FRIDAY Cardinal Couple:
-A preview of the Portland Pilots
-David Watson's take on the Lady Cards season (so far).
The University of Louisville heads to (and is probably already in) Portland, Oregon as part of their two game, West Coast, "say Hello to the Schimmel's again" tour to face the University of Portland Pilots at 5 p.m. E.S.T. in the Chiles Center. The game is a NCAA "Pack the House" promotion and the Lady Cards will likely face a capacity crowd in the 4,852 arena.
The Pilots are 5-6 on the season and have faced some pretty good competition in 11 games. Their losses have come against DePaul (99-64), Oregon, Washington, Eastern Washington, Montana State and Seattle. Portland has wins over Hawaii, UC-Irvine, San Diego State, cross-town rival Portland State and Montana.
|Day leads Portland in scoring|
The Pilots are coached by Jim Sollars, entering his 26th. year as the skipper of UofP. He guided the Pilots to a 16-15 record last season, has been named WCC Coach of the Year five times during his stay with the Pilots and has a 356-381 record as the Pilots head coach.
|Jasmine Wooten is a talented freshman|
for the Portland Pilots.
On the season, Portland averages 61.9 points a game, while allowing opponents 67.0. The Pilots grab 36.8 rebounds a game while giving up 38.3. UofP attempts 6.3 three pointers per contest and defend 7.0 per game. They shoot .687 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Cards will look to improve off a dismal performance at Cincinnati on Wednesday night. Although the Cards won 64-59...they trailed the majority of the second half and shot only 38% from the field against UC's stifling defense.
The main attraction, of course, will be the Schimmel sisters return to the city where they played their final years of high school basketball and their home state. A large contingent of Umatilla Reservation fans will most likely be in attendance to watch Shoni and Jude and their six brothers and sisters will be watching along with their mother.
No status on Monique Reid's second half injury was available as we went to press. It's expected she'll make the trip...but her playing availability is unknown as of now. Also in question is the status of sophomore Charmaine Tay's eligibility after sitting out the first semester because of academics.
We hope to be able to watch this one through the Portland University Athletics website. If not, it's available on 101.7 FM WKRD.
(David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE. Today, David weighs in on the Lady Cards after 11 games.)
Why am I not happy?
It's probably because I just can't figure out this year's team. Raise your hand if you're in the same boat.
Last year, there were certain things you could count on. Shoni dazzling the fans with her WNBA moves, long range bombing and "sho"manship. Monique Reid getting a workmanlike 15-16 points a game with the consistancy of my neighbor's penchant of letting his dogs out at 6 a.m. to awaken everyone on the block. Keisha Hines battling inside. Tia Gibbs being an all over the court warrior. Becky Burke bombing from the perimeter with the frequency of a State Farm commercial on television.
This year, no Gibbs. This saddens me - I really liked to watch her play. Shoni seems a bit more inconsistent and almost tame at times this year. Mo has been injured more often than the skateboarders over at the park down the street from me. Cierra Warren, who came in with such lofty potential has been average, at best. At least we still have Burke. And we'll always have the fearless Shelby Harper, who would probably try to break the men's team's press wearing snowshoes and a snorkel mask (and probably succeed). I should be encouraged by the improving play of Jude Schimmel. Bria Smith has been all that was advertised and I see big things coming from Sara Hammond down the line. The other bigs...Dyer, Vails, Slaughter and Taylor have had shining moments this season, which should give me reason to believe.
Still, I worry more about this team than I do about rising gas prices and what will happen to my questionable credit score.
Maybe it's because I think this year's BIG EAST is stronger than last year (hard to believe but true.) Maybe the Cards can get to double figure wins in conference play, but I'm not holding my breath. Maybe it's because I look at all this talent Jeff Walz has on his roster and can't figure out why they occasionally take a siesta and call it in. Maybe Walz is wondering the same thing.
Writer Sandra Walker brought up a very good point in yesterday's column when she wondered about the consistency issues in the lineup and rotation. When the lineup on the court changes with the frequency of my youngest daughter's clothing changes...something isn't right.
Figure it out, Jeff. The conference awaits.
(David Watson also worries about male pattern baldness, enough fiber in his diet and whether the sun will come up tomorrow. Catch him here exclusively at CARDINAL COUPLE...and in selected Wal-Marts in central Indiana.)