Saturday Night

This is how sports writing goes.

I went to Freedom Hall armed and ready to write a column on Rick Pitino’s 500th win, arguing that he certainly by this point has amassed enough credentials to ensure his spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Then the Cardinals lose, and I wind up writing about how they seem to be allergic to throwing the ball down to the post.

This is a strange U of L team. Pitino seemed to have every hope that it would get out of the gate quick. I thought you could excuse the BYU loss because of the loss of David Padgett, and because BYU is a tough team.

And certainly, Dayton is no slouch. But Pitino acknowledged that U of L’s 70-65 loss to the Flyers today was a bad one, coming at home.

This team has regressed a bit, fallen back into some old habits, getting beat off the dribble, not passing the ball on offense, not getting into the lane, abandoning the inside-out game. And this might well be a team that needs to get thumped a time or two to remember those things — because it certainly isn’t the kind of team that has heeded the warnings all week, or all season, in practice.

Two good things for U of L: 1). Earl Clark is coming along. Yes, he makes a lot of mistakes. He also makes a lot of plays. 2). These struggles are coming against pretty good teams. And Purdue will be another good one. These games are far more useful than the big wins the team will probably roll up at the end of the month.

Anyway, my original premise will have to wait for another day. With 500 wins, a national title, and Final Fours with three different teams, to go along with his resurrecting the Kentucky program and his influence on the style of play in college basketball in the late 80s and early 1990s, Pitino is a Hall of Famer.

It’s all over but the voting.

And speaking of resurrecting Kentucky. I didn’t get to watch the tape of the IU-UK game. (I set the DVR, then my kids decided to record “Polar Express” for the third time, and canceled my recording. Sound familiar to anybody?) I did see much of the second half.

UK fans seem to be of three camps on this: 1). Our talent is so depleted that it’s going to be a long year. 2). Yes, our talent is depleted, but we still should be better than this. 3). No, our talent isn’t all that depleted.

I agree with the first group. I’m open to the second group. I wonder what the third group is smoking.

I’d only say this — there’s a big difference between being competitive and being elite. UK has had the talent to be competitive for a few years. It hasn’t had elite talent for a while (single biggest loss to the UK program — Azibuike deciding to leave early. Bad call all around.)

I had an emailer after last week’s game say that I was wrong about it being a long climb. That UK would be competitive with North Carolina by next year. It’s one thing to compete. It’s another to have the level and depth of talent that they have.

Oh, and while on the subject of depth and talent, how about the Hoosiers? How many teams could lose their entire starting backcourt and put on the display that IU did today? They looked better than they have, in fact, in recent games with Gordon, and maybe it was good for him to sit and watch the team operate without him, if only to get a better feel for where the ball should be at certain times.

Finally, a word about this blog. I’ve taken a break recently, because I’ve been trying to give some thought to the nature of this little online publication. A blog, in its truest sense, is a list of links to the news of the day, maybe with some short commentary. That’s not what this thing is.

Other columnists are doing some creative things with blogs. A couple of my favorites belong to Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski, and to my predecessor here, Jerry Brewer, out at the Seattle Times.

I think what has gotten the most response from my blog has been the longer discussions of issues I’ve tackled in columns. The column is a pretty compact thing, usually 650 words, which doesn’t necessarily lend itself to nuance or explorations of many details.

When I wrote at length about the U of L offense and running game a month or so ago, a lot of people said they’d like to see more of that kind of thing. And inspired by Posnanski’s willingness to let it all hang out — word count be damned — I’ll try to do a little more of that in this space.

Brewer, meanwhile, does a great job at discussing the thinking behind the column, the process of writing, and while I don’t know how much that interests people, I think it can help them understand where I’m coming from on different issues.

Today, for instance, I thought it was too soon to draw a conclusion from this loss to Dayton. Yes, Dayton has beaten U of L three straight overall and two years in a row. But what does that really tell you? U of L lost to Houston in a Final Four year. Unlike in football, you can’t read too much into a single loss.

So I decided to pull out the microscope and do something I don’t know if I’ve ever done. I went back through the game tape twice before writing. The first time, I charted how many passes U of L made on each half-court possession. The second, I went through and listed whether or not the ball made it into the post. The results were enlightening, and that’s what you’ll read about in the column.

That’s it for tonight. Time to start working on tomorrow’s column for Monday.


