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Friday, May 29, 2015

Changing the game in NCAA WBB -- Friday Cardinal Couple


NCAA Rules changes for WBB in 2015-16

The game is changing for the three divisions in NCAA WBB and the changes are good.

A fan of the one and one...were you? Say goodbye to that feature. Absolutely in love with two halves instead of four quarters? The halves are gone and the quarters are here. Couldn't wait for those (4) media timeouts each half? You'll get half as many chances to watch Mr. "Better ingredients, better pizza" try to sell you on his pie now. Tired of seeing 10 seconds stretched into minutes when a team is advancing the ball upcourt? That 10 seconds is actually 10 seconds now. 

Change is here. Long live change!


The women's college game will now be like it is in high school and the pros. Four quarters. No more one plus one to dread. Instead, teams will reach the double bonus at the fifth team foul in each quarter. 

This should speed things up a bit, eh? 

And, we're not done yet....folks. Teams will no longer get a new 10 seconds to advance the ball if a defensive deflection out of bounds happens. It is about time that good defense gets rewarded for their hustle and offenses will now have to concentrate on advancing the orb over the timeline as quickly as possible. 

In that final, sometimes very crucial, minute of the game...a team can now advance the ball to half court following a timeout. Goodbye 60 foot desperation heave...hello quick pass and 20 foot jumper. 

Coaches determining how many timeouts happen per quarter. 10 seconds (and only 10 seconds) to get the ball over the stripe. Has the NCAA Rules Committee gone completely mad and actually implemented something that is beneficial to the game? 

 It's about time, NCAA WBB.

Can the jump ball instead of alternating possessions be next?  

paulie
xxxxx


Thursday, May 28, 2015

WBB to face Mich. St. in Big Ten/ACC Challenge...Volleyball adds transfer -- Thursday Cardinal Couple



CARDS VS. SPARTANS ON DEC. 3RD.



Louisville WBB will head to East Lansing, MI. to face Suzy Merchant's Michigan State Spartans in the BIG 10/ACC Challenge on Thursday, Dec. 3rd the leagues announced yesterday. 

Last year in the Cards first appearance in the event they blew out Lisa Bluder and the Iowa Hawkeyes 86-52 in Iowa City, IA that was a rematch of a 2014 NCAA Tournament game. 

Louisville has faced "Spartie" twice in the past, taking down MSU in the 2012 first round of the NCAA Tournament 67-55 and losing 82-73 in the 1990-91 season. 

Last season, MSU went 16-15 overall and posted a 7-11 Big 10 record. They do return honorable mention All-American Aerial Powers, who averaged 21.9 ppg for Merchant. 

All told, 14 games will be played over two days between the ACC and Big 10. The other matchups are:

Dec 2

Georgia Tech @ Indiana             Illinois @ Miami
Northwestern @ UNC                Ohio St. @ Notre Dame
Syracuse @ Maryland                 Iowa @ Virginia
Wisconsin @ Wake Forest

Dec 3

Boston College @ Purdue           Minnesota @ Duke
Rutgers @ Florida State             NC State @ Nebraska
Pittsburgh @ Michigan               Virginia Tech @ Penn State

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VOLLEYBALL ADDS KALI EAKEN


Anne Kordes announced Wednesday that redshirt freshman setter Kali Eaken is transferring to Louisville from Kansas State. 

Eaken sat out last season and will have four years of eligibility for the VolleyCards. 

She was recruited by Kordes when she was in high school and was a three-time Kansas All-State selection. She was named 2013-14 Gatorade Kansas Volleyball Player of the Year and 2013-14 First Team Under Armour All-American.

She'll add depth to a position that Katie George held last season. Lyndsay Palmer, a transfer from Gonzaga is also listed as a setter on the 2015 roster. The duo are in their last year of eligibility. 

Eaken is also solid in the classroom...being named to the Big 12  Commissioner's Honor Roll in the fall of 2014. 

paulie
xxxxx




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Good Morning Campers! WBB Day, Team and Elite Skills camps in June -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple



UofL WBB Coaches and players will supervise participants during sessions.

With June right around the corner, we are drawing closer to the annual University of Louisville camps and skill sessions. 



These aren't your usual crafts, canoeing and nature hike camps, mind you. Coach Steph won't be telling scary ghost stories around a campfire, nor will Coach Sam P. be helping you build smores or serving hot chocolate. You won't see Coach Sam W. nor Cortnee Walton leading the campers in a round of "Row, row, row your boat" or learning how to tie knots. (Running Coach Walz's gym shorts up the flagpole remains optional each morning, we guess...) 

