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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Signing Day is here!

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WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(CARDINAL COUPLE Volleyball Guru Jeff McAdams steps up to the serving line today to fill in for Jenny, who is on I.R. and unable to provide an article in between trips to the CARDINAL COUPLE Executive Washroom because of a stomach bug. Get your setter in place and guard the net...Jeff's coming at ya! We also have observations from regular reader PDX Phil, who travelled from Portland, OR. to watch the Lady Cards vs. Texas A&M game...)

 

Signing Day, and Celebrity Volleyball Players

Jenny's regular Wednesday column has fallen victim to a stomach bug, so I'll be your substitute for the day.  Please no spitwads or switching seats and claiming that you're someone else.

***Fall Signing Period
***Kerri Walsh visits

Fall Signing Period

Of all the days for Jenny to be under the weather, our recruiting wiz falls ill the day the Fall Signing Period opens.

Today through November 21st is the early signing period where seniors in high school can first sign a National Letter of Intent.  This signing period includes both basketball...the cause of so much of Jenny's joy...and volleyball...the cause of so much of my joy.

We've discussed basketball recruits quite a bit over the past week or two, but this is where the rubber meets the road.  All of the commitments up to this point have been "verbal" commitments, which have no implications to rescind.  Once a NLI is signed, however, the student-athlete will generally have some consequences to changing their mind.  Essentially, once a letter is assigned, a change to another school is treated roughly the same as a transfer, with a potential loss of a year of eligibility of play.

On the flip side of the equation, until an NLI is signed and received by the school, the school is not allowed to comment about potential recruits.  The other part of the bargain, and why the NLI was instituted initially, is that a signed NLI puts the student athletes out-of-bounds for further recruitment efforts.  The NLI was originally created in order to allow prospective student athletes to end the hassle of a phalanx of coaches communicating with the student athlete to try to convince them to come to their school.

Volleyball signees

We've had plenty of discussions about who will be signing for Walz, and I don't have the sources that Jenny does, so we may have to let that discussion coast on what we already know.  I do have some info about volleyball players, however.

Volleyball is graduating 4 players this year, Gwen Rucker, Lola Arslanbeckova, Tanya Lukyanenko, and Kaitlynn James, from a full roster.  I'm aware of 4 players that have verballed to UofL.  I believe they all are expected to sign tomorrow.

Maya McClendon

Shopping local, Maya McClendon is an outside hitter at duPont Manual High School here in Louisville.  Younger sister of Deja McClendon at Penn State, Maya is slightly shorter than her older sister at 6'0", but from what I hear, makes up for it with her jumping ability.  Maya played club ball at Kiva, which of course is the land of Ron Kordes, father of UofL head coach Anne Kordes.






Sydney Cooper

From Woodward Academy in Atlanta, GA, Sydney Cooper is another roughly 6-footer...I've seen her listed at 5'11" and at 6'0"...usually listed as a middle blocker.


 

 

 

 

Javoni Faucette

Anne Kordes' previous head coaching position was at St. Louis University, so we have a number of players from the St. Louis area on the team...Haley Pouliezos, Davionna Holmes, and Jaden McBride; as well as Hannah Kvitle who transferred with SLU...Javoni Faucette is expected to be joining them.  She's a 6'1" outside hitter from Francis Howell High School in the St. Louis area.

 

 

 

 

Brooke Betts

The last has only just recently come to my attention.  Out of Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, OH, Brooke Betts is another 5'11" outside hitter.


This recruiting class is a good match to the graduating class with three outside hitters and a middle.  I'll be looking forward to seeing them integrate into the team in the Fall of 2013.

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Kerri Walsh Visits

If you've paid attention at just about any UofL sporting event this fall...or anything that I've posted...ever...you've seen that UofL is hosting the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Championship at the KFC Yum! Center.  The championship will be played the 13th and 15th of December which means that yesterday marked 30 days from the event.

To celebrate and advertise for the event, the NCAA brought Kerri Walsh and her most recent gold medal to town for a PR blitz Tuesday and yesterday.  Kerri has won gold in beach volleyball in each of the last three Summer Olympic Games.  Prior to that, she, with playing partner Misty May-Treanor, pretty well dominated the AVP Beach Volleyball circuit.  She was a standout at perennial power Stanford University from 1996 to 1999.

