Tag:Louisville
Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:06 am
 

Podcast: Full-fledged Louisvile-Kentucky preview

By Matt Norlander

On Saturday at noon on CBS, one of college basketball's best rivalries -- some, including today's guest, say it's the best -- will be renewed when Louisville heads into Rupp Arena to face Kentucky. Plenty aren't giving U of L much of a chance. Is that fair? Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones joins me to discuss how this week has been down in the Bluegrass State.

Jones, a former writer here at the blog, is based out of Louisville and has become the fan's voice for UK hoops. We did some podcast collaboration last season, and with this big game upcoming, it felt right to wrap up 2011 by getting him back on. Good news Louisville fans: he doesn't totally mock you or your team! Surprising how reserved he was, in fact.

We resolve to discuss:
  • From the beginning: Jones did used to write for the blog, so we get reacquainted to start things off, then talk about how much Kentucky fans hate Goodman and Parrish.
  • 6:01: It's pretty fair to say Kentucky is not playing as completely as it could be. Why is that? How are the fans reacting to this season so far? They seem balanced, surprisingly.
  • 10:50: What's up with Terrence Jones?
  • 14:39: Talking U of L-UK, and so much of it is Pitino vs. Calipari. The two purely hate each other. Jones offers up some anecdotes.
  • 18:00: Normally, the UK players get up for this game, but it's not something that consumes them. This year, that doesn't seem to be the case.
  • 23:58: Talking national hoops with Jones. There's a group of 11 he sees as the most likely to make the Final Four. Beyond that, it's a big drop-off in terms of New Orleans expectations.
  • 29:52: Wrapping it up with some NYE talk and the Duke-UNC/UK-Louisville rivalry comparison.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


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Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:46 pm
 

Podcast: Doug McDermott vs. Barnes debate begins

By Matt Norlander

It's that soft spot between Christmas and New Year's, but lots of good basketball is about to get going thanks to conference play starting in earnest. Goodman, Parrish and I have our weekly Wednesday podcast here to discuss: Jordan Taylor's somehow underrated play this year; Creighton's Doug McDermott is about to explode on the national college hoops landscape; Rick Pitino can't be trusted; and this week is so huge for Louisville. The next three games, really: Wednesday vs. Georgetown; Saturday at Kentucky; Jan. 3 against St. John's.
 
We mix in some other things, too, particularly at the beginning, when I learn Parrish was once a pizza delivery boy.

Menu:
  • From the beginning: Some weekend wrap-up/catchup chatter. Sometimes this is the best parts of the podcast. It wanders into talking about Seth Greenberg, because of course.
  • 9:00: As for the here and now, it starts with Jordan Taylor, who Goodman saw in person last night. He's not having a down year, you know.
  • 16:29: Now we get to Doug McDermott, who's having an insane year, a First Team All America-level year so far. We've been on McDermott since the summer, but it feels like the coming weeks will finally bring widespread pub and love to a player who's doing much better so far this season than a guy named Jimmer last season.
  • 20:50: This conversation/debate could gain traction if McDermott continues to play so well, but we touch on Harrison Barnes vs. McDermott as college players (the two were high school teammates).
  • 24:09: Why we do not believe Rick Pitino.
  • 27:56: Podcast comes to a close with a nine-minute discussion on the next three games for U of L: Georgetown, Kentucky, St. John's (yes, St. John's). I think it's the most critical non-postseason three-game stretch the Cards have this season.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


Get CBSSports.com College Basketball updates on Facebook   



Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Pitino gives an end date for his coaching career

By Matt Norlander

If you told Louisville fans they get five and a half more seasons with Rick Pitino, they'd of course take it. And they'd savor every game of it, because coaches like Pitino are throwbacks, rarities. He's equal parts competent as a motivator and an X-and-O man. Respected by many, Pitino, it can be argued, is one of the 20 greatest coaches in college basketball history.

At his press conference today, prior to U of L's Big East opener against Georgetown, Pitino offered where he sees himself in just over five years -- retired.

Card Chronicle's Mike Rutherford tweeted out the Pitino quote this afternoon that simply says: "My contract runs until 2017 and I'm not coaching past that."

CBSSports.com Louisville Rapid Reporter Evan Hilbert followed with more context:
Coach Rick Pitino said earlier this season that he could coach until he was 90. He has since softened his stance. “When you're 59, you're realistic that you don't have a lot of years left,” Pitino said. “My contract runs out in 2017 – I'm not coaching anymore after that.”
We've got a long way to go until then. There could very well be Final Fours and a national title awaiting Pitino from now until then. What I do know: I never trust what coaches say, 100 percent. At 64, Pitino could feel as good and as healthy as he did when he was 45. And if in January of 2016, he sees a top-five recruiting class coming in, who's to say he doesn't extend his contract another three years? Louisville would be more than willing if the Cards were in such a position.

