Tag Archives: Rick Pitino

Photo by Austin Lassell

Kevin Ware leaving Louisville

By Annie Moore

Kevin Ware confirmed through ESPN that he is transferring to finish his college career. Ware — who gained national attention when he broke his leg in last year’s national championship run — is reportedly going somewhere closer to his family in Georgia.

Ware red-shirted this season after averaging a mere 1.7 points per game in his first nine appearances  of the season, before suffering a leg injury to the same leg that was broken the previous season.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said “We wish Kevin godspeed.”

This is a developing story, the Louisville Cardinal will update as more information becomes available. 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Cards defeat Manhattan in thriller

By Annie Moore

The Louisville Cardinals opened NCAA Tournament play on Thursday night, when it defeated the Manhattan Jaspers 71-64 in an instant classic. After trading shots for the majority of the game, Luke Hancock stepped up in the final minutes of regulation to lift the Cards over the Jaspers.

“I think we needed this,” said Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino. “This was a great win for us, we can move on, and I think it will really help us. I’m glad we had a tight game that we had to fight back.”

Louisville got out to a slow start, shooting just 36% (12-of-33) from the field in the first half. Luke Hancock and Russ Smith each had eight points in the first half to lead the Cards. Montrezl Harrell had six points, and led the team in first-half rebounds with five, and blocks with two.

Smith had two steals on the night, which made him the all-time steals leader in University of Louisville history. The previous record was 245 steals, set by Peyton Siva.

While Louisville’s offense was sluggish in the first half, so was the Jaspers’. Each team made 12 shots, with Manhattan attempting 27. As is the case so many times, free throws were the difference, the Cards were 10-12 from the line, whereas Manhattan was just 2-2.

Headed into the second half, the Cards came out flat. Manhattan scored a quick four points to cut Louisville’s lead to just two points. It took Louisville four minutes to score a point in the second half.

The Jaspers tied it up 35-35 with 17:15 left in the game, and took its first lead with 16:22 left. A dunk from Montrezl Harrell with 16:04 left tied the score back up at 37-37.

The teams traded points in a second half that proved to be a battle to the very end. The second half saw constant lead changes, as the Cards piled up fouls and struggled to connect from outside the three-point arc.  The Cards were 4-13 on the night, whereas the Jaspers were 3-5.

But Hancock never said die. The senior scored eight points in the final two minutes of regulation to put Louisville on top when the final buzzer sounded.

Next up for Louisville, the Billikens of St. Louis University.

Photo by Austin Lassell

This is Louisville

By Noah Allison

As sudden as life is here comes the month of February. First semester started long ago, Teddy throwing touchdowns is but a blissful memory, and here is our men’s basketball team heading into the month of February with us.

With one month of regular season play left the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals have an 18-4 record. There is a great support for these heroes of Cardinal lore, but there is also a genuine level of expectation that is not being met.

The Cardinals entered the year ranked number three overall, with returning seniors Russ Smith and Luke Hancock back to defend the title, and a cast of experienced members of the championship team returning with them. But there were questions about the schedule; at first glance the college basketball culturally familiar opponents were limited to a few.

North Carolina, Kentucky, Memphis, UConn and Cincinnati were the teams that U of L had history with. In the meantime the rest of the schedule were games Card Nation expects to win, and must win until getting to face a true test of a team.

And it goes without saying now, that almost all of those possible statement games the Cardinals played, they lost. Which is starting to make a statement itself.

Yet, one can’t get carried away.

Entering the month of February one year ago the Cardinals record stood at 17-4. They had just ended a three game losing streak in the Big East, and they had some things to figure out.

This current team has overcome and had to face its fair share adversity in the form of injuries, growing pains and the dismissal of junior power forward Chane Behanan.

In the loss to North Carolina, they were missing lay-ups all game, if they fall like they normally would, the Cardinals may win.

Against UK they fought shot for shot with Kentucky and took the lead with roughly seven minutes left. From that point forward leading scorer Russ Smith didn’t score. If Smith had continued his Russdiculous rhythm then maybe the Cards win.

Against Memphis the Cards were a few rebounds and a little maturity away from winning.

