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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Softball swings into action soon -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


With the unseasonably warm weather the Louisville area has been having of late, the Louisville softball team has had the rare pleasure of doing something they rarely get a chance to accomplish in January. 

Practice outdoors. 

We sat down with head Louisville Softball coach Sandy Pearsall recently to discuss the upcoming 2017 season. It's probably no coincidence that the fire alarm in the SAC building kept going off while we chatted. Sandy has a returning roster that could set the ACC afire this season: 

CARDINAL COUPLE: Let's take a look at the roster, Coach.

Our favorite Oregonian...Maryssa Becker
PEARSALL: We have a good group of nineteen players. I look forward to this group. They've worked extremely hard. They've probably been more dedicated to becoming better on a daily basis than any group I've had in a long time so I'm really excited about that. Pitching wise, we have [Maryssa] Becker back for her senior year and we have high hopes she'll have a great senior year. Megan Hensley continues to work so hard on  her game and continues to get better. We're excited about having her back this season. She's the future for us.

We added a freshman in Sydney Warinner to the staff and she's going to be more of a relief kid right now, probably not a full time starter just yet. We see bright things for her. We're going to continue to develop her. For her, the sky is the limit. A lot of great potential. It's just getting her ingrained into the game. 

CARDINAL COUPLE: Take us through the outfield.  

PEARSALL: We'll have some competition in the outfield. Clearly, we have the two seniors in Morgan Meyer and Jordan McNary. Morgan has really grown into her game. Last year we started to see something from her that we always knew was there. Jordan certainly improved and had a great junior year. Nicole Pufahl anchors us in center field. She does a great job out there and we expect even better offense from her this year. You also have to add Jordan Vorbrink, who spent limited time out there last year and could rival for any position out there. She could even come into the infield and play, which she did a little bit of last year. Competition will be tough for the infield spots. 

CARDINAL COUPLE: How has the squad looked in the couple weeks of practice? 

PEARSALL: Good. We really been able to progress pretty quickly because they did come back ready after putting in some work in the off-season break, which is what we absolutely need from them. We got into more strategy this week after fundamental work last week. I always like to go back and refresh everybody's memories. It was something we needed to do. We're still working on that third base and first base issue...those corner spots are a little bit iffy . There's a little inexperience there. Lil [Goetz] comes back with a little experience, although not a lot of experience...and then we add Celene Funke, into that mix...a freshman... into a position she's never played. 

Also, we have Tiarra [Sanabria] coming off an injury at first base, we're kinda working through that. The culmination of our infield is that their experienced in some ways and very young in other ways. It'll be interesting to see how that develops. I like what I've seen in practice. If they continue with the same intensity and development...they're going to be really ready. 

CARDINAL COUPLE: After a road swing to start the season you come home to Ulmer Stadium to start play on March 3rd. 

PEARSALL: The kids really like to play at Ulmer Stadium . They get excited about it because we have such a wonderful facility. 

To hear the CARDINAL COUPLE interview in it's entirety with Coach sure to listen to today's broadcast on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR at 11 a.m. at or you can access the Soundlcloud version here: 


We would be remiss if we didn't mention that the Softball Banquet/Bullpen Club Dinner is tonight at the Galt House in the Archibald Room. Happy Hour and Silent Auction begin at 6 p.m. and speaker Sierra Romero and dinner start at 7 p.m. 

This is a fun event that usually sells out each year and one that Worldwide, Sonja and Paulie enjoy attending. We get some great interviews each year and the keynote speaker is always fantastic. We'll have a recap of the festivities in our Sunday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE. 



We'll be in the studio today at full strength...Paulie, Worldwide and Case...for another exciting edition of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR...the only question is whether we'll be on the FM waves or strictly Internet. 

A hacker gained control of the FM feed and made it necessary for the transmitter of the FM signal to be shut down yesterday and it is not known when the transmitter will be back up. The WCHQ app and Internet stream are fine, though, so you can listen to us that way. More on the hacking: 

WCHQ 100.9 Hacked

We have a fun show planned for you. Hoops galore and Sandy's Softball discussion on Volleyball and their purported move from the KFC YUM! Center back to Cardinal Arena for home games. We assigned Case the duty of attending the Presidential Inauguration and asking Donald Trump on his views of the ACC women's basketball schedule and standings...we'll hopefully have that report as well. (If he didn't stay for the women's march today...) 

