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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The M&M girls --A special treat for Cardinal fans



Mariya and Myisha a pleasant surprise for Walz



There was a phrase associated with the candy treat M&M's years ago. "They melt in your mouth, not in your hands". Louisville's M&M treats...Mariya Moore and Myisha Hines-Allen deserve a similar type of moniker or catch tag. 

How about..."They melt down opponents and want the ball in their hands?" 

OK, we'll work on that a bit...but one of the main pleasant surprises of the 2014-15 UofL women's basketball season has been the play and success of these two freshmen. 


Moore, the west coast shining star from the land of Creedence Clearwater Revival, sixties campus unrest and the Golden Gate bridge...comes to Louisville from Hercules, CA. Her feats this season have been herculean in nature.

Four games with at least 20 points. Shooting 74% from the free throw line. Leading Louisville in scoring eight times this season. She's got a seat dusted off and waiting for her on the All-Freshman ACC team at the end of the season and deserves another chair for the All ACC team as well. 


She's also the leading assist provider on a team that stresses the assist-to-made baskets ratio. In Louisville's 21 games she has been in double figures 17 times. 

Last time out, in the win over Syracuse...she went 6-13 from the floor, made four three-pointers, hit all five free throw attempts, grabbed six rebounds, dished four assists and nineteen of her 21 points came in second half as the Cards squeezed the Orange by 20.

Just another day in the office for #4.


Next...let's take a trip across the country next and land in Montclair, New Jersey. Home of late night funny guy Stephen Colbert. The Amazing Kreskin was born there. You're only 40 minutes away from Manhattan in Montclair and almost in the shadow of the Seton Hall campus. 

It's also where Myisha Hines-Allen calls home. This 6'2" freshman forward is another reason for Jeff Walz to smile. Back-to-back 23 point performances while coming off the bench for the Cards against Syracuse and Miami.



About the bench thing...According to the mad scientist it was originally done to "get her mad, light a fire underneath her and see how she'd react" when she finally got into the game.

It worked.

It may have cost her a permanent loss of dancing out to greet Sherrone Vails during player intros this season...but we like the end result.  

It also gives her a chance to sit with the coaching staff, get a feel for the pace, the tone and the tempo of the game and see just what is (and isn't) working for Shawnta' Dyer in the opening minutes. 

She started the season with 10 straight double-digit performances. Gone for 20+ in four games this season. Shooting 57% from the floor this season and went a wicked 11-14 against the Day twins and Taylor Ford in the Syracuse game. They picked up ten fouls trying to contain her. 

You would think such a accurate shooter and strong rebounded would have a closet full of "Double-Doubles"...but she didn't pick up her first one until the Wake Forest game. 

She's got a seat reserved at the All-ACC Freshman table and
...if there is any justice for newcomers in the league...a ticket for the All-ACC banquet and reception. 

The M&M girls. No peanuts here...they don't candy coat their game or remain bagged up. They come at you with more fire and intensity than Quentin Hillsman trying to run down a referee. 

They're one of the many reasons that Louisville is 19-2 and 7-1 in conference play. Some say they are the main reason.
I say...

If you think this year has been a blast watching them, just imagine what they'll be like when Jeff Walz goes for his 300th. win.

paulie 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Strong second half soars Cards over Syracuse 78-58 -- Friday Cardinal Couple



FOUR IN DOUBLE FIGURES FOR WALZ'S 200th WIN


Photo by Charlie Springer -- UofL Card Game. Check out Charlie's gallery at
www.uoflcardgame.com




The University of Louisville women's basketball team began the second half on a 13-2 run and then put together a 16-2 run over a four minute stretch midway through the final half to defeat Syracuse 78-58 before 8387 fans Thursday night in the KFC YUM! Center.

As much as the final twenty minutes were a priceless work of art by Louisville, the first twenty were rough to watch at times. The Cards missed their first five shots and continued to watch the ball fail to drop through the cylinder...falling behind early and trailing 10-7 with 13:30 remaining...thanks to a shot clock buzzer-beater three by Brianna Butler. 