Against Cincinnati the Cards came from 17 down to take the lead, and again failed to rebound at crucial times and broke down due to lack of maturity.

All of these things could have changed the outcomes and any or all of those losses could be wins.

The Cardinals, for all the problems they face as a team could have figured out how to win those games. And if they had how worried would Card Nation be right now? The Cardinals still have a home game against UConn and tough road games against SMU, Memphis and Cincinnati and the AAC Tournament to figure out who they are as a team.

The Cards of last year continued to adjust to growing pains throughout February and that is when they figured it out, because they had to. The potential is there with this team; there have been too many segments of brilliance throughout the season to legitimately count them out of anything.

The only thing to do now is appreciate 17-4, and the fact that there are players like Luke, Russ and Montrezl Harrell, and a coach like Rick Pitino to put the winning formula together.

It is college basketball and this is Louisville. This is when things get interesting

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville men’s basketball defeats UConn on the road

By Sam Draut

The Cardinals did not get caught up in the emotions Saturday night in Storrs Connecticut, and instead, walked out with their first signature win of the season.

The eighteenth ranked University of Louisville men’s basketball team defeated Connecticut 76-64.

Midway through the second half, while in the act of shooting behind the three point line, Connecticut forward Niels Giffey was bumped by Louisville forward Wayne Blackshear, but no call was made, as the ball was deflected out of bounds.

The apparent no call enraged Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie, who was quickly charged with a technical foul, and seconds later, received a second technical foul and ejection.

“I lost my composure. And I told my guys that. In the heat of the moment, you can’t lose your composure,” Ollie said. “I just thought it was a foul. We were down by nine, and Niels is a pretty good shooter.”

While Connecticut was fuming, 16-3 U of L quietly extended its lead to 16, leading 54-38 with less than 11 minutes left to play in the second half.

Connecticut came out resilient to start the second half, going on a 6-0 run in the first eighty seconds to tie the game, but Louisville responded with an extended eight minute 20-4 run.

Russ Smith scored 23 points and hit 12 of 15 free throws, scoring ten points in the final four minutes to close out the game.

Montrezl Harrell commanded the low post, scoring 18 points and adding 13 rebounds.  Luke Hancock added 13 points and five rebounds.

With guard Chris Jones out with a hip injury, freshman guard Terry Rozier played extended minutes, contributing with five points, seven rebounds, and two assists.

Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatwright were the only two Huskies who scored in double figures.  Napier finished with 30 points, hitting five 3 point field goals.  Boatwright added 10 points.

The victory over Connecticut marks the Cardinals first win against a team in the RPI top 25, Louisville was previously 0-3 in match ups against teams rated in the RPI’s top 25.

“We’re really starting to play good basketball. Our defense has picked up, our rebounding has picked up,” U of L head coach Pitino said.

U of L will continue its road trip when it faces South Florida in Tampa Wednesday night at 7:00.

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Chane Behanan dismissed from basketball team

By Annie Moore

Chane Behanan was dismissed from the University of Louisville men’s basketball team today for an unspecified “violation of university policy”.

 

Behanan — who has struggled before with conduct issues and has had previous suspensions and dismissals — has run out of chances, at least at the University of Louisville.

 

“The University has gone to the mat for him time and time again,” said Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino.  “As well as Tom Jurich. [They] have given him every opportunity to make it here at the University and unfortunately it has come down to this.”

 

Pitino was visibly upset while discussing a player whom he called “a great young man”. The team will no doubt miss Behanan’s 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as it begins conference play Tuesday against Central Florida.

 

“Between the lines he gave great effort, was a great teammate and a wonderful guy to be around,” Pitino said.” Away from the lines he just did not do the right things, over and over and over again.”

 

Behanan took to social media before the press conference. Using his personal Twitter account, he stated “I will forever miss this place.”

 

Behanan also issued a statement via a press release from the Lousville Sports Information office.

 

“I want to apologize for letting down my family, teammates, coaches, Tom Jurich, this university and the Louisville fans,” said Behanan.

 

The fact that this dismissal was issued by the University and not the team, seems to indicate that he has run out of chances and a return is not likely.

 

Pitino discussed alternative courses of action for Behanan going forward, which included transferring and getting ready for the NBA. Pitino made it obvious he would be a part of those steps moving forward as a “friend and mentor”.

