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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Cards Down SEMO -- Thanksgiving -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Cards Defeat SEMO in Season Opener

One down, many to go.  #5 Louisville defeated SEMO in both teams season opener, 74-53.

After a slow start, which is expected in the first game of the season, the Cards outscored the Redhawks by 19. It was a healthy mix of new faces and familiar ones contributing to the victory.

Freshman Olivia Cochran led Louisville in scoring with 17 points that was highlighted by a 9-for-10 mark from the free throw line. Dana Evans, who is now a senior (holy cow, already?!), scored 15 points to go along with a team-high six assists.  However, Evans was held without a made three-point basket. Freshman sensation Hailey Van Lith did not disappoint with 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds.  She filled up the stat sheet well with a made three-pointer, an assist, a steal, and a block with only two turnovers.

It was the defense that impressed.  The Cards surrendered just 53 points on the game that featured allowing just eight points in the second quarter.  They recorded 10 blocks led by Elizabeth Balogun's three blocks.  The Cards recorded 11 steals on the day highlighted by Ahlana Smith's three.

Louisville forced 19 turnovers and converted that into 26 points off turnovers.  They won that mark 26-10.

Rebounding seemed to be next to no concern after getting through the first quarter.  They won the rebounding battle 50-36.  The26 offensive rebounds turned into 21 second chance points. All in all, 11 players saw playing time ranging from eight minutes to 32 minutes.

SEMO was a last minute add after Middle Tennessee had to back out.  Jeff Walz was extremely complimentary of the Redhawks.

"I was really appreciative for (them) to make this happen" he said.  "For us to go on the road, it was a good win.  We're at a point right now in college basketball in general, you've got to get as many games in as quick as you can since there's so much uncertainty."

After scoring the first bucket of the game, Louisville went back-and-forth with SEMO up until a 16-16 tie.  A pair of free throws by Evans gave Louisville a lead at the end of the quarter, a lead that would never be vanquished.


Louisville would go on an 11-3 run for much of the second quarter to push the lead to 10.  A Merissah Russell fast break layup art the buzzer would send the Cards into the half with their largest lead of the time at 14.

A HVL three-pointer to start the second half put the Cards up 17 before SEMO went on a run.  They cut the lead to six with four minutes left in the quarter.  Louisville answered with a run of their own to push it up to 15.

The defense kicked it up a notch again in the fourth quarter and gave up two points over the first 4:03.  A trio of layups wrapped up the Louisville scoring going into the final 35 seconds of the game.

Overall, the game went as expected with Louisville getting the win.  There were moments of early season mayhem as players get used to real opposition as well as playing with each other.  Many players adjusted to the collegiate style of play or finally got to rep their Louisville uniform for the first time.

It is a solid start to the year and gets jitters out in time for their home opener this Sunday.

The ever-popular F-R-E-D report is back.  Since this is the first F-R-E-D report of the season I will give the honor to our fearless leader to fill out.

F-R-E-D Report

Free Throws -- The Cards got to the line 27 times and made 20 of the attempts. That was good for a 74.1%. Our free throw line of success is 70%, so they squeaked by there. Olivia Cochran had the most attempts for UofL, and went a stellar 8-10 from the charity stripe. We can award a capital "F" here for making the unguarded ones. 

Rebounding --  Give the edge to Louisville 50-36. The Cards didn't really pull away in this stat, though, until the latter part of the third quarter and the final quarter. SEMO only shot 8% in the fourth quarter (no, not a mistype -- they went 1-12 from the floor) and when you grtab the misses, you're numbers go up. It was rebounding by committee, although I'll point out that 5'7" Hailey Van Lith tied for the Cards leader in grabs with eight. In fact, the three freshmen combined for 21 of the Cards grabs. We'll definitely qward a capital "R" here. 

Effort/Execution -- Despite the slow start, Louisville did a good job overall running the offense, given the number of players they shuttled in-and-out and it being the first game. Thumbs uo on the 26-10 points-off-turnovers Cardinal edge (creating offense off defense) but a face-palm on the 2-17 three-point shooting. If any of the Cards future opponents watch the replay of this one, they'll come out in a zone and dare UofL to beat them from the deep. So, given the good and bad, I'' award a small case "e" for the effort and execution. 

