LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It was a week that saw the college basketball season come flying out of the gate and a promising IU football season take a major hit.
#1 - Michael Penix was in the Heisman Trophy conversation and certainly was laying the foundation for a campaign in 2021. The IU quarterback suffered a season ending knee injury in the Hoosiers win over Maryland on Saturday. It’s the same knee he injured as a freshman.
“Michael and I spent some time together. What do you say? It is a tough thing. It is about love and support at this point. It was a challenge, even before we knew the result. We were talking to him and preparing him for what he might have had. It attacks the core of who you are. How are you going to respond to things that happen that do not seem fair when there is no good answer? That is the case here. You fall back on what you believe in. You fall back on your faith, your family, all the people that care the most about you, and you battle. You fight, you do not back down. It is discouraging, disheartening when it first happens but once you get through the first part of that, you realize it is time to fight. That is why grit is such a great word. It describes this program with perseverance and passion towards a long-term goal. Michael has some big-time long-term goals. It is going to take tremendous grit to fight through this. It is going to create more character, toughness and resolve inside of him that you could ever get if you do not face adversity,” IU head coach Tom Allen said.
#2 - The IU basketball team has had an encouraging start. The Hoosiers won handily over Providence on Monday in their Maui Invitational opener, in Asheville, North Carolina. Trayce Jackson-Davis is much improved and will be a contender for Big Ten Player of the Year. The Hoosiers will find themselves in the Top 25 with two more wins in the tourney, starting with #17 Texas on Tuesday.
#3 - The UofL men are 2-0 despite some major health issues. Samuell Williamson was the latest to go down, suffering a dislocated toe in the win over Seton Hall on Friday. Impressive in that win were clutch baskets from Dre Davis, Jae’Lyn Withers and JJ Traynor down the stretch. Carlik Jones is as advertised.
#4 - The Cats ran into a buzz saw on Sunday. An experienced Richmond team was much the best. However, the length and athleticism of these young Cats will prove to be too much for most of the teams on their schedule.
#5 - WKU had a 10 point second half lead over a ranked West Virginia team in the championship game of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Charles Bassey is one of the top post players in college basketball and Taveion Hollingsworth is one of the best players. Hopefully Hollingsworth is healthy enough to play against UofL on Tuesday. The Toppers will be problem for the Cards.
#6 - Jeff Walz is loaded in 2020-21. Haley Van Lith brings a Shoni Schimmel like excitement to the game. Dana Evans is improved after being named ACC Player of the Year last year and freshman Olivia Cochran provides a true post presence.
#7 - I’m not sure what to make of the seasons for UofL and UK football. The Cards turn the ball over too much and the Cats have been over matched the last two weeks against highly ranked opponents. The Florida punt return at the end of the first half was embarrassing.
#8 - As a Broncos fan I think the NFL should have pushed back the New Orleans-Denver game a day or two instead of making the Broncos play without a quarterback. It made for an unwatchable NFL game.
#9 - Of all the teams playing in the bubble at the KFC Yum! Center, check out Isaiah Miller and UNC Greensboro. Miller is relentless and can fly. The Spartans will give the Cards on Friday afternoon.
#10 - There has been plenty of talk about it, so I tried it. “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix is worth your time. It’s made me want to play more chess, and since I have a kid who loves to play, it could be a gift that keeps on giving. That being said, I put the final few episodes on hold to finish “The Undoing” on HBO. Wow! It’s also worth the watch.
Until next week.....