Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Morning Shootaround

Louisville hung on against a game Mississippi team to win 77-68. Ole Miss was down as much as 17 in the first half, but came all the way back and at one point took the lead with under ten minutes to go in the game. But down the stretch, Louisville was just too much.

When are the Cardinals going to put it all together? These guys are clearly extremely talented, but it just always seems like they are missing something. Last night, it was the ability to finish inside. The Cardinals must have missed 15 lay-ups. Samardo Samuels was the worst. He finished with 9 offensive rebounds (15 total), but he only had 9 points because he was 2-13 from the floor. I can't remember him taking one shot outside of the paint, either.

The problem was he didn't go up strong. He was looking for contact and trying to avoid getting his shot blocked when all he needed to go was go through defenders and to the rim.

The good news for Louisville is that they actually shot the ball pretty well from deep, going 9-25. That means in their last two games, they are shooting 40% from beyond the arc (20-50). With the guys that they have, I still think that they take way too many three's.

Earl Clark had his best game since he has been at Louisville. He finished with a career-high 25 points, 16 boards, 5 assists and 6 blocks. 18 of his 25 came in the first half as Louisville built a 17 point lead. But Mississippi came storming back. The biggest reason why? Louisville's missed shots inside. The Cardinals killed to Rebels on the glass (57-37), but their inability to finish easy looks around the rim meant that Louisville could not get into their press. As a result, Mississippi was able to get into a rhythm and gain some confidence offensively.

I guarantee that everyone involved with this Mississippi season wishes there was a do over button. First, it was Trevor Gaskins going down for the season. Next was Eniel Polynice. Then Andy Kennedy was arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly cursing at and assaulting a cab driver in Cincinnati. Now, Chris Warren, the team's starting point guard and best player, looks like he is done for the season. With under a minute to go last night, Warren was just trying to get a quick basket for Ole Miss. He drove the lane, and after coming to a jump stop and elevating to shoot, he immediately went to the ground and grabbed his left knee. He still needs to get an MRI to confirm it, but more than likely he tore his acl. It really is too bad, because Mississippi was coming off of a 20 win season last year, brought back a ton of talent, and plays in a good mid-major the weak SEC.

The rest of the night's games:

  • North Carolina 91, Evansville 73: Tyler Hansbrough set the UNC career scoring record.
  • Gonzaga 84, Texas Southern 42
  • Cincinnati 75, Mississippi State 63: Why are these two teams playing in one of the four games in the SEC/Big East Invitational? The Bearcats hit nine three's in the first half and closed the half on a 20-2 run, sparked by four Deonta Vaughn three's. Vaughn finished with 16 and 6 assists.

No comments: