Posted on: March 21, 2009 4:28 pm

Siena-Louisville ... gonna be fun

Every game in the NCAA tournament is fun. There are no bad NCAA tournament games, especially now that Illinois and Minnesota are gone.

But this one's going to be a lot of fun.

Siena runs, and Louisville runs, and both teams play three or four guards at all times, and it's going to be a blast.

"We're two up-tempo teams," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "And obviously we're going to try to turn each other over."


And it should be fun for 94 feet. Louisville presses the whole court, and Pitino says this is the best pressing team he has had yet at Louisville. Siena uses a three-quarters-court trap, and the Cardinals were marveling Saturday at Siena PG Ronald Moore's speed.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Louisville, Siena
Posted on: March 19, 2009 4:29 pm

Midwest update: Louisville

Louisville just met the media, and there were a few eye-opening moments.

For one thing, Louisville seniors Terence Williams and Andre McGree said junior Jerry Smith has become a more consistent player in the seocnd half of the season because he needed to -- and did -- work harder. Smith is averaging a career low 7.6 ppg, but has had his three highest-scoring games of the season in the last six weeks. Good for Williams and McGee for having the courage to say something so blunt, and good for Smith for doing what needed to be done to improve himself and his team.

For another, first-round foe Morehead State isn't the typical matchup for a No. 1 seed, such as Louisville. No question, Morehead State is as inferior as a No. 16 seed should be. But Morehead State won't be as unfamiliar to Louisville as the typical 16th seed would be. You might know that Louisville has already played Morehead State this season. It happened in the Cardinals' season opener, and it was a 79-41 romp for Louisville.

But did you know that Louisville coach Rick Pitino allowed Morehead coach Donnie Tyndall to attend individual instruction drills for the Cardinals in the preseason? That's weird. Months later, they're meeting in the NCAA tournament. Not like it really matters. Morehead State could know exactly what play is coming every time down the court and still lose by 25.

Finally, Pitino -- whose ability to chart things nobody ever thought to chart is widely known in basketball circles, including the way he tracks deflections on defense -- keeps tabs on his offense's "contested shots" and has a formula for success.

"We try to stay under six contested shots per game," he said. "When we've faltered, we've been up to 11 or 12."



Category: NCAAB
Tags: Louisville
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