Louisville was 2-10 from the field at that point and Walz inserted both Myisha Hines-Allen and Sherrone Vails into the contest to spark some life into the weak paint play the Cards were producing.

It didn't work...at first. Syracuse jumped ahead 19-11 after forward Taylor Ford got one of her four first half baskets with seven minutes of first half action left. Louisville started to battle back from that point, though...A Jude Schimmel three drew Louisville within two at 21-19 at the 3:25 mark. Hines-Allen tied it up with 50 seconds left and the Cards went in at halftime down just one at 30-29 when Hines-Allen took a Schimmel feed a with six seconds left and scored in the paint. 

Louisville managed to shoot 38.7% for the first twenty after starting 3 for 14. Hines-Allen's strong ten minutes off the bench produced 12 points to lead the Cardinal scorers and 
reserve Taylor Ford and 10 for the 'Cuse.

We were all hoping for a little better Cardinal shooting and production in the final twenty and we got our wish. 

A designed start-of-the-half three look for Mariya Moore produced a trifecta and the Cards went on a 13-2 run capped by a Jude three to grab a 42-32 advantage barely three minutes into action.



 "Q" got a time out for his baffled and step-slow Orange (and nearly a technical for protesting a Hammond steal we thought was a foul) but the adjustments and pep talk could not rally Syracuse.  They didn't get closer than seven points the rest of the way.

The officials stopped action with 14:57 to play when Hammond took a hard slap to the face from a Syracuse player after a Alexis Peterson jumper. Both coaches were called to half-court to confer with the referees over the incident...Walz arguing vehemently for a foul and "Q" protesting just as loudly that it wasn't intentional. No foul was called, which led Walz to ask if open hand slaps to player's faces were now OK...

The Cards took off on another run three minutes later...sparked by seven straight points by MHA over a 90 second stretch. Hammond's put back changed to scoreboard to 70-45 Louisville with 7:17...a 16-2 UofL run over a four minute stretch. 

The Cards coasted in from there...enjoying their biggest lead of the night after a Moore three put them up 75-49 with 3:51 left in action. Syracuse's 9-3 run to end the game was too little, too late and Walz replaced all five on the court with 1:21 with Deines, Freeman, Vails, Henderson and Carter. Cards win...the Cards win!!! by a final of 78-58.


It is probably the best second half of basketball Louisville has played this season. Consider they shot 65% in the final twenty to finish the game 31-60 (51.7%) After holding Syracuse to 28.9% shooting in the first twenty...the Cards kept the pressure on and "Q"'s squad ended 21-66 from the floor for 31.8%

HInes-Allen led all scorers with 23 points (in 23 minutes)...her second game in a row off the bench and second game in a row she's led Louisville in scoring. 

We're seeing a trend here.

Moore had 21 (after just two first half points) and Schimmel's three threes helped her get to 13 ponts. Hammond ended up with 13 points, 12 boards and eight assists.


Only three other Cards scored in the contest...Smith ended with five, Sherrone Vails had two points and Shawnta Dyer hit a free throw in the first half for her only score. Deines saw a puzzling one minute of play and "E" was on the floor for five.

A nice post-game video montage preceded the presentation of a framed and player signed 200 game wins poster to Walz. He was gracious in acceptance, both to the crowd that stayed around to see it and the media afterward. 


Unfortunately, "Q" and the "Cuse" crew got on the bus and out of the arena before I could get over to try and catch a few words from him. He was in rare form during the contest, though...dancing the sidelines, charging back and forth like a sprinter out of the blocks and even giving up on the game-watch for a minute or so stretch with 13 minutes left in the game to carry on an impromptu sideline chat with a bemused Matt and AJ during action.

He probably should have continued the conversation. Right after that, Louisville went on their 16-2 run. 


If anyone listened to the radio feed, please let us know what he was talking to them about. He had them in stitches...from what I could see at half-court. 

