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Saturday, April 2, 2011

How do you do...TCU... & Schimmel named First Team Freshman All-American


- A look at what TCU will bring to BIG EAST women's sports...
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-Shoni Schimmel named to Freshman All-American First Team !!!
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-Khadija Abdullah wins discus toss
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Texas Christian University (TCU) is slated to become the newest member of the BIG EAST. The Horned Frogs, currently members of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) will compete with BIG EAST schools beginning in the 2012-13 season. Although that's over a year away, WE thought WE'D take a look at what women's sports TCU participates in and how they are doing. They currently have 10 women's sports programs.
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Basketball. The Horned Frogs went 22-11 in the 2010-11 season. They accepted a bid to the WNIT and lost to Oral Roberts. They're entering the best conference in women's basketball with their admission to the BIG EAST. WE can't see them making much of an impact against the Connecticut's, Norte Dame's, DePaul's and Louisville's of the conference and they'll most likely be down in the cellar of BIG EAST standings...with teams such as South Florida and Villanova.
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Volleyball. They finished the current season 15-16 and went 5-11 in conference play. No postseason play. MWC isn't considered a conference powerhouse in  Volleyball and TCU's seventh place MWC finish indicates to us that they won't be one of the teams challenging Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Louisville for conference superiority.
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Golf. They are currently ranked 33rd in the country. Their finishes in several tournaments and invitational has been impressive, although they haven't won any of the events. They are led by junior Brooke Beeler and freshman Sanna Nuutinen, from Sweden. There isn't much organization to the BIG EAST when it comes to golf..so it's hard to say how they'll matchup with Louisville, South Florida and Notre Dame in regional and BIG EAST Tournament events...
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Soccer. They finished the past season with a 7-10-2 record and had an eighth place finish in the MWC with a 1-5-1 record. They probably won't fare much better than that in the BIG EAST.
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Swimming/Diving. They were 4-4 in dual meets in the 2010-11 season. TCU recorded a fifth place regular season finish in the MWC and sixth in the MWC Championship Tournament. That won't hold much water against Notre Dame, Louisville and the other BIG EAST teams...
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Tennis. They are 6-6 so far this season. They are competing in the MWC against powerhouse BYU and the Horned Frogs are ranked 75th. in the nation. Not much there in term of competition against the BIG EAST schools.
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Track and Field. They recently competed in the MWC Championships and Jessica Young won the 60 and 200 meter dashes. Kristal Juarez took the 400m title. The BIG EAST isn't a very strong conference i track and field...TCU could be a contender when they make the move eastward.
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Cross Country. They have participated in six events this year, winning the UT-Arlington Invitational and gathering second in the Baylor Bear Run Invitational. Hard to say, really, how they'll fare in the BIG EAST Championships down the road..as the times of the runners are the only comparison...but their good finishes in the above mentioned events indicate that their program isn't too bad...
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TCU also competes in Equestrian and Rifle on the women's side of the sports ledger. Louisville doesn't...although you would think the Cards probably should...given we are in horse country and the thoroughbred capital of the world. Better get to work on that one, Mr. Jurich. Jump that fence...As far as rifle goes...we don't know how many BIG EAST school participate in this sport. We know WVU is pretty good. It figures....
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What stands out here the most to us is that they don't play softball, field hockey or lacrosse...three of the more popular sports in the BIG EAST...after basketball. Softball is surprising, but it may have to do with the size of the school..8799 students. Given the probable, close to 50/50 split of male/female...a student base of 4400 or so females is comparable to some of the smaller schools in the BIG EAST, but nowhere near the large campus populations of schools such as WVU, USF, or UofL. Then again, WVU doesn't play softball either...so who really knows? The state of Texas produces a wealth of good high school talent each year and the University of Texas seems to be consistently ranked it the top 10 each year. Whether the Horned Frogs will add sports when they join the BIG EAST is unclear and unknown at the time of this article.
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They are affiliated, but not governed by the Christian church (Disciples of Christ). That will be an interesting contrast to the BIG EAST's Catholic dominated member makeup. DePaul, Marquette, Villanova, Providence, St John's, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, and Georgetown  ...8 of the 16 current members of the BIG EAST are Catholic affiliated.
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Obviously, the move to the BIG EAST is totally centered around football. The impact of the move on BIG EAST women's sports is negligible at best and with their being the westernmost school in the BIG EAST...a traveling headache for the east coast schools in non revenue sports like tennis, soccer and swimming.
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Louisiville women's basketball freshman guard Shoni Schimmel has been selected to the All-American Freshman First team by Full Court Press. She joins Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Odyssey Sims (Baylor) Meighan Simmons (Tennessee) and Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford).  Schimmel was the Lady Cards second leading scorer on the season with 15.1 ppg. In NCAA Tournament play, she led the Cards with 23.3 ppg in three contests. She was also named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week four times. Schimmel was also selected for the BIG EAST Freshman First team.
Her 33 point performance against Xavier in NCAA Second Round action led the Cards to an upset win  and the NCAA Regionals.
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Schimmel's jersey will hang from the rafters in the KFC YUM Center someday...most likely immediately after she finishes her four years at Louisville. The debate is already beginning on who will be the best Cardinal women's basketball player of all-time...Schimmel or Angel McCoughtry? WE think it's way too early to get into such conjecture and comparision yet....but Schimmel's impact on the Louisville team, Louisville fans and the national media has been huge and rightly justified. WE can't wait for "the Sho" to begin this fall...
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CONGRATS, SHOTIME!!! Just a preview of what's to come from  "The Judge".
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Khadija Abdullah took first in the Florida Relays with a discus toss of 157-10. Then, D'Ana McCarty took fifth in the invitational discus toss with a hurl of 166-5. WE know...D'Ana threw better but finished fifth. The events were different, though and congratulations to both Cardinals...
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