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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Final thoughts on the basketball season



SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

( Jenny O'Bryan brings us today's CARDINAL COUPLE with her wrap-up on Louisville WBB. In only the way Jenny can, she recaps a season that will live forever in the hearts and minds of Lady Cards WBB fans...)

I have been away for a few weeks, a vacation week from work that started with a trip to New Orleans and ended visiting family in Mississippi.  What a great week it was, too. 

Louisville Women’s Basketball capped off a very good season with postseason play that had them playing their best basketball of the year, in the games that meant the most.  From taking down the Baylor giants, and prohibitive favorites to win the National Championship, to riding that wave of confidence to topple Tennessee and knock off Cal, the team captured the praise of basketball announcers across the country and delighted long time fans of the program and made new ones. 

While the team was not able to cross that final bump in the road and take the next step and win a National Championship, there is so much that was accomplished. 

There are several lessons from this season that I hope to hold on to and remember in future seasons. 

First, and foremost, is that the season is played so that you can get to the postseason.  While regular season play is important and helps decide if you are good enough to make a tournament appearance, the season is not won or lost in December.   All of the sudden that 1 point loss to Kentucky, that 4 point loss to Colorado and that 6 point loss to DePaul gives new meaning and perspective to the season on the whole.   Specifically, the loss to Kentucky was hard for us fans to take.  Sure, Louisville should have won the game, but I would trade the outcome of that game a thousand times if the loss provides growth and opportunity to learn and get better and be more prepared when postseason play does roll around. 

Second, injuries are never an excuse.  This team has been saddled with significant injuries for the last two seasons.  Every player that is recruited is there because the coaching staff sees potential in them that the team as a whole needs.   When each and every player able to play buys in to that belief and role the coaches see in them, you have a post season run like this one.  What a remarkable display of that in this post season.

Finally, any team can rewrite the script that the basketball prognosticators are force-feeding us.  Ten years from now the conversation is not going to be about Connecticut having won their 8th National Title in 2013.  No, I believe the conversation for many, many years to come is going to be about how Louisville knocked of the overall #1 team in the nation and how they stymied the game of Brittney Griner, possibly one of the best women (and certainly among the best) to ever play the game.   This team rewrote the postseason dialogue.  I personally loved every second of it, too!

I have loved the sucolffcess this team, and the Athletic Program in general, has had this academic year.  With that success comes exposure.  With that constant exposure comes more gifted athletes that want to be a part of such a wonderful program.  Not just a team, but a Program.  I look forward to seeing what rewards the basketball program is able to reap from this postseason success!

With that in mind I will be watching the summer high school basketball circuit to see just who will be in the mix to join Louisville Women’s Basketball.   In my next posting I hope to elaborate on a couple of 2014 prospects who appear to be pretty high on Louisville and what names fans need to watch out for.    

( WE remind you also that CARDINAL COUPLE Radio is on the air this morning at 11 a.m. on Crescent Hill RADIO! )

www.crescenthillradio.com

WE have an exciting show covering softball, lacrosse, women's tennis, track and field and rowing. WE'LL also have a report from Jeff McAdams on the road and our usual zany cast of visitors and sidebars. Don't miss it, either live or in the archives!)

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2 comments:

  1. Any updates on who we are looking at for 2014/2015. In 2015 I just learned that we were the first to offer DeJanae Boykin and have been recruiting her since 6th grade! (top 5 forward from 2015)

    ReplyDelete
  2. An excellent question! One that we'll leave to our recruiting guru Jenny.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete

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