Nice win over a ranked and dangerous opponent. Louisville shut down scoring machine Peterson to just nine points on the night and powerful center Day finished with just five points. Reserve Diamond Henderson led the way for the "Cuse" with 20 points in 28 minutes. 

The Cards end January going 7-1. February promises to start with a bang when Louisville heads to Duke for a Monday "Groundhog Day" battle in Cameron that will show on ESPN2. The Cards are 19-2 overall and face a Duke "Coach P" squad that is an unexpected 14-6 overall.

As for "Q" ...he'll take his road show to Tallahassee Monday night to battle Seminoles. At 5-3 in conference now, the "Cuse" could drop to .500...with North Carolina in the wings after the FSU contest 

<><><>><><>><><><><>><><><><>><>>><><><><><><><>


Dan Wilson wins the January Contest and a fabulous CARDINAL COUPLE T-Shirt by guessing closest to the points that Mariya Moore scored in January. She ended up with 117 and he guessed 116. Vivian McAdams finished second with 115 and Nick LeTomassio gets third with his guess of 119. 

Thanks to all that took part in the contest. We had 12 entries that got within five points of the final number....including four that chose 120 and three with 114. You all are stinkin' geniuses! 

The February Contest is to pick the Cards leading scorer for the month and how many points will the leader get. E-mail your entries to us at cardinalcouple.com by 6 p.m. Feb. 2nd.

paulie   

Cards and "Cuse" square off in WBB tonight at the YUM! -- Thursday Cardinal Couple



#8 UofL looks to get Walz his 200th win tonight


The University of Louisville women's basketball team puts their 6-1 ACC record on the line when Quentin Hillsman brings his Syracuse squad in for a 7 p.m. tip at the KFC YUM! Center. A win could provide Jeff Walz his 200th. win of his head coaching career at Louisville.

This one won't be easy. The "Q" and his Oranges are 15-5 and 5-2 in the ACC. Ranked #23 in the latest polls, Syracuse has won their last five games...knocking off N.C. State last time out and allowing the Wolfies just 27% shooting.


Alexis Peterson leads these fruits with 15.6 ppg, 92 assists, and 47 steals. She's the one the Cards will need to squeeze to stop the other talented upstate New York ballers.

Briana Day is averaging a double-double with 10.2 ppg and 10.8 grabs. Brianna Butler adds 12.8 ppg. 

Should we call them "N" and "N Squared"? 

Briana (or "N") has a twin sister on the squad...Bria Day..who sees action as a reserve for the Orange Women. Brittany Sykes (no relation) is done for the season with her season ACL tear of her career. She had just returned from the first ACL rehab when the "Cuse" played Notre Dame in early January and she limped off the court in that one with the same injury.



Hillsman started his head coaching reign a year earlier than Jeff Walz did and is 182-103 in nine years. The Cards hold a 6-5 edge in the all-time series...4-1 at home...and Louisville won the last outing with a 68-57 "W" in Syracuse.

Whether Walz will stay with his new starting lineup of Carter, Dyer, Hammond, Schimmel and Moore remains to be seen...but whatever combination he tosses out there can't afford to be caught watching the paint dry at the start of this one -- as happened when Miami was here Sunday. 


Hillsman's team are always aggressive on the boards and Peterson is a "do-it-all" guard who is excellent in transition and performs the "dribble drive" well...so the Cards guards and paint dwellers must be pro-active in keeping her out of the painted wood.

No TV for this one that we know of except for Cards TV, which can be accessed either through GoCards.com or the GoCards.com GameDay Live mobile app. 

(That'll be $100 for promotional services, please...UofL) 



Matt never realized I took this picture of him practicing
his calligraphy.  Or alphabet.  I never really know...
You can also listen to the call of Matt Andrews and AJ on WKRD 790 AM...they always have such a good time calling the action and are aware I'm just a mere 40 yards away if they need to add a third-graders' viewpoints and babble.



