a few thoughts on coaching, Pittsburgh, and clemson
By Mike Gilpatrick
January 3rd, 2018
January 3rd, 2018
Conference play opened yesterday, and the Louisville Cardinals downed the Pittsburgh Panthers, 77-51, giving David Padgett his first win as a head coach. Here are couple thoughts about yesterday's controversy, Louisville's shooting, and the matchup against No. 25 Clemson on Saturday.
Leave the fans alone
Late in the second half, Pittsburgh head coach Kevin Stallings broke one of the cardinal rules, and got into it with a fan. While it’s not clear what the fan said, Stallings responded with “At least we didn’t pay our players $100,000.” The comment referenced the recruiting scandal that plagued the men’s basketball program, and led to the firing of former coach Rick Pitino.
“I probably said the wrong thing, but I’m not going to let people talk crap about my players,” Stallings said. We’re down, you don’t need to insult kids who are out there trying to fight hard and do their best.”
Fans have one job: to get in the heads of coaches and players. The best thing to do is ignore them. Coaches shouldn’t even think of reacting to them. It’s what they want. If coaches react, it makes them look bad. Reacting isn’t standing up for your players, it’s giving the fans what they want. It makes your program look bad.
Drive to the basket
This team isn’t a good shooting team. They’re going to win from close. It showed last night. 16 of the first 18 were in the paint. It opened the score up enough to where they could try and shoot. And, the Cards shot 50 percent from deep heading into halftime.
Compared to the past few games, it was a lot more efficient. The Cards tried to shoot 11 threes in the first half against Grand Canyon, and only made one. It was the same thing the whole game against Kentucky. In the latter, you had your big men trying to shoot, and they missed. They settled for jumpers.
They have a height advantage. Anas Mahmoud is 7’0”. Ray Spalding is 6’10”. Malik Williams is 6’11”. If they want to shoot a three, pass it inside-out. But the Cards need to use their size.
Thoughts on Clemson
The Cards play in their first ACC road game Saturday, against Clemson. The Tigers are ranked 25th. It’ll be a real test for them. It’s just the first in a series of ten games against nine teams in the top-100 RPI.
"We're not looking at, 'Oh well this team is ranked and have a high RPI so we've got to beat them.'” Padgett said, “We're just looking at Clemson as our next opponent. It's a chance for us to go 2-0 and get a great road win.”
It’ll be tough for the Cards. Clemson is 12-1. It’s a true road test. Louisville does have a couple advantages. The Cards get more boards, and turns it over less than Clemson. But, the Tigers are tough. All five starters average over ten points. They’re 8-0 at home. But if Louisville beats them, it may give a little confidence heading forward, and deeper into ACC play.
The Clemson game will be at noon.