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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Ellison commits to...



TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Aja Ellison headed to Maryland

-The American: A year of hoops old and new


Aja Ellison, daughter of former University of Louisville men's basketball great Pervis Ellison, has chosen her college and it is the University of Maryland.

The 6'2" center and 2014 prospect played her junior season at Life Center Academy (Burlington, NJ). She helped lead Life Center to the National Association of Christian Athletes Division I national title.

Her mother, Timi Crawford, is a former Maryland track and field athlete.

This one isn't a huge loss for UofL...yes, it would have been nice to have "Never Nervous" Pervis' daughter wearing the red and black but the Cards are pursuing quite a few top flight high school stars for 2014 and already have Sydney Brackemyer and Arianna Freeman on board for a recruiting class that can probably accommodate one or two more players as of now.

Honesty, we're also not sure just how actively Aja was considering the Cards or vice versa. She was listed as undeclared and had no favorites listed according to a couple of recruiting services. Louisville extended an offer when she was a freshman. Notre Dame looked at her also.

With interest from some of the nation's 2014 best and possible transfer possibilities looming, the Cards won't have to worry about having a short, or untalented class to join the returnees.

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As we have discussed before, some of the University of Louisville women's athletic squads will participate in the American Athletic Conference (AAC or 'The American') for a season before joining the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference). 

Over the next few weeks, we'll take a look at what the UofL women's teams will be faced with in this transition conference. Today, we'll look at hoops.

First...the top two teams in the nation are in the AAC. Louisville and Connecticut. That, alone...gives the conference a huge measure of respect and viability for at least one season.

There is no official AAC WBB schedule out yet...but taking a look at some of the schools Louisville will likely face in hoops doesn't cause a great deal of consternation. 

USF (22-11)...who delivered a rare loss to Louisville in the KFC YUM! Center last season...is there. They don't have the Smith sisters, though or Inga Orekhova.

Cincinnati finished 12-18 in 2012-13 and remains a squad that has improved under Coach Elliott...but isn't at Louisville's talent level yet.

Rutgers, 16-14 last year, is infused with new talent...freshman and transfer wise...and always plays Louisville tough.

New opponents for the Cards, based on what the conference looks like while glancing at the volleyball contingent, are listed below:

-SMU. They went 21-10 an made it to the WNIT...where they lost in the first round.

No Muffet in 2013-14. Whatever will we do?
-Memphis. Finishing 17-15...they also qualified for the WNIT and fell to Arkansas in Round 1.

-UCF. 16-18. No post-season.

-Temple. 14-18. No post-season.

-Houston. 13-17. No post-season.

Our best guess? Louisville is the 2nd best team in AAC WBB for 2013-14. Yes, we had to stay up late and do massive research on that prognostication. Rutgers should improve after a disappointing 2012-13 and gets our nod for third best. We'll go with SMU, based on last year's results, to round out the top four. Jose Fernandez does have some talent returning at USF and could challenge for a fourth place finish.

After that...it's anyone's guess. It will be interesting to see how the former BIG EAST schools do (wins vs. losses) against the non-BIG EAST members of The American.

A stop-over to a final destination. A final goodbye to Cincy, Rutgers, UConn and USF. And, no XL Center for a conference tournament venue.

See, there are some good things about The American...after all. And, it'll only be a year before Coach Walz is reunited with Muffet, "Q" and "Bubbles" Anderson (who WE desperately want to see play...)

Courage...

-Paulie








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