Walz and "Q" have sparred at times on the court but are purported to be good friends off the hardwood. You don't want to miss the "Q" show tonight. A combination of frenzied stalker, wide-eyed aggressor, dancer, "B" movie actor and known to occasionally lay on the floor when he hyperventilates...Hillsman is worth the admission price alone. My post-game report may suffer (...as if it is ever any good ,anyway...) because my eyes will be fixed on "Q" and his two-hour live performance at the KFC YUM! Center.

Walz can emote a little emotion in front of section 114 as
well...so this one could end up being a actor performance review instead of a game recap when I eventually recap it later tonight.  

Let's put 12,000 in the YUM! tonight. It would be 24 times the amount Syracuse brings in for their home games. The ladies will thank you if you do. 

paulie

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cards softball to get ESPN broadcasts -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple



Pearsall's Pride to get 11 ESPN slots

New conference, new opportunities...


The University of Louisville softball team will make 11 appearances on ESPN3 or ESPNU this spring...all ACC games...as they roll into their first season of ACC Conference play. 

Kayla Soles and crew will be on the "U" twice...back to back on April 12th and 13th...when Florida State visits Ulmer Stadium for 7 p.m. games.


ESPN 'tres' will show games against visiting North Carolina on March 21st (both games) and March 22nd. When UofL goes to Blacksburg to do the Hokie dance, the April 3rd. contest and doubleheader on April 4th. will be shown. The "let's play two" battle against Boston College on April 25th. and single game on the 26th. can be viewed on the laptop. 

All home Cardinal softball games will also be available on Cards TV through GoCards.com



We're getting closer to the season starting...the Cards travel to Los Wages  Las Vegas to hit and run against UC Davis, UNLV, CS Bakersfield, #15/16 Minnesota and #13/11 Washington from Feb. 6th-8th. It'll be a great early season test for the UofL squad that has had significant departures in Taner Fowler, Katie Keller, Hannah Kiyohara, Caralisa Connell and others due to graduation.

Pearsall returns starters Soles, Brittany Duncan, Whitney Arion, Kelsi Jones and pitcher Maryssa Becker from last year's squad the won the AAC Conference Tournament and played in the NCAA Regionals.



In 2014, Louisville posted a 36-22 overall record, claimed the 2014 American Athletic Conference Championship and capped the season with the program's 11th straight NCAA appearance
.
The Cardinals return six starters and 13 letter winners from the 2014 team including NFCA All-Central Regional selection Maryssa Becker and all-conference team members Whitney Arion and Kayla Soles. Nine newcomers will also take the field for the Cards in their inaugural ACC season
.
Sandy Pearsall enters her 16th season as UofL's head coach. After building the program from scratch in 2000, Pearsall has guided the Cardinals to six conference championships. Under her watch, Louisville has made 11 consecutive NCAA regional appearances and served as a host site in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Why Do We Do This?


TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


(Jeff McAdams offers perspectives today on his involvement with Cardinal Couple. I think you will find them as interesting, riveting and descriptive as the weekly articles and radio commentary he provides. We are fortunate to have "Worldwide" on board and can assure you his dedication and interest to UofL women's sports is as strong as ours. Here's his views...)


Why Do We Do This?


Jeff poses with some of the Parrish House guys
Occasionally, I like to take a step back and revisit why it is that we do what we do on Cardinal Couple.  As our community continues to grow, slowly but surely, I think its useful to think about what we're trying to achieve, and consider whether how we're going about it makes sense.

How Did I Get Here?


Jeff's first articles were about Volleyball
I joined the ranks of Cardinal Couple columnists in late August of 2012 with the original intent of providing better and more in depth coverage of the Volleyball team.  Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love the sport of volleyball, and I saw an opportunity to share my love of the game.  It didn't take long before I started doing some coverage of some other sports, though.  Paulie encouraged me to branch out and give my input about some other sports.

An early picture of Paulie and Jeff
Basketball was the obvious first step outward.  I'm born and raised here in Louisville, so my life has been steeped in basketball of all sorts. 