It's live radio and unrehearsed. That makes it all the more exciting...because you never know what kind of off-the-wall trivia Worldwide is going to toss out there or which stream of conciousness Paulie may lapse into. 

put Paul in the Hall

Friday, January 20, 2017

MBB Blows the Brakes off of Clemson -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Overcome Slow Start; Win 92-60

I'll start this post with full disclosure. I was nervous about last night's game. Louisville's starting point guard, Quentin Snider (maybe you've heard of him), is laid up for the next couple of weeks with a strained hip flexor, an injury which he sustained early in the second half against Duke. Despite his ability to play through the pain for 18+ second half minutes, Snider is out for at least three more games. As many opined after the injury, Snider was the one player that this team could not afford to lose. That fact alone is enough to make you nervous about a game. Add in the fact that Louisville barely escaped Clemson last year, Clemson coach, Brad Brownell, is likely fighting for his job, Clemson is ranked 30th by KenPom, and the 1-4 Clemson team has very nearly knocked off ACC powers this season. It looked like a recipe for disaster.

Of course, all of those things became magnified when Louisville started the game down 7-0 in the first two minutes. It started to look like the aspect of Louisville's game that shouldn't have suffered without Quentin Snider, defense, was going to suffer just as much as every other aspect. To be frank, Louisville looked bad. They continued to look bad as they sputtered their way through the first half, trailing 21-12 with 9:12 remaining when Rick Pitino called a timeout. That timeout must have done the trick, as the Cards went on a 8-0 run to cut the lead to 1 over the next two and a half minutes. Clemson nailed a three to snuff the run, but Louisville wasn't done booming the Tigers. Louisville used its momentum to finish the half on a 29-10 run, leading 41-31 following a Donovan Mitchell three at the buzzer. It was Donovan Mitchell's eighth shot of the half, and his eighth make.

The second half belonged completely to the Cards, although it didn't belong to Mitchell. After an 8/8 shooting performance in the first half, he was a whopping 0/7 in the second half. He finished the game with greater than 50% shooting from the field, but there may come a time when his hot hand is needed for more than just stretches of the game. The rest of the Louisville team picked up Mitchell's slack in the second half with four Cardinals scoring 8 or more points in the second half. This included Jaylen Johnson, who picked up a monster 10 and 8 in 12 second half minutes to finish his double double before being ejected for his role in a near fight. Johnson and Clemson's Elijah Thomas both received a technical foul before failing to break it up and receiving second technical fouls, resulting in their ejections. They were Johnson's first two fouls, but he was gone nonetheless. Since the ejection came at the hands of two technical fouls, there is no automatic suspension. Hopefully, additional punishment is not handed down, as Louisville can likely not afford to be without Snider and Johnson against Florida State tomorrow. 

Put Paul in the Hall
Last night was a great game for Louisville's 3 spot, as Deng Adel and VJ King both got the
opportunity to show off their talents. If those two guys can both come into their own in the second half of this season, Louisville will be much better for it. The two combined for 32 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, only 3 turnovers, and only 1 foul. The Cards have needed these two to have a game like this, and what better than when they'll be desperately needed going forward without Snider. 

Louisville's next test will be a big one, as the Cards travel to Tallahassee tomorrow. Rick Pitino's squad will take on the 10th ranked Seminoles, who lost their first ACC game last week against North Carolina. Florida State is no joke this year with wins over Florida, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Notre Dame. Louisville still has the ability to win without Quentin Snider, as they showed last night, but it will take another heroic shooting effort from the team. The game begins at 2PM and will be televised on ESPN. Here's hoping for a positive result.

The Boys are Back...

in the studio. Prior to tomorrow's game, join Paulie, Worldwide, and me for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on WCHQ, Crescent Hill Radio. We'll discuss mostly basketball, but the volleyball move to Cardinal Arena is likely to be a topic of discussion as well. It should be a good time!

Please also let the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame know that you would like to see Paul Sanderford selected for inclusion. He has now been officially put on the Selection Committe's list for nomination but fan support will help get this legendary coach where he belongs. In the Hall. Please e-mail Josh Sullivan -- Director of Operations at

Until next time, Go Cards.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards wreck Ga. Tech 91-51...THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville women's basketball hit seven first quarter threes and held Georgia Tech to two second quarter points in their 91-51 win Wednesday night in the KFC YUM! Center. Mariya Moore and Asia Durr combined for six of the trifectas (three each) and the visitors went scoreless for a 7:40 stretch in the second quarter where the Cards stretched a 33-15 lead to a 50-15 halftime total. 

This was undoubtedly Louisville's best defensive effort of their ACC campaign so far and the Cards backed it up with a sizzling 62.1% shooting effort in the first twenty minutes (18-29) to blow this one wide open. 