These are basketball skills and development camps and the Cardinal coaching staff and players will be working with the future players who will fill the high school and college ranks down the road. 

Things kick off with a Elite Skills Session on June 13th. High school girls can receive personalized instructions from the Cards from 12-4 p.m. All participants will receive a camp jersey and shorts...campers will be active in drills and competition in Cardinal Arena and the new Student Recreation Center. Cost is $75 and if interested...contact Assistant Coach Samantha Williams via e-mail (Samantha@GoCards.com) or by phone (502-963-7612). This one was filling up quickly...last we heard. 



Next up is the day camps and they'll run from June 15-18 from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Cardinal Arena on June 15th. This camp provides instruction to improve upon basketball fundamentals such as shooting, passing, rebounding and defense. Kids from grades 3-8 are welcome and will receive instruction from current UofL staff and players.  


Things move to a team format beginning June 19th-June 21st. This camp is designed to provide teams the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season and is open to every high school female team and player. There is a six-game guarantee, with a minimum of eight players per squad. Registration for junior-varsity and varsity teams is from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Cardinal Arena on June 19th. Games begin at 5 p.m.

There will also be a NCAA rules session included. 

The camping concludes with another Elite Skills session on June 24th. 

More information below...or go to:

UOFL BASKETBALL CAMPS


paulie
xxxxx 








Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Volleyball preview -- Tuesday Cardinal Couple

Volleyball Update



As spring sports have wrapped up, I've started to field some questions about what the Volleyball team is going to look like this fall.  We talked a bit about the schedule that was posted a few weeks ago (far earlier than usual, for Volleyball...some credit goes to the ACC for being on the ball for that, I suspect), but the roster has now been updated, and there are some changes, not all completely expected, but none too terribly shocking either, I don't believe.

First off, last year we had an effective roster of 13 people. The website lists 15, but we had one mid-season departure from the team and Javoni Faucette sat out the whole season because of injuries.  This year, we're looking at a roster of at least 16, and to my knowledge, everyone is completely healthy.  I also hear of another likely transfer that isn't yet official and thus isn't listed, and likely won't be added, presumably, until after she arrives on campus for the summer.

We graduated two; Tara Gowan, an outside hitter; and Courtney Robison, a defensive specialist.  Javoni Faucette has apparently not been able to fully recover from her injuries and is not returning, and Brooke Betts has decided to pursue the sport elsewhere.  That leaves a returning core of ten players.  Outside hitters Laura Blab, Maya McClendon, and Janelle Jenkins will be returning (Jenkins has occasionally played at middle when needed).  Our phenomenal duo of middle blockers, Tess Clark and Maggie DeJong will also be returning.  At setter, we have the services of both Katie George and Lindsay Palmer again, though should Katie win Miss USA in July, its unlikely she will return to play volleyball, in my estimation.  On defense, the trio of Roxanne McVey, Gabbie Wiley, and Eleni Georgiafandis will still be providing a solid core, Lindsay Palmer can be counted on to fill in on defense as well, when Katie is setting.

There were two transfers that joined the team in January that we've spoken about some before.  Both outside hitters - Ashley Pettibone transferred from Golden West College and will be a sophomore, and Erin Fairs comes to us from USF and will be a senior.  I don't expect to see Ashley on the court a tremendous amount this year, but count on Erin to be a major component of what looks to be a fairly potent, if not terribly tall, offense.  Erin also will likely play full rotation, so expect to see her digging and passing as well as providing an offensive outlet as a back-row attacker.

There are four incoming freshmen.  First is Molly Sauer, a hometown favorite, coming to UofL from Assumption and KIVA, Molly is listed as a Libero and will bolster the defensive core that we have returning.  The roster has Molly, Roxanne, and Eleni all listed as Libero, with Gabbie as a DS, but I would expect Molly to be the one that ends up wearing the different colored jersey.

Next among the freshmen are a pair from Texas. Aniah Philo is from Rockwall, TX, in the Dallas area.  Morgan Miller comes to us from Magnolia, TX (and is remarkably difficult to google due to at least two other notable Morgan Miller's, including one who is a volleyball player, and another who has had some success in the beauty pageant world from Magnolia, AR).  Magnolia is outside of Houston, and incidentally, this is the same hometown as Roxanne McVey, though they did attend different high schools.  Aniah is an Outside Hitter, and Morgan is listed as both a setter and a right side hitter.  While I haven't seen either play, as the only player listed as a right side hitter, I would think it likely that Morgan would get some playing time in that position.

