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Friday, August 6, 2010

Healthy Taylor could be a front line force

ON THE FRIDAY EDITION OF CARDINAL COUPLE:

Asia Taylor...ready for prime time?
The Sypher verdict

Asia Taylor showed up on the UofL campus last year with perhaps the most
eye popping resume of any of the incoming freshmen. She had been a one woman
wrecking crew for Columbus, OH Whetstone for the start of her senior year and
most scouts and services had her as one of the top three players in the state.

Then, tragedy struck. Taylor suffered an injury to her leg and ankle that put her
on the sidelines for the rest of the season. Surgery, rehabilitation, recovery...and
the Asia Taylor that arrived to the Cardinal Arena for practices in the fall of 2009 was a mere shadow of her former self. Pressed into action probably before
she was ready, due to the thin Lady Cards numbers...Taylor gave it the best shot
she could...but the early efforts were far short of what she was capable of and
personally disappointing to her.

Asia hit the court in 31 of the 32 games for Louisville last year, seeing an average of 14.4 minutes a game. Those numbers were significantly higher at the end of the season...when Jeff Walz was down to 3 front line players and Taylor responded with a couple of big efforts as the season drew to a close. She was getting better, physically and emotionally, in the aspects of the game and Cardinal fans got a few glimpses of what she was capable of when she was fully able to go.

Don't let the season average of 4.3 points per game and 2.6 rebounds fool you. Taylor has returned to campus this fall "about 95%" according to her, and gotten rave reviews on how her game has gotten much better and how dominating she is in the paint. She and Keisha Hines are the only two front line players returning from last year's team...with Gwen Rucker concentrating on volleyball this season and Laura Terry's career over with injuries...and Walz will count on her athleticism and strength for muscle under the backboard this year.

PROGNOSIS:

Taylor has the size, strength and talent to be one of the dominating power forwards in the Big East this year. She'll see some competition for playing time from several of the Cards' incoming freshmen...but if she can demonstrate the preseason skills she's been wowing people with this summer in pickup games and remain healthy, she should start for the Lady Cards and be a dominant force on the front line. Time to show them what you've got...a-Tay.

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Most of you have heard about the verdict in the U.S. vs. Karen Sypher trial by now. Guilty on all six counts. Sentencing to come shortly before Halloween. Was anyone surprised? This is a woman who has been grifting for about two decades now. Time to pay the dues.

She'll most likely end up in the Federal minimum facility in West Virginia. A facility that alumnus Martha Stewart has described as a "country club" atmosphere. What's more revealing is that she's been spared any jail time, despite the prosecution's request, until then. Is there a "Thelma and Louise" possibility in the next two and one half months of her freedom?

Sypher has been under spiritual guidance recently and that can only be a good thing. I just hope she doesn't show up at our parish. I hope she is truly sorry for the lies, innuendos and scheming that she has perpetrated over the last couple years. I'll wait and see.

For now, it's time to set this story on the back shelf and get back to the upcoming fall sports schedule at the University of Louisville. Field hockey, volleyball, soccer and other women's sports await us and we've spent way too much time watching this sordid, drag thru the mud calamity unfold. You won't see any further mention of "Sharin' Karen" in these columns until the sentencing date unless she pulls a stunt worthy of coverage.

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Three days to get those entries in for this week's $10 of PANERA gift cards. We've had some good one's entered so far. I recently enjoyed an out of this world Chicken Salad sandwich at the Clarksville location. I don't think Aunt Bee could have whipped up as good out of the famous Taylor kitchen in Mayberry. And, I didn't have to put up with Goober or Barney, either.

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