Jeff Walz agreed about the defense: 

"We came out defensively and really followed the game plan. What's nice is you've got about 17-18 games now you can watch on an opponent and that really helps you prepare on how to stop them." 

Louisville took a 6-4 lead and pushed that out to a 22-8 advantage over a four minute stretch in the opening quarter. Durr had two threes in that sequence and Kylee Shook and Mariya Moore added one each. The period ended with the Cards comfortably ahead 27-13 and the crowd was buzzing about Louisville's 7 for 10 beyond the arc marksmanship. 

If Tech was discouraged by the Cards opening efforts, the second frame probably sent then into a deep depression and sense of hopelessness. After getting a jumper from Chelsea Guimaraes to make it 33-15 with 7:40 until half-time, the visitors from Atlanta went 0 for 12 the rest of the way as the Cards finished the second stanza action on a 17-0 run.

'Rambling wreck' pretty well described the state of the "techsters" and the Cards were the body-shop technicians providing the dismantling. 

A 50-15 halftime score. Louisville had backed off the three attempts in the second period...making and taking just one...but held a 18-4 points-in-the-paint advantage and 25-15 rebounding edge. Durr had 17 points and Moore contributed 10. 

Georgia Tech didn't completely fold in the tent...they scored the first four points of the third quarter and managed 21 points in the ensuing ten minutes...but Myisha Hines-Allen was getting heavily involved with eight third-period points...including a six point run in the final two minutes and Walz was going deep into the reserves by the end of the quarter. It was 75-36 after three and the only question that remained was if the Cards would reach the century mark on the scoreboard to match their 100th win in the KFC YUM! Center. 

The Louisville starters sat out the final period and Bionca Dunham turned in a nice seven minutes with five points, three rebounds and two blocks. Sydney Zambrotta nailed the Cards final three and the Joneses and the Johnson's looked good along with Sam Fuehring's solid ten minutes. Jessica Laemmle did not enter the game...she was feeling light-headed and kept herself out of the action. Maybe it was because all of the first-half excitement...we were pretty giddy on press row...

Louisville won the final session 16-15 and ended up a forty-point winner 91-51.

A larger than expected win, for sure, against a squad that was 13-4 and 2-2 prior to the contest. That long sought-out, pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow named consistency had been realized and found on a night where Louisville scored 40 more points than the opponent and took seven less shots...


-- Free Throws. 10 Cards attempted them and three made four each (Hines-Allen, Moore and Taylor Johnson) The final numbers were 20-34 which is an unsatisfactory 58.8% and won't get a letter. Maybe the only disappointing factor in Louisville's performance tonight. 

-- Rebounding.  A huge effort on the glass tonight with 48 grabs...compared to Georgia Tech's 30. No double digit grabbers...but no one played more than 26 minutes tonight except Moore and she had eight. A definite capital "R" here. Rebounding was a pre-game key and accomplished.

-- Effort/Execution.  A very good effort against a decent team. Just 10 turnovers, seven blocks, 57.4% shooting and 20 assists on 31 made baskets. The 14-8 edge on points off turnovers, and 37 bench points make it easy to award a capital "E" on a job well done by all.  

-- Defense.  As mentioned earlier, this was the best defensive effort the Cards have turned in against ACC competition and maybe of the season. A no-brainer here, we bestow a capital "D" for the defense.



Congratulations Cortnee! The red-shirt senior had two attempts from the floor tonight in the paint and made them both. Nice assists from B.J. both times...she took her time, used the backboard and converted. 

B.J. bustin' it!  Check out her stat line from last night. 2-5 from the floor, eight rebounds and seven assists in 23 minutes. It's what you like to see from a point-guard and she performed the role well Wednesday. 

Front line frenzy. The reserve front-liners...Ciera Johnson, Sam Fuehring, Bionca Dunham and Kylee Shook had 23 points tonight and no turnovers in 45 total minutes of play. An excellent effort. 

Durr-ability.  7 of 11 shooting (4 for 8 from three range) for #25. Showing why leaving her unguarded is a real bad idea if you're playing the Cards. 


We won't harp on it too much but free throws weren't that great. Asia's 2 for 6 and Jazmine's 1 for 4 efforts need to improve. When you have 10 players attempting them in a game that had 49 fouls...maybe a drop in production should be expected. In any event, 58.8% is below our suggested 70%. 


A great way to end the home stretch and hit the road for three games...this convincing, a bit surprising and thoroughly entertaining win over a decent ACC foe in Georgia Tech. The incredible long-range bombing in the first quarter, the shut-down defense in the second quarter and getting to see extended period of playing time for all made it a wonderful and memorable night in the KFC YUM! Center. 

