Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

Dedicated to the joyful noise of the Card faithful

Louisville 61 DePaul 57

Posted by frankpos on February 7, 2011

Peyton Siva drops one of his ten dimes..vs one TO. He had an off night shooting, but he is the straw that stirs our drink...

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This ugly game proved at least a few things:

We can still beat cellar dweller DePaul– even without four starters, including the best player on our team.

Pitino is coaching his balls off.

and … a bad win is better than a good loss.

Right ,  pUKe fans?

The Cards hopped over UK in the standings in the latest A/P polls to #16 –or should I say Blue plummeted past us after their latest loss in the relatively weak SEC.

In this game, Pitino’s face turned various shades of ashen gray as this injury-diluted, makeshift Card squad struggled to find the right defensive assignments in the first half.  A normally poor shooting DePaul team  shot over 50% on 2’s and over 41% on 3’s–and beaten us 8-2 on fast break points in that first half.   The Cards trailed most of the half and  by as much as 9 pts,   before mounting a comeback to tie at halftime.

It had not been pretty.  And it didn’t get much better.

King Kyle Kuric led the way offensively for the Cards with 19 points.

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But we won.  In the second half, the Cards offense still sputtered, but our  D was better as we held them to roughly their normal season shooting averages, and our ball movement was better —  Kyle Kuric popped in 10 pts, Chris Smith came alive and contributed 7 , and  Terrence Jennings added 6 more–  and continued to build on his string of his solid rebounding performances since Gorgui Dieng went down. (After slamming his head to the floor after being upended on an attempted block a few games ago, Gorgui still has difficulty in the arena because of the lights and noise…and there is no timeframe for his return…)

Terrence Jennings continued his resurgence since the Marquette Miracle, contributing 6 pts and 5 key boards in the second half surge. TJ had averaged11 pts and 7 boards since the Marquette game.

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And we finally pushed  ahead and held on to win.

The Cards  played virtually the whole game with 6 players–none of  the other four players available for action logged more than 3 minutes game time.  Additionally, late in the second half, we had two more injuries to those six bodies still standing: Peyton Siva  crashed to the floor on his side and hurt his back, and is still uncertain, and Chris Smith took a less-than-friendly -fire, elbow to the top of his right eye–accidentally from TJ!– that spurted blood on the court in front of my photographer and required a large bandage (and likely a number of stitches.)

Late in the second half, Siva slams down on his side , twisting his back. He came back into the game and led us to the W...but his back stiffened--making him miss a late key lay-up late in the game. His injury status and prognosis was unknown by Pitino at the presser but he voiced some concern

After Siva, Chris Smith took a sharp elbow above the eye from..TJ accidentally. That's gonna hurt...

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But at least no concussion…

So…on to South Bend…where we  have traditionally  sucked big time.

Winnable three starters down ago…maybe even two.  But now….hmmm.

No question this team has incredible  heart.  But does it have the  bodies to grind through the last–and toughest–part of its schedule?

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How AnVillenHd saw the game:

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Main Hell in the Hall photographer Matt Wickham’s full set of over 100 photos of  this game are in the sidebar at right—>>

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Random reasonably interesting tidbits in the press handouts–all before the DePaul game:

Chris Smith is the Cards leading rebounder in Big East games.  He is also 2nd in the Big East in 3 pt % in 12th in 2 ‘s %.

Preston Knowles ranks 4th in the Big East in Biggest Scoring increase from 2009 to 2010:  7.2 last year, 14.9 this yr–Kemba Walker ranks 2nd…

Incredibly..Preston now ranks 8th all time in 3 ptrs– just passed Larry O’Bannon on 3 ptrs for a career …and is only 16 behind Francisco Garcia, 21 behind Terrence Williams !

The Cards are averaging nine 3’s a game–second all time in school history

Louisville has been in the top 5 teams in steals virtually all season, at 9.9 /game.  The Cards have recorded at least 6 steals in 27 straight games–a school record and the longest active streak in the country.

TJ has been on fire since the Marquette Miracle , averaging almost a triple double at 11 pts and 7 boards per game.

Louisville is one of only 10 schools wearing the newest Adidas high-tech uniforms–30% lighter and dry twice as fast.

Eight members of the Cardinal team were named to the AD’s Honor Roll with GPA of 3.0 or better–Rakeem Buckles, Terrence Jennings, Elisha Justice, Kyle Kuric, Mike Marra, Peyton Siva, Chris Smith, and Stephan Van Treese.

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