Defense -- Holding SEMO to just 53 points and 27.3% shooting gets a thumbs up here, creating 19 turnovers does as well. The surprising number was a 10-1 advantage in blocked shots, seven Cards getting them and Elizabeth Balogun with three. Ahlana Smith had three steals and thaat's was a bright spot. The Cards had no answer for Tesia Thompson (21 points) but they shut down the rest of the Red Hawks and got the win. We'll bestow a capital "D" for doing it defensively.



Normally we do not have a true article on Thanksgiving but the basketball game yesterday made this year an exception. 

Thanksgiving may look different this year than in recent years.  We are all doing our part to keep everyone healthy and safe --  even if it means we do not see certain family or get certain food. We should be extra thankful this year for things that may range from family and friends to food to being able to afford bills, and especially our lives.

Here at CARDINAL COUPLE, we are thankful for so many things. Our families, our health, the camaraderie on our staff. our wonderful readership and that there are sports to report on.  If you're reading this, be thankful you can. 262,000 fellow Americans have left grieving families and friends behind with only memories and sadness. 

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

GAME DAY -- Louisville women's basketball vs SEMO -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It is here. 

After all the talk, speculation, changes and implementations -- the University of Louisville women's basketball squad will take the court for their first game of the 2020-21 campaign, 

Today's opponent is the Southeastern Missouri State (SEMO) RedHawks and the contest will be played in the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A trip west on I-64 for the Cards, about 4-1/2 hours from the Belknap campus. (Last we heard there were $6 tickets available, in case you aren't doing anything today and fancy a drive). 

For Louisville WBB fans, the broadcast will be available of ESPN+ (a pay-for-view internet platform) or on radio. 93.1 FM will have today's coverage, since Louisville's men's squad will be on the normal home for Louisville women's basketball 790 Cards Radio WKRD. 93.1 is known as Real 93.1 , the call letters are WTFX and their normally a rap and R&B genre can catch Nick and A.J around 2:40 p.m. this afternoon for pre-game festivities leading up to the 3 p.m. live call. Whether Nick tries any Jay Z or Flipp Dinero styling remains to be seen...

So what will the Cards face today? 

SEMO plays in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) and did quite well their in the 2019-20 season. They posted a  14-4 conference mark and the Red Hawks were 25-7 overall. They won the OVC Conference Tournament, downing UT Martin 67-47. They return leading scorer, senior 5'11" guard Tesia Thompson,  who averaged 19.7 points per game and seven other players from last year, including starter Pruitt Taelour, a 5/6" junior guard who averaged 9.6 points per game. 

The Red Hawks added five freshmen and have three transfers into the program. Of particular note is freshman, 6'2" center Ambrea Gentile 

A key loss is Carrie Shephard, who started her career at Missouri, and was the Red Hawks leading three-point specialist, going 96 for 239.  The tallest SEMO player is 6'4" forward LaTrese Saine, who is a red-shirt senior and averaged 4.8 p.p.g with no starts. 

With three starters gone and three of their top scorers graduated, it looks to be a rebuilding year for sixth-year and OVC Coach of the Year last season... head coach Rehka Patterson.  SEMO was picked to finish third in the pre-season OVC poll. Thompson and Pruitt were pre-season All-OVC Team picks. 

SEMO hasn't had much luck against the Cards in their two visits to the KFC YUM! Center, winless in both visits. They fell 97-43 in 2010 and 80-40 in 2017.

And the Cards? 

I expect Walz to utilize the speed and depth this team possess in the opener. Defensive pressure will be a key and if pressed for a starting lineup, I'll venture a guess and go with Dana Evans, Elizabeth Balogun, Kianna Smith, Hailey Van Lith and Liz Dixon. I expect a lot of situational substitutions and Olivia Cochran, Ahlana Smith, Kasa Robinson and Norika Konno could see 20+ minutes. Coach has said he has a lot of student-athletes that can "fill up the bucket" and we'll see if they fulfill Coach's proclamation in the opener.