The Cards (17-4, 5-2) step out of conference for a game at USF next in what feels like it should be a conference match...given the frequency these two have met over the years. Georgia Tech (13-5, 2-3) will try to regroup and re-gather for an arduous task at surprising and capable Wake Forest. 

If the Cards can keep this intensity and consistency up the remainder of the could be a delightful final 1/3rd of the regular season. The road is tough, no doubt, but the stops at USF, Clemson and Pitt are definitely winnable and would put Louisville at 20 wins on the season and a team to be feared by all.

Walz remarked during his presser that the only win streak he wants to see would begin March 11th and go for six games (The NCAA Tournament). That led to a Paulie lesson provided by Coach that seven wouldn't be possible. Once again, I remain baffled by the brilliance and amused at the alacrity. 


The insidious Insell. Why is he pointing at the
referee's hand? C'mon Rick...give her "five". 
Be sure to listen to Jeff Walz's impassioned and correct plea for Paul Sanderford's long-needed, but un-fulfilled inclusion to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in the audio clip below. Jeff is 'dead-on' in his comments and and Paul deserves that honor.

Rick Insell (MTSU) before Paul? Let's keep in mind that the committee is possibly Knoxville based...the Hall of Fame is on the U.T. campus. Rick was great friends with Pat Summit. Sure, let's put a guy associated with abuse to Tennessee Walking Horses in the Hall of Fame...I love it. 

Jeff Walz is 3-1 lifetime against Insell at MTSU. He's never been associated with animal cruelty that I'm aware of, except for "beating-a-dead-horse" in his post-game remarks on occasion, and I think he should be in the next class, along with his mentor Sanderford. 

A comment about the association with the mistreatment: 

As an alum of MTSU and a horse person, these incidents dishearten me terribly. As the potion states: It’s now time for MTSU to sever all ties with Big Lick Animal Cruelty, by banning the Big Lick TWH from being exhibited on its property, and to no longer allow its salaried employees to be associated with the Animal Cruelty in any way.

And it’s also time for MTSU employee Mr. Rick Insell, to either immediately resign from the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Board, or to resign as the MTSU Blue Raiders Basketball coach.

Soring is a technique used to induce horses to perform a style of walking in which they raise and lower their fore-feet faster and in a more exaggerated manner than they would normally. The horses are induced to do this by attaching a weighted "stack" of pads under the front hooves using a strap, or the application of chemicals. This high-stepping action of the front legs is called "big lick" movement in show ring Tennessee Walking Horses.

Soring has been declared "cruel" and inhumane" by the United States Congress[1] Similarly, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has described it as "inhumane"[2] and "unethical"[3]
If you would like to see Paul Sanderford in the WBB Hall of Fame, please e-mail Dana Hart...who is the president of the organization.


The post game presser: 



put Paul Sanderford in the Hall of Fame

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Louisville women's Basketball -- Ramblin' Wreck will try to sting Cards tonight -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It is a rare Wednesday night game for the University of Louisville women's basketball squad...only the third of the season...and the only ACC match-up on tap tonight...Louisville looking to pick up their 100th. win in the KFC YUM! Center and go to 17-4 and 5-2 in conference. Who was the first team Louisville WBB beat in the YUM?

 Answer at the end of today's article...

It seems the men's squad has the YUM! booked for Thursday night and a showdown against Clemson on ESPN. Whatever happened to the good ol' days of double-headers?  Too much season-ticket holder conflict, I suppose...

The foe for Jeff Walz's squad is Georgia Tech. Known as the Yellow Jackets or the Ramblin' Wreck...they come to the YUM! on a two-game conference win streak, having knocked off Syracuse last time out. G.T. is an engineering school, which will draw nods of approval from my two writers and co-hosts on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Jeff "Worldwide" McAdams and Case Hoskins...they spent their college time in the halls of Louisville's Speed School pursuing engineering academics. 

The Georgia Tech WBB official radio broadcast station for games is WREK 91.1 F.M. Yeah, they're ate up with this whole 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe, right?  I'm surprised some attorney hasn't bought that domain...

Or, as R. Lee Ermey said in the movie FULL METAL JACKET...

"Engineers? You go out and find land mines, Cowboy." 

These flying pests/old vehicles/engineers will look to sting, run over and set a couple of land mines for the UofL WBB squad tonight and pick up their biggest win of the season against a Cardinal squad they are 0-3 against lifetime...including a regular season and ACC Tournament loss last year. Mariya Moore enjoyed facing the Yellow Jackets last year...she had 25 points in the Atlanta game and 11 in the ACC Tournament.