Starting with an open house Tuesday evening, Kerri signed autographs and had innumerable pictures taken of her at the Brown and Williamson Club at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium.  The UofL volleyball team was also in attendance and it was a great opportunity to mix and mingle and get to know the people behind the uniforms.  Various activities were also set up, including a bouncy castle and an Xbox 360 Beach Volleyball Kinect game.  I will gloat that I beat Courtney Robison in virtual Beach Volleyball.  I have to gloat about that, because there's no way that I'd ever have a chance of beating her on a real volleyball court.

Kerri was whisked all over town today, with appearances at several morning TV shows, and at least one morning radio show.

The record for attendance of an NCAA Volleyball Championship is 17,430.  The NCAA talking point has been that they want to see 18,000+ at the KFC Yum! Center mid-December to set a new record.  Tickets are on sale through the UofL Ticket Office.

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( Phil Van Der Weele, known as PDX Phil here at CARDINAL COUPLE, came in from Portland, OR. to watch the Louisville vs. Texas A&M game. Here are his thoughts and observations.)

HI, Paul!

Great to meet you as well. You are welcome to use whatever you want from the following comments.

1. I had a great time, thanks to a combination of the great weather, great hospitality from CARDINAL COUPLE columnist Sandy Walker and her friend Jamie, the great atmosphere in the YUM! Center and a thrilling Cardinal victory. I also got introduced to Shoni after the game by her friend (and most enthusiastic fan)...a player on the Lady Cards softball team.

2. The atmosphere in the YUM! is a unique mixture of professional and college - professional by virtue of the arena, the player intros, the dancers and college by virtue of the band and fight songs. Maybe I missed it, but what seemed to be lacking from a college basketball standpoint was a well-defined student section.

3. Specific comments about the game. (Sorry, some of these are negative and may sound like I'm beating a dead horse, which is why I decided not to put them in the comments section.)

 a. Like everyone else, I was blown away by Sara Hammond. To do what she did against that front line and the confidence with which she did it with was amazing. And, I really wish I had her arms!

 b. (Here's the negative part, which you probably don't want to print, which is fine with me)  EDITOR'S NOTE -- WE PRINTED IT ANYWAY. DISCUSSION IS  ALWAYS WELCOME HERE AT CARDINAL COUPLE. DEBATE OF COMMENTS IS A HEALTHY AND LEARNING ASPECT...AS LONG AS THEY DON'T GET HURTFUL AND MEAN-SPIRITED.

I continue to be baffled by Walz's substitution decisions. To be clear, I'm talking about ONLY competitive games, and I'm leaving Monique Reid out of the discussion...because I don't second guess playing time for a player coming off an injury.

    (i) Smith picks up her second foul and Walz brings in Harper? Same mistake he made against Maryland last Spring. Maybe cost the Cards the game. He also put Harper in at the end of the game, which was baffling to me. A&M guards made the entry pass right over her to Kelsey Bone. Nothing personal against Harper. But, there's no way she should be playing in competitive games...in my opinion.

    (ii) I would have Jude in the game only when Shoni is resting. It doesn't make sense to me to have Shoni in the game at the (2) on offense. The offense becomes stagnant, and Shoni wears herself out trying to run off ball screens. On defense, Shoni is too slow to guard on top...but she can guard a (2) or (3)...or play a wing in a zone defense...but the solution is not to move her to the (2) on offense. Smith, Slaughter and Deines can play defense on a (2), and I would play any of them in front of Jude when Shoni is in the game, while keeping Shoni at the point for her ball-handling and passing.

    (iii) A small line up won't get this team to the Elite 8 or Final Four. It hasn't the past two years, and it won't this year. Why not play three of the following four together: Vails, Hammond, Reid and Dyer? And, if only two of the four are in the game, then I would also have Deines or Slaughter in as well.

   (iiii) I'm still looking for that breakout game from Vails, who made the ALL-BIG EAST Freshman Team.