Louisville will need to crash the boards on both ends of the court and Nyah Green and Ramani Parker could be key elements for Louisville in the rebounding. I'll look to see how Walz uses Canadian sensation Merissah Russell as well, and I won't be surprised to see Louisville in a four-guard set throughout the game. Three-point shooting looks to be a strong suit for the Cards and if Evans, Balogun, Van Lith and the Smiths are knocking down the three ball with consistency, it could be a very good outing for the Cards.  

We'll have a full recap of the action here tomorrow and make sure to follow our in-game Tweets as well. Feel free to leave your comments on what you expect in today's game. 

Go CARDS! and let's hope everyone has a safe, successful and super start to the season. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Season Opener Changes -- Plexiglass for Games -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Season Opener Changes

UPDATE: After the publishing of today's Cardinal Couple article, we got news that the Louisville WBB game against UConn has now joined the ranks of being cancelled, sue to an outbreak of COVID within the UConn program. UConn women’s basketball has temporarily suspended team activities after a member of the program tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Monday nightAll team activities will be on hold for at least 14 days, the school said, meaning that the No. 3 Huskies will not compete in their first four scheduled games. Those games included two matchups in the Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge this weekend at Mohegan Sun Arena, a Dec. 4 game in Uncasville against No. 5 Louisville and the conference opener Dec. 6 at Seton Hall.

Some things age like fine wine.  Some things age like milk.  Anything recently we have talked about for MTSU aged like milk. Jeff Walz took to social media yesterday to let us know that MTSU had to cancel Wednesday's game and that he was looking for another team to replace them.  Within a few hours, a new team filled the slot. We  know not whether he'll employ the same tactics to replace the Huskies game. 

Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) is now on the schedule.  Rkha Patterson and the SEMO Redhawks will host the Cards on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., ET (2:00 p.m., CT). So, in effect, the Cards WBB replaced one directional university with another. 

Walz added a hashtag to his post #WontBeTheLastScheduleChange and it's pretty safe to assume he is right.

As of right now, this game will be aired on ESPN+.  If you are not paying for ESPN+ then this one will not be accessible to be viewed.  Hopefully, we will see a local station or somewhere else pick up a free live stream. It's 2020 and things change rapidly. One thing you can depend on is the radio call from Nick and A.J...usually on Cards Radio 790. We'll know more about the listening/viewing finalizations tomorrow, I would venture. 

SEMO is in the Ohio Valley Conference, a conference that UofL sees plenty of action against across several sports.  Murray State, Morehead State, and Eastern Kentucky are all Kentucky-based schools in the OVC. A OVC WBB Preseason Poll has SEMO picked to finish sixth in the 12-team league. 

The Redhawks finished tied for first in the OVC in the 2019-20 season with a record of 16-2.  In fact, their conference record has gotten progressively better over the last four years. Louisville and SEMO have faced each other twice, with the Cards claiming both victories. Most recently, Louisville took an 80-40 win in November 2017.

SEMO is located in Cape Girardeau, MO and about 4-1/2 hours from Louisville. 

Check back here for a full breakdown of the match-up by Paulie tomorrow morning.

In other women's basketball news, Florida A&M canceled their entire season due to COVID-19.  They are probably the first of many that will drop in the coming weeks.

Plexiglass for UofL Games

Ice hockey rink or basketball arena?  Various twitter users shared photos of the floor at the KFC Yum! Center and Plexiglas is clearly noticeable around the newly designed team benches.  Several rows of seats have been removed and the benches are spread out.

As a photographer, my first question would be where I am supposed to sit, followed by a question regarding potential glares from the glass, which can actually be seen in the first picture.

I do want to raise the question about the socially distanced team benches.  These are players who play on the court together everyday and use the same locker room together.  More likely than not, the players would expose each other outside of the game.  And also, they will be closer together when celebrating or in team huddles.  So why distance them for just the game?

It looks like my pool photographer duties are all set and my new speedos complimentary of Arthur Albiero will be ready to go by Sunday.  Now, time to get some waterproof equipment.  Funny how smartphones nowadays are waterproof but camera and camera lenses are not...Paulie offered the use of his "floating duckie" he used years ago for water activities. I would also assume our resident engineers Case and Jeff are on standby, ready to design a floatation device suitable for maneuvering about in the Ralph Wright Natatorium to keep my various pieces of photography and internet access equipment dry. 