Lastly, Jasmine Bennett comes to us from McCracken County High School in the Paducah area.  Jasmine is the daughter of Winston Bennett and will be wearing jersey number 25 like her father did during his basketball career.  I have not had the opportunity to see Jasmine play, but I would be surprised, as a middle blocker, if she can crack into significant playing time over Tess or Maggie this year.

Baseball Hosts


As always, while its not really in our core mission, I would be remiss in not noting the results of the NCAA Baseball Selection show.  We knew already that Louisville had been selected as a host site for the Baseball Regionals, but the selection show revealed that we will be the overall 3 seed in the tournament, which means that we will also host a SuperRegional...presuming, of course, that we emerge victorious from Regional play.

In the Regional, we will be hosting Morehead State, who will be our first opponent, along with Bradley who is the Regional 2 seed, and Michigan.  The format for the NCAA Baseball tournament is the same as Softball, with double-elimination Regionals, a best of 3 Super Regional, and the College World Series with essentially parallel double elimination and a best of three championship series.

Action gets started Friday at 2pm, with the Cards taking the field at a scheduled 6pm.  NCAA action is ticketed, unlike most UofL Baseball games.  Tickets can be bought starting Thursday through the UofL ticket office.

jmca

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day -- Monday Cardinal Couple



MEMORIAL DAY

As you enjoy this Memorial Day holiday, remember those who gave their all so that we can enjoy the freedoms we
have today. 







( Our Saturday broadcast is now up and running on the SoundCloud. Give us a listen! Link below.) 

CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO ON 100.9 FM WCHQ


paulie
xxxxx

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Atlanta Dream Classic and WNBA COMES TO LOUISVILLE -- Sunday Cardinal Couple



SUN, MYSTICS WIN IN ATLANTA DREAM CLASSIC. 



6347 fans watched the two WNBA pre-season games in the KFC YUM! Center on a Memorial Day Weekend Saturday night...Louisville's first-ever WNBA games in the Atlanta Dream Classic. 

Fans of the Indiana Fever and Atlanta Dream didn't get what they hoped for...the Connecticut Sun rallying from an early deficit to knock off the Fever 76-68 and Washington taking control early against a depleted Atlanta roster to defeat the Dream 79-55. 

WNBA Basketball is a bit different than the college ball normally played in the KFC YUM! Center. The games are four quarters instead of two halves and the music decibel level rivaled that which was being played down River Road at the Abbey Road on the River festival. 

Mix music is the soup du jour during a WNBA game and it goes on non-stop, even when the teams are on the court playing. A bit different...and geared toward the younger generation. The jury is still out (at least for me) on that...

We actually tried to get a short interview with the D.J. playing the tunes but were rather brusquely informed by his "handler" that every second of his time was booked and that would be impossible. 

(I hope he didn't have to pee while at work...or maybe they had that built in for him also...) 

CONNECTICUT SUN 76 - INDIANA FEVER 68


The first game of the night looked to be a blow-out in the making early on...and it looked like Indiana was going to deliver the romp. The Fever held a 22-8 lead over the sun after Natalie Achonwa (yes she played...with a heavily wrapped knee) hit a hook shot with 2:01 left in the quarter. 

Connecticut closed the quarter strong with a 11-4 run, though...Chelsea Gray scoring five points and the Sun continued to cut into the Fever lead in the second quarter by scoring the first eight points and taking a 27-26 lead on a Kelsey Griffin three with 6:34 until half. 

The Fever regained their composure, though...and regained the lead...going up 35-31 after Achonwa hit a free throw with 2:23 left in the second quarter. They got a steal and Achonwa layup at the buzzer to go in up at the half 41-36.

Jeanette Pohlen led the way for Indiana in the first twenty minutes with nine points and Achonwa added seven. Chelsea Gray led the Sun with nine points and Kelsey Griffin contributed eight.

The Fever held the lead throughout the third period until a Kelsey Bone "and 1" gave the Sun a 48-47 lead. Layshia Clarendon's jumper gave Indiana a 57-54 edge with 14 seconds and it looked to be the final goal of the quarter but Gray hit a jumper at the buzzer to get Anne Donovan's team within one with 10 minutes to play. 

The fourth quarter belonged to Connecticut. They regained the lead on a Bone layup to start the fourth quarter and a Bone put-back gave them a three point lead at 62-59. The Fever stayed within striking distance...a Pohlen jumper made it 67-65 Sun with 5:48 to go.

