Morning after: Bellarmine victory

The Morning After is a new feature at Cardinal Authority this season for men's basketball games. The feature will be five thoughts from the game the night before. The Cardinals beat Bellarmine 65-46 in an exhibition game on Wednesday.

1. Outside shooting won't be the strength of this team: I know it's not shocking, this team isn't going to be the best outside shooting team in the country. Rick Pitino has said it several times, the players don't disagree and 1-for-19 against the Knights proved the point again. For what it's worth, don't freak out too bad over that 1-for-19. The Cardinals didn't show anything "normal" on offense because of the Manhattan game on Sunday, so a lot of those shots aren't ones they'll take normally. Plus, coach Pitino noted the defense – chasing the smaller Bellarmine guys around – affected the team on the offensive end. Pitino said, "Luke (Hancock) had no legs and a lot of guy were just off." So, don't expect it to always be that bad but don't expect this team to ever light it up from outside. A few three-pointers here and there and they'll be fine. It's also good to note the Cardinals were 1-for-13 against the Knights in an exhibition game last season.

2. Outrebounded 43-38 by the Knights: If anything was a concern to me out of the game it was the rebounding. Or the lack of by the Cardinals, who dwarfed the Knights in size but didn't do a very good job on the boards. Pitino said the rebounding battle was affected by the fact that Bellarmine took a lot of jump shots, leading to longer rebounds. Gorgui Dieng did grab 12 boards – including three on the offensive end – but Montrezl Harrell only had four after showing signs of being a beast on the boards against Pikeville and in the scrimmages. The guards MUST do a better job of helping on the boards and several times backup center Stephan Van Treese had the ball slip out of his hands. Of course, Chane Behanan missing didn't help matters much on the boards. But the Cardinals must do a better job.

3. No Sports Illustrated jinx for Siva: Peyton Siva graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and said he had never heard of the SI cover jinx. And it sure doesn't look like his game is going to be affected by the jinx. Siva is playing like a pro. He's under control, he's leading and he's being vocal with his teammates. It didn't appear to me that Siva even ended up on the floor as many times as the previous game against Pikeville. He's staying more under control. The only thing he needs to continue to work on is the silly fouls. He had four against the Knights and two were silly ones that should have never happened.

4. Figuring out the rotations: Without knowing what happens during practices, its pretty obvious that Zach Price and Angel Nunez didn't have a productive week. Nunez only played in the final three minutes of the game and Price never got off the bench. Kevin Ware, Wayne Blackshear and Stephan Van Treese were the first ones off the bench - coming in at the same time – and I would imagine Ware and Blackshear keep getting those minutes. Expect Chane Behanan back on Sunday for the Manhattan game, likely not starting for a few games. He'll also get some of those minutes. Honestly, keeping everyone in the flow of the game and feeding the hot hand might be the biggest challenge for Pitino and staff.

5. A few leftover observations: Wayne Blackshear still isn't the Wayne Blackshear that I saw in high school, but he said he feels like it's coming along. He had five points and two rebounds in 14 minutes. . . . Montrezl Harrell was 8 of 9 from the field and will be the best field-goal shooter on the team is he never comes off the block. Not sure what his dunk total was in this game, but I remember four. . . . Stephan Van Treese had six rebounds but drew some screaming from Pitino on several occasions, mostly on the defensive end. . . . The Cardinals had 19 assists and only 11 turnovers, while blocking four shots.


Cardinal Authority Top Stories