 I won't claim to be particularly knowledgeable or insightful about the game, but I like to think I can bring some interesting insights to my columns.  I don't have first-hand experience with playing particularly competitive basketball...the most competitive venue I ever played in was a high school church league.  Considering that Women's Basketball drives the most readership and comments on the site of any sport, I sometimes feel like I'm doing well to hold my own with the insights and discussion that we get...and I love it.

The first time we asked Worldwide
to cover Duke...he rented this DVD
for more insight into the subject. 
That season, I also took the opportunity to take in some Softball games.  I generally know the game of Softball fairly well, though again I'm not an expert, but I started to learn the players on the team, a process that continues.  I also went to my first Lacrosse game, and was thoroughly mystified at what was going on.  I've since learned a fair bit, but have plenty still to learn.  Since then, I've been a fairly regular presence at Field Hockey games, going through a similar learning curve, and have been spotted at Tennis matches and Soccer games, and even found my way into the Ralph Wright Natatorium to see part of a swim meet.

Like Paulie, Worldwide also thinks Coach Sowry looks great
in a hat. She's always a fun interview and accommodating.
I truly, honestly, have had a ball and am thankful to Paulie for encouraging me to branch out, and step out of my comfort zone in working with Cardinal Couple.

(Editor's note: Jeff and I get to go to a lot of games and when we have the chance to sit together and watch them...his knowledge of the action is always impressive..)

But Why?


So, why did I get involved?

I, along with my parents, have held season tickets to
Chances are if it's a home UofL
women's event, you'll see Worldwide
(with or without glasses) in attendance.
Volleyball and Women's Basketball for eight or nine years, now.  In that time, I've also been to a few Football and Men's Basketball games.  Looking around Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium and first Freedom Hall, and now the KFC Yum! Center and seeing tens of thousands of fans, many of whom proclaiming loudly, and occasionally drunkenly, that they're "the biggest UofL fan ever!" I started to wonder, "If you all are such big fans, why are we only getting 700-800 fans at Volleyball games, or 2,000 to women's basketball?" (and, I was sure, attendance at other sports was even more limited).

To put it simply, I was peeved.  I started looking for media coverage of the less mainstream sports at UofL, with the intention of trying to highlight that coverage to whoever I could share it with.  I found Charlie Springer's UofL Card Game, where he does give some attention to Women's Basketball, and then I found Cardinal Couple.

And that was it.

Worldwide actually met Paulie outside a Cracker Barrel...
where he was panhandling for change with other
senior citizens. He left us some Canadian nickles.
Sure, some of the other UofL Sports news and commentary sights would occasionally mention sports other than Football and Men's Basketball, but they were few and far between and pretty perfunctory.  Only Cardinal Couple was really providing the consistent coverage of many of the less mainstream sports at UofL.  On a whim, I reached out to Paulie to ask if I could be of help providing coverage of Volleyball.  The response was far more affirmative and swift than I ever expected.  The rest, as they say, is history.

My goal hadn't been to specifically get involved covering
When he was younger, Worldwide was
never seen without his tuxedo on...
and was known as Louisville's
answer to James Bond
women's sports, but that's the niche that Paulie and Sonja had identified that they wanted to cover, and it covered much of the same ground that I was looking at.  So I've put in a fair amount of effort to start to learn about some other sports, to get to know the staffs and players, to step out of my comfort zone and do some post-game interviews (congratulations go to Justine Sowry of Field Hockey for being my first post-game interviewee), and just generally immerse myself in as many UofL sports as I had time for, and that turns out to be a lot.


A Few Word About Community


My day job is Computer Network Engineering.  I install, configure, and fix computer networking systems such as routers, switches and firewalls.  As a result of the work I've done for two decades, I've been involved in various forms of communities that call the Internet their home (mailing lists, web forums, real-time chat rooms, and others), all of the successful ones had one thing in common...the participants showed respect for one another.  Good natured ribbing has its place, but let's try to remember that we're all fans...most of us for the Cards, but we do get the occasional visit from fans of opposing teams, and I love that they always get treated with respect.  Thank you to all of the readers and commenters for that.