Connecticut went on a 8-0 run over the next five minutes...aided by the strong board play of Elizabeth Williams...and led 75-65 until Shenise Johnson hit a three for the Dream with 37 seconds left. Kayla Pederson added a free throw for Connecticut with a second left for the final 76-68 score. 

The Fever no doubt missed Tamika Catchings and Shevonte Zellous who did not play...but Connecticut was without Chiney Ogwumike..so the star power was missing on both squads. Shenise Johnson tried to keep Indiana in the contest with seven of the Fever's 11 final quarter points...but the Sun shone brightly in the paint in the fourth to get the win. 

WASHINGTON MYSTICS 79 - ATLANTA DREAM 55

Missing starters were key in the second game...Atlanta leaving starters from 2014 Tiffany Hayes, Erika De Souza and Sancho Lyttle at home in the nightcap. 

The crowd greeted former Cards and current Dream starters Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel with a rousing welcome and the two seemed fired-up to be back in front of the Louisville fanbase.  

The ball just wouldn't go in the basket for Atlanta early on. 

They fell behind the former UConn Huskies trio of Stefanie Dolson (who was rocking purplish-blue hair), Kalana Greene and Bria Hartley. The three had 18 of Washington's 24 first quarter points. The Dream went 4 for 17 in the first ten minutes and managed just 10 points...Angel and Shoni going a combined 0 for 7. 

It got worse for the Dream in the second quarter as Washington continued to get easy layups and solid three point shooting from Hartley. Angel broke loose in the second quarter...scoring 10 of Atlanta's 13 points...but the Mystics doubled the score on the Dream at the half 46-23. Shoni was making some nice passes and defensive stops but was still scoreless.

McCoughtry played just 1:11 in the third quarter and Schimmel logged over nine minutes...finally getting on the board with a desperation three as the shot clock expired with 4:12 left in the quarter.

The basket drew the biggest cheer of the evening.

Speaking of cheers, I'm not sure I'm a real big fan of an event's PA announcer repeatedly chanting "Defense" or "Let's Go Dream" into the microphone during action. Isn't that why there are cheerleaders and spirit groups? Once again, small beer really...but it got annoying. I'm sure a number of local high schools would have gladly lent their cheer squads or dance teams to the event. 

"Sho-time" hit another three at the 2:45 mark, elicting another loud crowd response but Atlanta wasn't cutting into the Mystic lead and was trailing 67-40 with one quarter remaining. It was Shoni's final basket of the evening. 

The teams played fairly evenly in the final stanza. Angel sat while Shoni logged all ten minutes in the fourth...picking up two more assists for a team high six. The Dream actually outscored the Mystics in the final ten minutes 14-12 to lose 79-55. 

Atlanta got inspiring play from Sequoia Holmes and Ify Ibekwe off the bench but missed the 60% of their starter base that wasn't there. Also disappointing was that Washington's Kara Lawson was there but did not play. 

We wanted to see if she would try interviewing her teammates and opponents while running up and down the court. The "headband cam" and accompanying audio feed is coming in the WNBA...we just know it ! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Both Schimmel and McCoughtry met with the media following the game. Both were thrilled to be back in front of the Louisville fan base...Angel playing in the KFC YUM! Center for the first time and almost wistfully commenting that it would have been nice to spend four years in the arena. 

Angel had a bag of ice strapped to her knee when they entered the media room but professed that nothing was wrong...it was just "getting old" aches and pains. 

Other tidbits from the post game chat:

- Shoni hasn't read Jude's book yet...being quite busy with "playing hoops, sleeping and getting up and doing it all over again the next day..." but marvels that her sister was able to do it at the age of 21. She also hopes they can travel Europe playing ball together after the WNBA season is over.


- Angel still avidly follows UofL WBB...noting that she would be "watching at 3 a.m. in Turkey" to support the team.

- When asked if playing against three Washington players that formerly played for Geno Auriemma reminded her of the old days of facing the Huskies...Shoni jokingly made a vague reference to officiating and burst out laughing with Angel and the media. 

All in all, a great evening of the WNBA in the YUM! 6347 for a pre-season exhibition double-header isn't bad at all. Whether or not a franchise could do that consistently here without the benefit of the two greatest players in Louisville WBB history on their roster is debatable. I'd go, how about you? 

It was fun to have women's hoops back and it just whetted our appetite for the 2015-16 UofL WBB season.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Meanwhile, a level up from Denny Crum Court, the lines were long to meet Jude Schimmel and buy an autographed copy of her DREAMCATCHER book.

A short conversation with co-author Rick Laemmle revealed they brought 300 books and ran out of them -- necessitating a hasty trip to go pick up and bring back more.