 

“He’s a good person, a really good person,” Pitino said. “But there are a lot of good people out there who make mistakes.”

Photo by Tricia Stern

Louisville men’s basketball routs Kentucky Wesleyan

By Annie Moore

The preseason ranked number three Louisville men’s basketball team looked strong in its first exhibition game

against Kentucky Wesleyan College. The Cardinals defeated the Panthers 115-67 on Tuesday night.

Five Cardinals had double-digit points, led by sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell with 20. Also in double-
digits were Russ Smith, junior guard Chris Jones and freshmen Terry Rozier and Anton Gill.

Harrell went nine-for-ten from the floor and had seven rebounds with three steals as the defending national

champions routed the eight-time division II national champions.

The big story of the night was the new NCAA no hand-touch rule. As Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said, “it

can be a dream on offense, but a nightmare on defense.”

The new rule proved to slow down the pace of the game, and slow down the Panthers. Kentucky Wesleyan

racked up 41 personal fouls in the game, Louisville was in the bonus less than three minutes into the first half.

But the Cardinals seemed to keep fouling under control, an objective Pitino and the coaching staff have been

working on throughout the summer.

“We knew it was going to happen and our starters did a very good job of not only taking advantage of the new

way they’re going to referee, but defensively not fouling,” Pitino said. “We really drilled it home in the last three

weeks how the game was going to be called, and we were ready.”

Freshman Ken-Jah Bosley led the scoring for the Panthers going 7-of-14 for 21 points while Devin Langford led

the team in boards, pulling down eight.

The Cardinals second exhibition game is set for Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Yum! Center against the University of

Pikeville.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Final red-white scrimmage

By Michelle Lewis

The University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Team played their third and final public

Red-White scrimmage on November 19. The afternoon started with Pitino joking that there is

some animosity in the locker room because Luke Hancock beat Russ Smith out for homecoming

king on Friday night but that Smith can be “King of the Yum!.” Pitino also joked that Hancock is

excused from practice through the end of October since he is the homecoming king.

Not long after Pitino named Smith king of the arena Smith showed the fans in attendance

why. He led the White squad to a 71-52 victory over the Red behind a 21-point and five assist

performance. White squad teammates Montrezl Harrell and Mangok Mathiang added a combined

28 points and 18 rebounds while eliciting huge reactions from the crowd after spectacular dunks

from each.

The Red squad was lead by Tim Henderson’s 17 points including five made three point

shots. Terry Rozier added 13 points and nine rebounds while Wayne Blackshear added 10 points,

eight rebounds in the losing effort. Stephan Van Treese finished with a double-double scoring 10

points while dishing out 11 assists.

Henderson seemed to be the biggest surprise of the day to most fans with many

attributing his outstanding performance to increased confidence on the court. Henderson had

come up huge for the Cardinals in last season’s Final Four game against Wichita State when he

nailed back to back three point shots to cut the Shocker’s lead to six, shifting the momentum

in the Cards’ direction and sparking a comeback that sent Louisville to the championship game

where they beat Michigan to win the school’s first national title since 1986.

The Cards will be back in action October 29 when they host Kentucky Wesleyan in an

exhibition game at the KFC Yum! Center before playing their final exhibition against Pikeville

on November 6.

 

Louisville card head

‘The Voice of the Louisville Cardinals’

By: Daryl Foust

When I talk about ‘The Voice’, I’m not talking about the American reality TV singing competition or even the Season 5 contestant and 2011 Miss University of Louisville Olivia Henken. I’m talking about the man who has been the voice of the Cardinals for the past 40 years. Paul Rogers.  A man who has watched the University blossom, I decided to sit down and discuss his experience and share the history of the Cards from the man who has seen it from the lowest times into what we know it as today, the ‘Year of the Cards’.

Rogers grew up in the city of Louisville as a Kentucky fan that followed Louisville athletics but attended UK games with his family. After graduation from Eastern High School, he attended the University of Kentucky and graduated with a degree in telecommunications.  In the summer of 1973, Kentucky football moved to its current home of Commonwealth Stadium and Rogers moved to his current position, his first and only job as ‘The Voice of the Louisville Cardinals’ (football and men’s basketball).