I hope I have a UofL swimmer on hand to help me with my backstroke. 

UofL has sent out a game day protocol/informational guideline for media that are planning to be in attendance. A drastically limited  and reduced amount of media coverage personnel will be allowed in, tucked away neatly in the corner of the KFC YUM! Center and socially distanced. No one on the sidelines, so Coach Walz will have the run of the area. 

Anyway, I hope everyone has a happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, November 23, 2020

ACC WBB Opening Day Schedule -- ESPN + to show Lou. vs MTSU --- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


MTSU has cancelled Wednesday's matchup with Middle Tennessee State due to MTSU Covid protocols.  UofL is replacing MTSU with SEMO (Southeastern Missouri State). The game will be played at SEMO on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and shown on ESPN +.  The Bellarmine game was cancelled due to their pause of basketball operations.  We will update in Tuesday article. 


As we progress with Game Week for ACC WBB, let's take a look at the opening games for the 15 ACC squads. 

The breakdown is as follows:  Ten of the 15 teams will open at home . 12 teams will begin on Nov. 25th and three schools will start later than 11/25/20. It'll be a busy Wednesday for ACC WBB fans !! 

WEDNESDAY 11/25/20

FSU at Florida A&M   CANCELLED. FAMU has cancelled their season. 

New Hampshire at BOSTON COLLEGE    noon

George Mason at PITTSBURGH    noon 

Georgia State at GEORGIA TECH   noon

Longwood at DUKE       noon

Jacksonville at MIAMI   1 p.m.  (ACC Network Extra)

Radford at NORTH CAROLINA   1 p.m.

Furman at CLEMSON    2 p.m.

Richmond at VIRGINIA TECH  4 p.m.

VIRGINIA at Central Florida     6 p.m.   (ESPN +) 


FRIDAY 11/27/20 

NOTRE DAME at Ohio    noon   (ESPN+) 

Arkansas vs WAKE FOREST   11:30 a.m.

SUNDAY 11/29/20

SYRACUSE at Stonybrook   2 p.m.   (ESPN+) 


As of now, Louisville WBB will be on ESPN + for their first two games (MTSU and Cincinnati). Both are "away" contests for the Cards. They'll have the home opener against EKU at 1 p.m. Sunday and the ACC Network Extra will have the feed. The Friday, Dec 4th game at UConn will be on TV -- ESPN and is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. 

We'll provide more on the schedule as it plays out, in any event, that's got you covered until conference play starts. In case you missed it, the game against Bellarmine has been postponed to a "to be announced" date. If there are any other schedule adjustments, we'll keep you in the loop. 

All the games will also be on radio...790 WKRD, as far as we know -- with Nick Curran and A.J. Johnson providing the call. I always enjoy listening to the radio call while watching and it doesn't bother me if Nick tells me about a score or steal a few seconds before I see it. I suppose there are "syncing" devices available for your laptop or PC if you need them, but, that's a bit over my head, as far as technology goes. 

CARDINAL COUPLE will provide pre-game articles on each match-up and a comprehensive recap of the action, so be sure to check back here.


We haven't received any official word on whether we'll be allowed to attend home games in a media capacity yet. We do know that Jared Anderson has been asked to serve as a "pool photographer" - so we'll at least have pictures. Last I heard, he's been shopping for appropriate swim-wear and a snorkeling device so he can take pictures form the pool. We're assuming he'll be in the Ralph Wright Natatorium waters, but that hasn't been verified. We've contacted Arthur Albiero to see if he'll assist Jared on the back-stroke and treading water...

He'll elaborate a little more in his article Tuesday and I'll have the pre-game scenarios for Louisville vs. MTSU on Wednesday. 

As usual, the disclaimer is that the game(s) could be altered as a result of COVID testing and results. It's 2020, after all...

Have a marvelous Monday and stay safe!


