The Morning After is back, looking at some of the key points from last night's Louisville win over Temple in Philadelphia.
The Cardinals decked the Owls 82-58 in one of the best all-around performances of the season for the 20-4 squad.
1. Never a close game or close shave: Overall, the best 40 minutes of execution and defense and all-around performance? I believe so. Maybe it was Rick Pitino's telling his players the staff wasn't going to shave until they lose, or maybe it was the opponent. Whatever it was, it was a darn good performance. The Cardinals started strong and played a solid game. Let's hope we see more of it the rest of the season.
2. The beards: Yes, it's going to be fascinating to see coach Pitino and his staff growing beards. Let's hope they start looking like Duck Dynasty folks because that would mean they would win a bunch of games in a row. I've said it before, he's the master of pushing the right buttons with his players this time of year. First a tattoo and now a beard?
3. Harrell playing at a high, high level: Well, just a few weeks after saying no way that Montrezl Harrell leaves school early now he looks like a first-round pick. He will have to continue it and there's still a lot to play out but he's playing at such a high level. He's improved his offense and in this game blocked four shots, which is what the Cardinals needs from him. He was 9 of 16 from the field - six dunks - and had 22 points and 11 rebounds. It's the Harrell we all expected early in the season.
4. Jones is much improved: Two weeks ago, some questioned if Chris Jones was needed in the lineup for this team to be successful. Or if the team was better without Jones. Forget any talk of that because he's one of the team's best player. He's playing more under control, he's playing with passion and he's playing within his role on the team. Jones had nine points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals. He was on the floor for a few loose balls, making plays on both ends of the floor and the better he plays the longer the season will last.
5. A few leftovers: Harrell is one dunk away from tying Pervis Ellison and Chane Behanan for the most dunks in a single-season with 59. . . . Luke Hancock with another solid one, 11 points and three assists. He was 3 of 6 three-pointers. . . . Wayne Blackshear looked sharp in his return game from a concussion, 13 points and three rebounds. . . . Cards flew back last night and will practice today - a light workout - and then play Rutgers tomorrow at 6 p.m.