fight with a Chinese professional club and U.S. government officials warned Thompson that he might get arrested. “The experience in China definitely impressed upon the guys that we’re in this together, no doubt about that,” Thompson said. “It showed them that we literally will have to fight through some situations sometimes to have success this year.” The Hoyas play with the signature defense and toughness for which Georgetown is known while trying to restore their old swagger, even though this was expected to be a rebuilding season. “No one had any expectations of us going into this year,” Thompson said. “I didn’t know when it would happen,” Thompson added of Georgetown’s development. “I just said to myself, ‘One day (this season) I think we’re going to be a very good team.’ I believed that. The kids have a strong work ethic. They care about what we’re doing, and they believe in what we’re doing. Coupled with their talent, I thought all of that would let us get there. That would be what did it.” With two-time leading scorer Austin Freeman and point guard Chris Wright having graduated, senior Jason Clark has become the focal point of the three-guard offense, averaging a team-leading 16.2 points. He’s shooting 41.7 percent on three-point shots. Junior forward Hollis Thompson has made 50 percent of his three-point shots and is second in scoring at 14.7 ppg. Senior center Henry Sims (12.1 ppg) also has been a steadying influence. “And the thing that Jason, Henry and Hollis bring to the table is that they understand it’s a long year... in terms of having success,” Thompson said. “It’s still so early. We haven’t even started conference play yet, and there’s no conference like our conference. What we have to do is make sure our young guys un-
derstand that we’re putting a premium on (the fact that) we can improve. We still have to get better. I think this team understands that. We’re a team of workers. We have a team that, collectively, is not going to be content.” The Big East looks as tough as ever, with six teams ranked in the top 25, including three in the top 10. In the league preseason poll, UConn and Syracuse tied for first place with 209 points, while UofL was just eight points behind, with Pitt picked fourth and Cincinnati fifth. Syracuse handled its first true road test of the season, whipping North Carolina State 88-72 last weekend, and the Orange might have the most depth in the country. The ‘Cuse bench outscored the Wolfpack subs 46-4, with Dion Waiters getting a team-high 22 points and C.J. Fair and James Sutherland each contributing 11 points. “I would say they’ve got a couple guys on the bench that could easily be starters,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. Responded SU coach Jim Boeheim, “Well, everyone in Syracuse thinks I should be starting those guys.” No starter averages more than 29 minutes. Fair, who comes off the bench, averages the second-most minutes at 23.9, and fifth-year senior guard Scoop Jardine averages 20.4. “These guys have all bought in,” Boeheim said. “I’ve never had a team that’s played these kind of minutes in my 36 years of coaching. I’ve never done this. We’ve really split the minutes up, and to be able to sit on the bench and come in and be productive, that’s a great thing.” As non-conference play draws to a close, UConn coach Jim Calhoun said he is still experimenting, learning what works and what doesn’t. But one thing is crystal clear: The defending national-champion Huskies have a dangerous duo in the frontcourt with 6-9 junior Alex Oriakhi (7.5 ppg., 5.6 rpg) and 6-11 freshman Andre Drummond (9.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg), who is arguably the best rookie in the league. Their averages are deceiving because they often play only half the game. So far, Calhoun has been comfortable ro-
tating his big men -- the others are sophomores Tyler Olander (6-9) and Roscoe Smith (6-8) -- in a three-guard lineup. UofL will play UConn just once, in the KFC Yum! Center on Feb. 6, but will face Syracuse twice -- at home on Feb. 13 and in the season finale at the Carrier Dome on March 3. The Cards’ other mirror opponents are Pittsburgh (there, Jan. 21; here, Feb. 26) and DePaul (here Jan. 14, there Feb. 18). Besides UofL-Georgetown, eight other Big East games are on tap before Jan. 1, but there are no matches between contenders. The most interesting is Seton Hall’s visit to Syracuse. Former UofL assistant Kevin Willard has the Pirates off to a 9-1 start, and if they can win at Dayton (8-3) Wednesday night they’ll own their best start since 1992-93. BIG EAST NOTES - -A Syracuse columnist took a shot at UofL’s non-conference schedule in defending the Orange’s slate, writing: “Louisville plays a great schedule, right? Actually, the Cardinals have played just three teams ranked in the RPI’’s top 50 --— Vanderbilt, Ohio U. and Long Beach State. Louisville has played five teams ranked outside the top 150. Louisville’’s two remaining non-conference opponents are Charleston (No. 96) and Western Kentucky (No. 231).” The columnist seems to have forgotten No. 3 Kentucky, and he doesn’t mention that Memphis was in everybody’s top 20 when the season started. The Big East is 7-10 against top-25 teams, with three of the losses by St. John’s -- to Arizona, Texas A&M and Kentucky. Notre Dame has lost preseason all-conference selection Tim Abromaitis for the year to a torn ACL and is struggling with a 7-5 record. UofL leads the league in attendance with an average of 20,798, slight ahead of Syracuse’s 20,327. Seton Hall’s Herb Pope leads the conference in both scoring (21.9 ppg) and rebounding (11.2 rpg). West Virginia’s Kevin Jones is second in both categories (20.3 and 11.0). Marquette is the Big East’s highest-scoring team at 84 points per game, while Louisville is the best defensive team, holding opponents to 56.0 ppg.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
FRAZIER DONATES $25 MILLION TO UOFL LOUISVILLE, Ky.–Louisville philanthropist Owsley Brown Frazier has donated $25 million to the University of Louisville. The donation is the largest ever made to UofL by a person and is also believed to be the largest outright gift to any Kentucky college or university. The gift, announced Tuesday in a ceremony on UofL’s Belknap Campus, will be used to improve the quality of the university’s academic, research and athletic programs. Frazier, immediate past president of the UofL Board of Trustees, holds degrees in law and business administration and an honorary doctorate from UofL. He is the grandson of George Garvin Brown, who founded Brown-Forman Corp., one of the world’s largest wine and spirit companies. “I’m a proud graduate of UofL, and I’ve seen how its academic and research mission has flourished under President Jim Ramsey,” Frazier said. “I hope my gift will further that mission and spur
others to do the same.” Ramsey praised Frazier, calling him “a personal friend and great friend of the city of Louisville, higher education and UofL in particular. His generosity is making a difference in the health, learning and quality of life for generations of students and Kentuckians.” The gift brings to more than $40 million the amount Frazier and his daughters have given to UofL. In September, UofL named its College of Business building Harry Frazier Hall in honor of Owsley’s late brother, Harry Frazier Jr., after a gift from the families of Harry and Owsley. So far, UofL has raised $582 million towards the $1 billion goal set for its capital campaign, “Charting Our Course: A Campaign for Kentucky’s Premier Metropolitan Research University,” which Frazier co-chairs.