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Game Week

Basketball Begins

Louisville, when not in the midst of a pandemic-fueled social lockdown nightmare, will take a two minute long spring sports event and turn it into a two week city wide party.  And this is for a sport that many of us don't feel any particular affinity to, though you can check out Paulie's Picks on Saturdays and special racing days, of course.

As a born and raised Kentuckian, basketball is in my blood.  Yes, when asked, I will say that volleyball is my favorite sport, but basketball is more than just sports fandom, it's a cultural touch-point.  In most states, the highest paid public employee in the state is the head coach of the flagship football team in the state.  In Kentucky, it's the basketball coach.  To be fair, North Carolina joins us in this distinction.  Also credit a few New England states for bucking the trend, and in Hawaii, the title goes to a surgeon.

The beginning of basketball season brings with it an excitement that is unlike any other because it suffuses the fabric of the community.  Yes, we are a state divided, when it comes to basketball, predominantly red vs blue, and yes that division is not even, and yes, there is an obvious metaphor here that we won't dive into on these pages.

But there are more than just red vs blue in basketball in this state...well, ok, they are mostly reds and blues, but there are variations.  We've got the red and white in Bowling Green, we've got a pair of blue and gold entries from either end of the state, and then there's the maroon folks over in Richmond.

We have a new entrant this year, to add to the excitement, officially scarlet and silver, with the Bellarmine folks kicking off their D1 journey...well, a little bit delayed, alas.

Cardinal Couple, of course, focuses on the women's side of sports at UofL, so our excitement in the coaching ranks is mostly for Jeff Walz, but I think I can speak for most of us when we show our respect for Kyra Elzy as she fills in the role in Lexington.  Around the state, though, there are coaches with ties to Louisville, and we certainly celebrate their successes, with Samantha Williams, a former assistant to Walz, helming the squad at Eastern; Greg Collins, who served a stint as assistant at Louisville some time back, in the big chair at Western.  Murray and Morehead coaches don't have any specific ties to Louisville, but as in-state competitors, we can certainly show our respect or Rechelle Turner at Murray, and Greg Todd at Morehead.  Of course, the newcomer to this DI coaching klatch is Chancellor Dugan, at Bellarmine...although we've followed her pursuits for years.

Basketball in Kentucky is "a thing", and so, I guess it's not terribly surprising to note that all of the above coaches are Kentuckians, born and raised.  That's something to be proud of and respect about the sport in the state.  We get excited when we recruit players from far off places, such as from Canada, Japan, and even the corners of our own country such as Washington State, California, and Texas, but it's good to take a step back and notice the home grown folks from places like Ashland, Georgetown, Fort Thomas, Oldham County, Calvert City, Berea, and Louisville, all here in Kentucky.

Of course, here at Cardinal Couple, we'll be cheering more for the Cardinals squad, but I can speak at least for myself, when I saw that I do get a bit of an extra feeling of excitement when I see Eastern, Western, Murray, Morehead, and yes Bellarmine as well, do well in their efforts.  And, yes, I respect the Kentucky program, and want nothing but the best for Elzy and her squad.

Let's not forget two Cardinal greats in Becky Burke and Candyce (Bingham) Wheeler, who begin their journey at South Carolina State and Michelle Clark Heard in Cincy either.

This week kicks it off for basketball in the crazy sports year.  Play got cut short last season, and now scheduled games can, at best, be considered tentative until the actual tip-off, but we're going to have basketball.  It's going to be altered a bit, and many of us will be watching from homes rather than in the stands, but we'll have basketball, which in a state like Kentucky, may very well help us get through the winter.

And that's something to be excited about.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

And the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour had the full house...full Skype call?...yesterday as we shared the latest edition of the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  Check out the recap of the Women's Basketball virtual tip-off luncheon, and a preview of the upcoming game at Middle Tennessee on Wednesday.

We had fun, as always, and I hope you do too, when you listen ! 


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Swimming Holds Intrasquad Meet -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Swimming Began a Three Day Scrimmage Friday

As the swimming season is set to get underway in some capacity soon, Louisville's squad has begun its preparations for the upcoming year. Yesterday, the Cards began a three day "meet" designed to mimic the layout of a championship meet, with preliminary heats and final races. Though the structure to these types of meets is similar, the invite list is not, as Louisville is competing only against themselves. While there's nothing on the public swimming and diving schedule, with basketball set to begin next week, swimming and diving (officially another winter sport) is sure to follow. 

