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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Walz spanning the globe looking for future Lady Cards



Jeff Walz took time out from his busy schedule as UofL head womens' basketball coach to take in a little Cardinal Baseball. In this picture, he is posing with CARDINAL COUPLE co-owner Paul Sykes. Cardinal fan Tom Cahill stands in the background..,keeping vigil for any potential Wildcat intruders.


(photo by Shannon Rufra)


The FIBA 17 U World Championships are taking place in France and the USA girls team is the overwhelming favorite to win the event. They'll take on Russia today and are 1-0 so far in play.


Jeff Walz is there. Not sure which of the 15 players on USA's roster he is checking out but one thing is for sure. If there is talent out there, Jeff is going to find it, recruit it and develop it. Whether it's Portland, Oregon...Kansas City...or France, Walz will make the trek and pitch Lady Cardinal basketball to his targets. As the soon to be seniors are starting to make their verbal commits and narrow their lists down nationwide, coaching staffs flock to places like Murfreesboro, Pine Bluff and Eugene to see, be seen and evaluate.


This is the world of college basketball recruiting. No longer enough just to track a potential in high school games. AAU ball must be covered and scouted, where your mark is playing with just as equally talented players on a select, premier team against competition equally rostered. Catching the up and coming talent early...in the 14U games. Dozens of website rating, charting and featuring girls that aren't even old enough to drive a car..but fully capable of driving to the hoop. Keeping prospects on your speed dial and tournament results that you can't get to on your laptop "favorites" list.


Somewhere this morning, there is a 10 yr. old girl out in her backyard shooting hoops with her dad and older brother. And the results of the morning will be on three websites by 12:30....detailing shot selection, percentage, crossover dribble skills and rebounding strength.


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Angel and the Atlanta Dream lost a crucial one in Indy last night...falling to the Indiana Fever 89-70. The win for the Fever pulls them to just one game behind Atlanta...the Eastern Conference leader.


Tamika Catchings led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds and Katie Douglas added 20 from the floor.


"I think we sent a message that we are the defending Eastern Conference champions and it's not going to be easy to come in here and steal a game from us" Douglas remarked after the contest.


The actually led the contest 46-45 in the third quarter after a Shalee Lehning layup after a Fever turnover...but the magic stopped there. Indiana held the Dream scoreless for the first three minutes of the 4th quarter. The frustration showed, with Dream head coach Marynell Meadows getting a technical foul with 4:34 to play.


The Dream is 0-2 since the All-Star break, both losses coming on the road.


Angel McCoughtry led the way for Atlanta with 27 points but there was no celebrating that after the game.


"I'm just disappointed with our play," McCoughtry said. "We have a second half of the season to play. We need to keep our heads up."


Perhaps the key factor in the Fever win was Katie Douglas limiting Dream second leading scorer Iziane Castro Marquez to just five points on 2-for-11 shooting.


"I just tried to go as fast as she goes." Douglas said. "She's so athletic. We tried to limit her early stuff that gets her going and we tried to keep her frustrated in the second half."


Next up, The Fever travels to New York for a Sunday game. Atlanta continues the road trip, with a Saturday night game against Connecticut.
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