As far as campus and how it has progressed over time Paul says “You wouldn’t recognize it.  When I started… Probably the best example I can give you is that I grew up in Louisville and never really knew where the university was.”

Rogers says when it comes to basketball, “(Bernard) ‘Peck’ Hickman laid the foundation for basketball even before Denny Crum came.”  Hickman lead the Cardinals to the 1948 NAIA Basketball Championship, which at the time was the prominent basketball tournament. Oh how the times have changed.

The University’s next major move was hiring Denny Crum, assistant coach under the UCLA great, John Wooden, to become the men’s head basketball coach in 1971.  In his first season he led the Cardinals to the Final Four and the program’s first national title in 1980 defeating his alma mater, UCLA by a slim margin of 59-54.  The University’s men’s basketball team has also been credited with making the ‘high five’ a social phenomenon. At basketball practice during the 1978-79 season, forward Wiley Brown went to give a low five to teammate Derek Smith when Smith looked at Brown and said, “No. Up high.” Midway through the second half of the championship game against UCLA, Brown overpowered his opponent, banked in the shot and drew the foul. Brown immediately raises his arm to slap Smith a high five and BOOM! A tradition was born.  Six seasons later, Crum lead the program to a second national title against Duke University (72-69).

In 1985, Howard Schnellenberger was hired as the head coach of the football team.  He inherited a struggling program that hadn’t had a winning season since 1978. The team was playing in a washed up baseball stadium and was forced to give away tickets for the lack of interest in the program. Rogers recalls “Schnellenberger showed people that the school could dream big in football too”, when at the time, the football team was just a shadow to the prominent men’s basketball program.  At his opening press conference, he shocked reporters and the city when he said the University of Louisville “is on a collision course with the national championship. The only variable is time.”  Today, somewhere, Schnellenberger is enjoying a tobacco pipe with a fat grin painted across his face. In 1991, Schnellenberger lead the Cardinals to Fiesta Bowl and dominated the SEC powerhouse, Alabama Crimson Tide, 34-7. Today, the football team enjoys the foundation and resources of the Howard Schnellenberger Complex and exits the building every home game surrounded by fake fog and 55,000 screaming fans.

When he began his career, the Cardinals football team was playing at Old Cardinal Stadium.  Hard to believe that the team now playing regularly in front of 55,000 fans, once played in a facility that housed as many as 7 different teams. But he notes that there was a certain ‘charm’ to Old Cardinal, located in the Kentucky Exposition Center. “The noise would bounce off the roof and the press box would literally bounce up and down.  When the team moved to Papa Johns in 1998, it was a huge upgrade. It was the first time Louisville had a place they could call their own.  It was on campus.  I remember the first Kentucky game.  Even though Louisville ended up getting beat by a big (margin).  It was 68-34” Rogers says.

Before we knew Tom Jurich to be the Athletic Director, Bill Olsen held the title.  He stepped down from the position in 1997 after the men’s basketball program had been cited for NCAA violations and 2 years of probation.  Jurich is another that Roger’s considers to be one of the most influential people in the University’s history and has helped propel Louisville to today’s ‘Year of the Cards’.  Jurich’s first move was to replace the head football coach, Ron Cooper, with John L. Smith and move the team to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (PJCS).

Rogers’ most memorable games he has called for the Cards include the in-state rivalry overtime game verses Kentucky in 2000, ‘The Rain Game’, where the Cards left Lexington victorious (40-34).  The 2002 overtime game verses Florida State (another rain game) where the Cards upset the nationally ranked Seminoles (#4) resulting in the crowd rushing the field and dismantling the goal posts.  The 2006 matchup between the undefeated Cards and the undefeated West Virginia Mountaineers, both ranked in the top five.  The Cards, again, walked away victorious (44-34).  In the same 2006 season, the Cards faced nationally ranked University of Miami at PJCS.  Miami seemed to have written their own destiny when the team chose to stomp on the Cardinal bird logo midfield.  Louisville said ‘not in our house’ and thrashed the Hurricanes 31-7 causing them to exit the top 25 for the first time since 1999. “It was the fact that they were big wins over good teams under really memorable circumstances,” Rogers recalls.

