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Monday, January 9, 2012

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nick Dawson Commits to Louisville

Linebacker Nick Dawson announced after the first quarter of the Army All-American game that he was choosing to attend the University of Louisville. At 6'2" and 225 lbs, Dawson will be a nice replacement for Dexter Heyman and will work alongside Preston Brown. Dawson is a four star prospect and a top 15 nationally ranked linebacker.

Dawson's biggest strength is his run defense; this kid is POWERFUL. He excels at shedding blocks and bringing runners down with ease. His main weakness is his pass coverage, which isn't all too weak. He can't cover slot receivers very well, but I have a feeling that Coach Strong will find a way for him to be effective in the pass game.

Notre Lame vs. Louisville Preview

The 9-6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish head to the Yum! Center on Saturday to take on the 13-2 Louisville Cardinals. This game should be an easy one for the Cardinals due to the Irish's best player, Tim Abromitis, going down with an ACL injury at the beginning of the season. While the last 10 games between these two teams have been decided by overtime, I feel confident that the Cardinals will handle business during regulation.

The Irish are a very mediocre team. They haven't had a significant win yet this season, and they haven't really played all that well either. They are lead by sophomore guard Eric Atkins, who is averaging 14 points and 3 rebounds per game. Their second best player, sophomore Jerian Grant, is seventh in the nation in assist to turnover ratio with 3.46 and is averaging 12 points per game. Apart from those two, the Irish do not have another reliable threat. Senior guard Scott Martin isn't having a good year, which has definitely impacted this Notre Dame due to the fact he is the most experienced player they have.

What I'm looking for in the game is for the Cardinals to cut down on the turnovers. I have no problem with their defense, they can create turnovers at will, but it's the offense that has yet to catch fire. I expect big things out of the Cards for this game.

Predicted Score: 76-67 Louisville

Predicted Star of the Game: Kyle Kuric. After that jam last season, I'm having a good feeling he's going to do it again, just so the Irish don't forget who he is.

Predicted Sixth Man of the Game: Russ. I don't need to explain myself.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Villenhd Strikes Again

Oh. My. God. Villenhd strikes again with beautiful highlights of the Louisville and St. John's game. Every day I'm Russ-elin.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

An Ode to Russ

Russ Smith has provided a spark for the Cardinals lately, becoming the most effective and deadly weapon off of the bench. As a tribute to Russ, I would like to deliver a bunch of obnoxious puns that include his name, just as a tribute to all of the hard work he has put in lately.

1. Every day I'm Russ-elin. (Hustlin')

2. That kid is dange-Russ! (Dangerous)

3. The best part of pizza is the c-Russ-t. (Crust, I'm reaching now)

4. This is Russ-See TV! (Must-See)

5. Russ is the only player we can T-Russ-t. (Trust)

6. He is the definition of Russ-ell Athletics. (I know you thought that one was clever)

Yes, corny as hell, probably not funny at all, but fun to say if you're a Louisville fan. In Russ we trust!

Go Cards.

Peyton Siva Is a Finalist For the Cousy Award

Peyton Siva has been named one of the 20 finalists for the prestigious 2012 Bob Cousy Award. This award is given to the best point guard in the nation. Yes, Siva hasn't been effective at ALL here lately. But I think people are realizing his potential, which has definitely shown throughout his career. Whatever funk he is in right now, maybe being a top-20 finalist will give him the confidence he needs to be the point guard we know he is.

Personally, at this exact moment I want Russ to win the award, I want Russ to win EVERY award. Yes, it's Russ now, not Russ Smith; just Russ. Russ sounds better. Everyday I'm Russ-lin'.

2012 Bob Cousy Award 20 Finalists
Pierre Jackson, Baylor
Shabazz Napier, UConn
Ray McCallum, Detroit
Seth Curry, Duke
Erving Walker, Florida
Scott Machado, Iona
Casper Ware, Long Beach State
Peyton Siva, Louisville
Trey Burke, Michigan
Dee Bost, Mississippi State
Phil Pressey, Missouri
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
D.J. Cooper, Ohio
Zack Rosen, Pennsylvania
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
Damian Lillard, Weber State
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
Tu Holloway, Xavier

Siva's just chillin'. No big deal.

Go Cards.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Everyone say please and thank you

Although the football season is over and the basketball season is underway, the football team is getting a ton of attention. Louisville football with Charlie Strong at the helm is on its way to the top. Louisville landed yet another former Florida Gator football player today with Gerald Christian following his teammate Robert Clark. Gerald had 4 catches for 72 yards and a TD for Florida this past year. I don't know about you guys, but I know I'm excited about all the athletes Charlie is bringing in.

