THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Lady Cards get Shoni back for tonight's game
|No Mo tonight for|
What have the Colonels done so far this year? The Colonels played a whale of a game against Xavier Saturday, narrowly losing 66-61 in their season opener. They also had an exhibition Tuesday against Lincoln Memorial University Tuesday night and won 80-75. Former Elizabethtown H.S. standout Alex Jones had 25 in the win over LMU. They also narrowly beat Cumberlands in an exhibition 70-67.
|Jones is the force inside for EKU|
The Colonels also get significant contributions off the bench. Carla Booth, a freshman guard out of Warfield, KY (Sheldon Clark H.S.) had 15 points against the Muskies and Brittany Coles (5'11" junior guard, Lexington, KY. Henry Clay H.S) contributed 13 points against Xavier.
Who does Louisville need to stop? Booth drilled four treys against Xavier, so the Cards guards will need to keep an eye on her. Jones is an aggressive and strong rebounder and scores well in the paint, so blocking out and getting a body on her will be of prime importance. Brittany Coles can also put it up from deep range and she nailed a three at the buzzer to beat Cumberlands 70-67 in the Colonels first exhibition game. Raechele Gray is the assist leader, with 19 in the two exhibition games and Xavier contest
What else should I know about EKU? The Colonels play in the Ohio Valley Conference and are coached by Chrissy Roberts. She's in her fourth year at EKU (25-59) and also graduated from EKU in 1998. EKU plays their home games in McBrayer Arena on campus and the facility seats 6500. Colonel games are broadcast on WEKY 1340 AM and can also be picked up at http://www.ekusports.com/ and http://www.ovcsports.tv/ Sean Hamilton does the play-by-play and Wes Chandler handles color. They last played the Cards on 11-25-05 in Murfreesboro, TN. and lost 75-45.
Who will Louisville start for tonight's game? That's always a hard one to predict when Jeff Walz is the head coach...but we'll venture Shoni Schimmel and Bria Smith at guards, Cierra Warren in the post, Sara Hammond at power forward and maybe Becky Burke. (Let's see how many of these we get right....we were 2 for 5 in our prediction for Texas A&M).
What must the Cards do to win? WE see it as a track meet tonight, with the shifty magician Shoni Schimmel pushing the pace and keeping it up tempo. The Cards will try to play good transition defense as well and they must do a better job on the boards than they did against the Aggies. Walz would probably love to see the 27 turnovers against A&M cut to 12 or lower and three point shooting needs to be at 40% or better.
What else can we expect tonight? There should be a pretty good Louisville crowd at tonight's game...especially Sara Hammond fans, since she played her high school ball at Rockcastle County High School, only 30 minutes south on I-75. Also, look for Walz to play "Schimmel squared" some tonight...with Jude at point and Shoni at the "2".
How do you see it ending? WE think Louisville wins, but maybe not by the blowout some are suggesting. The Cards have been on the road since Saturday with just a brief visit back to campus after the A&M game. If Reid and Gibbs can't go, the freshmen and reserves will have to step up.
PAUL: 85-71 Louisville. Look for the Walz Chinese fire drill tonight with substitution patterns and Shoni unloads for 25 or so. The Cards have tactical height advantage and Cierra Warren will thrive tonight.
SONJA: Cards shake off the frustrations of the A&M loss with a 91-55 romp. C'mon, this team needed a buzzer beater three to beat Cumberland? Doesn't exactly scare me. It's "Sho-time" tonight and I expect her to shake things up.
(WE'LL HAVE A FULL REPORT AFTER THE GAME TONIGHT LIVE FROM THE ARENA.)