In the vein of community, let's start making some contingency plans for Tampa, shall we?  If...let's say when...the Cards make it to the Women's Final Four, I plan to be there, so let's plan a get-together of some sort.

-jmca-

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Off the bench" Hines-Allen and Smith key 68-55 Cards win over Miami -- Monday Cardinal Couple



18-3 run to start second half lifts Louisville over Hurricanes



Jeff Walz shook up the starting lineup against the Miami Hurricanes Sunday afternoon, inserting freshman Arica Carter and red-shirt senior Shawnta' Dyer into starting roles and bringing freshman Myisha Hines-Allen and senior Bria Smith off the bench.

At first, it didn't look like such a great idea. The "U" jumped out to a 7-2 on the Cards in the first four minutes of the first half and led 11-2 after a Jessica Thomas jumper at the 15:54 mark. That brought both Smith and MHA into the contest...but, thanks to the marksmanship of Miami's Adrienne Motley...the Canes' were still up 15-4 a minute later. 


The Cards weren't handling the Miami dribble-drive very well and could hit inside or out. Hines-Allen and Smith got into the rhythm after Emmonnie Henderson joined the action, though and Louisville ran off a 8-0 run over the next four minutes...HInes-Allen getting three straight baskets inside. It was 15-12 with 10:37 to go and Louisville looked alive and ready to take over.

It didn't happen right then for UofL, though...Miami regrouped and retaliated with a 12-2 run and after a Michelle Woods steal from Dyer and layup...it was 27-14 'Canes with six minutes left in the half. 



A questionable foul on Carter at the 6:04 mark drew Walz's outrage and a subsequent technical foul. Miami was unable to convert the resulting three free throws, however and Louisville went to work. 

The Cards started whittling away at the UofM lead...a Jude three and two "E" scores had Louisville back in the contest at 29-25 with three minutes remaining. Henderson would make it 29-27 with an inside score with 2:11 showing on the clock...but the Cards failed to score the rest of the way and Miami took a 31-27 lead to halftime. 

Hines-Allen was leading the Cards with 12 points and
Louisville got strong seven minutes from "E" and six points. Mariya Moore was still scoreless after playing 18 of the 20 minutes, though...and a ineffective Sara Hammond had a zero in the point total after seven minutes, no rebounds and two turnovers. 

The Cards were having a hard time stopping guard Adrienne Motley, who had 14 first-half points on 6 for 8 shooting. 

Louisville came out strong to begin the second stanza, though and ran off on a 9-0 run in the first 3 1/2 minutes to grab a 36-31 lead when Dyer scored in the paint. Woods tried to stop the bleeding for the "U" by hitting a three..but Louisville responded with another 9-0 blast and held a 47-34 advantage after a Moore "3". 



9:43 showed on the clock and it looked like the Cards had put this one out of danger. The game got pretty physical the rest of the way...Miami doing a lot of bumping, showing and hard fouling to try and get back in the contest...but the team played the rest of the way to a 21-21 tie. 

Smith, Hines-Allen and Moore took over the Cardinal scoring, those three responsible for those final 21 UofL points. The Cards record their 18th win and sixth in the ACC 68-55. 

Louisville shot 55% in the second half (11-20) and 44.4% for the game. The Cards took the points in the pain category (30-18), points off turnovers (17-14) and created 17 turnovers while committing 16. UofL held a whopping 42-12 bench scoring advantage and had 10 second chance points to Miami's three. 

Miami committed 11 fouls (that were called, anyway...if officials Edward Sidlasky, Joe Cunningham and Dan Outlaw had been watching the flagrant bumps and elbows of the Cane players...they could have added 11 more) in the final eight minutes and had a 23 to 13 foul total count advantage. 

Louisville was able to sink 18-28 free throws for the night...all of them in the second half. 


Louisville was led by Hines-Allen's 23 points on 10-11 shooting. Moore had all her 13 points in the final twenty minutes and Smith also added 13 for the Cards. Shawnta' Dyer closed out the UofL double figure producers with 10.

