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Friday, April 29, 2011

Lady Cards Nikki Burton to transfer, The 2011 All-USA girls basketball team

FRIDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE

Burton is the third transfer
this year at Louisville
-Burton transferring

-Smith a second team All-USA selection

-Calvin Borel named to ride Twice The Appeal
.
Nikki Burton, a sophomore guard from Charlotte, NC is leaving the University of Louisville. She is transferring due to a hip injury that prevents her
from being able to practice with the Lady Cards on a regular basis. She was injured midway thru her freshman year and sat out last year as a redshirt. Jeff Walz commented on the move:

"Nikki is a very talented student-athlete but unfortunately her hip injury
precludes her from the daily rigors of preparation required for BIG EAST play. In order for her to continue her career, she will transfer to a university that can accommodate her physical limitations for practice and playing. "
(Courtesy of UofL Sports Information)

Burton last saw playing time on Jan 19th. 2010 at Freedom Hall against Notre Dame...getting three points in 14 minutes. She played in 18 games as a freshman, staring in 11. She averaged 5.9 points a game and her high was 13 points...with five steals...in a 87-48 win over Providence.

Hate to see her go...she had tons of potential and was considered maybe the best of that class that included Asia Taylor and Rachel Story. We're not real sure which schools out there need players who can't practice on a regular basis...our best guess is that she might drop down to a DII or NAIA school...but that is purely speculation on our part.

No word on where she's headed. One might logically assume that the freed up scholarship might enhance the chances for Walz to sign another to the 2011 incoming class. We hope it is Bria Smith. We wish Nikki the best of luck wherever she goes...and that she's able to return to full strength and skills before her college basketball career is over.

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Sara Hammond and Rockcastle County
teammates won the state title in 2011.
USA TODAY has named their 2011 All-USA girls basketball team and their selections are interesting. They named Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (signed with Connecticut) as the player of the year. WE disagree...siding with Elizabeth Williams (signed with Duke). Williams made the first team...along with Cierra Burdick (Tennessee), Malina Howard...a junior from Twinsburg, Oh. who hasn't announced a college yet and Ariel Massengale (Tennessee).

Bria Smith headlines the second team. Joining her are:

Antoinette Banniser, Junior (undecided)
Diamond DeShields, Junior  (undecided)
Krystal Forthan, Senior (LSU)
Amber Henson, Senior (Duke)

Third team selections:

Jordan Adams, Junior (undecided)
Briyona Canty, Senior (Rutgers)
Morgan Tuck, Junior (undecided)
Cassie Peoples, Senior (Texas)
SARA HAMMOND, Senior, (LOUISVILLE)

Can't say we're fully in agreement with these selections. We feel Smith is better than Burdick and should have got first team honors. Briyona Canty, in our opinion, should have landed on the second team. Sara Hammond, too. Too many juniors on this 3 team squad selection list. Then, again....it's USA TODAY. What do they know?

Two Lady Vol signees on the first team. Hmmmm. No excuses this year, Pat Summit. And, Ms. Smith...it  looks like the Tennessee cupboard is well stocked. Come to Louisville. We love 2nd team selections that should have been first team picks....
.
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Pssst. Hey, c'mere! Want a longshot for the Kentucky Derby?  The legendary Calvin Borel has been named the jockey on Sunland Derby winner TWICE THE APPEAL. This is huge. Borel knows Churchill Downs better that John Calipari knows how to escape implications in recruiting violations. So, how has Mr. Borel done in recent Derby races? Glad you asked...

Calvin Borel is sometimes called
Calvin "Bo-rail" because of his
fondness of guiding horses to
the rail during races. It seems to work...
2010   on SUPER SAVER.  Won the race
2009   on MINE THE BIRD. Won the race
2008   on DENIS OF CORK.  Finished third
2007   on STREET SENSE.  Won the race

Mine That Bird finished 4th in the Sunland Derby in 2009 and won in Kentucky at huge odds. Love this quote from 2010 trainer of Super Saver Todd Pletcher...

"I said it last year before the Derby and I said it after the Derby. Calvin Borel is a great rider everywhere and he's that much better here at Churchill." 

Getting interesting, gang. Nine days to go...

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