Louisville vs. St. Johns Recap

Last night was hopefully a start of another good runs for the Cards as they defeated St. John's Red Storm 73-58 to give them their first Big East conference win of the year.  The Cards didn't play particularly well on the offensive side of the ball, but on defense they played magnificently well, holding St. John's to 5-35 shooting at the end of the first half, and 18-64 for the game.  Our free throw percentage wasn't as bad as it has been lately and we pulled down 44 rebounds while adding 10 blocks (seven of those going to Dieng). St. Johns is a talented team, but as Coach Pitino pointed out in the post-game conference, they're still very a young squad whose confidence depends solely on shots dropping.  We held the Red Storm to 28% from the field and 12% from beyond the arc, and that means we are obviously doing something right. Kevin Ware got some playing time in this one, but he didn't play too well scoring only two points and adding four turnovers.  Ware will definitely get better as time goes on though, and you could see that with SOME of the things he did with the ball last night. All in all last night wasn't an off the charts performance, probably the sloppiest double digit win the Cards have had this season.  Louisville's tough defense will probably keep the Cards in the hunt this year, and once the offense catches up, they will be the team to beat in April and March.  Louisville plays Notre Lame Dame this Saturday at 4pm at the Yum! Center. That should be a great game.

Go Cards


K Kuric , F395-112-23-90550013415
C Behanan , F213-91-20-0314010107
G Dieng , C355-82-20-02792273312
C Smith , G232-60-12-5134300116
P Siva , G182-32-21-1033410357
R Smith 235-154-43-61347403417
J Swopshire 192-40-00-0279211014
K Ware 161-30-10-1022401432
R Buckles 51-11-20-0101000103
E Justice 10-00-00-0000000000


M Harkless , F354-134-40-31562033112
G Achiuwa , F322-60-00-0336000224
S Pointer , F272-112-20-3347052356
D Harrison , G398-186-72-62683301324
P Greene , G320-93-40-2235411133
A Garrett 221-41-40-1022020233
M Stith 131-34-40-1202001016

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Louisville lands another recruit

Four-Star Miami linebacker James Burgess Jr. committed to the University of Louisville today. Burgess wanted to make the announcement during the All-American game on Saturday, but opted to make his decision public after the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. He was previously committed to Miami but withdrew. He had offers from Miami, LSU, North Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, and Cincinnati just to name a few.

He didn't really get a chance to play his senior season due to a broken hand, but he is expected to be good to go during spring practices.

There's something about Charlie Strong that the state of Florida is attracted to, and I love that.

Here is a video of Burgess's highlights, I have a feeling that the rest of #CardNation is going to be impressed.

Go Cards.

One Last Thing

77 miles makes a world of difference

Well, today I was just scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I saw something that said, "I hate UK fans, but I despise UK "fans" who magically appear after they win. At least be passionate year round."  This got me thinking about how great of a fan base the University of Louisville really has. As my colleague mentioned in the St. John's preview (which you should read) it has been a depressing week for Louisville sports, and we've,  "been sitting in the dark listening to Adele..." to just try to come to grips with Louisville maybe being overrated.   But through even tough losses, CardNation remains standing strong, which is something you can't say for the most part happens just down the road.  

UofL and UK only stand 77.6 miles apart according to Google maps, but the worlds remain completely different.  One thing I have noticed, which the quote in the first paragraph points out, is that it's not necessarily the University of Kentucky that Louisville fans disagree with, it's mostly the fan base.  There is no doubt that Kentucky is a talented team, but that is to be expected after they continue  to land top recruits year in and year out.  

Our problem with the UK fan base is not really with the true UK, "fans" which follow the athletics program as a true fan would, but the UK, "fans" who only seem to appear when they get a big win, such as the win this past saturday.  According to yahoosports.com, Louisville basketball revenue is second to only Duke University, while Kentucky slides in at a modest 7th place bringing in $9.1 million shy of it's in-state rival.  That alone shows the true dedication of Louisville fans around the country.      

What I love about being a Louisville fan is that it isn't a bandwagon. We aren't usually considered elite like UK, Duke, North Carolina, or Ohio State, but we still play with the best of them. We're a hard working team that hasn't made it past the first round of the tournament 7 out of the 10 years Coach Pitino has been around. Why do we feel such a connection to Louisville athletics? Is it the fact that you will not find any bandwagon fans? Could it be because no matter how they perfrom, we are still proud of our team? There's a million reasons to love Louisville. The reason I love the Cards is because they are what seperates us from UK. 