Only two other Cards put points on the stat sheet. Henderson's six first half points and a three from Jude in the first half. Hammond played 21 minutes and contributed four rebounds while going 0-3 from the floor and 0-2 from the charity stripe. Carter provided 15 minutes, an assist and a steal. Megan Deines saw just two minutes...in the first half...leaving the game after a getting a hard slam from Miami's Jassamy Williams that resulted in a missed shot and no call from the zebras. 

A good win against a hard-nosed, physical team that has a bona-fide star in Motley. Credit the Cards defense for holding her to just four second half points. 9887 turned out for the contest on a day where the Louisville men's team was playing in Pittsburgh on national TV in a 4 p.m. start.

In a game where Hammond had a limited role after carrying the team in the loss to Florida State, it was Hines-Allen and Smith who responded with strong efforts from the bench after rough outings at FSU. 

Walz explained the lineup change and success as "Myisha getting mad because she didn't get the start and responding and Bria watching because of her tendency to get off to poor starts." 

If MHA is good for 23 points in 29 minutes off the bench, let her watch the first four minutes next to Walz the rest of the season... 

The homestand continues Thursday when Quentin Hillsman brings the dangerous Syracuse Orange into town for a 7 p.m. tipoff. 

paulie 

WBB: Hurricanes blow into town...Bustos delivers at Softball banquet -- Sunday Cardinal Couple


BATTLE TODAY AT THE TOP OF THE ACC


"Bassy's" babes blow into town
The Miami Hurricanes are no tropical depression. They sit at the top of the ACC conference with Florida State, Louisville and Notre Dame and are quite capable of creating havoc in the KFC YUM! Center today at 5 p.m. against Jeff Walz's high-flying birds.

The "U" is 15-4 on the season, has won seven out of their last eight and sports a 5-1 ACC record. They own a quality, blow-out win at Notre Dame earlier this month and downed Virginia 67-58 last time out in Coral Gables. 

Katie Meyer's sunshine dwellers were picked to finish eighth in the ACC pre-season poll...but have been one one of the several surprises in a league that is showing unexpected parity and laden with eight teams that could finish in the top 25 when regular season conference play ends.


Led by Adrienne Motley's 16.5 ppg, this crew also gets gale wind force performances from Jessica Thomas...who poured in 18 against the Cavs, Jassany Williams' team high 6.7 grabs per outing and Michelle Woods...who touched Virginia for 12 points. 

They are physical, go to the boards well and have several guards who thrive off the dribble drive. They're also fourth in the ACC in made 3-point shots. Miami has been knocked off foes by an average of 17 points a game and has a seven point edge in rebounding over opponents.



Losses have come at Middle Tennessee by five, at home to Arizona State by four, at Tulane by five and a 15 point defeat in Cameron Indoor Stadium to the Dookies two games back. 

The Cards will look for guards Mariya Moore and Bria Smith to have better outings that they did in Louisville's sole ACC loss at Tallahassee to Florida State Thursday night. UofL will also hope to see a continuance of Sara Hammond's recent strong play and the timely contributions of Shawnta' Dyer off the bench. Jude Schimmel's steady play will also be needed this afternoon if the Cards are wanting to deflate the big wind team that's blown into town.


Recent subpar efforts from Myisha Hines-Allen and Emmonnie Henderson also need to be reversed if Louisville wants to stay atop the ACC leaderboard and prevent a third loss on the season.


This one is a Fox Sports South broadcast and the network is rolling out "big game" Deb Antonelli and Mike Hogewood as the talking faces in front of the camera. The nation's best WBB radio team of Matt Andrews and Adrienne "AJ" Johnson is your best bet for following in you can't pack the YUM! this afternoon. 

Miami averages slightly over 1000 per home contest. Let's give them something to talk about by putting 14-15,000 around Denny Crum Court. 

