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Tuesday, April 17, 2012


-Commish Mark on the current state of women's basketball.

-Wolny, Collins get BIG EAST softball honors

-Cierra Warren resurfaces at San Diego State.

(WE are pleased and honored to feature our newest addition to the CARDINAL COUPLE writing staff Mark Schneider "The Commish" today. We know you'll enjoy
today's offering and look forward to his contributions!)

More than once on message boards  I have seen negative comments posted  about Women's basketball such as: "Women's basketball sucks", "Don't want to be a male chauvinist pig but Women's basketball is hard to watch".  Or how about these excerpts from two 2010 articles that I saw:
From Dan Bernstein's CBS Chicago's article 12/22/2010: "Bernstein: Women’s Basketball Sucks"
"The commish" may be the only writer out there that has
a dog as his literary agent and counsel. 
"Their sport is painful to watch......and that "telling the truth is considered mean, and it deviates from the gender-equity guilt narrative."
He claims he supports their "right to play" and his "right not to watch".  He feels it is "obvious" women's basketball is "awful" and that "Everybody knows it but can't bring themselves to say it." He does not consider Women's basketball "real basketball"

The reason the fundamentals look more prevalent is because "It’s easier to see passes and half-court sets in a women’s game because it’s happening slower".  He feels "We get all that from real basketball, just at much higher speed, with much more successful, explosive conclusions". (Assume he means a dunk compared to a lay up)

Then there is a September 2010 article titled: "The Hate Corner I hate Women's Basketball" from Pete D (no last name)--a blogger for a Chicago blog called Sports fix Chicago (What is it about Chicago writers hating on Women's basketball?)
"The game is WAY too boring.  It is too slow.  It is too sloppy."

His solution?---"take the average height of the players in the men’s leagues and then take the average height of the players in the women’s leagues.  Whatever the difference is, lower the hoop that much for the women."  Does this mean each level--Grade School, College, and Pro would have rims with different heights based on his formula? And since average heights may change from time to time, would the height of the rim have to change once in a while as well?  He feels that the result would be  "chicks dunking on each other, and possibly even talking serious "smack" (original word replaced with "smack" by me--this site is rated G so use your imagination) to each other". And to speed the game up "shorten the court".

Would lowering the basket lead to more dunks?  Using NBA/WNBA average heights: NBA players average height is 6'6"  minus a WNBA average of 6'0" then the goal would be lowered by 6 inches to 9'4".  Since we don't use goals 9'4" in height, let us use Brittney Griner as our example:  She is 6'8". Basket is "low enough" for her right now. She has no trouble dunking a basketball. In effect it is "lowered" for her now. So, how many dunks does Griner have for her career after 3 years?  Is she a dunking machine?  Does she have at least 75? 150? How about 200?  The answer is..........7. Yes------7 dunks.  She is tied with former Tennessee star Candace Parker--who by the way is only 6'4"!  She is 4 inches shorter than Griner. Candace did this on of all things a 10 foot goal as well.  Candace only played 3 years of college.  Brittney should break the record since she will return for her Senior year.
A Dunk is not always the most exciting play in basketball.  (Whether a play is judged exciting may depend on the point of the game in which it occurs).  However, there is something to be said about seeing a player threading the needle via a 45ft no look pass to a player under the basket for a lay-up.(Shoni Schimmel). Or seeing a player help her team  mount a comeback by pulling up for a shot and hitting it from around the hash-mark helping her team  gain momentum and take the lead in an NCAA tourney game. (Shoni Schimmel vs Xavier) Or  actually seeing  gifted athletes receive degrees and  develop their game for 4 years and not bolt for the pros after 1 year (Shoni Schimmel,Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins).

In regards to Pete D (no last name) saying the  game was slow, boring, and sloppy and thinking shortening the court to "speed the game up" is a solution to his perceived faults of the Women's game: Apparently he never really watched a WNBA game.  I tend to follow the WNBA because of Angel McCoughtry.  She peaked my interest in Women's basketball.  First time seeing her play in person was when her Atlanta Dream played in Indy a couple years ago. Here is what I noticed about the game:

a) The players were bigger, stronger,and faster.
b) The speed of game was dramatically faster than college-(Played on a regulation sized court too! No need for a shortened one)
c) Their passes were crisp and the players were fundamentally sound. 
d) It was a wide open run up and down the floor style of play.
e) The physicality of the game was evident. Would venture to say several players were probably sore the next day and needed to get in the whirlpool.
f) They played defense the whole game.

For those who have yet to attend a Women's game because of a lack of interest or preconceived ideas: Try it.  You just may like it: Obviously someone does--and it seems the sport is growing and becoming more popular.  Check the latest stats from the 2012 Women's NCAA Tournament;

All three games were sellouts, with 19,028 in attendance for the national semifinal games on April 1 and the national championship game on April 3.

Baylor vs Notre Dame had a 3.2 rating---3,137,00 households and 4,244,000 viewers.(It was the highest rated and most viewed since 2004 Championship UCONN vs Tennessee).

There were 570 members of the media credentialed for NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Radio broadcast reached 250 stations
UCONN vs Notre Dame semi final game
1.8 overnight rating (up 6% from last years first game)
Stanford vs. Baylor second semi final game
2.2 overnight rating (same as last years second game)
Some do not wish to give Women's Basketball a chance.  They snub their noses or write disparaging articles downgrading the sport. Some don't feel it is legitimate and even boring. Have these people ever been to a Women's basketball game? 

