TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:
-Tennessee game is sold out.
-Field Hockey NCAA Selections tonight.
22,000 fans will pack the KFC YUM! Center on Friday night to watch the University of Louisville women's basketball team play the Lady Vols of Tennessee. All tickets sold.
This is an incredible feat. It will be the largest crowd to ever watch a UofL women's basketball game. Largest crowd to watch a women's basketball game in Kentucky. It very well just might be the largest crowd ever to watch a regular season women's basketball game. Possibilitiy City...yeah, you betcha!
Former Cardinal Great Angel McCoughtry will have her jersey placed in the rafters of the YUM at 6:45 p.m. Then, it's show time. For Louisville, not only is it the regular season opener...it's the debut of a top 5 recruiting class that has already made a little noise. Shoni Schimmel was at the center of an intense recruiting battle before she chose the Cardinals. She did not fail to impress in the Cards' lone exhibition game that has been open to the public. Sherrone Vails, another freshman, led Louisville in scoring in the win over Indiana Wesleyan. There are 14 very talented players on the 2010-11 edition of Jeff Walz's team. They're gonna make some noise.
For women's basketball in general, this is a shining moment. To fill the new palace of college athletics on the Ohio River...with two women's teams...surely the ghost of Adolph Rupp is turning circles in his grave and that growl of frustration is definitely coming from Lexington. You know, the place where they had to move the Lady Kats back to antiquated Memorial Coliseum because they couldn't get more than 5,000 in Rupp Arena. Mind you, UK women's basketball is very, very good this year. They were last year, too. The mindset, though...as it is in almost all women's programs except the UConn, Rutgers, Tennessee, Baylor, Stanford and Louisville's of the world, is this:
Fine. Let the girls have their fun. We love it when they win. Did anyone attend? When and what time do the guys play?
Those days are over. At least here in Louisville and at a few other universities across the nation. Women's basketball is viable. Worthy of front page sports news (except maybe here in Louisville where the pro-Blue certain newspaper's Sports section slant will always bury any UofL or any other women's sport news back by the ads for the nudie bars.)
And I say...it's about time that the recognition surface. Hey,folks...women's basketball...heck, ALL women's sports have been here all along. Playing before men's games in 1/10 th. full arenas. Shuffled off to high school gyms. Devoid of any radio and TV coverage for years. Nameless faces winning conference tournaments, going to the NCAA...all under the shadow of Denny Crum and Howard Schnellenberger and in front of fans made up mostly of family, friends and students. Practicing just as hard, studying and preparing.
Some people will point to the large number of Orange clad fans in the stands Friday night. I can hear it now...Louisville couldn't have done this if it hadn't been Tennessee they were playing.
Guess what? You're tossing the baby out with the bath water. THEY DID DO IT...and that's all that is relevant or important here.
Game on. Go Cards. Go women's sports at UofL. Go WBB Basketball. And, go support them. (Next time a ticket becomes available.) In case you didn't realize it, most of the women's sports
events (beside basketball and volleyball) don't require a ticket. Go represent.
Pam Bustin's UofL Field Hockey team will find out Tuesday night where they'll begin the quest to win the 2010 NCAA Field Hockey Tournament. TEAM CARDINAL has the MVP of the regular season in senior Nicole Youman. Despite the loss to UConn in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament, the Cards appear to be a lock for the NCAA...although home field advantage looks to be out of the scenario.