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Friday, January 19, 2018

20 - 0 start - Friday Cardinal Couple


After a bit of a slow start, the Hoop Cards pulled it together and eventually won the 4th quarter of the game in convincing fashion to put away the Pitt Panthers to move to 20-0 on the season.  The final score was 77-51.  The Cards didn't lose any quarter of play, but Pitt equaled the UofL scoring in the 2nd quarter at 15 apiece.  At 53-43 after three quarters, the Cards started the fourth on a 18-0 run.

The 20 game win streak to start the season continues to improve on the best ever start, and best ever win streak (not necessarily to start the season) in the WBB program.  This ties the 2nd best ever start for any team in UofL Athletics with Volleyball's 2005 season start.  The best ever start in UofL Athletics history is held by the 2012 Softball squad which went 28-0 before dropping a game to DePaul.  (That roster had such Softball luminaries as Alicja Wolny, Taner Fowler, Caralisa "Carl" Connell, Chelsea Leonard, Kayla "The Pride of New Egypt, New Jersey" Soles, Whitney Aron, Tori Collins, and the vicious don't-try-to-steal-on-'em combo of Maggie Ruckenbrod and Katie Keller)

I was watching this one on my phone while out with friends playing pub trivia, but Louisville was pretty clearly the better overall team, although I don't feel like we played our best.  Certainly our shooting wasn't the best we've seen all season, but with 14 offensive rebounds, we cleaned up a lot of our own misses, so that mitigates poor shooting to a degree.  I say "poor shooting", but we averaged almost 50% from the field, which isn't bad by any rational measuring stick, it's just something of a letdown after the red-hot Notre Dame game.

Sydney Zambrotta may be starting to work her way out of the bit of shooting slump that she's been in, popping two straight 3-pointers to buoy the Cards spirit.  She continues to contribute with surprisingly strong defensive efforts.  A very off night for Asia Durr, scoring "only" 9 points, but good balanced effort most of the rest of the way around the court.  Myisha Hines-Allen tallied 13, Sam Fuehring, and Arica Carter each accounted for 12, Dana Evens contributed 8, and Bionca Dunham put in 10 in only 18 minutes of play.  Those rebounds?  Yeah, that was pretty much all MHA, with 8 of the 14 offensive ones, and 10 of the 22 on the other end of the floor.

All in all, this was a solid win, with good, but not quite great, play for most, against a mid-pack ACC team.

The Cards return home for a Sunday tilt versus 12th ranked Florida State in a game that is later than usual on a Sunday with a 5 p.m. tip.  Let's hope a lot of the crowd from the noon-starting Men's game stick around downtown and come to the
women's game.  Tickets have already been selling well, with the lower bowl and terrace effectively sold out already (a handful of individual seats are available) and 300 level seats being sold.

Attendance was announced as 441. UofL has probably had more attend an open practice than that...



Former Pitt star Fred
I'm offering the FRED report today, Worldwide will probably disagree with the analysis but that's how it goes...he usually disagrees with most of my comments. No one can accuse us of being single-sighted or minded. 

F- Free THROWS.  12-20 equals 60% and that's below the standard. Seven players attempted them and only Evans and Carter were "perfect" (2 for 2). No letter.

R- Rebounding. 36-26 Cards advantage and a whopping 18 for DOOO-BLAY Myisha Hines-Allen. No one else had more than three. A ten-rebound advantage on the road works. I'll extend a capital "R"...mostly because of MHA. 

E - Effort/Execution. 13 turnovers isn't so bad and 24 assists on 29 made baskets is pretty acceptable as well. The 10-0 shut out on fast break points is exemplary and paint production 36-18 Cards offsets a CARDINAL so-so performance for the first three quarters. I'm going small "e" here....Pitt was only down by 10 until they fell apart to start the 4th session. 

D- Defense. The Cards held Pitt to 51 points....which was their 3rd lowest point total of the season. The Panthers had 19 turnovers and Louisville did get eight steals. 42% shooting can largely be credited to Yacine Diop's 10-20, 26 point performance. We've seen better defense out of the Cards, so a small-case "d" is the decision here. 

