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Blog Entry

Red n White Scrimmage 26 Oct 2008

Posted on: October 28, 2008 2:53 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2008 3:05 pm
 

The best surprise of the night: Terrence Jennings. I thought TJen was fearless and frankly that he out-hustled Samardo. I can see why the Godfather said he jumps out of the gym; he will probably be the team's lead shot blocker unless his PT is extremely limited.  In fact, I bet by the time February rolls around, I will be digging up UL blocking stats to see where he stands. TJen is to UL as Thabeet was to UConn last year.  (I give him credit for being more developed as a frosh than Thabeet was.)

'Swop', as I heard his teammates call him, showed more determination and skill than I expected; he was the second best surprise of the night. Fearlessness is a word everyone is using for this kid and for good reason. Alas, the long dreadlocks are gone. I was so looking forward to that change of scenery on the floor.

Jerry Smith, on the other hand, was the biggest let down of the evening. Outside shooting was off as was his ball handling. I almost felt as if the level of talent surrounding him over whelms him.  If you think about it, that could mean great things about the team. Meanwhile Jerry, we still luv ya. If you're looking for your place on the team, just keep listening to coach.

Samardo got lots of love for his 36-16 night out. Yes, he's as athletic as hyped; a very flexible, quick and strong post player. Nice hands showed with some putbacks. The best part?  Hitting free throws!  I bet coach doesn't like that fade step-back he does at the end of his shots, but hey it works.  SS will command a double team because of this; opponents will have to try to prevent entry passes.  So the key for a title run as far as SS goes is for him to be able to spot the open wing or guard for an easy jumper or open 3.

Reggie..  is it ok if we call you Reggie? I wrote right after last year's scrimmage that you were the best scoring talent on the floor. Keep using your head like you do man, your PT will come and it's all good for the title run because the other BE coaches are paying attention to the headliners.  You and Swop and Preston,. you guys are the depth that's going to wear out the other teams.

Andre.. is it ok if we call you Roadrunner!?  Dude, where'd you get those new wheels!? You were fast last year, this year you look fantastic. If we could just get you and Preston on the starting 5, the Cards would lead the conference in steals and breakway layups. Congrats on all your hard work Andre; I think it's going to pay huge dividends this year.

I continue my man crush on Preston. Hasn't slowed down a bit. I watched him get angry when he couldn't shut down E5 in the paint after a mismatch pick paired them up. Preston, mad that he couldn't shut down our next NBA draft. What does that say about this kid! Thanks to front row seats courtesy of my now-favorite CBS poster Russ, I could also hear Preston hollering directions to his frosh teammates when he ran the point.  This kid will be a future team captain.

Speaking of man-crushes, are there any UL fans without one on TWill? Barred from playing due to his knee injury, the guy was all over the place handing out towels and water, slapping high fives, cheering on his teammates and shooting practice shots during the breaks.

Samardo has a very nice freethrow touch. He didn't seem active enough on his D, so I'm not sure if that made TJen look more potent than he really is. Both big men showed some flashes of good hands, too.

Earl. The man. Well, not the man any more, and I fear I saw that precise emotion in his eyes. Seemed frustrated that he wasn't able to dominate and perhaps forced a couple of plays. Fear not E5, it's only that you have much more talent surrounding you now, and those other guys, well they know you extremely well. You will get yours when real game time comes.

George Goode: I can't say much about him as he switched teams more than once. I had lasik surgery 3 days before the game and was unable to keep a good eye on him because of the switching.

Sosa..  Jury's still out dude. Some folks think you looked better. I didn't.  It's now or never though dude. If you don't produce - and do so exactly in the way coach wants - there is plenty of bench to turn to.  I personally think Preston should get your spot now. See Edgar, I'm just not the patronizing kind. I do think you have the talent and ability to do special things, but you kept letting your head get in the way. Here's hoping you are as reformed as my friends think you are.