Sam in his Techster stint...
Sam Purcell could tell you a thing or two about Atlanta and Georgia Tech. The Louisville assistant was there from 2007-13 as video coordinator and assistant coach under current coach MaChelle Joseph. A native of Dalton, GA "The Carpet Capital of the World" located right off I-75 in northern Georgia...Purcell has already suffered through the 68-93 Atlanta Braves season and will sadly watch his Atlanta Falcons fall to the Green Bay Packers this weekend in the NFC Championship Game. (Predictions and comments for entertainment purposes only...)

Georgia Tech (13-4, 2-2) started the ACC slate hosting and losing to Notre Dame and Duke. Both were losses and the Techsters have also fallen to Michigan (by 40) and Alabama this season. They did win the Junkaroo Jam at the end of November with wins over Dayton and Missouri, won the battle of Atlanta with a win over Georgia State and also knocked off Georgia. 

Tech is 10th is scoring offense in the ACC at 66.8 ppg. They hold opponents to 59.2 ppg. Their free throw shooting % is the worst in the league at .574 and field goal % second worst at .396. They do go to the offensive boards well...second in the ACC with 16.8 offensive grabs a contest but are second-to-last in defensive rebounds with 23.6 a night. Georgia Tech is 14th in the conference in assists with 188 in 16 games. 

( all stats are through games of 1/13/17) 

"Gimme something to throw!'" 
Girls to watch (or Girls on Film, I suppose...if you're a Duran Duran fan) would include Francesca Pan...a 6'1" freshman guard. She's been the ACC Rookie of the Week three times this season...including the last two weeks in a row. She averages 11.2 ppg and is from Bassano del Grappa, Italy. 

Kaylan Pugh has only played in six games this year for Tech and Joseph, she sat out the mandatory year after transferring in from Ohio State...but has had a big impact. The sophomore scored 28 points against Syracuse and is averaging 13.3 a game. Imani Tilford checks in at 9.4 ppg. She saw action against the Cards twice last year...getting 9 points in Atlanta and 8 in Greensboro. Zaire O'Neil played against the Cards also last year...scoring 7 in the McCarnish Pavilion and 8 in the first round of the ACC Tournament. Charin Scott is a 6'0" freshman guard that has also been named ACC Rookie of the Week once...and may be the best rebounding guard on the Yellow Jackets. 

Georgia Tech has a strong international presence on their roster. Besides Pan from Italy, they have 6'4" freshman forward Anne Francoise Diouf (Senegal), 6'3" senior forward Katarina Vuckovic (Serbia), 6'2" redshirt junior forward Elo Edefericka (Nigeria), 6'3" junior center Simina Avram (Romania), 6'3" sophomore forward Chelsea Guimares (Portugal) and 5'9" junior guard Antonia Peresson (Italy) on the roster.

Have fun with all that tonight, Nick and Don... 

The Cards will need to continue the strong rebounding effort they put up against Miami tonight and hopefully the hot shooting of Mariya Moore will be in place as well for Jeff Walz's squad. Georgia Tech has 11 players who see nine of more minutes per we'll see if the Cards match the check-in frenzy at the scorer's table and go deep into their reserve holdings tonight. Will tonight be the night we see the trio of Hines-Allen, Moore and Durr all have a good game in the same contest? We'd also like to see Briahanna Jackson flying about with her usual intensity and Cortnee Walton strong on the boards and making some close-in shots and put-backs. Valuable contributing efforts from Jazmine Jones, Sam Fuehring, Kylee Shook and both Johnson's would be a wonderful and welcome thing as well. (We're not asking for too much here...are we?) 

"Thank you!" 
Consistency is the keyword around the Louisville locker room and we'd like to see a strong 40 minute effort out of the Cards tonight in their 21st. game of the year. It's hard to believe Louisville has already played 2/3rd of their regular season schedule...with 11 games left until ACC Tournament time. After tonight's contest, the Cards play five out of their next six on the road. Trips to USF, Clemson and Pittsburgh..a home game against NC State and travels to Notre Dame and Virginia Tech lie ahead for Louisville. 

Game time is 7 p.m. Matt and AJ will have their always excellent radio broadcast on 790 Cards Radio WKRD and my buddies Don Russell and Sara White will handle the ACC Network Extra duties. We strongly urge you to make the trip downtown tonight if you can to watch this one and we'll have the recap of all the action here tomorrow. 