Final FRED tally:  _-R-e-d



Five star prospect Leon Burger should give the
Cards excellent base-running skills. 
The January meeting of Sportsmen's Supper Club welcomed Louisville head softball coach Sandy Pearsall, pitching coach Kassie Stanfill and UofL Baseball recruiting coach/coordinator Eric Snyder to their monthly meeting last night at the University Club. 

Kassie has seven pitchers to keep track of (after two for most of last year) and finding replacements for Maryssa Becker and Sandy is watching intently the battles to secure starting roles at first base and in left and right field to replace graduated Jordan McNary, Tiarra Sanabria and Morgan Meyer. 

Eric filled the membership in on where they recruit and what they look for. 

Their presentation was well-received and we learned a lot about how a team prepares for the season. 

Softball's banquet is this Saturday night and a few tickets are still available for the Brown and Williamson Club event on a will-call basis. 

Future meetings planned for Sportsmen's Supper Club tentatively include Arthur Albiero, Dani Busboom Kelly, Scott Teeter and John Asher as prospective speakers. If you are a UofL fan, like to eat and enjoy hearing top-notch speakers in a question and answer should look into joining the club. 

If you are interested in joining Sportsmen's Supper Club, contact Paulie via e-mail :

Membership is open to all. 

Monthly meetings with great speakers, a cash bar, Cardinal fans and buffet for $25 a month! 


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Louisville women's basketball -- The quest continues, Pitt next -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WILL 19-0 GET TO 20-0? 

The University of Louisville women's basketball squad has done what very few expected them to do this season. 19-0. Two bona-fide All-American candidates. #2 in the nation. 

Not that Jeff Walz is complaining. In fact, he's stepping up his efforts to get the word out about the program. Appearing on any show that asks. Holding weekly press conferences. Not that the players mind, either. It's a simple philosophy existing on campus and in the Little YUM! Practice facility. 

One game at a time. 

And it's been one win at a time. Some closer than others. Some against traditional national powers, some against challenging mid-majors and some against also-ran 
ACC Conference foes. A few scares along the way. 

Louisville is one of three DI undefeated schools in NCAA women's basketball. They join
UConn and Mississippi State as the undefeated. They play the first of their seven remaining away games n the regular season tonight at Pittsburgh. Let's look at Pitt. 

The Panthers are 9-9 on the season, 1-4 in the ACC. They got their first conference win when Georgia Tech visited on January 14th. A Georgia Tech squad that gave Louisville one of the aforementioned scares earlier in the season in Atlanta, narrowly losing to the Cards 74-71. Since then, the Yellow Jackets have suffered a bit, getting only one win in four attempts. 

Pitt doesn't look like much at first. But, the Cards have a history of playing close games in the the Petersen Event Center and sometimes losing. In 2015, the Cards escaped with a 63-57, six-point win. In 2012, Louisville went to overtime before getting a 71-66 victory. A visit there in 2010 resulted in a 72-69 loss. In Walz first year (2007-08) as the Cardinal skipper, Louisville fell 76-67 in "the Pete". The Cards have fared better against the Panthers in the past two 2016 Louisville took a 84-61 road win. Last year, the Cards visited and left with a 63-48 triumph. 

Mr. Pitt (from Seinfeld) is NOT the
Pittsburgh head coach or A.D. 
Despite the Cards high national ranking, don't expect the Pittsburgh folks to pack the Pete. 463 made it through the doors to see them beat Wake Forest. 812 were witness to the win over Georgia Tech. So it goes in a town where there are Steelers, Penguins, Pirates and, of course...the Fish that saved Pittsburgh...

Promo for the movie "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh"

So, who do the Cards need to worry about? Beside Antonio Brown and Ben Rothlisberger...oops, wrong sport...

1) Yacine Diop. I know, it sounds like a fancy party chip-dip, but the red-shirt junior forward has averaged 20.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in her last four outings. she didn't play against the Cards last year but she's capable of making noise inside. Against "My-Zilla" that's a risky bet...but she'll need watching. 

