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Blog Entry

Jennings the key to Louisville's hopes

Posted on: February 12, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Posted by Jeff Borzello

On the surface, Louisville’s 73-69 victory over Syracuse came as a result of a 34-6 run and 13 3-pointers from the Cardinals.

Perimeter shooting from Louisville is a given, though, with five players hitting at least 39 percent from behind the arc. Throw in the fact that Syracuse decided to play its patented 2-3 zone against them, and it was almost inevitable that the Cardinals would heat up from long-range.

The key going forward for Louisville is going to be Terrence Jennings and his ability to be consistent on the interior.

Jennings finished with a solid 13 points and seven rebounds, outplaying Rick Jackson, who finished with single-digits in points and rebounds for just the third time this season. Jennings was especially effective on the offensive end, corralling five boards and demonstrating a post repertoire that we have not seen too often from him. He showed off a jump hook, aggressiveness on the offensive glass and a willingness to get himself open for buckets.

During one particularly impressive two-minute stretch in the first half, Jennings had four offensive rebounds and six points. Moreover, to start the second half, Jennings had seven points in the first 1:54.

At that point, Jennings had 13 points and five rebounds, and Louisville was up 49-32. After that, he was a ghost.

In the final 18:06 of the game, Jennings had zero points, two rebounds and Syracuse ended up making a huge run and lost by just four.

Notice a correlation? It wasn’t just today’s game.

In games Jennings scores in double-figures, Louisville is 10-2. In games he scores in single-digits, the Cardinals are just 8-4. Not a huge difference, but when the gap between No. 1 and No. 11 in the Big East is only a couple of games, it could be a factor.

Arguably the biggest win of Louisville’s season was its road victory at Connecticut; not surprisingly, Jennings totaled 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

With injuries to Rakeem Buckles, Jared Swopshire and Gorgui Dieng, Jennings has been by himself in the paint for much of the season. While that has likely played a role in his inconsistencies, Jennings is going to need to continue his stellar play down the stretch.

In his last five games, Jennings is averaging 14.2 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Preston Knowles, Peyton Siva and the rest of the Cardinals’ perimeter contingent are going to be constants throughout the season – but Jennings gives them the inside option needed to hang with the rest of the Final Four threats. 

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Oct 23, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2011 11:48 am
 

Jennings the key to Louisville's hopes

Despite the inaccuracy correctly noted above, this is the first time anyone has mention UL and Final Four in the same sentence. 

Could happen.  Probably wont. Dont care. 

Ask any Card fan and they will tell you that given the circumstances what is happening in Louisville is unbelievable. 



Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: February 12, 2011 10:15 pm
 

Jennings the key to Louisville's hopes

This is a matter of the Cards simply having Orange's number as of late.  Since being in the Big East, Louisville has only lost to Syracuse once, and that was first year the Cards were in the Big East and they took their lumps against a lot of teams.  Terrence Jennings really has been the catalyst of the Cards surge of being in the top four of the conference.  If he keeps up at this pace, the Cards future for this season that was categorized as a "bridge" or "transition" season by Coach Pitino, will be one of the best.  I'm saying they are to be deemed Final Four worthy, but all it takes is for a team to get on a roll at the right time in mid to late March, and who knows.  I'm a huge Cards fan, and today's game shouldn't have been that close after racing to a 20 point 2nd half lead, and we may have stayed in that zone a little longer than needed, but we still got the "W" and that's all that matters to me.  Great win against another ranked team and within the RPI top 50, and we will build off of this momentum and continue to get healthy at the same time.  TJ definitely have made the difference with him stepping, even in the close games like the one we should have gotten at Notre Dame.  He fouled out, and we didn't have Dieng available, and eventually loss to a solid Notre Dame team (maybe we'll run into them again in the Big East tournament now that we have Buckles and Dieng back).  Go Cards, and onward thru a fabulous February!!!!!



Since: Dec 30, 2010
Posted on: February 12, 2011 5:18 pm
 

Jennings the key to Louisville's hopes

The only thing that matters is how well a team plays in March



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Jennings the key to Louisville's hopes

"but when the gap between No. 1 and No. 11 in the Big East is only a couple of games, it could be a factor."
But what about when the gap between No. 1 (Pitt) and No. 11 (Syracuse) is the difference between being 10-1 and being 7-6?  I understand your point is that when Jennings plays well, Louisville plays well and that can be the difference between finishing in the top half and the bottom half of the standings... but it's not the difference between #1 and #11.   


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