Brickley. Who?? I have to go re-read our scouting archives. I remembered Steiden, who I am eagerly waiting to see what he does with the small minutes he will get, because he was one of the first Pitino targets of this class.  Oh yeah, and Will Scott is still there.

I am more excited than i was before seeing the kids - and I was already quite pumped.  It's very hard to remind myself that this was only a scrimmage and not to be considered a very telling display of what to expect.

Comments

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: October 30, 2008 4:41 pm
 

Red n White Scrimmage 26 Oct 2008

First of al David, I want to say that I am very impressed with this blog of yours. Very very professional. Top of the line. Cardinal fans, we are very blessed to have such a talented blogger / poster...and now that I can put a face to the name, I too am blessed by your perspective and thoroughly enjoyed sitting with you at the Scrimmage.

You have already covered all the highlights of the scrimmage, and I agree totally.

Always wanting to be a little cautious, I'm not quite ready to put my neck out there and talk about National Championship #3. Don't get me wrong. I am as excited about this team as anyone! To have 4 starters back from an Elite 8 team is reason enough.

Add in Reggie Delk, and the outlook is even better. Bring on Preston Knowles with a year under his belt, and you can just see teams cringing about his quickness and relentless D. Throw in the talented Samardo Samuals, the HS Player of the Year, and the heart rate goes up another notch. See TJ ( Terrance Jennings) and his athletic ability even as a freshman, and you are about to jump out of your skin.

Jerry Smith will find his shot and mojo. He has always started off slow... Sosa. I agree the jury is still out. But, he does have 2 years experience under fire, and knows what it atkes to get where he needs to be. I still have faith that Edgar will find his mojo this year.

So the depth in the backcourt is awesome. Coach Crum used to say that teams that win National Championships, have outstanding point guards and guard play. No doubt, this team has that with Dre, Preston, and Sosa. Reggie Delk to fill in, and maybe even Will Scott.

Our frontcourt tandem of Earl and Twill is one of the best in the BE..... hell it's one of the best in the Nation. Again Reggie will be asked to play a little 3-4 spot, but wil maintain the talent level.  After that guys, it's freshmen. Swop. A kid who looks to be 15, but plays at times like a veteran. The Godfather says he is a project. He is a freshman. ohhh babyyyy.

The 5 spot. To be manned by the HSPOY. Like the Godfather says, his press clippings won't get him that first dunk or rebound. He does look polished, much better than DC did when he came on board 2 years ago.  His back up is TJ. Another freshman. Athletic, yes. But still a freshman.  Our 5 spot to be manned by 2 outstanding freshmen.

This is where I think we may stumble some. This is our Question mark. We may be similar to some of Denny Crums team of the 80's, who ran people to death, played relentless D, and you didn't notice that our Center in 1980 was only 6'8 Rodney McCray. Right now I compare this team to that team of 1980. Strong upperclassmen, especially at the guard position where leadership is key. Athleticism like we haven't seen in quite a while.

National Championship #3??? It's very possible. As fans we have to learn to not live and die with every game. We could easily lose 5-6 games in the BE. The conference has as strong of competition as anywhere in the country. As a result, our freshmen will grow up and mature as the season progresses. We will be so much stronger in March than we will be Dec 1.

David, I am right there with ya my friend. I got my season tickets yesterday. I am pumped and ready to go. Anxious to watch how this season will unfold, and support this team to hopefully that NC # 3.




Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 3:03 pm
 

Red n White Scrimmage 26 Oct 2008

There is definitely a lot of promise in this season for UL.  Pitino has finally got a "fully stocked" team that should hopefully also be well equipped with depth in case the injury bug rears its head again (although with Pagett gone that decreases the risk of injury by like 90%).  UL and UNC, at the moment, clearly seem to be the best teams in the nation this year.  UL should be a fun team to watch, and if they can get consistent play from the PG position then they have an excellent shot to win title #3.  I just hope UK can play a perfect game and possibly beat them in January, but I'll be pulling for UL the rest of the way.


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