2) Alayna Gribble. She's been out awhile under concussion syndrome and a broken nose but woke up quite well agains Ga. Tech with seven threes and  29 points. Jazz Jones shut down Arike Ogumbowale pretty well in the Irish game, can she keep up the "jazztastic" defense? 

3) Kalista Walters. She has the leading shooting percentage in the ACC with .659 after eighteen games. She also averages 7.4 grabs a night. 

Pitt has been holding opponents to 56.1 points per game (as of 1/11) and had 111 blocked shots (tops in the ACC) after 16 games (about seven a night). They were also 4th in the ACC with 154 steals (almost 10 a night). 

Do I think that the Panthers will be able to match any of these team numbers against the Cards? 

No, I don't...but i also figured Louisville would roll by Georgia Tech by 20-25 points. The main thing the Cards can do is worry about the Cards and what they can do. I know that sounds overly-simplistic but it is accurate and would bode well to get Louisville to 20-0 if they do the things well that they do (score, play defense, hit free throws and grab rebounds) and cut back to trouble areas (turnovers, fouls). 

The Cards will run into a sister-sister coaching act in Suzie MConnell-Serio and Kathy McConnell Miller. We can only hope that the aren't related to Sen. Mitch McConnell. They did take over a win-less program in 2013 and get them to the NCAA Tournament two years later.  

So, to borrow from our radio show...let's hope it's a "Look What We Can Do, Louisville!" evening tonight.

Hazel Miller sings "Look what we can do Louisville"

Your top song with "20" in the title: 

Eddie Cochran "Twenty Flight Rock" 

Yellow is one of Pitt's main colors.
Conspiracy theorist unite. Is Walz
secretly working for the Panthers?
He likes the Steelers and Heinz decide. 
Louisville has gone this far, are they able to go a little further? Maybe they are, maybe not. Florida State, UConn, Miami, Virginia (twice) and Syracuse all present challenges but, maybe we should just follow their lead. One game at a time. One win at a time. Life seems so much simpler when you take it that way. 

Walz has proven time and time again, it is his and the coaches mantra that if the players listen to them, they will win. So far, the hearing has been excellent on campus. Let's see how well the audio is in Pennsylvania tonight.

ACC Network Extra has the Internet feed for this one. We think you should listen to Nick and A.J. call it on 790 WKRD. Our illustrious "Worldwide" Jeff McAdams will greet you tomorrow morning here at the site (bring pastries) and recap the action. 


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Basketball, Spirit Teams, Softball, and Team USA Controversy... Wednesday Cardinal Couple

Women’s Basketball

It seems as if everyone but Coach Walz was not looking forward to the break women’s basketball had this weekend.  Coming off a 33-point victory over Notre Dame and on a 19-game win streak is always exciting and motivating.

Walz was looking forward to the break for many reasons.  Primarily, at this point in the season a short break is good to help recover on any minor injuries the players have had and to catch up on rest.  The break also gave the team a chance to get together in practice just to hit the basics again such as free throws, layups, and communication.

The Cards prepare to visit Pittsburgh tomorrow.  The Panthers have not looked good this year and sit at 9-9.  Their only game against a ranked team was a 21-point loss at West Virginia.  Pitt sits at 1-4 in the conference with their only win being a close game against Georgia Tech.  However, ACC basketball is tough, and anything can happen so don’t overlook them.

Coach hasn't been hitting the ski slopes or building snowmen during the break in the schedule, though. He's been out recruiting, from California to our nation's capitol. Welcome to our newest Cardinal Ramani Parker. a 6'4" post out of Fresno, CA. who verballed earlier this week. She joins Nyah Green as the 2019 verbals so far. 

A ranked Florida State team will visit the KFC Yum! Center this weekend.  Like the Notre Dame game seats are going fast.  The lower bowl is nearly sold out and I hope (fingers crossed) we will see some of the 300’s open for this game.  The 12,600+ crowd the other night was unreal, and I hope we can manage at least 10,500 for this one.

Men’s Basketball

I just want to give a quick shout out to the men’s basketball team.  They won their third straight game with a 2OT thriller in South Bend.  It’s become a common occurrence to go into overtime against Notre Dame in men’s basketball.

