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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

No more exCUSEes

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No more finger pointing. No more second guessing.  No more excuses…..

It’s now mid-February, that time of the year when college basketball teams have developed their identities, acknowledged their weaknesses and vowed to ride their strengths as far as they will allow.  Louisville could do itself a huge favor by looking itself in the mirror asap and accepting who they are.

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So who, if anyone or anything, is this Louisville team? Personally, I find them to be a team that lacks reliable depth, a team that collectively shoots on a 7th grade level most nights, and lastly, a team that needs to capitalize fully on what it does have – two future NBA draft picks.  And of those two, no player in the country arguably means more to his team than Montrezl Harrell does to UofL. One should reference the PITT game a week ago to better understand such a statement. Similarly, look at how UofL struggled with in-state rival WKU without having Harrell available in the second half back in December.

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Bottom line: Harrell has to be an INTEGRAL part of everything UofL does the rest of season, most importantly on offense.  As a fan I cannot imagine UofL going 2 or 3 consecutive trips down the floor without “Trez” at least getting a touch or two.  Yet, I have watched games this season when Louisville failed to get Harrell a touch for 10-11 trips.  Case in point: the NC State game last Saturday.  And we all know how that turned out.

In conclusion, feed the beast. Run everything through Harrell on offense.  At worst, it could open up lanes and space for Terry Rozier, Chris Jones & company.  And with a road game against Big East rival Syracuse now only a day away, it would be a huge step toward the self realization process in acknowledging their lack of inside presence at the 5 spot.  Coach Rick Pitino spoke recently about taking players out of the game if they don’t pass it to Harrell when clearly open – about time IMO.  Pitino also stated that he planned to give freshman center Anas Mahmoud more immediate playing time starting on Tuesday night, another move I personally am in favor of.  If Anas’ presence is felt and UofL is a better team because of it in weeks to come, then prepare oneself for the “Egyptian Prescription” references til at least season’s end.

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Here’s to hoping for a bounce back performance by the Cards on Wed night.  Meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying this Kentucky weather til tip-off……

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