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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Notre Dame Post Mortem Report

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TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE







( CARDINAL COUPLE Columnist Sandy Walker provides today's report on the homicide in South Bend last night. )


The washing machine broke so while CoCo and her repair team spends time trying to determine what parts to order...the Cardinal Couple Corporate Office gave Sandy the substitute assignment of reporting on the Notre Dame game post mortem instead of the week off.   After last night’s game I think a trip to the coin laundry to sanitize last night’s game uniforms is in order as it appears that the accumulation of team injuries have finally caught up with Walz's women.
As Cardinal broadcaster Adrienne Johnson said, the freshly minted # 10 nationally ranked Louisville got a “good butt-whipping” from #2 ranked Notre Dame.  The Monday night ESPN2 featured contest initially showed a slight promise of a true competition but it was not to be as this being the 13th meeting between these teams was truly a bad sign.
To be successful, Louisville as a team, needed to take play with confidence, care of the ball, show aggression on defense without fouling and to control the glass.  The Cards did have what could be considered season best play from a few individuals for short-lived periods of time.  Otherwise, as a whole, 1 out of 4 of these goals would have been an improvement over what occurred.  Pick a statistic, any statistic.   No real additional explanations are needed.


 
                      Notre Dame          Louisville
Turnovers          19                            19                                                     
Rebounds          44                             23
Free Throws    19/26  for 73%             3/7 for 43%
Steals             11                               9
Field Goals     34/60  for 57%            27/62 for 44%
Team Fouls            8                        18
Assists                  25                        17
Basketball IQ       100 %                     Audit
                                                                        
Points               93                    64

Yes, there were brief periods of good play by a few where the pace was definitely increased upon Jude’s entry into the game. Her poised 33 minutes of play was shown by her total of 2 turnovers and 8 points.   Bria Smith, who had 18 points (10 in the first half) 4 rebounds and 5 steals was everywhere and played with a solid aggression which caught the attention of everyone.  The addition of Antonita Slaughter’s 16 points along with Shoni’s 13 just were not enough.  There was a brief 8-2 run by the cards at 9:20 in the first half which brought UofL to within 5 with the ball and a score of 17-22.  Louisville moved into the half time break still with a breath of life remaining as the 45-35 score gave us hope of a strong first 5 minutes of play which might turn things around.    
Their 2nd half brief run at 17:44 which brought them within 7 at 47-40 could not be sustained as in only 2 additional minutes of play the spread had increased to 17 as the Cards' 40 was met by Notre Dame’s 57. All American and top 4 national player Skylar Diggins, who finished with 21 points, 7 assists and 4 steals pretty much schooled Louisville in what complete game play looked like.
In his post game interview Jeff pretty much summed the game up by saying the Cards just did not play tough enough either physically or mentally.  To win against a team like Notre Dame, play must more closely resemble football than chess.
Fortunately, the Cards have a few BIG EAST games left from which to position themselves for the upcoming end of season tournament.  The first opportunity for the women to regroup is this Sunday’s 1:30 game at the KFC YUM! Center when they have the opportunity to reverse their earlier misfortunes against DePaul.  Yes, the game is being shown on ESPNU but the women need your presence at the game, not on your recliner.

Last night’s ND crowd at the sold-out South Bend game absolutely contributed to the chaos which rained down upon our team.  It is time to return the favor as well as to show the nation what a Louisville women’s basketball crowd looks like.   UofL's recent slippage to number 3 in the nation for attendance is just not acceptable and ...now more than ever, this team needs us.

Sandy

 

Editor's Comments...So, let's go to South Bend, fail to block out, rebound or defend and see how that does. And, that pretty well sums up the final 17 minutes of last night's trouncing of the Louisville WBB squad by Skylar, Natalie and the other Muffet marauders. Sonja couldn't understand why Shoni was sitting when the Irish were pulling away. I explained to her that "matador defense" went out of style a few years ago. For a team that had only been allowing 53.1 points per game, the Cards looked like a squad that didn't realize it's OK to guard someone when they drive the lane with the basketball. It's become a dangerous sequence this season...go on the road, play a quality opponent, get your lunch taken from you.