David Padgett seems to finally have gotten this team together and they’re now 14-4 and 4-1 in the ACC.

Ray Spalding has certainly stepped up his game and is it too early to start mentioning Padgett for ACC coach of the Year? 

Spirit Calendars

All spirit squads at UofL are separated from the D1 teams we have.  Cheerleaders, Ladybirds, mascots, and pep band do not receive the same scholarship and compensation as the other sports.  The uniforms you see the cheerleaders and Ladybirds wear are self-funded.

You may have noticed the cheerleaders and Ladybirds walking around selling calendars at the basketball games.  This is a big fundraiser for both groups and each member has a certain quota.  The calendars feature group photos as well as individual photos of each member.

If you’re in need of a 2018 calendar or just want to help their programs out each calendar is only $10.

Gymnastics vs Larry Nassar

Justice is served. 

Larry Nassar, a former doctor for Michigan State and USA gymnastics.  After being accused of sexual misconduct by several gymnasts it has finally come public about his sexual assault and abuse actions.

After reading ESPN’s lengthy article about the situation I found it odd how many people originally rejected the claims of many gymnasts.  Whether it was parents, coaches, or school officials everyone either turned a blind eye or didn’t believe anything.

As much as we’ve seen advances for women in the realm of sports gymnastics has had its setbacks because of issues such as this.  Nassar got away with sexual assault for decades before an investigation finally happened.  Former gold medalists such as Simone Biles, Jordyn Weiber, McKayla Maroney, and Gabby Douglass have all come out with statements in the last few months regarding the topic.  It’s sad we had to wait for this issue to be brought to the attention of the public for something to happen.

I asked Paulie if this was okay to bring up in the article and he was fine if it didn’t consume today’s entire write-up.  I just found it worth mentioning since Cardinal Couple covers women’s sports.  I am glad that UofL takes Title IX seriously and has a zero-tolerance policy for any sexual misconduct and sexism.

Softball Banquet

Softball kicks off their season with the Bullpen Dinner this Saturday at the Brown and Williamson Club.  This is an opportune time to meet the players and coaching staff before the season begins.

This year’s guest speaker is Hall of Fame coach Margie Wright.  She’s the first NCAA Division 1 coach to reach 1,000 wins and finished with 1,457.  Come down to the softball banquet after watching the Louisville vs Kentucky swim meet at 1:00.  You can make your visit to campus an all-day affair.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

I look forward to returning to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this Saturday.  Work has kept me occupied the past couple of months but I’m excited to get into the new studio with the “A-Team” again.  As always, thank you to WCHQ FM for being a gracious host and be sure to tune into them any day of the week for the best local music there is!

Petition Request

The present Chairman of the BOT and the Interim President are desiring to deemphasize athletics at the University of Louisville. We the fans and contributors of the University demand their resignations and encourage the governor to ask Grissom to resign.

Go to Care2petitions

Best wishes and Go Cards!
- Jared

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Louisville women's basketball -- Moving on up -- Parker chooses Louisville -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The University of Louisville's women's basketball team is now ranked #2 in the Associated Press Poll, the highest ranking in program history. While I don't think anyone realistically expected to move to #1, the fact that UofL didn't garner even one first place vote is interesting. The Cards beat the (then) #2 Notre Dame WBB squad by 33 points. 

This is more than 3X the margin of victory of nne points, which is what #1 UConn could muster against Notre Dame. Not one first place vote? The Cards weren't even the unanimous #2 in the polls...undefeated Mississippi State moved up to third and received some acknowledgment as well. The Bulldogs will face a tough test on Sunday when they travel to "Ol Rocky Top" to face the Tennessee Volunteers. 


Asia Durr has been named ACC Player of the Week for the third time this season. She has also been named the espnW Player of the Week for the second time this season. Her 21.1 points per game average leads the ACC. She has heated up with a blazing 26.8 average in ACC games which is also #1 in the conference. As she racks up accolades, she remains grounded and humble -- giving credit to her teammates for spreading the defense and getting her the ball. She recently indicated that she'd like to go into coaching. Myisha Hines-Allen responded that she wanted her future kids to play for her. A revealing exchange that tells you all you need to know about how this team feels about her.



