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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hines returns to pound in the post

IN TODAY'S CARDINAL COUPLE

Keisha Hines-the force in the middle.

The defense rests in the Sypher trial.

One from the mailbag.


Keisha Hines, pictured on the right, deserves a nickname. She prowls the post like a caged panther, challenging any attempts to score from inside the paint and clearing out the area if any of the Lady Cards look to drive and score. The term "Enforcer" is overplayed..but it is something she does well. Hines goes about her work with the quiet confidence of a trained hit man, knowing her opponent, what she needs to do to eliminate them and quietly carrying out her assignment.

She's not the flashy, showboat scorer nor the loud, pumped up leader of the Lady Cards. But, she is a senior this year...and was the 3rd leading scorer for Louisville last season. Keisha just goes to work against the opponent's muscle in the middle and exchanges the elbows, shoves and bumps that a lot of fans miss while following the path of the basketball.

Hines started 23 of the 28 games she played in last year for Louisville. Actually led the team in shooting percentage with 52.3 % and averaged 9.1 points per game. Her 6.9 rebounds a game wee second best on the squad. She also averaged 3.6 fouls per game, leading Louisville in that dubious category, too. This is to be expected when you are the bouncer. She is one of two Cardinals on the roster that was on board when Jeff Walz took the job at Louisville.

You don't see a lot of the things that Hines does on the court but you can be assured that she is out there, pounding in the paint, denying the interior pass and catching the lob pass and going strong to the hoop. She has served her time as a backup...to Tise Wright, Gwen Rucker, Ashley Rainey and others...and she'll have several talented freshmen front line players with her this year that will see playing time in the post. Her work ethic will not change. She'll be the one to help the new players adjust to and learn the Walz style of basketball inside.

If the Cardinal basketball team is a pyramid, consider Keisha the strong base that helps the other bricks achieve height and stability. She's gathered her bumps and bruises over the past three years and dished out an equal share of them to opposing BIG EAST centers.

You can expect more pain distributed and dished out for her senior year. Bright, sparkling and funny off the hardwood...but stern, determined and serious once the ball is inbounded.

Keep jammin' them up, Keisha. It's appreciated.

PROGNOSIS:

Hines will be the front runner for the center position this year for Louisville. She will have competition from several new players. She'll get all she wants in practice from unavailable redshirt transfer Cierra Warren and this will only help her game....if the two don't kill each other. We'd love to see her cut back on the silly, reach in fouls that plagued her at times last year. Her senior season could be the best of her career and she won't back down from anyone.

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The drama expected in Wednesday's Karen Sypher court trial never materialized. The defense rested without putting Mom, the kids, Bill the Goat or Sharin' Karen on the stand. Closing arguments next and one has to wonder if the brevity of the defense is a confident assumption
that the prosecution failed to prove their case or simply a hesitance to put the wordy and inaccurate Sypher under oath.

The question now is how long will it take the jury to render a decision and what will they come up with? Will there be an appeal if the verdict doesn't suit the defense? It hasn't been BOSTON LEGAL or LAW AND ORDER...but there have been some memorable moments and sordid details surface. How badly has Pitino's reputation been sullied and soiled and how will Sypher look in an orange jumpsuit?

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CARDINAL COUPLE got an interesting e-mail the other day and we'd like to share it with you:

"I like reading your blog each day and I appreciate the information about Louisville Women's Sports. I am in the armed forces and overseas, so your reports help me follow my Cardinals and I look forward to the fall sports seasons and your reports on the games and contests.

I got a big surprise the other day when I was off duty and doing some shopping in a nearby outdoor market. I had on my NCAA Women's Final Four T-Shirt and a middle aged man walked up to me and displayed the "L" with his fingers. I naturally was surprised and asked him about his knowledge of the Cards. He told me that he had seen about half of Angel's games in Slovakia with the Good Angels Kosice team last season and had accessed several UofL sports web sites and saw several of the players flashing the "L"...so he adopted it, too.

Thanks for the coverage and I hope you enjoyed this story."

(Name withheld by request.)

Cardinal fans...spanning the globe...Keep your head down, come back to us safe and thank you for defending our country. OOORAHHH!

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