CARDINAL STARS OF THE WEEK
LOLA ARSLANBEKOVA - VOLLEYBALL The junior outside hitter from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, was named to the AVCA All-America third team as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Arslanbekova, the 2011 Big East Player of the Year, led the Cardinals with 566 kills (4.96/set) and 13 double-doubles and was second on the team with 283 digs (2.48/set). She ranked third nationally in kills per set and already is fifth in school history in career kills. She was named AVCA honorable mention the previous two years.
DECEMBER 23, 2011
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RUSS SMITH - MEN’S BASKETBALL The sophomore from the Big Apple was named Big East Player of the Week on Monday for his performance against Memphis last Saturday, when he had 24 points and seven steals. He’s the first UofL player to win Player of the Week honors this season. Smith has made four starts this season and is averaging 9.0 points, 2.0 steals and 1.6 rebounds per game. He had 12 points, five steals and four rebounds against College of Charleston Tuesday night.
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TEDDY BRIDGEWATER - FOOTBALL Since last week’s issue the freshman quarterback from Miami, Fla., picked up two more All-America honors. He was named a Freshman All-American by both Sporting News and Fox SportsNet last Wednesday. He previously was named a Freshman All-American by CBSSports.com and Yahoo Sports, as well as being the Big East’s Rookie of the Year. Bridgewater, who took over as the starter on Oct. 1, compiled a 5-4 record as a starter and was one of the keys to the offense’s overall improvement. The first true freshman to start for the Cardinals at quarterback since 1976, Bridgewater threw for 1,855 yards and 12 TDs, surpassing current Atlanta Falcons backup QB Chris Redman’s freshman school passing yardage record. He completed an efficient 66.0 percent of his throws -- 167 of 253. GORGUI DIENG - MEN’S BASKETBALL With 14 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks against Memphis Saturday, the Senegalese big man was a big reason for Louisville’s win. Dieng played nearly every second of the game, coming out for only 12 seconds before a late timeout. He had 14 points and 12 rebounds against College of Charleston, marking his fourth-straight double-double game. Through Louisville’s first 10 games, Dieng is averaging 10.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and is hitting 59.7 percent of his shots. BECKY BURKE - WOMEN’S BASKETBALL The senior shooting guard had 17 points and five assists during Louisville’s 71-42 romp at Portland Saturday. Burke, who played just 25 minutes, hit 6 of 10 shots, including five three-pointers. She is averaging 12.3 points in just 28.9 minutes per game through the first 12 games of the season. She has started 11 of Louisville’s 12 games and is shooting 37.8 percent (28 of 74) from theepoint range. JUSTIN AMLUNG - BASEBALL The junior right-hander from Louisville St. Xavier H. S. was named a third-team Preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Wednesday. Amlung was 10-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 15 starts while earning first-team All-Big East Conference honors last season. He ranks second on Louisville’s career ERA list at 3.06 and has a 15-4 record overall. Amlung played in the Cape Cod League last summer and was named an AllStar after finishing 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 41 innings for the Wareham Gatemen. After successful collegiate and summer seasons, Amlung chose to return to Louisville for his redshirt junior season after being selected in the 39th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.
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DECEMBER 23, 2011
DECEMBER 23, 2011
LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT’S CARDINAL KIDS Dylan Madden Sale, 8 months old, at his first Louisville football game (Oct. 1, 2011).
Emma and Ally Price tailgating before the FIU game.
Maggie Ernst, age 8, at the Louisville-Syracuse game.
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Zoey Seng, the niece of former UofL soccer star Amy Seng, showed her Louisville pride after the Cardinals beat Memphis. Zoey lives in Memphis.
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Noah Williams, taking in the Murray State and UofL football game, poses with Peyton Siva.
Olivia Mardis is Louisville’s No. 1 fan and a future Cards cheerleader.