In a game completely overshadowed by one of the participating coaches coming off an arrest for an alleged assault charge less than 20 hours prior to tip-off, the Cards wore down the Ole Miss Rebels on Thursday night to force an overall tie in the inagural Big East/SEC Challenge with a 77-68 victory at U.S. Bank Arena.
Earl Clark had a career high 25 points, including 17 of UofL’s first 24. What was even cooler than that was an ESPN on-screen graphic notifying the viewing audience that E5 was “on fire.” Digital flames were coming off the graphic box, which gave an effect that made me nostalgic for the old NBA Jam video game on Sega Genesis. I could even hear Marv Albert yelling “BOOMSHAKALAKA!” in my head.
I guess it was fitting that the Cards played this game in a backwards fashion than I expected, as I watched most of the game off the reflection of a mirror over at Flanagan’s Ale House. Interesting way to watch a ball game, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Although, as Rolf mentioned in the preview, it still beats Ari Wolfe.
Also, did anyone else catch the irony of ESPN’s Bottom Line? I counted at least 6 times where ESPN had close up shots of Coach Kennedy at precisely the same moment where the Bottom Line referred to his case. Because I could not hear the broadcasters, I am extremely curious about this one. Was there a reason for doing this to where it was just a coincidence? Or was the game producer notifying his cameramen, “The Kennedy story’s coming up in 5 seconds. Lets’s get a shot of him!”
David Huertas led the Rebels with 20 points of his own, and also went 8-9 from the stripe. This may be my UofL bias kicking in, but the rest of the SEC should watch out for this guy. I was very impressed by his play, and the guy is not afraid to shoot the rock.
I enjoyed the toughness of Samardo Samuels this evening. Despite starting the game 1-12 from the field (which is actually pretty amazing for a center), he bounced back with a key bucket in the final 5 minutes. Although the 5-10 effort from the foul line leaves a lot to be desired.
Pssssssst! I hear the footsteps of a coach whose taken 10 days off to prepare his Big Ten team for the Cards on Saturday afternoon. Could it be? Could it really be Mr. Orlando Tubby Smith and his Golden Gophers? In the words of a text messaging addict, “OMG!” Look for the preview later today.
On to the awards:
THREE STARS: Earl Clark (25 pts, 16 reb, 5 blk, 4 ast, 39 min)
TWO STARS: David Huertas (20 pts, 4 stl, 4 reb, 2 blk)
ONE STAR: Chris Warren (18 pts, 4 ast, 3 stl, 6-8 ft)