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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

O Captain, My Captain!

(Ed Note: This was supposed to be published yesterday).  Now that the University of Louisville Men’s Basketball team has had time to heal the gashing wounds laid down by the Duke Blue Devils from a week ago (Jahlil Okafor just scored again by the way), we look to see how they bounce back on Sunday when they invade the home of the PITT Panthers and the greatest slicked back coaching hairstyle this side of Steve Lavin.  It’s been an eerily quiet week from the Cards, with one exception.

At the beginning of the week Rick Pitino announced that junior forward Montrezl Harrell was no longer a team captain. Of course such an announcement, regardless of how meaningless it truly was, set off the rumor mongers of the world and the messageboard diehards. It was later found out that Harrell demoted himself, perhaps making an attempt to show his acknowledgement of his sub par performances in the Cards’ three biggest games this far this season. No matter, as a fan of UofL one must wonder what’s really most important this juncture of the 2015 basketball campaign: who the team captains are or why UofL cannot find a way to get a potential first team All-American the ball more around the basket to generate much needed offense?

The Cardinals find themselves still looking for answers on the offensive end of the floor while fans continue to scratch their heads at what the underlying problems may be. Certainly Jamie Dixon and his squad will slow Sunday’s game down to turtle paced affair and will have plenty of bodies to throw at Harrell – UofL’s only true current threat in the post. But the real issue isn’t who the team captains are or will be, it’s who is going to step up and play like they have a purpose. Will Chinanu Onuaku finally turn the corner and become more of a factor? Will Mangok Mathiang awaken from his offensive coma? Time will tell, but most certainly the Cards will need Harrell to start producing like a captain again, title or not, to keep UofL among the top half of the current ACC standings.

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