Today’s sermon is for University of Louisville basketball fans.
Oh ye of little faith:
Don’t ever sell your coach or his teams short.
As Yogi Berra is famous for saying, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
And here’s a message for the coach,, Rick Pitino: You don’t have to worry about Elisha Justice being scared. This kid from the mountains has been there and done that on the biggest stage in Kentucky, Rupp Arena. He led his Pike County team, Shelby Valley, to the state championship last year and was voted Most Valuable Player and Mr. Basketball.
Now, about those empty seats in the most expensive sections of KFC Yum! Center when fans started bailing out when the Cardinals got behind Marquette 65-49 with only about five and a half minutes left.
Yes, the U of L players noticed. And did the Cardinals ever show the fans what they were missing!
Preston Knowles, the Cardinals’ captain, stepped up and showed why he is U of L’s leader. Three pointer after three pointer, Knowles was relentless and it was his pass to Kyle Kuric for a layup with just four seconds left that accounted for the final score: Louisville 71, a shocked Marquette 70.
Pitino is famous for his teams’ unbelievable comebacks at Kentucky. And, while it may take him a while, he more than gets even. For instance: His first season at UK, he took a depleted team to Kansas where the Jayhawks, put an embarrassing 150-95 licking on the Wildcats. The next year in Lexington, Pitino got even when his Cats whipped Kansas 88-71.
With so many highly ranked teams in the Big East Conference, it will take comeback after comeback for U of L to be in contention. But you can be sure that Pitino and his Cards got the attention of every other Big East member.
No Unseld, Tyra
And while speaking to U of L fans, here’s a line I never thought I would write:
The Cardinals miss Samardo Samuels.
It would not be fair to compare him with Charlie Tyra, Wes Unseld, Pervis Ellison or Rodney McCray. And I know that the big guy wasn’t, on the list of the best centers in the country last season, but he at least gave the Cardinals a defensive presence around the basket and a rebounding threat.
This year’s U of L team has neither.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Earl Cox, Sports Columnist
Earl doesn¹t just write about sports legends, he counts many of them as his
friends. A member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been writing
about sports for 60 years. Incidentally, that¹s about how long it’s been
since he¹s cleaned his desk but he knows where everything is.