So we'll see. After all, it's more than five years from now. Remember another recent, famous, aborted five-year promise? We know how that turned out.

It's nice that Pitino has some perspective, is thinking about his family and realizes his mortality. But just because he says he's done in 2017 doesn't mean that's the case. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find Pitino coaching at 65 years old. No one knows who they'll be in five years, let alone how they'll feel. Walking away from the game is something coaches and players struggle with more than almost anything else. Pitino can be wrong about this. Louisville fans are already wishing for it.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:16 pm
 

Russ Smith gives Louisville a boost off the bench

By Jeff Borzello

Louisville was struggling mightily in the second half against Charleston on Tuesday night, at both ends of the floor.

Then Russ Smith happened.

The sophomore guard had 10 points and four steals in the final 14 minutes to help the Cardinals overcome an eight-point deficit and beat Charleston by seven.

He was the catalyst for Louisville turning up its defensive pressure down the stretch, using his quick hands and nose for the ball to create havoc on the defensive end. Smith made life miserable for Charleston’s guards, forcing other players to bring the ball up the court and initiate the offense – part of the reason the Cougars finished with 22 turnovers.

“He provides an energy that we need late in games,” Kyle Kuric told reporters after the game. “Especially when we’re trying to pick up our intensity and press.”

Offensively, Smith has the ability to play both guard positions, but is at his best when chaos is happening. He loves to knock down transition 3-pointers and is also very athletic around the rim. Smith does have a tendency to take some ill-advised shots at times, but it’s the highlights that transformed the Cardinals late in the game.

“You have to live with the occasional bad shot with him,” head coach Rick Pitino told reporters. “You have to live with the occasional, I don’t know, you just have to live with him because he’s so good and so talented.”

On the season, Smith is averaging 9.3 points and 2.5 steals off the bench, but he’s played an increasingly bigger role in the past few games. When the Cardinals need him, he’s stepped up. Against Long Beach State, Smith had 11 points and four assists. Smith finished with 24 points and seven steals against Memphis, and then there was last night’s performance.

Smith is the perfect asset for Pitino as a sixth man. He makes plays on defense and knocks down 3-pointers at the other end. He’s terrific in transition and provides high energy at all times.

With all the injuries Louisville has had – and Peyton Siva still suffering from a bone bruise in his ankle – expect Smith to play a bigger role as the season progresses.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: December 19, 2011 2:44 pm
 

Podcast: Year in Review, Part One

By Matt Norlander

Gonna have today's and Wednesday's podcasts dedicated in part to looking back on the year in college hoops and sharing our favorite memories. So Borzello joins me today to do just that.

We also touch on Washington/Pac-12, underachieving teams with chances to win their leagues, and a whole bunch of Christmas talk that's sure to get you into the spirit, primarily because we discuss Home Alone and Voltron.

The rundown:
  • From the beginning: Pardon Borzello and mine's voices, as we've been clogged up with colds since the weekend.
  • 2:51: Borzello's five favorite memories from college basketball in 2011.
  • 7:49: Three of my five favorites (I'm saving two more for Wednesday's podcast).
  • 13:53: Lots of teams out there with five losses. Good teams, too. We each picked two teams that fit such a description as those we believe will make the NCAA tournament/likely win their conference.
  • 17:57: Whoa, I think that's a shot at Jon Rothstein!
  • 22:15: Christmas talk, OH YEAH! We have passions about our favorite and least favorite Christmas songs. You will surely agree with one of us.
  • 29:13: Wherein we come to the agreement: Home Alone 2 was the last classic Christmas movie.
  • 33:30: Wrapping up the podcast with holiday chatter and cheer.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


Get CBSSports.com College Basketball updates on Facebook   

Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Louisville's Behanan: "We're going undefeated."

By Jeff Borzello

Like the Kentucky vs. Louisville game in two weeks needed any more ammunition between the two teams.

Louisville freshman Chane Behanan had some interesting things to say after the Cardinals beat Memphis on Saturday.

“We’re the No. 1 team in the country in my eyes,” Behanan said. “We’re going undefeated. Point blank, period.”

Oh boy.

Louisville? The best team in the country? I think unbeatens such as Syracuse, Missouri and Baylor might have something to say about that. Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio State probably have an argument too.

With that said, there’s a better chance of Louisville being No. 1 than going undefeated.

Sure, the Cardinals are 10-0 with wins over Memphis and Vanderbilt, but undefeated? They have Georgetown and Kentucky before the calendar turns, and then the entire Big East gauntlet in January and February, not to mention a season finale at Syracuse.

Strong words from anyone, let alone a freshman.

I get that Behanan is just being confident, and you love to see that from a newcomer, but this comment could come back to bite him.

(h/t Card Chronicle) 

Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:05 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2011 9:44 pm
 

Memphis lost again (but will be fine)

By Gary Parrish

MEMPHIS -- The easiest thing to do is point to last season and insist this is exactly the same.