Answer to the question about Louisville WBB's first win in the KFC YUM! Center? It was against Houston Baptist 100-34 on November 17, 2010.

Below are the words to the Georgia Tech Fight song and a recorded version of it. I wonder if we could get Al Greener and the Pep Band to strike it up tonight?

Sing along if you's a catchy little ditty. Coach Walz would probably be OK if Sam Purcell took to the microphone and belted out a version of it during halftime, right? Choreograph it with the LadyBirds and the cheer-leaders and...OK, never mind...probably a bad idea. 

LINK:  Ramblin Wreck From Georgia Tech



I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer,
A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer,
Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear,
I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.
Oh, if I had a daughter, sir, I'd dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus, to cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir, I'll tell you what he'd do.
He would yell, "To Hell with Georgia," like his daddy used to do.
Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three thousand pounds,
A college bell to put it in and a clapper to stir it around.
I'd drink to all good fellows who come from far and near.
I'm a ramblin', gamblin', hell of an engineer.


Our Rowing 101 lessons continue today. Thanks to the Louisville rowing squad for these Tuesday lessons on Twitter. Today, we review "finish"



-- I'll take the Cards over Georgia Tech tonight. Of course I will. 

For Thursday: 

-- Notre Dame at Boston College. We'll go with the Irish here. No need to explain.

-- Virginia at Clemson. This had promised to be a battle of the beaten but Virginia did win at Boston College Sunday. I think Virginia will win again at Clemson

-- Virginia Tech at Duke. Maybe the toughest game to predict Thursday night. Duke looked horrible in their loss to NC State Sunday but I think they'll rebound at home and take care of the Gobblers. Duke wins.

-- Wake Forest at North Carolina. The Demon Decons came very close to beating Virginia Tech Sunday. I don't think the home court advantage will be enough for Sylvia's TarHeels and W.F.U gets the "W" 

-- Syracuse at Florida State. Syracuse continues their southern sojourn and visits Chief Osceola's princesses. They won't be able to exchange oranges for a win here and FSU takes this one. 

I'm a rambling wreck this morning...for sure...and could use a strong finish (or danish).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday Cardinal Couple

Mickey D's

As usual the readers here are on the ball, and this got mentioned in the comments yesterday, but it's worthy of a section here on its own.

Dana Evans and Loretta Kakala were selected to play in the McDonald's All-American game.  The game will be on March 29th at the United Center in Chicago.  This is, of course, one of the highest honors for high school ballers, and the two will join a cadre of other McDonald's All-Americans here at UofL.

Jeff Walz always shows support for the fan base in his post-game radio comments, so it's time to give a little back.  Evens and Kakala will be the 10th and 11th McD's All-Americans ever at UofL.  All of them came through the system under Jeff Walz.

Many of you follow basketball recruiting better than I do, but these two look exciting, with Evans a 5'6" guard (just barely fitting into the prerequisites for being an Attack Yorkie), that looks like she's going to be fun to watch.  Over 35 points, upwards of 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game in her senior season, have the makings for a fun offensive set.  Kakala is a 6'3" forward, fulfilling many CC commenters wish for some more height.

With Lindsey Duvall, who was nominated for the All-American team but wasn't selected, the incoming class will be the 4th ranked recruiting class in college basketball.  That makes six times since 2010 that UofL has had a top-10 class.

Track and Field

The indoor track and field folks had some success down in Lexington with a couple of wins and twelve top 5 finishes at the Kentucky Invitational.

Jumpers were the pinnacle for the Cards, with Damar Robinson reaching the height of the high jump competition, while Alexis Gibbons out-distanced the rest of the competition in the long jump.  Gibbons could have great things ahead of her for the Cards as this is her second straight long jump win, and she's just getting started here in her freshman year.

Cardinal Couple favorite Emmonnie Henderson claimed a 2nd place finish in shot put (no discus in indoor competition), and another name we're already heard a lot in track and field, Raven Grant, finished 3rd in the 60-yard dash.

Holly Hankenson finished 3rd in the 800-meter run, and the men's 4x400-meter; Carlos Coleman, Josh Hall, Teague Peck, and Eric Fox also claimed a 3rd place finish.

Swimming and Diving

A couple of pieces of pool news.  Also news about Andrea's.

In a solid win over Missouri, Senior Andrea Cottrell picked up five 1st place finishes which was enough for her to pick up the ACC Swimmer of the Week honor.  This is the 2nd time Cottrell has earned that honor.