Myisha Hines-Allen was named College Sports Madness ACC Player of the Week. Her 31 points in the Notre Dame game was a career high. Adding 12 rebounds, Hines-Allen scored her seventh double-double of the season and third in the last four games. Cardinal staffer Beth Burns jokes there is a "double-double" and a "Myisha double-double" Hines-Allen leads the ACC with 9.8 rebounds per game and has an ACC best 6.7 rebounds per game. Her 14.3 ppg ranks 15th in the ACC. 


Louisville travels to play Pittsburgh on Thursday night. At 9-9 overall and 1-4 in ACC play it might be easy to overlook the Panthers but they are on a one-game winning streak after beating Georgia Tech in "the Pete"...a team that earlier this season took Louisville to the wire. The Cards lost on the Panthers home court in 2008 and 2010, pulled out a 71-66 overtime win there in 2012 and escaped with a 63-57 win back in 2015. The Cards did win in the Steel City in 2016 and 2017.

Now that the Steelers football season has ended, expect a good crowd for this one Thursday. As long as Pitt doesn't find a way to sneak Ben Rothlisberger and Antonio Brown on the floor...the Cards should prevail...but expect a close one. 

Will William Gay make an appearance? 

Gay played college football at the University of Louisville where he played in 46 games recording 134 tackles. Gay is also somewhat notable for being offside as a defender on a field goal kick attempt in the final minute of Louisville's game against Rutgers in 2006. Although the kick was unsuccessful, a penalty was called against Louisville that provided the kicker with a second attempt. This one was successful. As a result, Louisville experienced their only loss of the season, effectively ending their bid for a National Championship game berth


We're seeing life in the Louisville Lacrosse program as they prepare for their season start at Cincinnati on Feb. 9th. 

The once depleted roster is now up to 24 with the addition of four transfers and return of Madison Hoover, who had left the team in November. A team with 10 freshmen can use her senior leadership Hoover gathered 19 assists in 20 games last year. 

Two of the transfers come from head coach Scott Teeter's previous school, Canisius. Tessa Chad, a junior attacker, scored 53 goals last season. Brennan Shanahan, a junior defender, led Canisius with 31 ground balls and 27 caused turnovers. Both were All-MAAC First team. The fact that players are following Teeter from his previous school instills confidence that there will not be a repeat of last year's coaching issues that resulted in mass transfers. 

Courtney Denna, midfielder, is a grad transfer from Maryland. Last year she had 17 starts and saw action in 22 games. Jen Scaaf, goalkeeper, is a freshman transfer from Howard Community College. All four transfers are immediate eligible. 

We're still waiting to see who Teeter will pick to fill out his coaching staff. Renee Poullott was recently named as an assistant and we figure Teeter will add another soon. 


Ramani Parker is a 6'4" post that has been pursued by many schools. A part of the 2019 class, she is now off the table. Jeff Walz strikes gold in California with her verbal to the Cards. The Fresno, CA junior went to Twitter to break the news. 


Julie Sullivan

Monday, January 15, 2018

Making a Case for Asia Durr: Wooden Award Winner -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Last week, the Los Angeles Athletic Club released the midseason top 25 list for the women's edition of the John R Wooden Award. The Wooden Award, for those unfamiliar, is akin to the Heisman Trophy in college basketball. It is not the only individual honor granted to the "best player" but is considered the most prestigious. The Wooden Award was first awarded to Marques Johnson of UCLA as the National Player of the Year for the 1976-1977 season. The award was brought to women's college basketball in the 2003-2004 season, naming Alana Beard of Duke the Player of the Year in the women's game. 