For the most part, not all of the women are playing to "make it to the pros." (The closest thing to a one and done was Candace Parker.  She left Tennessee after her Junior year for a successful career in the  WNBA).   Most are playing because they love the game.  Players playing with passion and heart. And it shows.  How refreshing to see players giving it their all every game. Not just when playoffs roll around.
You can e-mail Cardinal Couple and also guess how
many of the people in this picture ever read the site.
As far as  Women's basketball is concerned--some may love it and some may hate it but, one person had this to say about the subject: "The top women athletes play a more pure game than the men", "They play below the rim and fundamentally better," and "Women's basketball is a beautiful game".  Who said that? James Naismith? Geno Auriemma? No.....those words were spoken by none other than the late John Wooden.  As a matter of fact starting in 2004, the John R Wooden Award was extended to Women's Basketball.  John Wooden had no problem with Women's basketball. He enjoyed the game.  Now maybe others can leave their prejudices aside and start enjoying it too.

Thoughts on the subject?  Email Cardinal Couple with your thoughts about the subject and you just might see your words in print on this very blog!  What do you like about Women's basketball? What don't you like? What changes can be made to make the game better? Do you hate Women's basketball?  Why?  Just a few questions to kick around.

Commish Mark


Congratulations to Cardinal Softball players Alicja Wolny and Tori Collins for receiving BIG EAST weekly honors! 

Wolny led the Cards in hitting last week, batting .692 with nine hits, eight RBI's and four runs scored. The junior is batting .395 on the season, second best on the Cardinal squad. She tied for the team lead in home runs also with five on the year. This edition of Louisville softball has a great combination of hitters who combine speed, power, hitting and pitching.

Collins was untouchable in 21 innings pitched last week. She threw two no-hitters, three complete games and earned a save. Tori is 18-1 on the year with a microscopic 1.11 ERA. Opponents bat a meager .160 against her. 

Louisville battles league-leading South Florida Wednesday at Ulmer Stadium in a double-header that begins at 4 p.m. 

WE strongly suggest you take off work early, grab the neighbors and relatives and head out for this epic BIG EAST Softball battle.


Finally...ex-Louisville and North Carolina post player Cierra Warren has taken a westward swing and will play for San Diego State beginning in the 2013-14 season. 

Originally out of Rancho Cucamonga, California and Los Osos High School, Warren transferred to Louisville after a season at UNC. After a year of sitting out...she appeared in 22 games as a Cardinal, starting in 10 during the 2011-12 season.

WE wish her the best out there. Never really understood why she couldn't dedicate herself and develop into more of an impact player here at Louisville...maybe she'll find that drive on the left coast.


  1. I am a fan of the women's game but that wasn't always the case. I followed a friend's daughter through her high school basketball career but did not attend a game until she was a junior. Once I saw how hard the girls worked, I became a fan. I don't think they should change anything about the game except establish a 10 second clock and make the shot clock 35 seconds.

  2. The women's game is OK but the dunks of men's hoops is what I enjoy the most. If I want pass around and shoot basketball I can always go watch the guys in the church gym shoot around.

    Darrell J.

  3. I love college WBB. You want to know why? The women play for the love of the game, not money, prestige, status. For the most part these are average young women with superior athletic ability who play with heart, passion and a pure love of the game, It shows on the court, and it shows in how the programs embrace their fans. WBB celebrates being a student AND an athlete. When you remove the negative (IMHO) motivating factors from the game you get family friendly entertainment and great role models for your kids, that to me, is WBB in a nutshell.

  4. We are obviously big fans of the game. Started in high school by either participation or watching. It continued with attending UofL WBB games. AS Jenny points out, they play for the lveo of the game, not money, prestige or status.

    Stories we've seen develop over the Shelby Harper, Connie Neal, Angel McCoughtry, Becky Burke and so many more will always prove to us that hard work, dedication and commitment can overcome any obstacle...on or off the court.

  5. As a former player on the high school and college level, I can tell you that basketball taught me many things. It taught working together as a team toward a like goal. It taught how to win with class and accept defeat the same way. It taught me discipline and courage. Good work ethics and proper nutrition. It gave me confidence and most importantly it taught me to respect and accept the advice of those who were teachers. Without it, I might have not have become a proud and independent, self sustaining woman in today's world.

  6. The ladies game is more about fundamentals and strategy than sheer athletic power. That is what makes it more fun to watch.

  7. The major complaint I have about women's basketball is the horrible job done by the officials. Consistency in calls is non-existent on the college level. I'm a big fan of the WNBA and hold season tickets for Connecticut Sun games, as well as UConn Huskies.

    Thanks for writing this article, Mark. One request, use a larger print next time. Us old ladies have a hard time reading the small stuff.

    Janelle Dorfmueller
    Bristol, CT

  8. Sorry Janelle. That was my fault. Since it was my first time using this blog, I was unfamiliar with the layout of the page. Thought font size was going to be larger. Now that I know how to adjust the font size before posting that should not happen again. (I have trouble reading the small print as well). Believe me--that was unintentional.
    And thank you for commenting on the article.
    I have to agree with you about the officials. I don't think consistency is in their vocabulary.

  9. Hi Mark. The Women's game is still boring and needs to be played at the rim. Doesn't need to only feature dunks. I'll take hard fouls & taking it strong to the hole, not today's game which features "sling shot" layups. Cardinal Couple? Go UK!

    Pete D(no last name)

  10. That would be cool to lower the rim, least 9 1/2. Griner and others dont dunk on 10 feet rims like men do, it would be cool to see monterous Shaq, Griffin like dunks, or ali oops by women. I think mens NBA should raise it 10 1/2 feet ;-) hahaha but I do like the idea of womens lowered rim, least a 4inches :-) --Umatilla23


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