Fortunately, the Cards finish the regular season with three in the KFC YUM! Center and only two in hostile territory...two dangerous ones, though, in Syracuse and Villanova. Walz mentioned in the post-game eulogy last night that he hoped all the television sets in Louisville were out of order last night. Something is broken, coach...but it isn't the cable service. The Wizard of Oz's Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion could have done a better job containing UND's front line last night. Put Toto and Jude out there, and you may keep the Wicked Witches of the West under 80...

The Cards probably looked the best when it was four guards and Nita on the court. Anyone know of any 6'0" and under leagues that these five could sign up for?

Issuing this amber alert. The post position at UofL has gone missing. If seen, return to the basketball offices on the 2nd floor of the S.A.C. on campus, please.

20-5 is a great record. This team has overcome injuries and played with heart and courage many times this year. Last night was a clunker. It happens. These next five are all winnable. They are also, potentially...all losable as well, except for Seton Hall. A 25-5 regular-season record would be outstanding. 21-9 would be OK, but may not be 4th seed NCAA Tournament or BIG EAST Tournament worthy.

Whatcha got left, Lady Cards?  

-Paulie

18 comments:

  1. Jude was so "poised" she put me to sleep.Granted she does a few things alright.I am so tired of LITERALLY seeing her standing around on defense waiting for the ball to drop in her hand an she gets credit for a rebound.Besides Bria & Nita playing on both ends,where was the fight? Love Sara, but all that time in the weight room was for what? Hopefully by Sunday, they can find some heart & fight.

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    1. Jude was one of the bright spots. Love her at the point.

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    2. Delusional/Fools Gold,enough said.,but I'm sure she is a sweet girl.

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    3. She's no Diggins or Rodgers but she's what the Cards got right now. Go get 'em lil' sis.

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  2. The defense was questionable at best at times last night. I keep reminding myself that Notre Dame is the #2 team in the country, though, and a odds-on favorite to head to the Final Four.

    If anything, the Irish provided a clear road map of what Louisville needs to do to climb up the next rung on the ladder and become a stellar program. With five days before the next outing, it'll be interesting to see what the staff can do to prepare for the yeoman rebounding skills of DePaul's Katherine Harry and shooting splendor of Anna Martin, Jasmine Penny and Brittany Hrynko.

    DePaul is De-Beatable. They've fallen to Marquette and Villanova on the road. The Cards could use about 12,000+ screaming fans in the YUM! Sunday. Clear your calenders and make the commitment.

    Paulie

    Paulie

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  3. ND is #2 but they are very beatable.(USF,VILL.)
    This was my first time seeing a boxscore with only 2 players taking freethrows.Bria and the 2 freethrows Vails took for Bria after she was flagrantly hammered by Mcbride.,Wow.Defense was questionable,but so was the substitutins and timing of substitutions.

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  4. Once again, another season of Baylor, ND, UConn, and Stanford the top 4 and 6-8 teams battling for second tier supremacy. The way we had been playing, I thought we stacked up with those teams, after they had the fight taken out of them last night, I'm left wondering if they have it in them. Post play has got to improve dramatically in the last part of the season or we're doomed to mediocre status. And I'm sorry Sherrone, but you are not the answer. Walton and Hammond must step up and be able to give solid minutes, no way we can contend with sweet sixteen type teams playing 5 guards and having Nita/Megan trying to guard 6-5 post players. Shame that Walz even thinks about going there. And if we are going to play small ball, it has to be up tempo small ball, pressing and running and shooting, not milk the clock ball. I know and understand that we are missing three key post players who would have made a difference this year, but the time has come for Courtnee and Sara to understand that Asia, Shawnta, and Mo ain't walking thru the door and it is up to them. Learn faster, practice harder, do whatever it takes to help the team be successful.