Louisville has had one Wooden winner, Darrell Griffith in 79-80. Ralph Sampson is the only men's player to win the Wooden Award twice. Conversely, in the 14 seasons the Wooden Award has been in women's basketball, only seven schools have laid claim to the "best player in the country." Duke, Stanford, and Washington each have one award, with LSU, Tennessee, and Baylor all claiming two. Connecticut has the other five. Each team with more than one award has had the same player win more than one award, with UCONN having two 2-time winners in Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart. Ironically, Moore's wins were not consecutive, being split by teammate Tina Charles winning in 09-10. 

Louisville has recently claimed the player of the year awards in football and baseball, with Lamar Jackson and Brendan McKay leaving their marks on the Cardinal trophy case. They join Darrell Griffith's Wooden Award, and it seems as though there should be some space made for another POTY trophy soon. 

Asia Durr has been outstanding in this, her junior season. Her competition is stiff, to be sure. She's one of just 25 remaining on the watch list, which will be cut to 15 before the final selection. The 25 players currently on the midseason list are not guaranteed to be on the Final Ballot as each year a player has made it onto the Final Ballot that was not on the preseason or midseason lists. Durr is joined by names you'll have heard before. The full list is below.

Graphic from

Durr has been instrumental to Louisville's success this season. To suggest that the team would still be undefeated at this point without her would be foolish. While the award isn't given to a single team's MVP, it is hard to ignore the MVP of the undefeated, second ranked team in the country. Durr currently ranks first on the team in points, field goals made, threes made, three point percentage, free throws made, and free throw percentage (>15 attempts). She's second on the team in minutes per game and ranks near the bottom among major contributors in fouls per game and turnovers per game (lower rankings are good in those categories).

In addition to her team stats, Durr's name appears quite often when browsing the national stats pages. Durr is 9th in total points scored, 50th in free throw percentage, 22nd in field goals made, 105th in field goal percentage, 18th in points per game, tied for 8th in threes made, 12th in three pointers per game, and first in three point percentage. Keep in mind that there are 349 women's basketball teams, which means that these rankings are out of nearly 4,000 players. Durr is ahead of most of the other players on the Wooden list in many rankings and when someone is ahead of her in one category, they usually aren't ahead in other categories.

Asia Durr has shined brightest in the most important games of the season so far. There will be more huge games on the schedule, and Durr will be important in every game for the Cards this season for them to continue the season they're having. Though she jumps off of the screen every time Louisville is shown on TV, perhaps no game is bigger for Durr's Wooden campaign than the February 12th matchup against Connecticut. In that game, Durr will have the opportunity to go up against four (!!) fellow watch list candidates. Given her propensity to go off in the big games, I would look for Durr to have another huge game in Storrs. 

There is a lot of this season remaining, and presumably an entire season remaining to enjoy Asia Durr's game and contribution to the Louisville team. As we recently learned with Lamar Jackson and Brendan McKay, though, that time can fly by. As soon as a star is gone, you quickly realize that there could never have been enough opportunities to see them play. As far as Asia Durr goes, if she keeps playing the way she has been so far this year, we may soon have another trophy to add to the case.

A nice read on what former Cards think about this team.:


Until next time, Go Cards!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Track, WBB and The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Track and Field

Still around...still winning. 
Quirky fact: If you've ever looked at the list of sports at and wondered how UofL comes up with 23 sports in which they compete in, the answer is Track and Field.  No, Track is not considered a separate sport to Field, but in the NCAA worldview, Indoor Track and Field is considered a separate sports from Outdoor Track and Field.

This weekend was the UK Invitational for Indoor Track and Field.  Friday saw throwing events, and yesterday saw a broader slate of events across the spectrum of the sport.

Louisville saw a little success on Friday, with Makenli Forrest and Carson Cassell finishing in 6th and 8th places, respectively, in the weight throw.

In action yesterday, we immediately have to issue a correction to something that was said yesterday on the radio show...

Emmonnie Henderson, who we mistakenly said had graduated, won the shot put with a throw of
16.35 meters.  Meanwhile, over at the high jump, Javen Reeves, and Jerin Allen finished 1st and 2nd with jumps of 2.15 meters...which to my mind seems like a tie, but somehow Reeves was awarded 1st place and Allen 2nd.  I can only surmise what the tie-breaker is in this case...perhaps the number of jumps required to clear the height?  If anyone has info on how this works, I'd love to know.