Jude, ever-smiling and greeting each person in line...Shoni showing she is ready to assume the starting point-guard role for Atlanta. It seems the Schimmel's "held court" on two levels of the KFC YUM! Center Saturday evening and it was a pleasure and treat to see them  "back in the house" they helped build and fill. 

paulie
xxxxx 
  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

WNBA Preseason Doubleheader Tonight in KFC YUM! Center -- Saturday Cardinal Couple


DREAM VS. MYSTICS...FEVER VS. SUN 


The WNBA takes over the KFC YUM! Center tonight with two preseason games. Atlanta faces the Washington Mystics in the nightcap and the Connecticut Sun squares off against the Indiana Fever in the 5 p.m. opener.

Tickets are still available and Robbie Valentine, the arena director of premium sales and services expects a big walk-up crowd. Valentine also indicates that the lower bowl of the YUM! Center will be full for tonight's events.

Let's look at the four participants: 

INDIANA FEVER

Our northern Hoosier neighbors went 16-19 last season in the Eastern Division. They were led by Tamika Catchings's 16.5 ppg and T.C. is back on the roster this year. Shavonte Zellous tossed in 11.1 and also returns for Indy. Other essentials back on the pre-season roster are Erlana Larkins (10.0), Briann January (10.5), and Marissa Coleman (8.9).

The Fever also have rookie Natalie Achonwa on the roster but it is highly unlikely she'll hit the court with the bum knee. Cardinal fans will remember Layshia Clarendon from California and Sydney Carter from Texas A&M. 

CONNECTICUT SUN

Will Sean be in the YUM! tonight or
calling baseball on the radio? 
Head coach Anne Donovan may be the tallest person on the sidelines in the first match-up. Her rays of sunshine went 13-21 last year in the Eastern Division. Three rookies will be familiar to Cards WBB followers...Inga "The Russian Rocket" Orekhova (USF), Elizabeth Williams (UNC) and Chelsea Gray (Duke).

Leading scorer in 2014 Chiney Ogwumike (15.5) returns for the Connecticut squad. Also on the roster from last year are Alex Bentley (12.2) and Kelsey Bone (9.3). UConn heart-throb Kelly Faris is trying to make the team and there are two Thomases...Alyssa, who played with the Sun last year and averaged 10.0 and Jasmine...who was with the Dream last season. 

WASHINGTON MYSTICS

If Sean isn't there, maybe they'll let
WorldWide be the PA !!!
They'll face the Dream in the second game and went 16-18 last season in the Eastern Division. Three ex-Geno Huskies are on the roster and played last year for Washington. Stefanie Dolson (6.0), Bria Hartley (9.7) and Kalana Greene.

Lots of returnees from that 2014 squad. Veteran Kara Lawson (7.0), Ivory Latta (12.8), Emma Meesseman (10.1) and Kia Vaughn (Gwen Rucker's best friend) with 9.7 ppg.

Dayton's Ally Malott, who helped sink Louisville WBB last season is a rookie on the squad.

ATLANTA DREAM

The "Big Five" for Michael Cooper's Dream are all back. Our beloved Angel McCoughtry (18.5) and Sho-time Shoni Schimmel (8.3) will try and take the mystery out of the Mystics. Tiffany Hayes (12.9) will face her old UConn pals.
Veteran front-liners Sancho Lyttle (12.2) and Erika DeSouza (13.8) will prowl the paint tonight on Denny Crum Court.

Also back from last season Aneika Henry (4.5), Matte Ajavon (3.2) and Celine Dumeric (3.3). 

Rookies trying to earn a jersey are Brittany Hrynko (DePaul), Sam Logic (Iowa) and Ariel Massengale (Tennessee). 

It should be big fun tonight on the court and off the court as well with the Louisville WBB squad in attendance and Jude signing and selling copies of her book DREAMCATCHER

We hope to see you there! 

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RADIO THIS MORNING! 

We'll discuss the upcoming games on this morning's radio show and also look at hoops, softball, track and field and much more. We'll be without Sam the Dry Weather Intern today but WorldWide will cover the gap and also toss in his clever, snarky remarks that have become a staple of the show.

My lazy butt did not get out and secure any interviews this past week (I'll more-than-make-up for that tonight) but I have prepared a WorldWide Quiz and we'll find other mischief to get into starting at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the Internet at www.crescenthillradio.com

Maybe we'll sing our favorite Beatles songs...since Abbey Road On The River is in town...nah, bad idea.

Join us, won't you. It don't cost nothing.

paulie
xxxxx