Author Archives: Nick Coffey

Earl Clark Lands With The Houston Rockets

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Just two days after being released from the Memphis Grizzlies, former Louisville forward Earl Clark has landed with another NBA team.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced on Friday that the team has claimed Clark off waivers.

Clark signed a free agent/training-camp tryout deal with the Grizzlies in late September. The former Cardinal had a decent showing for Memphis early on the their preseason games, but unfortunately the club decided his services weren’t needed.

He averaged 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists on .474 shooting in 12.5 minutes in four preseason appearances.

Following a breakout season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012-13, Clark signed a free agent deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to provide much production for the Cavs and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers at the NBA trade deadline.

As soon as his rights were traded to Philadelphia, Clark was waived by the team. He later signed a ten day contract with the New York Knicks, but did not finish the season on an NBA roster.

Clark was one of the few bright spots for the Lakers in 2012-13 and was one of the NBA’s most improved players once he was inserted into the rotation. He averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 59 appearances for the team.

Hopefully he’ll be able to make the most of his opportunity with the Rockets

Could David Levitch Be The Next Tim Henderson?

Levitch Media Day

During his first season with the program, Louisville walk-on David Levitch appeared in 18-games averaging 2.6 minutes. To say that Levitch was an integral piece to last year’s team wouldn’t be true, but the former North Oldham Mustang played more than a lot of people expected.

Levitch admits that he himself didn’t expect to play as many minutes as he did.

“It really was,” Levitch said when asked if he was surprised by the amount of minutes he played in year one. “But we didn’t have a very good schedule last year so that really helped a lot.”

The Louisville program has had a number of players over the years who have played  big roles, despite not being on scholarship. The most recent walk-on to crack Pitino’s rotation was Tim Henderson. Levitch spent just one season with Hendo, but learned a lot from man we now all know as “Wichita.”

“I’ve really looked up to Tim,” Levtitch said. “He’s told me what it takes to continue working as hard as possible. He says there will be some tough times, but you’ve just got to work through it.”

David Levitch – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Rick Pitino Says He Currently Has A Seven-Man Rotation

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

With the 2014-15 college basketball season quickly approaching, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made the radio rounds on Wednesday. Pitino did a morning interview with 790 WKRD in the morning and 840 WHAS in the afternoon.

In his morning interview Pitino said that after watching the tape from this past Sunday’s Red-White scrimmage he was more disappointed than he was immediately following the game.

Coach Pitino also went on to say that they were very impressed with freshman Anas Mahmoud’s performance but noted that this past Saturday and Sunday were the first time they’ve seen Mahmoud play that well.

“There are certain players who when the lights come on, they just play better because they’re very intelligent,” Pitino said. “He’s one of those players.”

Pitino then went on to say that he’s still unsure if most of the freshmen will be able to play this year, but he did note that Chinanu Onuaku is the one that they’re certain can play right away.

As of now, Pitino says there is a seven-man rotation of players that are ready to play.

“Right now we have a seven man rotation that we know these seven guys can play,” Pitino said. If someone doesn’t join the pack and we dont’ get two other players, then we don’t press as much and we become much better in the half-court defensively. If we can add to the list and get two more guys, we can go back to our normal style.”

You have to assume that the seven man rotation at this point includes Chris Jones, Terry Rozier, Wayne Blackshear, Montrezl Harrell, Mangok Mathiang, Anton Gill and Chinanu Onuaku.

I’d say Quentin Snider would be the next guy that is ready to play. If Anas Mahmoud continues to develop, I believe he’ll also join the pack. Akoy Agau is still recovering from his off-season groin injury. Once he’s healthy, I would’t be surprised to see him crack the rotation if he’s able to catch-on quickly.

Anton Gill Ready For An Increased Role In His Sophomore Season

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Louisville sophomore guard Anton Gill was the first original member of Rick Pitino’s 2013 recruiting class. Unfortunately, of the five signees, only Akoy Agau played less than Gill last season.

Gill, a Raleigh, N.C. native, was highly regarded during his prep career and was tabbed as a five star prospect by Scout.com. Unfortunately for Gill, Louisville’s back-court was loaded in 2013-14 and he wasn’t quite ready defensively to make an immediate impact.

With perimeter players like Russ Smith, Luke Hancock and Tim Henderson gone, there are minutes to be had and Gill is up for the opportunity.