In other Andrea news, Andrea Kneppers, Cardinal Alumna and representative of the Dutch National Swimming Team has decided to retire from competitive swimming.  Kneppers had a distinguished career for the Cardinals, perhaps overshadowed somewhat by Kelsi Worrell, but she contributed significantly to the advancement of the UofL swimming team.  We here at Cardinal Couple are certain that she'll do great things in whatever she pursues next.

-- JMcA

Monday, January 16, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- 24 for Moore as Cards WBB holds off Hurricanes 63-59...MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Mariya Moore recorded her sixth straight game in double figures and second-highest point total of the season with 24 points...helping the Cards WBB squad hold off a pesky and determined Miami squad in the KFC YUM! Center 63-59 Sunday afternoon. 

Moore was joined in double figures by Briahanna Jackson with 11 points and Myisha Hines-Allen's 10 in a contest where Miami never had the lead but never trailed by more than nine. 

It looked early on that the Cards weren't going to have much trouble with the big wind out of south Florida...jumping out to a 11-4 lead halfway through the first session after a Jackson layup plus one. A Moore three had the Cards up 14-6 with 3:40 left in the quarter...but there was some cause for concern when Hines-Allen took a "inadvertent" elbow to the face sixty seconds later...after a Jessica Thomas layup. Myisha lay motionless on the floor for a scary minute before leaving the court with light assistance. The Cards got a BJ jumper with 1:16 remaining to build a 18-11 first period lead and that held to the end of the quarter. 

Miami was cold from the hardwood...shooting just 4-16 (25%) in those first ten minutes. Stellar guard Adrienne Motley had seven of the Canes' points...Louisville had seven from Moore and a Jackson five to lead the way.

The "U" heated up to begin the second frame. A 5-0 opening run, capped by Nigla Greene's 3-ball pulled the visitors within two. UofL responded with buckets from Asia Durr, a plus 1 from Moore and Hines-Allen jumper...who returned to the contest shortly after the quarter climb to a 25-18 advantage with four minutes until half. Miami wasn't ready to see an "L" next to their name yet, though and battled back. Motley's three with a minute to play closed out a 7-2 Hurricane run to make it 27-25. The Cards swung it back in their direction to close the half...MHA powering one through in the paint and Moore providing first-half highlight reel...screaming for the ball from Durr and then hitting a deep trifecta with four ticks left on the scoreboard to give Louisville a 32-25 halftime lead. 

The Cards were getting it done on the boards with a commanding 28-15 rebounding edge and had 22 points in the paint. The M&M girls had 10 of the Cards 14 points in the period and Mariya led all scorers with 13 points in 19 minutes of play. 

Moore knocked down another three to begin the final half but Miami controlled the next 150 seconds with a 6-0 run that had them within two at 35-33 after Jessica Thomas connected on a jumper. It was Louisville's turn to go on a run...and they responded with a 6-0 Durr spurt...the sophomore nailing a three and then getting fouled on a three attempt and sinking all three charity tosses. The Cards would push the lead to 45-36 when Jazmine Jones hit one of those pretty mid-range jumpers at the 3:26 mark. Emese Hof entered the game for the Canes right around that time, though, and started gaining control of the paint...the 6'3" sophomore from the Netherlands hit two shots and grabbed two boards to cut the Cards margin to 47-43 after three. 

The Cards tried a variety of combinations on Hof ...Cortnee Walton, Sam Fuehring, Bionca Dunham, Ciera Johnson and Kylee Shook earlier in the contest...but Walz stayed with his starting five (Myisha, Mariya, BJ, Cortnee and Asia) the entire fourth quarter. The opening scenario seemed familiar...Louisville starting the quarter hot with a basket each for the M&M girls and Miami charging back. Hof scored inside to get the Canes within three at 51-48 with 6:36 to play. A Hines-Allen basket was reversed by the Joe Vaszily-led referee crew with four minutes left and 10 seconds later Motley knocked back a three to cut it to a 55-53 Cards. 

(Credit to Joe the Ref again tonight. At the end of the third quarter he gave the game ball to a little girl seated by me on media row and she was able to pose for an adoring grand-dad's photos with it. She was reluctant to return it to start the fourth...if it had been me, I would have tossed it into the stands along with the peanuts the cheerleaders were throwing)

Louisville needed an answer and Mariya offered one. Her fourth three of the game made it 58-53. BJ claimed the "circus shot" of the game prize 80 seconds later with a falling-down, turn-around desperation jumper (which, in the post-game presser, she claimed she practices) to set the tally at 60-55 UofL. Miami coolly responded with scores by Hof and Keyona Hayes to climb back within one with 1:21 on the clock. 