Alexis Gibbons and Teague Peck both picked up 2nd place finishes.  Gibbons in the long jump with a distance of 5.93 meters, and Peck in the 400 meter run crossing the line in 48.31 seconds.

Marcus Jegede and Devin Valentine picked up 3rd place finishes in the long jump and triple jump.  Jegede leaped 7.28 meters, while Valentine took a couple of extra hops and reached 15.15 meters.

Congratulations to all of the Cardinals, both men and women, that represented the University well down in Lexington.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

The studio was down a couple of contributors yesterday, with Case bowing out of the radio show due to illness causing vocal issues, while the studio dog, Punkin, wasn't able to join us either.  We soldiered on, despite not getting our requisite dose of pooch pettings, and I think had a pretty good show.  Paulie, myself, and JC "no periods" Sullivan, got the opening sections completely out of order, but did eventually get everything accomplish, and then had a great discussion about the UofL Women's Basketball team, continuing to bask in the glow of Thursday's win over Notre Dame.  We did a quick rundown of new coaching announcements in Lacrosse, Volleyball, and Women's Golf, and we spent a little bit of time breaking down the recent effort to educate CardNation on Twitter not to call the women's sporting teams at UofL the "Lady Cards".  Listen through to the end to catch the latest update from UofL's success in the Manager Games...yes, that's a thing, and yes, UofL is doing quite well.

You should be able to find the recording, when it shows up, at


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Still Not Over Thursday, Plus More News -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Post Complete Performance in Win Over Irish

Plenty has been said about the thrilling victory the Louisville women's basketball team put up over perennial powerhouse Notre Dame on Thursday. Rightfully so. Louisville had not beaten Notre Dame before, and this was a top three matchup in the KFC Yum! Center. Since I'll be out of today's radio show with a cold that would not lend itself to a strong radio broadcast, I decided to put my thoughts up here, potentially to spark a bit more conversation about the game.

First and foremost, allow me to apologize to the Cards. I've been a bit down, both in my columns and on the radio show. I believed that they were a special team, don't get me wrong, but they hadn't been playing to the best of their ability. The constant late comebacks by opponents, while still resulting in Louisville wins, were not a mark of sustainable success. When Louisville jumped out to a large first quarter lead, my thoughts immediately went to the fact that they'd have to hold off Notre Dame, a team with significantly more talent and better coaching than other teams they'd buried early.

Fortunately, Louisville came right out in the second quarter and proved me wrong. Not only did the Cards not let Notre Dame begin creeping back into the game, but they continued to dominate the Irish, doubling up the score before the half. Then they came out in the third quarter, and they dominated again. Louisville won the first three quarters of the game by at least 11 points EACH. The only reason the fourth quarter didn't look the same is because Jeff Walz wanted the back half of the bench to get significant minutes against a quality opponent.

By the way, make no mistake about it. Notre Dame was still a quality opponent. Yes, they are a different team than many expected them to be in the preseason. Three players out on ACL tears this season alone, with one holdover from last year, is rough. But Notre Dame has persevered. They've still been winning games. That is, until they ran into the Cards. I'm sure the game Thursday night would have been different had Notre Dame had their complete roster. However, I think the Cards showed that they are a force to be reckoned with against any other team.

Let's take a look at the CASE Report to see how the Cards stood out statistically in a game that they dominated on the scoreboard.

C-Care: Louisville turned the ball over 14 times. Prior to Thursday's game, Notre Dame was forcing turnovers at a pace of only 15.5 per game, only good enough for a 200+ ranking in the country. That means Louisville turned the ball over 90% of Notre Dame's average. That's not the ranking we're looking for. To their benefit, as they opened up the score in the first half, Louisville turned the ball over only 4 times. Had that pace held, Louisville would have met the criteria. Based on their performance in the third quarter, I think they could have done it with the starters all playing their top game. Louisville also turned the ball over fewer times than Notre Dame. I'll stay strict, though. Louisville earns a lowercase 'c'.