With Sophie Cattermole, Molly Fears, and Grace Oglesby (among many others) all graduating last year, much of the familiarity from last year's team is gone. That isn't to say that there aren't new names that we should get to know, as there surely will be. One new name that you might be familiar with is Gabi Albiero. Gabi is the daughter of Arthur and sister of Nick. She's also a pretty good swimmer, coming to Louisville by way of CAL (where her mother is the head coach; big swimming family) ranked in the top 15 recruits by major swimming publications. Gabi made her presence known yesterday by topping the team in the 50 freestyle. She was also a member of the winning 200 relay team, along with Christiana Regenauer, Kaylee Wheeler, and Katie Schorr. Ashlyn Schoof combined with Albiero, Regenauer, and Wheeler to win the 400 medley.

Individual medium distance saw a new standout in Maria Sumida, who took the win in both the 500 freestyle (is that medium or long distance? I couldn't swim for that long) and the 200 individual medley. Today's events will be the 200 medley relay, the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and 800 free relay. We'll see if some of the same swimmers stand out or if some more can challenge them for the top spots. Louisville's long history of swimming champions is not likely to end soon, so this meet will be a great time to try to find the next one. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

In an extremely unlikely turn of events, we have a week in November with no games or matches of any kind to review for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. Fortunately, basketball is on the horizon, and Louisville will (presumably) get their season underway against Middle Tennessee on Wednesday evening. We'll have a full house for this week's Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast, and we'll discuss more of the award watch lists that were put out this week as well as preview the upcoming week that is. Make sure to tune in to the Cardinal Couple YouTube Channel at 11AM for the live show, or check out the podcast or video replay after the show airs.

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, November 20, 2020

WBB #5 in USA Today preseason poll -- Virtual WBB Tip-off Luncheon -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


An old friend of mine used to say "Another county heard from" when he heard new information. And, as we draw nearer to the Nov. 25th.start date for UofL women's basketball, another ranking source (or county, if you will) has come out with their preseason projections. 

USA Today has released their preseason "coaches" poll and Louisville WBB is ranked #5 in this poll. South Carolina got all but one first place vote of the 32 votes, #2 Stanford receiving the other first place vote. Then, it's Connecticut ranked #3, Baylor #4 and the Louisville Cardinals at #5. 

This poll's panel is chosen by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The member represent each of the 32 Division I conferences that receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Each coach submits a "top 25" list with the first place team they've selected getting 25 points, second place 24 and so on.

Representing the ACC in the poll is Miami's Katie Meier.

South Carolina received 799 votes (or 25x31=775 + 24x1=24 for the 799 points).  Stanford came in with 740 points, Connecticut 732, Baylor 702 and Louisville 663. One of the Cards ACC rivals -- NC State -- was listed sixth with  601 points. The top ten rounds out with Mississippi State at 567, Arizona with 539 and UCLA gathering 535 votes. 

The ACC had four schools placed in the top 25. After Louisville and NC State, Syracuse is at #21 with 149 votes and Notre Dame at #23 with 104 votes. 

Louisville's first opponent is Middle Tennessee State University. They were listed in the "also receiving votes" category with six points.   The ACC had FSU (23 points), North Carolina (11 points) and Virginia Tech (six points) in the "also receiving votes" category. 

Just how much stock can be taken in preseason polls is anyone guess. Yes, it's nice to know what some of the coaches in NCAA DI basketball think as far as good teams go, but, let's face it -- no one as played a game yet and the voters have to formulate their list by looking at last year's results, who a team lost to graduation or the WNBA, who they picked up via transfer or freshmen signees and the strength of schedule and conference. Just to use an couple of examples...what a MVC coach might know about the PAC 12 or a ASUN coach can predict about the ACC is debatable. 

Let's play ball...


The 40-minute presentation of this annual event was a good show. No, it didn't beat being their in person, but, given 2020 and the circumstances...the University of Louisville did the best they could with what they had to work with. For those of you starved for Louisville WBB news, you got a plate full. 