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    1. Gee, I could have written that comment, and everyone please take note: If Kstarksr and PDX Phil agree on something, we MUST be right. I'll be even more specific than my esteemed colleague: To get past the Sweet 16 (and maybe even to get to the Sweet 16), Walz needs 120 total minutes out of the following four players, who play the front line: Vails, Walton, Hammond, Slaughter. Last night, that quartet logged 80 (and Harper played more minutes than Walton). The problem is an inexplicable commitment to small ball, not injuries. Even before Dyer and Reid went down, the "bigs," including Slaughter, weren't playing a total of 120 minutes per game.: 85 minutes v. KY, 96 v. A&M, and 100 against Colorado.
      --PDX Phil

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  5. I would feel safe betting that UND will be playing for the National Championship title this year. They are steps above all other Big East programs besides Uconn. Yes, a close one at USF and Vill, but those were off games for McBride and Diggins. I had hoped they would keep it close, but am I surprised? No. We now have 4 starters sitting on the bench, a 6-4 post that didn't register any rebounds. Shelby Harper, a walk-on, logged 12 minutes against the No. 2 team in the nation. We are depleted....Notre Dame is loaded. Walz better pull off a recruiting success for 2014 or this drop-off will be sustained. We've now had two un-ranked recruiting classes in a row. Great teams get to their level by having consistent recruiting classes year-after-year. All in all, this team has exceeded my expectations. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed. It should however put fans in their place and make us realize that this year is not going to be what we had hoped it would be. Go Cards!

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    1. The roster looked full with 13 at the start of the year. Injuries, what can you do? The coaching staff, I assure you, is working non-stop and full time recruiting. I'll take 20-5 at this juncture. 11 points away from 23-2.

      As mentioned in the post, the post play is lacking. The next five games are critical. Hang in there girls!

      Skip

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  6. DePaul is a must win. I don't see us beating South Florida a 2nd time. Could be an ugly two weeks coming. Don't be surprised if we lose 4 in a roll. Our confidence looked drained last night.

    Is Martin returning to DePaul Sunday? if so, you better hope Mo is suited up or it is going to be a long afternoon

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    1. Anna went down on 1/19 with knee injury was was expected to be out 1-3 weeks. She did notplay against UConn on Sunday. Will be watching to see if she goes against Rutgers tonight (24 days since injury).

      Paulie

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    2. Hope Mo is ready by Sunday. We are going to need her the next 3 games

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  7. Our primary problem on offense is that we don't have anyone confident in their jump shot. We had at least 12 open jump shots and bricked them all. I'm still going to support this team for the remaining home games and NCAA tourney.

    Baylor were up on UK by 45 at one point I think. ND would do this to a lot of top 25 teams at home. They would beat most top 10 teams by 25 - 30. That is the huge drop off in WCBB.

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    1. And it is pretty much common agreement and consent that there are four, maybe five teams in WBB this year that are in the penthouse looking down on the general population. UConn, ND, Baylor and Stanford. Some make a case for Duke. Some say California. Tennessee claims they are.

      After that, the general population cell block holds about 20-25 residents. I toss BIG EAST's Louisville, Syracuse, DePaul, Villanova and USF in there. Good enough to contend for a trip to the regional finals, but probably not past that venue.

      Still, that's why they play the games. Anything can happen. Even the team to the east of Louisville has had some shining moments this year. WKU is playing great for Michelle Clark-Heard. The SEC has six teams that could land berths (UK, Tenn, Vandy, Ark, SC and Texas A&M.)

      Play ball!!


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  8. OK, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WHAT LOUISVILLE IS DOING WITH WHAT THEY HAVE, THEY ARE TOUGH 1-4, OK I MENTIONED THIS BEFORE BUT WHAT IS MISSING VS THE BIG RANKED TEAMS WITH ALL AROUND GAMES? WHAT IS MISSING IN THE CARDS LINE UP???? DOES ANY SEE IT?? """A TRUE POST PRESENCE""" MO IS TOUGH BUT MORE OF A FORWARD--OTHERS ARE ALSO FORWARDS, UL NEEDS A BIG PHYSICAL "TRUE" POST/S. IF THEY HAD THIS, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT!!!! AND THE ONE COMPLAINING ABOUT JUDE, AGAIN I REPEAT, SHE REALLY IS SUPPOSE TO BE A FRESHMAN THIS YEAR!!! ---UMATILLA23

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  9. Meh, forget the people who hate on Jude. She played a solid game last night and has play solid all season. Our posts/lack of transition D is what cost us last night.

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  10. Jude did a great job. They are a much better team when she is handling the ball.

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