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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

McGraw talks about Hall of fame...We discuss UofL rumors...

THE TUESDAY EDITION OF CARDINAL COUPLE:

-We look at Mufett McGraw

-What's the buzz? UofL WBB rumors...

-David Watson checks in

Muffet McGraw was recently inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. The BIG EAST now has four coaches that hold that distinction. Anne Donovan ( 1999), C.Vivian Stringer (2001) and Geno Auriemma (2006).

Muffet ha been at Notre Dame for 24 years...a head coach for 29 years and ha a lifetime winning percentage of (.719) 644-252. She's won one NCAA Championship title (2001) and made it to the finals last year. The Fighting Irish have been to the Sweet Sixteen nine times in the past 15 years.

McGraw was humble about her induction:

Muffet in her famous squat on the sidelines.
"Basketball and coaching are my passions and there have been so many wonderful memories that I've collected in my time at Notre Dame and in my earlier years at Lehigh and St. Joseph's. All of those have been due to the hard work of so many incredible student-athletes and assistant coaches through the years. I'm especially grateful to those players and coaches - without them and the tremendous support of our Notre Dame administration, this wouldn't have been possible."

McGraw is one of the more likable coaches in BIG EAST Women's Basketball and is one of only seven head coaches currently active that have reached the Hall of Fame on the basis of her success on the sidelines. Beside the aforementioned Stringer and Auriemma, the others are Pat Summitt (1999-Tennessee), Tara VanDerveer (2002-Standford), Sylvia Hatchell (2004-North Carolina), and Andy Landers (2007-Georgia).

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WE hear all kinds of rumors about the University of Louisville women's basketball team and although we have to laugh at the idiot nature of some of them...we like that fact that UofL women's basketball has become that popular where people are talking about it all year now.

What we've heard...Mercedes Russell (6'5" high school player from Oregon) visited the UofL campus Monday and Tuesday, after visiting Tennessee Sunday.

What we know. Nothing. No official announcement nor sighting of her. She played in the finals of the FIBA Americas U 16 Tournament in Merida, Mexico Saturday night...so it is unlikely she made the trips...after a week in Mexico, most people are ready to go home...

What we've heard...Becca Greenwell, who was the co-MVP of that tournament in Mexico is interested in (take your pick) Louisville, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Tennessee...

Becca Greenwell will be a junior at
Owensboro Catholic.
What we know. She hasn't committed to any of them yet. She has attended basketball camps in Knoxville for several years, her coach in high school is a former Louisville St.Xavier graduate and big UofL fan, her Dad is a UK fan and she goes to Owensboro Catholic high school...which might seem to give Notre Dame a shot at her. She's getting ready to go into her junior year of high school. Doubtful she'll verbal anywhere soon, in our opinion.

What we've heard...There could be several UofL women's basketball players red-shirting this season. Most popular names that keep popping up are Esther Monny Niamke and Jude Schimmel. 

What we know. Nothing. No word out of UofL announcing any red-shirt seasons. We do know that Cierra Warren underwent successful knee surgery and should be full strength for fall ball. That Shawnta Dyer is fully recovered from her fractured heel. We'll believe the red shirt scenario when we get it straight from Walz or the sports information director. Right now it's 15 players and 15 scholarships....but there are persistant rumors about Niamke going the NAIA route a year because of academics and this is being confirmed by a source we respect highly. We'll let you know on this one.

Speculation and prognostication can be fun and intriguing at times...but rule #1 is always a good one to follow. That rule is...it ain't official until Walz sez so...

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David Watson is a special contributing writer to CARDINAL COUPLE. He weighs in today with some thoughts on the BIG EAST. 

So, just how strong a conference is the BIG EAST? TCU is joining, you know- and Fort Worth, hey, it's one of my favorite east coast cities to visit. I hear that the folks at Houston, East Carolina, Memphis, Central Florida and Lazy Dave's Haircut and Tanning Salon wouldn't mind joining as well. Maybe time for a name change-how does the BIG ALL OVER THE PLACE sound? But, I digress.

How strong is the BIG EAST? Let's look at (6) sports. Rugby, lacrosse, bowling, darts, skipping stones and gator wrestling. Seriously, we'll go with football, basketball and baseball on the men's ledger and basketball, softball and volleyball with the ladies. 

1) Men's basketball. The best conference in the NCAA. You'll  get arguments from the ACC, Big 12 and BIG 10 folks, but, look at the number of teams that get into the Big Dance each year and the talent level at the schools. No matter what Calipari or Tim Fuller say. 

2) Football. Maybe 6th best. Adding TCU will help. Getting a full time commitment from Notre Dame wouldn't hurt. But, football belongs to the SEC, Big 12, PAC 10, ACC, Big 10 and then the BIG EAST. Name the last BIG EAST school that played for the national championship. Go ahead and Google it. 

Best in the nation. Men and women.
3) Baseball. Getting better but still doesn't crack the top five or six. Tough weather up north and tradition hurt here. The mid west, south and west coast schools will always rule here.

4) Women's basketball. Again, the best in the NCAA. Argue all you want, ACC and Big 12, but the legendary programs of Connecticut, Rutgers, Notre Dame and DePaul stack up well against any other conference out there. And, there are some pretty good things happening at Louisville, Syracuse and St. John's as of late, in case you haven't noticed.

5) Volleyball. Top five but not on the par of the Big 10, ACC, Big 12 or PAC 10 yet.
Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Louisville are all recognized as top 20 programs but they ain't no Penn State, Southern Cal or Florida yet. 

6) Softball. The old rough spring weather and lack of tradition factor come into play again and the SEC, PAC 10 and Big 12 rule here.  DePaul, Notre Dame, Louisville and Syracuse have strong, viable programs and South Florida rolls out good teams occasionally...but put any of these schools in the above conferences and they aren't getting above .500 in conference play.

(David Watson is a special contributing writer for CARDINAL COUPLE and recently washed his car.)
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1 comment:

  1. Mercedes is in the house!!! Wahoo!!! I know she has a long recruiting process ahead of her, but I am very excited she is interested enough to make an unofficial visit all the way from Oregon via Mexico!

    ReplyDelete

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