They say the loudest guy in the room is the weakest and the quietest is the one you need to worry about. That couldn’t personify the play of Kyle Kuric over the last few weeks any better. His game is speaking loudly out there in both scoring and rebounding. Preston Knowles is the “guy” for Rick Pitino, but he needed some help. Kuric has stepped up, like we all knew he could, and this team is starting to garner some respect.
Kuric has been a sleeping giant all season. He is the 18th ranked player in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s ‘ORating’ which, in a nut-shell, determines how efficient you are when in the game. Effective FG% counts 3’s as 1.5 made baskets to account for the extra point, Kuric ranks 1st is the Big East. Funny thing is, Kuric has only taken 10 shots in 7 games this year and that include the last 3 straight. The only time the Cards lost when Kuric gets to double figures in attempts is the OT game at Notre Dame where he had 25 points and one absolutely vicious dunk.
If you didn’t follow all that, Kuric needs to shoot the ball more. If he had Mike Marra’s conscience, he may have Jimmer-esque numbers.
On top of that, whether it be because of injury or not playing well in Rick Pitino’s eyes, Kuric only saw 17+ minutes of action twice in the first seven Big East games. Since, he played 17+ every game, with the exception of the debacle at Providence where he only played 13. Louisville is simply a better team when Kuric is in the game.
His attitude and demeanor are a breath of fresh air after the way last year’s team acted. He’s not looking for the cameras after a nice play or pounding his chest for hitting a three. It’s refreshing after a few season’s of cockiness, some warranted and some not. For example, Edgar Sosa serves up a facial dunk on some poor Notre Dame player and you expected him to get a technical. Kyle Kuric does it and you’re shocked. It just goes with the whole mindset of this team.
He’s not just hitting from Kuric’s Korner anymore even though he has to be shooting an upwards of 70% from his hot spot. Kuric is hitting mid-range shots, taking the ball strong to the bucket and crashing the boards. Ever since that dunk on Scott Martin’s face, Kuric has regained his swagger and hopefully he won’t look back.