A-Assists: Louisville tallied 25 assists on Thursday night. Because they were balling, and still did not get the 66% mark in the assist ratio category, it seems that I made that criterion too harsh last week. I'll amend it again, for good this time, to 60%. Louisville's 25 assists on 41 made shots was good for 61%. Had they kept their turnovers down, the could have met the 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio criteria. Thus, I think it's in a good spot. With the higher turnovers, though, they posted only a 1.79. Lowercase 'a'.

S-Steals: Louisville's pressure contributed greatly to the victory. The 10 steals is better than the desired 7.5 mark, and it doesn't even take into account the impact that drawn charges and push off fouls have. The Cards also managed more steals than the Irish, narrowly edging out ND's total of 8. Good for a rating of capital 'S'.

E-Efficiency: Louisville shot 68% from the floor Thursday. Holy moly. They were better than 55% from the floor in both halves, and outscored the total efficiency benchmark by 23 percentage points. If I were generous, I would use such a fantastic number to award a capital letter. However, Louisville shot only 7-11 from the free throw line, 63.6%. It's a low sample, sure. It's even one that could be thrown out due to the efficiency from the floor. However, all four missed free throws came from Jazmine Jones and Dana Evans. These two players are both likely to be on the floor in late game foul situations. Opposing teams will force the ball to a player they don't trust to make free throws. If you're expected to be on the floor in those situations, you need to be money from the free throw line in all situations. No exceptions from me. Lowercase 'e'.

Despite my hardnosed approach, Louisville still managed to post a c-a-S-e. A lower turnover number would have granted them two more capitals and two more made free throws would have rounded out the word. This was pretty clearly a fantastic performance for Louisville, one that I hope to see from them more often.

I'm hoping that Louisville's complete performance on Thursday can be a turning point for the Cards. No, every opponent is not going to get you up mentally the way that Notre Dame did. However, the post first quarter meltdowns are mostly mental. If the Cards can see how they performed all game against the Irish, and recognize that such a performance can be replicated, they'll be nearly unstoppable. Though they might not be able shoot 72% every half (goodness), the persistence and commitment to execution makes the difference. Louisville takes on UCONN just under a month from now. They'll need to maintain focus against all other comers during this month, but the battle against the Huskies has the potential to be a dream game. 1 vs 2. All the Cards have to do is keep playing their game and keep winning. One game at a time. Next up to get crossed off the list is Pittsburgh. Go Cards.

Another News Around the University 

I wanted to get my thoughts about Thursday's thriller out there, but there are other things that deserve mention on these pages as well. It's time for the lightning round.

Todd Chamberlain, a Louisville native and graduate of Trinity High School, will be joining Dani Busboom Kelly and the Louisville volleyball staff. Chamberlain was at Kansas for eight years doing work with outside hitters as well as handling video coordination and recruiting duties. The staff is excited to welcome him and his talents back to the Ville.

Another Kentucky native will be coming to Louisville in an assistant coaching role, this time for women's golf. Lydia Gumm was a two-time All-ACC performer during her time at Florida State. Gumm's playing career with the Noles just ended, with her posting the fifth lowest career stroke average in school history. She'll be an important piece in helping the Louisville women's golf team to the next level.

Swimmers from both teams at UofL are having a strong showing at the TYR Pro Series in Austin, Texas. Today is the third day of four in the competition, and Louisville swimmers have already claimed five top five finishes and 11 finishes in the top 7. They'll look to continue that success and have a strong upcoming season.

Finally, the track and field squads have opened competition at the UK Invitational. Yesterday, the squads competed in the weight throw. On the women's side, freshman Makenli Forrest tallied a sixth place finish with teammate Carsen Cassell coming in eighth. Competition continues through today.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Despite the weather and road conditions, the plan is still to host the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, CC's weekly radio show on WCHQ FM. Paulie will lead the gang in the new studio on Mellwood from 11AM-12PM. Tune in to hear live commentary on Thursday night's game, as well as where the Cards go from here. The show can be heard on your FM radio dial at 100.9 or online via or the WCHQ app.

Until next time, Go Cards!