In 2010, Jurich took another leap of faith when he hired Louisville’s current head football coach, Charlie Strong from the University of Florida.  It was Strong’s first opportunity as a head coach at any program, yet Jurich believed in his potential. So much so that Jurich upgraded PJCS to include 13,000 more seats and a party deck that held 2,500 more. Rogers says “The new expansion to me, it’s almost a totally different place.  The upper deck makes it look so ‘big-time’”.  Paul says that the 2013 football team is the best one he has seen in his 40 year career.  “I don’t think we will play for a national championship but I think they’re one of the elite teams in the country.  Talent wise, depth wise, coaching, scheme, you name it.”

Rogers also says that men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino is a major contributor to the program’s successes today, “I’m actually surprised they don’t already have a Rick’s Louisville sign raised.” In regards to the returning national champions basketball team Rogers says that “I think this year’s team could be every bit as good as last year’s team.  To win a championship you have to have a lot of things fall into place.  You can be really good and not win a championship.”

When I asked if he preferred to call basketball or football games more, Rogers says “I like whatever is in season.  I like variety.”

I asked if he had a vote for the ‘Year of the Cardinal’ Homecoming King who he would choose between the 2013 Final Four MVP and the Russdiculous we all know and love.  After a giggle, Rogers goes on to say “I think it’s really neat that the athletes have gotten involved in that.  I like the fact that they’re being involved in campus life.”

In regards to the Cardinals once again packing their bags and moving conferences, heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference, “Oh, I can’t wait. If I ever gave any thoughts about retirement, that’s going to keep me going for a while.”

After 40 years of devotion to the University and watching it grow as his own, Rogers says that he is so engrained in the program that he wouldn’t consider leaving as the Voice of the Cardinals. I believe that he, too, will one day have a banner raised on a downtown building that reads ‘Paul’s Louisville’.

Louisville forward Chane Behanan suspended indefinitely

By Noah Allison

Junior power forward Chane Behanan is suspended indefinitely for violation

of university and team rules. Behanan has already faced suspension his sophomore

year when he was forced to sit out an early season exhibition game and was

forbidden from speaking to media for the first semester.

Behanan averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season and had

15 points and 12 rebounds in a performance that helped the Cardinals win their 3rd

National Championship.

The USA Today Coaches Poll has the Cardinals pre-season ranking at No. 3

behind Michigan State, No. 2, and University of Kentucky, No. 1.

The earliest Behanan could possibly return to the team is mid-December, but

as a repeat offender the odds of Behanan ever playing for the Cardinals again is

“It is possible. It is not probable,” Head Coach Rick Pitino said. “Chane is

extremely respectful. He’s a good guy. A good teammate. And he’s an excellent

basketball player. He just has a very difficult time understanding life’s values and

the significance of life’s values. We’re going to try to help him along. We’re more

interested in Chane the man than the basketball player.”

Photo By Austin Lassell

Second Red-White basketball scrimmage

By Sam Draut

 

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team held their second intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday at the

KFC YUM! Center. The Red team defeated the White team 70-65.

The Red team was led by guards Chris Jones and Terry Rozier. Jones finished with a game-high 24 points on 8-

of-15 shooting, he also added seven rebounds and four assists. Rozier scored 14 points to go with eight rebounds

and five assists.

U of L head coach Rick Pitino was impressed by the newcomers rebounding ability.

“For Chris being 5’9” and Terry being 6’1” you get 15 rebounds from the one and two spot, which is terrific, the

guards didn’t rebound on the White team,” Pitino said.

Despite having Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell, the White team was outrebounded 42 to 24.

Russ Smith led the White team with 22 points and eight assists, but also committed nine turnovers.

“He didn’t play well today,” Pitino said. “Russ didn’t get a break. He was trying to take on everyone by himself.”

Harrell finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Behanan added 13 points and nine rebounds.

“It was much better defense this week than last week, and hopefully we will combine to see better things next

scrimmage,” Pitino said.

The Cardinals final intra-squad scrimmage is at 1 P.M. on Sat. Oct. 19 at the KFC YUM! Center.