But it's not the same.

Despite Memphis' 5-4 record and lack of number beside its name, these Tigers aren't like those Tigers because those Tigers were awful. They were 8-1 at this point last season, and that looked OK on the surface. But they had been blasted by Kansas, struggled with Miami and LSU and taken to overtime by Arkansas State and Austin Peay. Memphis never really got better and went on to finish 10-6 in Conference USA. It was a bad season. But it won't happen again.

Because this team is not that team.

So while this city is in (basketball) panic-mode after Saturday's 95-87 loss at fourth-ranked Louisville that dealt the Tigers their fourth defeat in nine games, it's worth reminding people that context matters. Memphis hasn't been pushed by the likes of Arkansas State and Austin Peay. The four losses this season are to four ranked teams -- namely No. 4 Louisville, No. 16 Georgetown, No. 20 Michigan and No. 24 Murray State -- and the Tigers were in three of those four games until the final minute.

Is that good?

No.

They need to learn how to close and win.

A team ranked 11th in the preseason shouldn't have four losses already.

But a lot of the questions that plagued last season's team aren't issues with this season's team. They're much better offensively (top 30 in offensive efficiency), and they have an obvious star in Will Barton (28 points and 16 rebounds on Saturday). That's why Memphis will get rolling once league play begins and string wins in January like John Calipari's teams used to do.

Which reminds me of the 2008-09 Memphis team.

You remember that team?

That team started 6-3 with losses to Xavier, Georgetown and Syracuse, and that team didn't look good through nine games, either. But then Tyreke Evans turned into a star and the Tigers started overwhelming overmatched opponents in Conference USA, and my guess is that this season will evolve into something similar to that season. Does that mean I'm predicting a 27-game winning streak? No. But I do believe the Tigers will win 13 or 14 C-USA games, take the league title, win the C-USA tournament at FedExForum, make the NCAA tournament and be a scary outfit on their side of the bracket in March. All the advanced statistics suggest that's likely because all the advanced statistics suggest this team is closer to the 2008-09 team that overachieved than it is to the 2010-11 team that underachieved.

Bottom line, Memphis will be fine.

I really believe that.

The 5-4 record looks bad right now, obviously.

But I bet it's still something like 26-8 on Selection Sunday.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 9:40 am
 

Podcast: This one's all over the place

By Matt Norlander

Jason McIntyre has built up the most successful independent sports blog in Internet history. He runs TheBigLead.com. He also happens to be a fanatical college hoops fan.  (Fun fact: I did a couple of hoops posts for TBL back in '08, and almost became a freelance writer on the site until he greedily and rightfully wanted to take on that endeavor himself prior to the '09-10 season. Now look who's coming on whose podcast.)

In what's one of the more fun podcasts we've had so far, Jason and I go back and forth on a number of topics. Some hoops, some not -- the whole thing really flies by. The man's got his opinions; his polarity is what's made his blog a must-read on a daily basis for so many. And why he's well over 31,000 Twitter followers.

It was a pleasure to finally get Jason back on after a glitch in the recording of a previous podcast prevented it from publishing. It's good to step outside the realm of talking strictly hoops and go after some other subjects, and we do that here.

The roundup:
  • From the beginning: Introducing Jason to the podcast.
  • 2:50: Coach K and Pat Summitt earned the Sportsman/Sportswoman of the Year. Right choice? And did you ever notice how SI, in retrospect, almost always picks the right person for this?
  • 4:45: All thoughts on UNC-UK, and why the argument being propped up against a title game rematch in hoops (like LSU-Alabama in football) is beyond foolish.
  • 9:40: Lots of draft talk/potential here. Barnes, Sullinger, Thomas Robinson, Perry Jones, Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, Brad Beal, plenty more. Looking big picture can be fun, even if it's early.
  • 15:55: NBA draft and the age limit.
  • 18:45: Tables get turned on me, and J-Mac tosses some questions my way. We talk about media-type stuff, and he fluffs CBSSports.com up and mentions the big hires we've made. I was completely awkward talking about this, but it's that kind of awkward energy that I know you're looking for when you tune in. There's also talk of how we do what we do here at the blog, the method behind it, etc. 
  • 28:04: The college basketball season is one month old, and here's the big debate. Big Ten the best conference? I think so. McIntyre says the Big East. And he hates tempo-free stats. And Wisconsin. Oh, yes. It's about to get ugly up in this piece.
  • 35:09: How can someone be a fan of Syracuse and Georgetown? Listen as McIntyre tries to persuade you.
  • 38:50: Our favorite announcers in the game wraps up the chat.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts go up here and on iTunes. The Wednesday show is dedicated to keeping the egos of CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish inflated. Mondays and Fridays are for the real people to come on. Here's the iTunes link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. If you're still going strong and hanging on to a Zune, then, yes, you can listen on that as well.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com