|Great Recruiting Weekend!
Montrezl Harrell – 6-8 with a 7-4 wingspan. Plays every minute like it’s his last on Earth. Just a tremendous addition to our front court. He will compete and make Chane, Gorgui and Zach better every possession. One of the aspects of great players is they influence each play in some positive way. This young man flat out plays hard. I’m extremely excited to have him in our program.
Our first week of individual instruction was very productive. Our focus was on correct form with our player’s jump shots. Each player has a minor flaw and we made great headway toward correcting those. Here’s a breakdown on our players that are healthy and here for this summer session:
- Peyton Siva: He’s worked diligently at developing proper form. We do a shooting drill at the end of individuals; two balls and three shooters. They are on the move from the clock for two minutes. Our record was 35 and it was broken by Peyton, Russ and Kevin. I was shocked to see these three do it. Peyton missed two shots during the rapid fire in the shooting drill. It’s not only difficult to break 30, but it’s an extremely tough conditioner.
- Russ Smith: It’s interesting how much Russdiculous has changed in two years. Upon arrival as a freshman, we witnessed someone who didn’t’ like the weight room and could not bench press 125 pounds. He now does 185 lbs., 17 times. He had a contest with pull ups vs. Peyton. Peyton got 35 but told Russ, who has gained eight lbs., that he weighed 15 lbs. more. Russ put on a sand bag around his neck and did 36. Pretty amazing! We are not only concentrating on his form, but trying to cut down on his off balance shots. He’s stronger, wiser and a lock-down defender. He’s maturing into a fierce competitor. Real proud of him.
- Kevin Ware: The third member of the trifecta that broke the record. He’s made the biggest strides in improving his shot. Pretty similar to Russ as a freshman, in that he’s weak and doesn’t enjoy the weight room. It’s always the same. As they get stronger you witness a different attitude. He is an explosive athlete and I’ve witnessed noticeable improvement on offense. He must get stronger and work harder when he fatigues. That will come with maturity.
- Chane Behanan: He probably has the furthest to go with his jumper. Trying to get his arc and form consistent. He’s a willing learner, but is just going to take time to break some old habits. If he becomes a gym rat, the sky is the limit to how good he can become. Excited about his future.
- Angel Nunez: Proper form with his upper body, but is trying to get his lower body correct. Spreads his feet too wide and turns in. That’s one reason he is not a higher percentage shooter. Good athlete, long and committed to making his game better. We have to improve his passing skills and off-the-ball defense.
- Zach Price: Working on developing proper trajectory with his jumper. He’s going to be a valuable asset. Strong work ethic. Must learn to drive right and turn over his left shoulder in the low post. Conditioning is always his nemesis. Needs to be a consistent runner. Excited about his potential.
- Wayne Blackshear: Three areas of concentration -
- Getting ball over his forehead on jumper
- Drawing body-to-body vs. his defender. He has a tendency to drive wide off his jab.
- Keep him healthy. He’s had enough time away from the court. It’s time to step up and be the player I know he can be.
- Tim Henderson: Shooting, shooting and shooting. If you were throwing a dart at a board you would be simulating his jumper. It’s been difficult getting him to release the ball off his forehead. A line drive shot makes it difficult for success. It’s going to take a lot of time, but he has speed, lateral quickness and a strong work ethic.
The NBA playoffs have been full of amazing individual performances. Kevin Durant will become one of the most popular NBA players not only because of his incredible skills, but the way he carries himself off the court. He’s humble, sincere and a real winner. Comes across great with his interviews. You can tell he just has the passion for greatness. Coach Popovich called him the best on the planet. His response: “Thanks, but I have a lot of improvement to make first” … Perfect! !
The Celtics miss Bradley but Rajon’s picking up the slack. He’s the difference maker in keeping the Celtics competitive. With the Celtics victory in game 5, game 6 will be one of the best we will witness.
BIG EAST Success
Did you know that the Ville has won ten BIG EAST Championships this year? Louisville has won 50 league championships since joining the BIG EAST, second only to Notre Dame (64) over the last seven years.
2011-12 University of Louisville BIG EAST Championships
Regular Season Championships
- Women's Soccer
- Men's Basketball
- Men's Tennis
- Women's Outdoor Track & Field
- Women's Swimming & Diving
Watched Dullahan close on I’ll Have Another, losing by a length and a half in the Derby. Will the extra distance help him overtake the Triple Crown hopeful? Doug O’Neil has pushed every button correctly, with former UofL soccer and football kicker, Jack Sisterson, assisting him. It will be a very competitive race. Red Hat and Dale Romans are trying to be the spoiler. Two trainers who seem to be extremely hot. Sounds like the exacta box. It will be I’ll Have Another with the first Triple Crown in 34 years.
Talking about the Belmont reminds me of a funny story. About 15 years ago on our way to Derby, Joe Iracane made a remark to Billy Minardi, complimenting his tie and stated how it must have cost a pretty penny. After Billy told Joe how much it actually cost, Joe stated that he would never spend that much on a tie. Billy’s response was classic! He told Joe that in two hours, you’re going to bet a $100 exacta box and tear up your ticket and flush it down the toilet. Joe’s response was that’s a great point! But for the next 15 years, Joe has continued to buy $30 ties and is still flushing down tickets every time he goes to the race track.
Many fans think we can go undefeated. Difficult task but we have much more depth, a great young quarterback and a super coaching staff. It should be exciting. Can’t look by anyone, but FIU seems to be one of our biggest challenges on the road.
I’ll keep everyone abreast of our summer improvements. Our schedule will be another Top 5 slate. Make your reservations now for the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thanksgiving week. We need you!
We wish Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford well in their new endeavors. Hate to see 22 people laid off with 800+ years of experience. The Courier Journal is successful but corporate cut backs are difficult on talented people and families. I wish them all God Speed.