Another week in the books, and as far as the dog days of summer go, this one was drama-filled. The biggest news was the late addition of four-star power forward Montrezl Harrell to the Cards 2012 class.
Scroll through the first couple YouTube videos that pop up under his name and you’ll quickly see why this is such a big deal. He’s a pure power forward, 6’7’’, strong, and comes with a high-flying mentality. He had 18 dunks in one game at Hargrave Academy last season. Perhaps he’s not as strong as Chane, he of the tree trunk thighs, but appears to be a tad quicker off the dribble.
Coach Pitino said his wingspan is the same as Gorgui’s, so imagining the battles Montrezl and Chane will have in practice is truly exciting. It’s clear that the Cards are pushing all the chips in for a run at the title next year, and Harrell brings us closer to the goal.
The flip side of this, the sausage-making side, is that his scholarship had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be from Stephan Van Treese. Van Treese will be transferring from UofL, has no lists of schools he is presently interested in, though Pitino mentioned he is encouraging him to consider Bellarmine.
This is the most glaring example of what some deem a disturbing trend; players being forced out, asked to leave, or exiting the program under suspicious circumstances. George Goode, Jared Swopshire, Elisha Justice, and now Van Treese all recruited by Pitino, all with more eligibility remaining, all gone.
I’m not one to be too Pollyannish over these things, for one because no one knows what is truly going on behind the scenes and what is in the players’ heads, what is talked about between the coaches, player, and family, and what is in the kid’s best interest. But for me, even from the outside, this is starting to stink a little.
Maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal except for Pitino’s constant refrain about #L1C4, which is supposed to be some mantra for a program of high-character and the utmost loyalty. It looks pretty foolish when Van Treese is bumped out the door.
So let’s either come down off the high-horse a little with that stuff, or lets start actually practicing what we preach when it comes to loyalty. That’s all we ask.
Other news of the week…
The baseball team’s season ended over the weekend running up against a buzzsaw that is Arizona. I’m no hardball expert, but I’m pretty sure the ERAs of a few Cardinal pitchers are going to take a hit of inflation. But nonetheless, the team had an impressive season, nabbed a share of the conference crown, and provided us with many exciting moments. In Dan McDonnell we trust. The future is bright on the diamond.
The football Cards made some news when a UofL player tweeted a picture of the urinals in the Louisville facilities decorated with a UK logo above the drain. It started a wave of some mild smack talk on the twitterverse, when a Wildcat nobody tweeted back that he was looking forward to dancing of “that ugly bird” at Papa Johns in September.
Little motivational stuff like this from Charlie Strong, or UK breaking out of their spring practices with a chant “Beat UofL” is the precise reason why the game belongs as the season opener. The teams and fans can set their sights on one another earlier, without having to go through the pretense of focusing on Murray State or Western.
But, of course, when you’ve got a rivalry that’s getting heated, you go the UK way and threaten to cancel it. Joker Phillips again broached the subject this week, saying that if the SEC schedule adds another conference game, the Governor’s Cup will likely have to go.
And speaking of Expansion Sucks, Tom Jurich gave some thoughts on the Big 12 etc., this week, and. He basically said that UofL has “done everything we can” to position ourselves, which some believe has a resigned or defeated tone to it. He also said he never told the Big East bigwigs that UofL wanted out, only that if others approached us about leaving, Louisville would listen.
Well, duh. I think everyone knows we’re well past that point, but I think the comments reflect yet again that UofL is preparing for a near future in the Big East. Gulp.
For the weekend, all eyes are on the Belmont, and I’m still deciding if I want to see history made by this particular horse team, which doesn’t exactly tug on your heartstrings. Either way, I don’t think it’s happening, and foresee I’ll Have Another jump the gun a little too quickly this time and find himself chased down in the epically long home stretch at Belmont. I like Dullahan to win, I’ll Have Another to show.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m sifting through past writing samples for those with the fewest amount of profanity. I’m polishing my resume for the CJ, I hear there their they’re looking for some writers. Till next time.
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