Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

Dedicated to the joyful noise of the Card faithful

Big East Opener A Blast: U of L 73 – Seton Hall 54

Posted by frankpos on January 6, 2011


That’s all you need to know, really.

The game was decided in effect in the first half with that opening punch in the mouth by the Cards.

Reverse Siva slam...after the 360 a few games ago? Sure...


Main Hell in the Hall Photographer Matt Wickham took over 100 pics of the game here


Let me be clear:  The Pirates are not a great team.  Ok, not even a very good team.  They were beaten in their last outing by 17 by Cincy–which remains a mystery team even with its spotless 14- 0 record.

Best I can tell from their own press media guide–the Pirates don’t excel at anything.

But,  the Cards shook off any psychological woes from their recent spanking by arch-rival UK, and showed real spark from the beginning of this contest. Most importantly, when Seton Hall managed to close to within 12 , the Cards kept them handily at bay.  This game was never in doubt after that initial run to start the game.

George Goode got his second career start--and popped two early jumpers to start the carnage.


Coach Pitino shook up the line-up yet again, starting Sr. George Goode at center, and giving much -maligned sophomore forward Stephan Van Treese significant playing time.  Goode responded with two picture-perfect 10′ jumpers to key the early part of the opening blast, and Van Tresse grabbed a team high 10 boards.

Some  observations:

***Rebounding was reasonably good when Gorgui Dieng was in the game–not so hot, when he wasn’t.  Terrence Jennings once again under-awed with 1–yes– 1 rebound.  George Goode–in the same # of minutes– at least grabbed 3.  Dieng grabbed 6 boards and blocked 5 shots in just a few more minutes of action than TJ or George…

Zing by Dieng....Georgui has evolved at light speed, and is now our main man in the middle.


He is our most effective big man right now.  (God–I wish Buckles was still around , and the both of them improving together this season….by the end , I think we would have been a better-than-avg rebounding team.)

*** Chris Smith is on fire.  Prior to this game, Chris was shooting  75% over the last 3 games and leads the Big East in 3 pt % at 54% !  He even bettered those marks in this game !  And…He also is one of our most effective rebounders–grabbing 5 again in this contest.  His steady all-around play has been a huge, pleasant  surprise and a major reason the Cards are enjoying the success they are so far.

Hidden hero Chris Smith has quietly became a force, shooting over 75% from 2 and over 54% from 3 in the last 4 games. Oh yeah...he grabs rebounds and plays tough D too.


***Ball movement was crisp…our often sputtering  half-court offense worked well for the most part. But the Pirates didn’t jump out and block passing lanes as vigorously as UK– or as any very good team is going to do.

***Where is our iconic C-A-R-D-S cheer??!!!  It has been relegated to one small segment during each game and is led by the cheerleaders–who frankly have never led the CARDS cheer right.

Last game against UK, they finally big screen-highlighted Rob Hickerson aka The Cheerleader at Freedom Hall.  Rob led one massive Card cheer early in the game–and then was not shown again.  The Yum Center–The Bucket–is not as loud as Freedom Hall on an orchestrated basis-yet.  And it may never be if they keep throwing a bunch of amateurish J-Bone led commercial spots at us, during any time-out…

Preston (!) put on a show again, with some surprising spin moves on drives, and these running floaters in the lane that he has made an interesting part of his scoring repertoire.


***OK–here it is: I think we have above average # of injuries each year, because Pitino drives his players too relentlessly , even the day before games. I’ve thought this for years, and I wish someone would chart this and prove me right.  For what it is worth–while Rakeem Buckles was snapping his finger into teensy pieces at a full- on practice, UK was doing walk-thru’s only, precisely  to avoid injury…

Ummm, not this time. TJ blocked this one into the stands. But again, this big man could only grab...1...rebound.


Some interesting stats from the press guide stuff:

The Cards rank 5th nationally in steals per game; 6th in avg # of 3 ptrs each game; 8th in assists per game;  9th in scoring margin; and 11th in blocked shots.

Louisville is tied for 6th all-time in # of NCAA tournament victories.

Only 4 teams have been to more Sweet Sixteens than Louisville, since the tournament moved from 16 to 32 teams in 1975.

And finally–at least for this post– the Cards rank 6th  all-time in AP poll appearances.

The following video has absolutely nothing to do with Seton Hall.  Yet it has everything to do with the adult  male population:  The LadyBirds jingle your bells for Christmas…..

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