Anton Gill Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Louisville & Notre Dame Extend Football Series

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that the University of Louisville’s football series with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had been extended with three more meetings between the two programs.

Below is the official release from UofL.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.- The Atlantic Coast Conference announced three additional football meetings between the University of Louisville and Notre Dame on Tuesday afternoon.

The Cardinals and Fighting Irish are scheduled to meet for the first time on Nov. 22, 2014, when the Cardinals travel to South Bend, Ind.

The league also announced that Louisville will host Notre Dame on Sept. 2, 2019, at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and the two schools will play at Notre Dame in 2020 and at Louisville in 2023. The dates will be announced at a later date.

The games are part of an agreement between the ACC and Notre Dame to play five ACC teams each year in football.

Notre Dame Football may not be quite as relevant as they once were, but they’re certainly not a slouch. Getting the chance it play in South Bend later this season will be a great opportunity for the program. Hosting the Irish in 2019 could set up to be one of the bigger home games in the history of the program.

Terry Rozier Transitioning From Rookie To Veteran In Just One Year

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Photo: Petey Cautilli

No player on this year’s Louisville basketball roster will have to make a bigger transition than sophomore guard Terry Rozier. The Cleveland native had a solid freshman campaign, but it was difficult for Rozier to show just how good he was due to the fact that he was playing behind a consensus first team All American.

Rozier played in every game last season and at times was on the floor with Russ Smith, but as you could expect, Rozier deferred to Smith most of the time. In his second season at Louisville, Rozier won’t be deferring to anyone.

“He (Rick Pitnio) looks at me and says you’ve got to step up,” Rozier said at media day. “We’ve got six freshmen so the sophomores are like seniors. He can’t be getting on us so mean and teaching us when he has six freshmen to deal with so we have to be ready.”

Rozier says he’s played a big role in helping get the newcomers acclimated with the program.

“That’s something he (Pitino) has been asking since day one,” Rozier said. “It’s the right thing to do and it’ll help everyone. We (returning players) can’t play a full game and we know that. It would be selfish for us to think we can play a full game because we wouldn’t be playing at 100%. People can get hurt or get in foul trouble so they’ve got to be ready to play.”

It’s normal for freshmen to experience a culture shock when they go from high school practices to Rick Pitino practices. Rozier says he’s doing the best he can at helping the rookies adjust to life in the Pitino system.

“I just tell them next play. Only worry about the next play,” Rozier said when asked what type of advice he’s giving the newcomers. “You can’t be worried and dwell on what happened. You’ve got to be ready for the next one. If you miss two shots, you’ve got to just think about the next one. That is something that I had to work on last year. I just tell these guys to worry about the next play.”

Terry Rozier – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Anas Mahmoud Isn’t Your Typical 7-Footer

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Louisville freshman Anas Mahmoud isn’t your typical 7-footer. Mahmoud has already been tabbed as “The Big Egyptian” by Rick Pitino and although he’s big in stature, his style of play isn’t like your average big man.

Throughout his recruitment, West Oaks High School head coach Shaun Wiseman said multiple times that he expects Mahmoud to play power forward at the college level because of his versatile skill set.

“I don’t really play center. I play power forward,” Mahmoud said. “Everyone just see’s a seven footer and says he’s a center, he can block and he can dunk, but I don’t play that way and just stand under the basket the whole time. I like to move, run and go out to the three point line. I love to shoot three’s, set screens and dive. I just love to move a lot.”

Fans got their first glimpse of just how skilled Mahmoud is during Sunday’s red-white scrimmage. The freshman finished with 12-points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Anas Mahmoud – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Brian Brohm’s Double-Reverse Flea Flicker Earns Top Play On Sports Center

Photo: Derek Leung - Getty Images

Photo: Derek Leung – Getty Images

Former Louisville star quarterback Brian Brohm is spending these days up north in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Brohm got his first career start with the Bombers this past weekend.

Unfortunately for Brohm, not only did his team fall to Calgary 33-23, but he suffered a broken thumb during the game in will need surgery. On the bright side, Brohm was part of an impressive double-reverse flea flicker play that wound up as the No. 1 play on Sports Center.

ga(‘set’, ‘&uid’, {{USER_ID}}); // Set the user ID using signed-in user_id.