The first change from previous years I noticed was Cards WBB play-by-play guy Nick Curran replacing Sean Moth as the emcee of the event. And Nick did a great job performing his duties during the broadcast. I won't compare Nick with Sean. Each has their own style and way of presenting and describing things and both are excellent craftsmen at what they do. 

After Nick's opening remarks and greeting to all, Nick introduced the roster and we got to see the student-athletes introducing themselves and describing a favorite moment in their basketball pursuits so far.  After that, we saw a short clip from Vince Tyra, who expressed his thoughts about the squad and Coach Walz. That's a yearly thing in the WBB Tipoff Luncheon and expected. 

Then, a few individual question and answer sessions with followed. Players featured in this segment were Kianna Smith, Hailey Van Lith, Elizabeth Balogun, Mykasa Robinson and Dana Evans. A couple of things were consistent in the Q & A sessions  First, there is excitement about finally getting to play games, there is a strong bond of friendship and solidary amongst the players and a degree of confidence on how the team is performing in practice. 

I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a couple of more Q&A interviews (I would have liked to heard a Q&A with Norika, Nyah and Liz in that section of the show) but who and what we did hear was inspiring, encouraging and informative. 

Next was Coach Walz and he didn't do a one-on-one with Nick -- just a monologue from his office. Coach was as good as we've always come to expect he will be. He talked about the depth of the squad, who the toughest opponent was (he answered "COVID") and the dedication of the student-athletes, coaches, and staff.. 

The presentation was definitely casual, in terms of apparel,  which is a difference from the previous years where we've seen the student-athletes and staff "dressed to the nines" for the event. But, hey...Sonya and I were watching at home and we didn't put on our best Cardinal gear to view it, so, I understand the informal format. 

In case you missed it, here's the link so you can re-watch it at the link before and feel free to stay in yor pajamas or jogging suit while you view the presentation! : 


2020 Cards WBB Preseason Tipoff Virtual Luncheon

Have a fantastic Friday! 


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Jared's Favorite Volleyball Photos -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Jared's Favorite Volleyball Photos

Recently, I shared some of my favorite photos from the soccer and field hockey seasons.  With conference tournaments and then some basketball announcements the volleyball photos got put on the backburner.

Volleyball ran into a slightly shortened season than regularly scheduled due to COVID-19 related reasons.  They went 2-1 at home, but I only made it out to the two matches against Syracuse. Where I was allowed to go was a bit restricted this year.  Floor access and the first couple rows were blocked off so I had to work from the middle of the stands or up against the walls.

Here's some photos including a mixture of action shots and celebrations.  Facial expressions are a bit limited from the masks.

Like field hockey and soccer, volleyball is planning for spring games.  If they will conflict with spring sports like softball and lacrosse is unknown.  If we will be afforded the opportunity to take pictures at games again qand be in attendance to cover the events is also unknown, but we are hopeful!

With numbers getting worse again and the state taking a step backwards I hope everyone remains safe and healthy.  Although the tests aren't the most fun thing in the world do not hesitate to take one.  I have had three COVID-19 tests since June and have been fortunate that all results were negative.

WBB Virtual Tipoff Luncheon

                             (Arica Carter and Asia Durr from the 2018 WBB Tipoff Luncheon) 

As mentioned earlier this week, today is the University of Louisville Virtual Tipoff Luncheon. Paulie has attended these since the early days of their incarnation and been to a number of local venues for them. 

You can watch on the Cards Twitter account beginning at noon or Facebook and it's free for the viewing. 'It should be a great time, there is a lot of excitement about this year's squad and so much talent on this team! 

Happy Thursday and Go Cards! 


Wednesday, November 18, 2020



The preseason honors and awards continue to roll in for the Louisville WBB squad. Two Cardinals -- Dana Evans and Hailey Van Lith -- have been named to the 2021 Women's Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List. 

The Naismith is designated to determine the best player in men and women's college basketball and 50 players are on each pre-season list. That'll get paired down to 30 in early February, then 10 on March 2nd, four on March 19th and the winner announced on April 3rd. Players who didn't make the preseason list are eligible to make the mid-season list. 