Whenever the rest of the country thinks about Kentucky they automatically assume "inbred", "hick", or "racist" (Adolph Rupp gave that one to UK). Louisville is so much more than that. The city is urban, hip hop stars love that (Webbie, Big Boi, TUPAC) and we have one of the nicest arenas in America with the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville reminds me of Rocky against Drago in Rocky IV. Drago is like UK; they are younger, faster, and have all around natural talent mixed with one of the top workout facilities in America. Rocky has to naturally train and work as hard as he can to even measure up to Drago. No matter how many punches Rocky took, he kept attacking and attacking, never giving up. Louisville has taken many punches this season, but they are still staggering and standing. I'm so proud of that.

Who knows what the future will hold for the basketball team, but I do know that we will keep fighting until that final buzzer sounds. At the end of the game, win or lose, we will always be proud to be fans. We are true underdogs this season, and Louisville fans wouldn't have it any other way.  And that is how 77 miles makes a world of difference.  Louisville fans will be proud whether ESPN considers them an underdog or one of the nations top programs, because we feel a true connection to our team and our city.  So here's to Lousville fans everywhere for truely supporting the University and city no matter what. 

Go Cards.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Louisville vs. St. John's Preview

It was a depressing week for Louisville fans last week. With the football team losing to NC State in the Belk Bowl and the basketball team dropping two straight games to Georgetown and UK, I've been sitting in the dark listening to Adele and trying to come to grips with the fact that Louisville may be overrated...maybe not that dramatic, but internally I was torn up.

Luck can change for the new year though! The Louisville Cardinals kick off 2012 with a game against St. John's; and get this, it's an AWAY game. The Cards head to Madison Square Garden to take on the 7-6 Red Storm.

St. John's is having a very difficult season under their new interim coach Mike Dunlap, who had to step in as current head coach Steve Lavin recovers from prostate cancer surgery back in October. Along with a new coaching change, the Red Storm have been forced to use just seven players so far in conference play. This is going to come as a big advantage to Louisville who will be looking to attack this already weakened team.

Russ Smith, who leads the Cardinals with 10.7 shots per game, is a Brooklyn native; so I expect him to shoot the ball at least 15 times. I'm comfortable with that, I'm finally at ease with the fact that we have to trust Russ Smith to get anything going on both sides of the ball. After shooting 50% against a defensively elite Kentucky team, this kid can take on a short-handed St. John's team.

The Cardinals have won five of the last six meetings between the two teams, and I don't expect them to pull off a surprise upset tomorrow. The Red Storm are abysmal from beyond the arc, shooting a conference-low 26%. The only real weapon they have is freshman guard Moe Harkless, who is averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds per game. He will definitely be the person that the Cardinals have to key on, although I imagine they won't have too much trouble with that.

What we need to see out of Louisville is team chemistry. I feel like everyone is playing lackadaisically lately, the offense doesn't look like they want to play together nor do they look like they care. The Cardinals are lacking leadership and command on the court, which was what Siva and Kuric were supposed to do this year. I have a feeling that they are going to bring their A-game against the Red Storm, they have something to prove to the team and the fans. As for Chris Smith, I have no idea where he is right now. I'm upset at how overrated he is, I'm expecting JR Smith to come out in him, but that has yet to happen. He plays scared. Joining Smith in the "what the hell are you doing?" category is Chane Behanan. After he expertly predicted Louisville to go undefeated, we lost twice. He has been a non factor lately, not even being able to make the simple LAYUP. This only fuels my excitement for the return of Wayne Blackshear.

Pitino said it himself, "These next four games are crucial for us. If we don't come away with four W's it's going to be a fight to the finish, just like it has been a lot of other years recently." We need this win, not just to improve our conference record, but to improve our morale. I can only imagine how shaken Siva is after that horrendous game he turned in against UK.

I'm confident that the Cardinals will win this game convincingly. But, like I have said before, you can NEVER underestimate your opponent. Especially when playing Louisville.

Predicted Score: 81-67 Louisville

Predicted Star AND Sixth Man of the Game: I've been battling this one for a while, but I'm going to go with Russ Smith. He'll come off the bench and shoot the lights out.

Go Cards.

Louisville Falls To Number 11 in the Top 25

Louisville fell to number 11 in the AP Top 25 Poll after two losses to Georgetown and Kentucky last week. The Cards hope to bounce back tomorrow against St. John's. I, for one, firmly believe Indiana is the most underrated team in the country, whenever you defeat Kentucky and Ohio State you deserve to be top 5; not stuck behind a struggling Louisville team on a two game losing streak.

Last week was a terrible week for Louisville athletics. We must have done something to anger the sports Gods. Here's the top 25 as of now, Louisville seems to be ranked just a little bit too high for my taste.

The Associated Press Top 25 Poll

1Syracuse (60)15-016181
2Kentucky (5)13-115543
3North Carolina13-214515
6Ohio State13-212772
10Michigan State13-299216
15Mississippi State13-264415
19Murray State14-045420
23Kansas State11-122926
24San Diego State12-219625

Go Cards.