11 thoughts on “Saturday Night

  1. Fans love the behind-the-scenes stuff, Eric. Good to know you’d actually take the time to review past games, instead of just relying on memory.You’re a very interesting fellow. We’ll have to find you a radio show, too.

  2. You will never find swimsuit more excellent than in Ed Hardy! ed hardy ugg bootsed hardy love kills slowly bootsed hardy love kills slowlyWe provide you with the sexiest swimwear at present. Wanting to be bright on beach in this ed hardy polo shirtsed hardy love kills slowly shoesed hardy wearAbandoning traditional concepts on sexy swimwear, Ed Hardy adds tattoo upon, which is meaninghow your outline if only you like now! Genuine material admits you to throw your whole worred hardy love kills slowly shirtsed hardy trousersed hardy jacketsIt seems that ed hardy mens shoes was difficult to be able to let you exist out in swimwear, the just fold, flouncing, bow and swim suits, Ed Hardy has been widely worn in open. ed hardy t shirts saleed hardy womens t shirtsed hardy bootsIn the trunks term, the Panerai candy-flush has mainly took the Louis Vuitton Speedy purpose I fondness ed hardy womens Swimwear shirts, and other printing of ed hardy womens clothesed hardy womens shirtsed hardy clothesswimwear in an austere tone proposal combines the exclusive tailoring,wimwear this summer to become the mainstream trend. Cool down, sunshine fair,ed hardy outerweared hardy womensed hardy womens jeansgreen MOISTURE, attractive red no other elements, together with the unique thwart-buckle create worn, immediately show a charming beauty.ed hardy bagsed hardy winter bootsed hardy t shirts Whether it is sexy bikini, or cross-quantity g-startrunks intended to reach new heights with this dynamic.Enjoy yourself on Ed Hardy Bikini Swimsuit please! ed hardy bagsed hardy winter bootsed hardy t shirtsThe desired redden of this type of bag, but once again the label that ed hardy and the Christian Audigier Brand ManageLouboutin at MAGIC in August 2009. ed hardy t shirts for mened hardy mens jeansed hardy mens shoesThe total spectrum of Audigier Brand Management lifestyle brands and crop will be including ed hardy shirts, Christian Audigier, SMET, Crystal Rock, C-Bar-An and Red hardy mens shoesed hardy womens hoodiesed hardy mens teesfood ranging from ment and woment garb, accessories, footwear.

  3. Rubber. Rubber is widly used in the outsole of the athletic shoes. cheap puma shoescheap sport shoes discount puma shoesIt has the advantages of durable, skipproof, flexible, elastic, extensive, stable and proper hardness. But the rubber is weighty and easy to be frosting, shox torchnike tn dollarcheap nike shoxPU. PU is a kind of macromolecule polyurethane materials which is offten used in the midsole of basktball shoes and tennis shoes. cheap nike shox shoesnike shox r4puma mens shoesSometimes, it is also used in the outsole of casual shoes. PU is durable, strong hardness, upstanding flexbility and more important, it is environmentally friendly. cheap nike max discount nike shox cheap puma ferrari shoesThe disadvantage is also outstanding. Strong hydroscopic property, go yellow easily, easily break apart and the sole is putrescible.EVA. Ethylene –Vinyl Acetate Copolymer?a kind of macromolecule polyurethane materials nike mens shoes nike shox nz discount nike running shoes which is usually used in the midsole of the running shoes and casual shoes. EVA is quite lightweight, elastic, flexible and suitable to a variety of climates. discount nike shoes nike shox shoescheap nike shoes Just as the rubber, it is also nonrecoverable and go dirty easily. PHYLON. Phylon is the product of the EVA after the second processing. nike sports shoes puma running shoes puma sneakers The midsole of running shoes, tennis shoes and basketball shoes in the world is made of the PHYLON. nike air max tn puma cat puma shoes The upstanding hardness, density, traction and extension make it favorite by the manufacture. Besides, the lightweight and good flexibility could prolong the life of the shoes. nike running shoes wholesale nike shoes nike shoes Just as a coin has two sides, Phylon is nonrecoverable and easily shrink under high temperature.TPR. The TPR is made of TPR kernel after fusion. This kind of materials is usually made to running shoes and casual shoes. nike shoes kids nike women shoes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: