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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bulls avenge January loss, Cards fall

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THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(Jenny O'Bryan with the post-game report on Louisville WBB loss to USF Wednesday Night in the KFC YUM! Center.)



Cards give a home win away in a tough defensive battle.
 
To hear Coach Walz talk in the post game interview with Matt Andrews, the Cards did not follow the scouting report tonight.  While that may have been true, even following the scouting report on a night with such poor shooting, it was going to be hard to win this battle. 

The Cards started the game sloppy.  The first 5 drives down the court there were missed shots or turnovers.  It looked like it was going to be a long night, and it was.  The first 6-8 minutes of the half was tough basketball to watch.  The Cards looked slow and uninspired.   

With 7:41 seconds left to play in the first half, the score was 22-12, USF.  The remainder of the half, the Cards held the Bulls to just 2 points with a strong defensive effort sparked by a Bria Smith steal and a coast to coast easy lay in.  Hammond took a charge next defensive set down court, and the Cards mounted what would turn out to be the best 8 minutes of basketball for the night.  The Cards took a 2 point deficit into halftime, down 24-22.  Hard to believe with the offensive woes and the slow start, the Cards were down just two at the half. 

The second half started much as the first, with the Cards just seemingly not present.  USF started the half on a 6-0 run and the Cards were never really in it the remainder of the way.  Sure, there were stretches of the game that the Cards looked good defensively, but it was not consistent. 
It was a brutal, physical game.  Had to be a tough game to play, physically.  The Cards had little offensive firepower tonight, shooting a season low 30% on the night.  They did shoot well from the free throw line, going 82% from the line.  It kept this from being a blowout.  It was still a big loss, in conference play, at home.  Those are especially hard losses. 

Andrea Smith, for the Bulls, could not be contained this evening.  Matching her career high of 35 points.  Unfortunately, it was not in the Cards tonight, in more ways than one. 

The Cards are playing for seeding in the NCAA Tournament.  These last games of the season matter.   It could be the difference between a 3 seed and a 6-7 seed. 

As a parent of a high school athlete, who also plays club volleyball, I find myself continuously amazed at the lack of consistency from the team (and individual players), from game to game.  I found myself thinking that tonight, except with these college kids.  How does a team play such great ball this past Sunday, and then not today?  It takes a greater mind than mine to figure that out.   Good luck with that, coaching staff...

I commend this team for all of the success it has had this year, despite all the injuries.  Losses like these are hard, because they could have been won.  21-6 is not a bad record, especially when you look at the personnel issues.  It is just hard to see such a tough loss on one’s home court. 

(Editor's Note: A flat effort from a team with so much to gain with a win tonight. Discretion being the better part of valor, I'm not going to editorialize on this very disappointing loss. Expected much more out of this Louisville squad this evening.)

Post game Walz below

COACH DISCUSSES LOSS TO USF
  
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One of the most intriguing things on the night was the newest player on the bench tonight!  Not sure how many of the Cardinal faithful caught this, but freshman volleyball middle blocker 6-3 Davionna Holmes was suited up and sat the bench tonight.   Her bio on the University of Louisville website indicates she was a dual sport athlete in high school and an “excellent basketball player”.  LINK BELOW:
 

Not sure what we will see of Holmes on the hardwood the rest of the season.  Coach Walz had another middle blocker volleyball player on his team before, and we all know how well that worked out.  Gwen Rucker, while she opted to just focus on volleyball after her sophomore year, is stated to be one of the highest IQ basketball players Coach Walz has ever coached. 

I look forward to seeing what Holmes brings to the hardwood.  We all know that another body banging in the paint or shooting the long ball (which she is said to have led her high school conference in) can only be a good thing.    Welcome to Walz’s world, Ms. Holmes.  We hope you like it, and get the chance to contribute.
 
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It was asked earlier in the week what recruits were at the game this past weekend vs. DePaul.  Please keep in mind, just because a recruit was there is no indication of how hard they are, or are not, being recruited by the Coaching staff.  Any recruit can call the Athletic office and indicate they would like to attend the game.   With that caveat, the recruits that were known to be at the game were:

Janelle Cannon- 2013 signee
Sydney Brackemyre- Verbally committed in the class of 2014
Ashanti Thomas, 2015 out of Lexington, has been to several games this season and I believe was at Walz’s summer camp last year.
Dominique McBryde, 2015, out of Bedford, Indiana.
Celina King, 2016 out of Cincinnati, OH.  This kid was intriguing to me because she has her own youtube channel(or whatever you call it) and her own website!!  She has 22 videos posted.    
Tyuana Robinson, 2016

There is plenty of information on these kids if you google their names “and basketball”.  Until, or if, we know how hard the kids are being recruited, I will not bore you with lots of websites.  Google those you want to know more about, and we will keep you abreast of accomplishments of specific players as we know the extent they are being recruited. 
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4 comments:

  1. We looked flat this entire game...like last year. We didn't have Warren to dig us out of the hole this time around. Brutal stretch coming. We have to win @Nova or @Cuse. Can't end the regular season with 3 out of 4 losses.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Walz should be disappointed. This team phoned it in tonight.

    Curtis Franklin

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  3. I agree, Curtis. With the exception of the last few minutes of each half, there was not much intensity out there. And the crowd sort of phoned it in also. I was really disappointed at the turnout - officially 8200 but looked (and sounded) more like 5000-6000.

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    Replies
    1. The crowd tried their best several times to rally and get behind the team. They were loud and frentic when Louisville started erasing the early 22-10 DePaul lead with 9:59 left and were roaring when Louisville cut it to two with a minute left in the first half. They also got going again in the second half when Shoni nailed a three to cut USF's lead to 65-60 with 1:25 left.

      For the most part, though...the Cards had some rough patches and USF kept the Louisville faithful silent for significent stretches.

      Paulie

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