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Thursday, March 24, 2011

University of Louisville women's basketball team leaves for Spokane




CARDS HEAD TO REGIONALS

-Lady Cards leave for Spokane Regional


-An introductory look at who'll they'll face there...the Gonzaga Bulldogs


Monique Reid waves goodbye to Lady Card basketball supporters as the Cards get on the bus to go to the airport and fly to Spokane (Photo by Pam Spaulding/Courier-Journal)

A small but enthused crowd gathered at the University of Louisville Student Activities Center Thursday morning to send off the Lady Cards women's basketball team...as they travel to Spokane, Washington for a 9 p.m. match-up against Gonzaga University in the 1st round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Regionals at Spokane, or the "Sweet Sixteen" as it's referred to.
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Let's hope Coach Walz packed the black, "Jim Tressel" sweater vest. Brought wins in Cincy. Can't buck the trend now...
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The other participants in Spokane will be #1 seeded Stanford and #5 seed North Carolina..who will face each other in the other Saturday night game at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Contrary to popular belief, the facility is not located on the Gonzaga campus...although Gonzaga did host and play their first two games at their facility on campus...the McCarthy Athletic Center. WE see it as a similar situation to that at the University of Connecticut...where the Huskies play games in their on campus, Gampel Pavillion in Storrs, and also in the XL Center in Hartford. .

The Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena holds 12,500 and is located on the north bank of the Spokane River near downtown Spokane. Both Washington State and Gonzaga University men's and women's basketball team have played there at times over the years and the arena is a short ten minute walk from downtown Spokane. .

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Tickets for these upcoming regional match ups are probably harder to find that the "weapons of mass destruction" that George W. Bush kept looking for during his presidency. With hometown team Gonzaga in the games and the fanatical fan base of the Stanford women's basketball team only a two hour flight (or 750) miles away...the seats went quickly. Nevertheless, fans of Shoni Schimmel and the University of Louisville women's basketball team...especially those from the Umatilla Reservation and other surrounding Confederation tribes... are bound and determined to go and see "the Show" and her teammates in action. Don't be shocked or surprised if a lot of them get in the arena. Louisville will welcome the "rez dressed in red" for their fan support and if they can be half as crazy and loud as the Lady Cards fans who invaded Xavier and the Cintas Center...any Gonzaga "almost home court" advantage will be neutralized.
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Unfortunately, CARDINAL COUPLE finally came to the determination today that we won't be going to watch the Lady Cards participate in the regional. What looked like a great chance of at least one of us going to the game ultimately fell apart. WE WILL provide full coverage of the events and activities there...and comprehensive coverage of the game for you, the CARDINAL COUPLE reader. We encourage those of you who are able to make the trek to e-mail us at cardinalcouple@insightbb.com with reports, observations and comments.

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WE'LL start our coverage out with a look at Louisville's first opponent... the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga plays in the West Coast Conference and is coached by Kelly Graves...who is in his 11th. year there. The "Zags" went 28-4 this season before NCAA Tournament play...losing only at U.S.C., at home to Stanford, and on neutral courts to Mississippi and Notre Dame. They were perfect in conference and entered the NCAA Tournament as a #11 seed....facing the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round on the Gonzaga campus. They dispatched of the Hawkeyes 92-86 and went against UCLA in the second round.
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The Bruins fell to the Bulldogs also...89-75...as Gonzaga senior guard Courtney Vandersloot (pictured left) became the first player in Division I (men or women's) basketball to reach the 2,000 point and 1,000 assist plateau. She put up 29 points and dished out 17 assists against UCLA. The Bruins led by as many as seven in the first half but a Vandersloot 9-0 run against the Westwood girls early in the second half gave the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
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Where UCLA made their mistake was trying to run with the Bulldogs for forty minutes. It is a style of hoops the the Zags are quite comfortable with...having scored over 100 points seven times during the season and between 90-100 in eight games. In the Zags losses this season...Notre Dame limited them to 61, Mississippi held them to 52, Southern Cal to 73 and Stanford to 78...so pressure defense and a patient, ball control offense might be the ticket to success against them. WE'RE not coaching the Cards...but putting a Tia Gibbs or Asia Taylor, two of the best Cardinals defensively, on the 5'8" Vandersloot might just slow the train from getting down the tracks...full court presses after made UofL baskets might just be effective, too. The Cards can be deadly in their zone presses and traps and it wouldn't surprise US to see Walz employ the tactic.
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Gonzaga played in the W.C.C. and the level of competition there isn't at the level of what the Cards faced in the BIG EAST. The Portland's, Pepperdines, Santa Clara's and San Francisco's all have tough and challenging women's basketball programs...we have no doubt...but when you go up against the likes of UConn, DePaul, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Georgetown night in and night out...you're definitely prepared for what the rest of the women's college basketball nation can throw at you.
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Besides Vandersloot, who averages 18.6 p.p.g. and 10.2 assists...the Bulldogs look to Katelan Redmon, a 6'1" junior wing from Spokane who gave the Bulldogs 17.3 p.p.g. and 6.2 rebounds per contest. Jazmine Redmon (no relation to Katelan), a 5'9" freshman guard also is an essential Zags player. Kayla Standish, a 6'2" post from Ellensburg, WA. leads the Bulldogs on boards with 8.7 a game and averages 16.6 ppg. The Zags have eight players from the state of Washington on their roster...forward Kelly Bowen hails from Victoria, Austrailia and guard Tatriana Lorenzo played high school ball in Wahiawa, Hawaii.
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WE'LL look further at the match-up in the Friday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE. Our CARDINAL COUPLE Special Correspondent DAVID WATSON will also comment on the Zags...or the "white, Washington Catholic girls "..as he calls them. Should be interesting.
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8 comments:

  1. Gonzaga fan here. A nice write-up. Thank you. We're looking forward to this matchup. One note: Katelan Redmon and Jazmine Redmon aren't related. Just teammates.

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  2. Thanks for the correction on the Redmon's. Bad info...it happens. People think Wanda Sykes (comedian) and I are sisters aometimes...lolol.

    Sonja

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  3. While we're waiting for Saturday to roll around, any idea where Lousiville is in the re-opened Bria Smith sweepstakes?

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  4. Smith was down to Georgia, Louisville and Virginia when she chose the Cavs. She only took one official visit, so she technically has four left. Walz felt that it was between Louisville and Virginia at the end..so you have to like Louisville's chances. The problem might come down finding a scholarship for her. Louisville has 16 players on the roster now..two leaving by graduation way (HInes and Johnson) at least two coming in so far that we are definite of (Hammond and McCurty)and a probable third (can't reveal who)as well. Walz has had several transfers out of the program each year he has been here...and we speculated a few weeks ago that if there are any transfers at the end of this season...it would a very unofficial list of probably Rachel Story, Polly Harrington and/or Charmaine Tay. Now that Tay has been "reborn" so to speak lately...it's hard to say.

    We like Louisville's chances.
    -Paul

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  5. The third recruit that Jeff has is a 5'6 guard from France. Her name is pronounced Money and she will be! A real jet.

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  6. And as I sit here watching the Bellarmine men's game with coach Paul Sanderford, Julie Herman and others at the Red Lion Inn in Spokane....it dawned on me that Jeff also has offered to Jude Schimmel, Shoni's sister. She scored 51 in a game and averaged 29 ppg...along with 8 triple-doubles.

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  7. Heard Bria Smith was in Louisville Wed. 4-20-11 for recruiting visit. Any News?. Also heard she is dating Angel Nunez who is in town for the Derby Classic as well as being a signed recruit for the Cards. Hope Walz is successful.

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  8. we be strong year

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