It's the first time on the list for both Evans and Van Lith.. 

Evans, a senior from Gary, Indiana has a trophy case full of preseason honors. Van Lith, a freshman, has also been named on several ACC preseason list, too. For the Naismith, Van Lith, a resident of Wenatchee, WA is only one of two freshmen listed -- the other being Paige Bueckers (UConn). 

All told, 11 conferences had players named to the list. The SEC, Big 12 and Pac 12 had nine players each make the list. The ACC was next, with seven. The Big 10 landed six, the Big East had five and there was one player each from C-USA, OVC, MVC, MWC and the WCC. 

UConn placed four players on the list ( Bueckers, Olivia Nelson-Odoba, Evina Westbrook and Christyn Williams). 

Besides Evans and VanLith, the other ACC watch-list players: Sam Brunelle (Notre Dame), Elissa Cunane (NC State), Kiara Lewis (Syracuse), Tiana Mangakhia (Syracuse) and Taylor Soule (Boston College). 

Rhyne Howard (Kentucky) was named to the list and Ali Patberg (IU) also received the honor. Howard made it to the Naismith Final Four last season -- along with Lauren Cox, Tyasha Harris and the winner -- Sabrina Ionescu. 

Good luck to our Cardinals and let's see if we can maybe add a few to that mid-season watch list!  

THE 50

2021 Women’s Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List

Aliyah BostonSo.FSouth CarolinaSEC
Sam BrunelleSo.FNotre DameACC
Paige BueckersFr.GUConnBIG EAST
DiJonai CarringtonSr.GBaylorBig 12
Jessika CarterJr.F/CMississippi St.SEC
Charli CollierJr.F/CTexasBig 12
Zia CookeSo.GSouth CarolinaSEC
Elissa CunaneJr.CNC StateACC
Rennia DavisSr.G/FTennesseeSEC
Chelsea DungeeSr.GArkansasSEC
Dana EvansSr.GLouisvilleACC
Aleah GoodmanSr.GOregon StatePac-12
Vivian GraySr.GTexas TechBig 12
Arella GuirantesSr.GRutgersBig Ten
Lauren HeardSr.GTCUBig 12
Lexi HeldJr.GDePaulBIG EAST
Naz HillmonJr.FMichiganBig Ten
Rhyne HowardJr.GKentuckySEC
Lexie HullJr.GStanfordPac-12
Rickea JacksonSo.FMississippi St.SEC
Ashley JoensJr.G/FIowa StateBig 12
Haley JonesSo.GStanfordPac-12
N'Dea JonesSr.FTexas A&MSEC
Taylor JonesSo.FOregon StatePac-12
Dorka JuhászJr.FOhio StateBig Ten
Ayoka LeeSo.CKansas StateBig 12
Kiara LewisSr.GSyracuseACC
Natasha MackSr.FOklahoma StateBig 12
Tiana MangakahiaSr.GSyracuseACC
Aari McDonaldSr.GArizonaPac-12
Nancy MulkeySr.CRiceC-USA
Olivia Nelson-OdodaJr.FUConnBIG EAST
Michaela OnyenwereSr.FUCLAPac-12
Ashley OwusuSo.GMarylandBig Ten
Ali PatbergSr. GIndianaBig Ten
Chelsey PerrySr.FTennessee-MartinOVC
Lasha PetreeJr.GBradleyMVC
Alissa PiliSo.FUSCPac-12
Lindsey PulliamSr.GNorthwesternBig Ten
Cate ReeseJr.FArizonaPac-12
DiDi RichardsSr.GBaylorBig 12
Destiny SlocumSr.GArkansasSEC
NaLyssa SmithJr.FBaylorBig 12
Taylor SouleJr.FBoston CollegeACC
Jill TownsendSr.GGonzagaWCC
Maddi UttiSr.FFresno St.MWC
Hailey Van LithFr.GLouisvilleACC
Evina WestbrookJr.GUConnBIG EAST
Christyn WilliamsJr.GUConnBIG EAST
Kiana WilliamsSr.GStanfordPac-12

Have a wonderful Wednesday!