WELCOME TO THURSDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE
(Hang your coat over there and sit and chat a spell)
-BIG EAST: Now it's for real
-Angel moving...Taurasi dumped.
The BIG EAST women's basketball teams have pretty much finished with their non-conference opponents and the battle for supremacy in the league is ahead. Two key match-ups Tuesday Night...where Louisville thumped a good St. John's team (we had them picked in our conference top 4) and Georgetown rolled past Syracuse. Wednesday night saw six games and eleven conference members in action. The results were pretty much according to form, except for PITTSBURGH losing to cross-town rival Duquense and CINCINNATI travelling to Tampa and knocking off SOUTH FLORIDA.
The 'ugly' ones...
#1 Connecticut was ready to take names and kick tail after the streak ended and poor Villanova was the unfortunate next opponent. The Wildcats saw their two game winning streak swept out of the gym with the trash as the Huskies applied a 46 point pasting to 'Nova.
Providence is another team that probably wished they could have cancelled travel plans...their trip to the Windy City for a game against #16 DePaul wasn't a stroll down Michigan Avenue...the Blue Demons are powerful, deep and talented...cooking the Friars 71-38.
Marquette put up some very impressive pre-conference numbers. You aren't in Kansas any more Golden Eagles...#13 Notre Dame makes the Milwaukee bunch 0-2 in the conference by beating Terri Mitchell's squad by 18.
Seton Hall figured hosting the #6 West Virginia Mountaineers couldn't be all that bad, could it? Guess what...it was pretty bad. The South Orange bunch got "hillbillied" at home by Liz Repella and the Eers 67-46.
So...what we have here....is the beginning of separation between the contenders and the also rans. We'll spell it out below...it can always change, of course...but indicators right now are pretty strong and indisputable.
Queens of the Castle:
1) UConn. 3-0 in the conference. The Notre Dame matchup Saturday in the Joyce Center will be a tough road test for the Huskies...but they should pass it. This one on CBS!
2) WVU. Would still like to see how they handle a tough opponent on the road...but for right now, you can't argue with undefeated. 2-0 in conference play...Cincy visits Saturday.
3) DePaul. Their beatdown of Stanford served as notice that the Blue Demons were a force. They take a road trip to Queens to play a revenge seeking St.John's Saturday. Trap game?
4) Notre Dame. Muffett has her Catholics serving mass....destruction. The Marquette win was impressive. UConn visits Saturday. Rut row...
5) Louisville. Forget the 11-5 overall. The Cards are 2-0 in conference, beat 3 top 25 teams this year and will pummel Pittsburgh Sunday. If they ever realize just how good they are...look out.
6) Georgetown. Despite the loss to Rutgers, the Hoyas won't have too many more "L" s scribbled next to their name this year. Marquette visits next. They may not like D.C...
Ladies in waiting:
7) St. John. Not ready to throw in the towel on Kim's bunch just yet...Louisville loss maybe a wake up call. We'll see how they handle DePaul Saturday in Little Louie Arena.
8) Syracuse. The loss to Georgetown could make Quentin's crew an angrier team. If that's possible. Brutal ball rears it's ugly head next hosting the woeful Seton Hall sailors.
9) Marquette. 0-2 a tough way to open up conference play. Losses to UConn and Notre Dame fully plausible, though. They'll beat up on some cream puffs down the road.
10) Rutgers. This isn't one of C.Viv's best teams...but they can lay it on people when motivated. They handle Villanova Saturday in the RAC.
11) USF. Had high hopes for this Florida bunch...but losses to Cincy and Nebraska indicate these Bulls may be just cows.
12) Pittsburgh. The loss to Duquense surprising. The prospects bleak. Louisville next and then a brief rest (Seton Hall) before Connecticut, Notre Dame and Syracuse. Get out the ADVIL...
13) Providence. If you're barely breaking .500 before conference play...and losing to teams like Hofstra...the BIG EAST in your headlights just can't be a good thing.
14) Villanova. They won the Fordham Holiday classic. It may be their biggest achievement of the year. A lot of BIG EAST member will treat these Wildcats like house kitties.
15) Cincinnati. Will give them due credit for upsetting USF in Tampa. We'll see how games against WVU, Rutgers, St. John's and Louisville go. I expect no more miracles...
16) Seton Hall. Someone has to finish last. Here's your candidate. Losses to Florida Gulf Coast and Drexel? They may go 0-16 in the BIG EAST...
Former UofL great Angel Mc Coughtry is moving again. This time, she's headed to Turkey...to play for international Eurobasketball powerhouse FENERBACHE. The Turkish club bought her contract from Hungary's MKB Euroleasing Sopron...where McCoughtry was leading them to a 15-1 record, tops in the division. Most suspected the purchase was part of a larger change in the scenery for Fenerbache and today the Turkish squad announced that they had voided the contract of Diana Taurasi because of doping issues. Taurasi's "B" or second urine sample also tested positive for Nodafinil.
Nodafinil is a stimulant used to combat excessive daytime sleepiness, narcolepsy and jet lag. Although not a classic form of amphethimine...it is banned in most European federation leagues.
It is also used to produce weight loss and combat ADHD symptoms.
Taurasi could face a two year ban from playing in international events...which would keep her off the 2012 United States Olympic team that will play in the London Olympics.
McCoughtry joins WNBA star Penny Taylor on the Fenerbach squad. Taylor, an Austrailian...plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA.