THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:
-Rockcastle County's Sara Hammond learning the ropes
-Weds BIG EAST results
-Softball CARDS ranked 24th in preseason polling
|Sara is fifth on the Lady Cards in rebounding|
Once BIG EAST play began in earnest, though...the minutes and production have dropped off for the 6'2" forward. Cause for alarm and worry? Not at all. All part of the freshman learning curve against the best conference in women's college basketball.
Ask 99% of the freshmen who step on the court after being leaders and stars on their high school teams. The college game is at a whole different level. The learning curve comes at you fast and each day is another lesson in competing against upper-classmen -- in games and in practice -- teammates who have been there, done that and learned from experience, patience and the occasional poor performance.
It can be trying, especially after the early successes against lesser opponents than the ones the Lady Cards are now facing in the BIG EAST. There will be times where the playing time is scant or non-existent...as other players perform while you watch.
Such are the lessons in life. A hard-worker in practice and vocal leader on the bench...Sara's time will come. The experience she gains while watching in game, coupled with the daily battles in practice against the more experienced Louisville front-liners will go a long way toward success later in her career. Everyone develops at their own pace. Everyone has their role.
We get a lot of e-mails here at CARDINAL COUPLE about women's basketball. More than any other UofL women's sport. A lot of them are in question form. We get asked a lot about Sara, more so lately...when the playing time for her is less frequent and the totals lower.
We're no coaches here. We don't see what goes on daily on the practice courts or in individual instruction. We feel confident, though, that the UofL coaches have a plan for her and she'll be one of the shining stars for the Lady Cards in the future.
In the meantime, the learning and knowledge continues.
Entitlement for some players is an issue. Wanting a certain number of minutes a game, a certain amount of touches, points, rebounds.
Then, you have players like Hammond. Ready to contribute however and whenever she can. Not hung up over the stat line. Giving what she can when she's called on. No sulking or attitude problems.
You tell me which kind of player you'd rather coach and have on your team.
No need to worry about Sara Hammond. As Frank Sinatra once crooned..."the best is yet to come and won't that be fine!"
THE SARA HAMMOND STAT LINE
Games played - 19
Games started - 6
Minutes per game - 13.3
Points per game - 3.5
Rebounds per game - 4.0 (76 total)
Shooting % - .333 (29-87)
Fouls - 42
Only two BIG EAST games on the board for Wednesday night....
UConn destroyed another BIG EAST foe with a 95-54 demolishing of Syracuse. The 'Cuse was actually in this one for awhile, down only 40-33 at the half and cutting the visiting Huskies advantage to five early in the second half. It didn't last. Hayes goes for 35 against the Orange, Mosqueda-Lewis adds 19 and Hartley 18 for Geno's gals.
South Florida used a 18-2 second half run to defeat Seton Hall in Tampa. The Bulls trailed 26-21 at the half and 35-23 with 15 minutes to go before charging through the ring and winning 57-45.
Jasmine Wynne with 19 for USF. The Pirates did silence the Russian Rocket Inga Orekhova to 0-7 on 3-point shooting and just 5 points...but it wasn't enough to get them their first BIG EAST win.
Good news for Sandy Pearsall's softball Cards...they've been ranked 24th. in preseason voting for women's college fast-pitch softball. This from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Despite being ranked higher than the Lady Cards in the BIG EAST Pre-Season picks...Notre Dame, Syracuse and DePaul did not make the top 25. Go figure.
Plenty of returning stars for the Ulmer Stadium sluggers and some talented freshmen on board as well.
Losing the left side of your infield after four years is tough and Chelsea Bemis and Colby Wherry will be missed...but Pearsall has plenty of talent to choose from to find replacements. The pitching is solid and Jordy Trimble returns after a season off because of a broken ankle. Alas, no BIG EAST Tournament at Ulmer this year...but plenty of chances to watch the girls at Ulmer for regular season and BIG EAST Conference play.
Louisville begins their season Feb. 10-12 in Miami at the Florida International University Combat Classic. (Better there than somewhere like Syracuse or Maine...)
(and....the Cards received no votes in women's ice hockey or water polo pre-season polls. Oh, that's right...UofL doesn't field a team in either. Yet. Never say never when Tom Jurich is your A.D.)