We'll have the recap later tonight here at CC.


````````````````````````````````````````````````

BUSTOS DELIVERS A FENCE CLEARER AT SOFTBALL BANQUET

Speaking of big turnouts, an impressive crowd packed the Brown and Williamson Center in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium last night for the Louisville Softball banquet. 



It was a delightful evening and Worldwide Jeff, his dad Charlie, Sonja and I had a great time with pre-banquet chats (that we recorded) with former Cards stars Alicia Wolny and Katelyn Mann -- who now run 502 Softball Academy...these two are even more charming and witty than when they graced Ulmer Stadium. We've posted a link to their endeavors on the Right Side of the Site. We also got audio from senior star Kayla Soles (love that Jersey girl!) and keynote speaker Crystl Bustos. We also had a great chat with head coach Sandy Pearsall...which I definitely should have recorded.

We were fortunate enough to be at emcee Sean Moth's table for the meal...he handles any situation with aplomb and style...and he and I discussed whether he could handle calling a horse race. He has his doubts...but loves the action despite "never cashing a winning ticket." 



The food was about what you'd expect at one of these functions...a Cornish hen quarter with mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli. The iceberg lettuce slice wasn't bad and the choice of cheesecake or chocolate turtle cake was the redeeming feature of the feast. 

After Moth's heartfelt and witty opening, Whitney Arion -- another senior star of Pearsall's roster -- delivered the invocation and the attendee's were treated to three great videos of last year's highlights, the Oklahoma City Challenge and player introductions. All were great...the girls revealing that in addition to their softball talents...they could do great bird calls, were addicted to coffee, and revealed other other fun facts about themselves. 



Coach P thinks Sonja and I are too tall. 
Sandy Pearsall took the podium first and gave the crowd a brief synopsis of the upcoming schedule and how preseason practice had been going. She's got a mix of great returning talent and impressive freshmen and her goal is to win the ACC Championship. Never one to self-promote her own personal achievements....Pearsall lauded her excellent coaching and support staff and brought recognition to the alumnae in attendance. 

We were lucky to have one of the best in Cardinal Softball history at our table. Former great Chelsea Bemis was at our table...the San Diego native is back in the 'Ville and serving on the UofL marketing staff. With her, Softball SID Lori Korte and UofL photographer Michelle Hutchins at our table...we were surrounded by greatness and enjoyed the dialogue at the table during our dinner.

They saved the best for last. Keynote speaker Crystl Bustos kept the crowd attentive and amused with her recollections of playing in three World Championship softball tournaments in 2000, 2004 and 2008. She shared her early days of softball also...she originally wanted to be a baseball player and was an excellent pitcher and hitter before she discovered fast-pitch softball. 

Bustos may have been the best hitter to ever play the game.  She's now a coach and instructor and gets to do what she loves every day...hit, teach and develop younger softball players. 

She also delivered a powerful message to the players in attendance. She sees the key to success in softball and life similar to a group putting together a puzzle. She challenged the players to solve the puzzle together that the coaches provide for the sport they administer and oversee.
Solving your daily issues is easier by combining the many mini-puzzles that can confront you into a single puzzle that you solve.



Interspersing her message with delightfully wonderful anecdotes of her own person triumphs, battles and experiences...she drew a long standing ovation at the end of her remarks. She was genuinely touched and appreciate of the crowd's admiration and we're sure she'll make good of her promise of following the Cards this season. 

A great night in a wonderful setting Saturday evening. If the Cards can pull off their season with the success they managed in last night's banquet...they'll be Oklahoma City bound in May.

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Our archived broadcast of Saturday's CARDINAL COUPLE
RADIO SHOW should be up on Crescent Hill's Soundcloud later this morning. It's a good one, don't miss it!

We're covering hoops, softball, volleyball, there's a Worldwide quiz for you to take and Kenny K. Keith and Don Paulie drop in for comments:

(I've pre-posted the link, if it doesn't happen for you when you click on it....try again in a couple of hours...or send me a scathing e-mail) 

LINK:

CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO IS ON THE AIR AND INTERNET, TOO !!





-paulie