4. Final comment. Can't wait to come back in March for the first two rounds of the NCAA Championship!

WE APPRECIATE PHIL TAKING THE TIME TO SHARE HIS THOUGHTS WITH US. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWPOINTS OF THE CARDINAL COUPLE STAFF, COLUMNISTS AND OWNERS...BUT THEY ARE ONE MAN'S VIEW OF CARDINAL WOMEN'S BASKETBALL AND A SPRINGBOARD FOR COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE READERS OF CARDINAL COUPLE. DIALOGUE LEADS TO CONNECTIONS AND CONNECTIONS LEAD TO FAMILIARITY...AND WE LIKE TO THINK OF CARDINAL COUPLE AS ONE BIG ( AND SLIGHTLY DYSFUNCTIONAL AT TIMES) FAMILY.

FINALLY, WE HOPE JENNY RECOVERS SOON AND IS FEELING BETTER WHEN SHE READS THIS TODAY. THOSE 72 HOUR STOMACH BUGS CAN REALLY KNOCK THE WIND OUT OF YOUR SAILS...AND TIMMY THE INTERN DOESN'T HAVE ANYONE TO PULL PRANKS ON...SO GET WELL AND FEEL BETTER SOON, JENNY! 

THE PLACE JUST AIN'T THE SAME WITHOUT YA.

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6 comments:

  1. Intersting observations, Phil...and glad you had a good time in Louisville. Just let CC know next time you get back here and would be glad to meet up with you and talk hoops.

    I disagree with your assessments of Shelby and Jude. Jude has come into her own and is a guard that has provided, and will provide some great minutes for the Lady Cards this season. We're only beginning to see the real Jude Schimmel and she can be a viable part of this team.

    Shelby is that spark, that crowd booster and plays tenacious defensive. She is a valuable asset coming of the bench and small, quick guards can really wear down an opponent. Can't see any harm in getting her 5-10 minutes of playing time a game. Especially in the YUM!, where she has acheived rock star status with the crowd.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Like me, I'm sure you wish the Cards well this season and will be cheering for them in Portland.

    Curtis Franklin

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  2. Agree with CF on Jude and Shelby. I've mentioned on previous posts that I think Jude will come out from under Shoni's shadow this year, and Shelby, though short, is to me inch for inch the best rebounder and defender we have. Reminds me of Andre McGee with her on ball defense. I even like to see them on the floor together at times. I do realize that against some opponents, this will not work, but for the ones it does work against, why not? They are pesky defenders who come up with lots of steals, deflections, and jump balls, Jude even blocked a shot! Both bring something to the table, IMO.

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  3. Jude S. and Harper on the floor at the same time? I just don't see that against tough competition. I love Harper's hustle and defense, but she hasn't shown that she can initiate the offense effectively and she's not an offensive threat. Jude S's improvement has been a pleasant surprise. But both she and Harper were often simply overmatched physically against the better Big East teams last year and I don't see that changing. I'm with Phil on going "big". Since we don't have a dominant inside presence we need all the big bodies out there - someone other than Hammond is going to have to rebound and I just don't see that happening with a three guard lineup.

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  4. I too have a hard time understanding Walz's constant subbing in and out. It seems like just when someone gets going, he takes them out of the game. I'm probably just missing something though. As far as Shelby, I do not agree that she is our best rebounder and defender. That's just silly. I like her as a player, but she is not the best at anything. She is a fan favorite and provides a little spark at moments for the team. I think she has achieved a lot considering her role on the team, but she is not at the level of the the other players. However, Walz has said on several occasions of the other players worked half as hard as she does they would be phenomenal.

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    Replies
    1. In kstarksr's defense, he did say that "inch for inch" she is the best rebounder and defender. And she sure does give 100% every minute she's out there.

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    2. No doubt at all about Shelby's hustle and Jude's drive. The thing we all need to remember here is that they both, as well as the other nine players on the team are part of a bigger thing. A team. Each has their own attirbutes and skills.

      Trust in Jeff Walz and his staff's abilities, skills and knowledge to blend and mesh this collection of talent into a viable and winning squad. They are with them every day. They know them as well as they know themselves and much better than we, the readers and followers do.

      Paulie

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