The "U" would not score the rest of the way. A 30-second Cardinal time-out produced a jumper which Moore missed. She grabbed but also missed the put-back. Hines-Allen was there to grab that miss, fortunately, and got fouled. The Montclair, NJ junior rolled in both unguarded ones and it was 62-59 UofL. After UM's Thomas couldn't get loose for a three to tie with 10 seconds left and settled for a jumper...Moore grabbed the miss and was fouled. She added a free throw, missed the second, but got her own rebound and the Cards got the win 63-59.

Louisville had defended the home-court against a very talented and definite NCAA Tournament participant later this year in Miami. Another great guard combination (Motley and Thomas) defeated. The Canes got double digit efforts from Motley (13), Thomas (11) Hayes (10) and Hof (10) going to 14-4 on the season and 3-3 in conference.

Just another day in the ACC...right? 


Early '60's rock n roller Freddy Cannon
Free throws -- A decent 10-14 from the charity stripe for the Cards. Only four Cards attempted them...The M&M girls were a combined 6 of 7, Asia went 3-5 and BJ 1-2. That's 71.4% and that's better than our mandated 70% judging platform. We'll offer the small case "f" for the effort. 

Rebounds -- Winning the rebound battle was a pre-game objective and Louisville did control the backboards in Sunday's game with a 46-31 advantage. 11 for MHA, an impressive eight for Asia...Mariya and Cortnee combined for 13. The 20-6 difference in offensive boards was good to see...UM's starters only had 15 grabs. A capital "R" is the designation here.

Effort/Execution. Walz went with the starters exclusively in the final ten and Jazmine Jones saw 16 total-game minutes. 36.9% shooting isn't exactly great...but the Cards got 16 second-chance points and out-scored the Canes 32-22 in the paint. Louisville had 14 turnovers while forcing just The Five Second Turnover Bakery was open Sunday. After much deliberation, we can see a small case "e" here...Louisville did win and never trailed. 

Defense. Stopping Hof was a task for the Cards and Miami regrouped to end up shooting 41.4% for the game after an atrocious start. Holding Motley...easily one of the best three players in the ACC... to 13 points (her season average) was a key. Holding the Canes to 31.6% from three-ball range (they were second in the ACC at .378) and 15 points less than their season average of 74 will allow us to offer a small case "d" in the final category



It was nice to see Mariya continue to stay hot from the floor and do all the other things that make her one of the best all-around players on the team. Good to see Myisha return with a double-double after the Florida State disappearance. BJ with her usual non-stop energy, hustle and effort. The circus-shot was icing on the cake...

The Cards did not fold in the final and crucial three minutes on Sunday...which was a relief....doing so with the starters. Beside Jazmine, the Cards bench saw only 20 of the 200 minutes available...which makes us wonder if Walz is paring the participation down to those he can somewhat depend on. Quality minutes from seldom-used Bionca Dunham aside...who did grab three boards, hit two shots and get a block in six minutes...not much out of Taylor Johnson (3 minutes) Kylee Shook (1 minute) and Ciera Johnson (3 minutes).

We won't quibble too much about wins in the ACC. Especially against top 15 teams. It just makes one wonder if a pattern has started here in playing time distribution. I suppose we'll find out more against a very talented Georgia Tech squad which will ramble into the YUM! Center on Wednesday fresh off a nine-point win over visiting Syracuse yesterday. At 13-4...the Atlanta invaders can not be overlooked. 

No one can in this seems. 



Links to the post-game chatter below. 





Results for Sunday and Monday. I went 5-3.

My losses:

-- Georgia Tech puling off a slight surprise with a 75-66 win over Syracuse.

-- Pitt shellacking UNC 68-48

-- Tennessee coming back against Notre Dame 71-69

My wins:

-- FSU demolishing Clemson 86-27. No, not a mis-type. 86-27

-- Cards beat Canes 63-59

-- Virginia over Boston College 62-55

-- NC State squeaks by Duke 57-55

-- Virginia Tech holding on against Wake Forest 72-70

I'm 27-8 so far (77.1%). Maybe I should be picking UConn games to boost my win percentage...



We celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr on this Monday. There's a brief video below about the man who stood up for what he believed in and what was right.

I remember where I was on the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. Home...sick in bed...and my mother waking me up and watching the TV coverage with me. Wondering if all this senseless killing would ever end.

I still wonder that today.  


Early morning, April 4. Shots rang out int the Memphis sky. Free at last, they took your life. They could not take your pride.  --  song by U2 -- ( Pride)   LINK: U2 Pride on You Tube