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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - 10 seconds? About time!


-NCAA WBB installs 10 second rule. Will it matter?

We've discussed the new rule in NCAA women's college basketball previously here at CARDINAL COUPLE. 10 seconds to advance the ball over the half court line. Just like the rest of the world is doing. Will it make a difference? And how will the coaches and players adjust to it?

Unlike their male counterparts, who have a 35 second shot-clock..the women have 30 seconds to get a shot off when in the offense set. It obviously creates more possessions in a game. And, if a team uses all 10 second to advance the ball into the offensive have 20 seconds to get into a offensive set and try to score.

A lot of times last year, it really didn't matter for the UofL WBB squad. Jeff Walz and his staff are firm believers in opportunistic, transition basketball. Shoni Schimmel and Nita Slaughter haven't met a shot they didn't like from beyond the three-point mark. Bria Smith would dribble through a backup on the Watterson Expressway at 4:30 p.m. for a chance to get in the paint and attempt a close-in shot.

Be courteous if you see Bria on the expressway.

On the rare occasions where Louisville dallied in crossing the time line, it was either a guard getting instructions from Coach Walz on the set to run or merely a clock-killing maneuver.  Full court pressure by an opponent never seemed to bother the Lady Cards.

One of the biggest complaints we fielded here at the site last year was over the Kentucky-Louisville game last year. The Cards enjoyed a double-digit lead in the second half, but took their time getting into the offensive set near the game (according to some of you). You told us this took Louisville out of their rhythm that they had used to build the lead. A recent re-watching of the contest showed me that, although the Cards were deliberate at times in getting the offense in was missed shots by Louisville and the clutch play from a certain UK freshman that put an "L" in the Cardinal column that afternoon.

You score more points than the opponent, you win. Neither team scored over 50 in that contest...a sorry offensive performance in a game that was dominated and dictated by defense.

You can miss shots with three seconds or thirteen on the
shot clock, folks. And, offensive rebounding of the misses was lacking as well by the Lady Cards. I seriously doubt that the extended time it took Louisville to advance the ball over the half-court timeline in the second half was the contributing factor in the loss to the Wildcats in that game.

Thank you for allowing me to vent.

The 10-second rule will be brutal on Cardinal opponents who don't have the ball-handlers or guard efficiency to handle a full-court press that Louisville could very well employ to set up a transition offense. We like this. How will it effect the Cards if they are the object of full-court defensive pressure?

Probably not much. The Cards used a three-guard set quite extensively last season in their march to the title game (Jude, Shoni, Bria). They are adequate ball-handlers. Add guards Tia Gibbs, Starr Breedlove, Janelle Cannon and Monny Niamke to that mix and Jeff Walz has plenty of options to shake off man-to-man or zone full-court pressure after a made basket or out-of bounds possession.

So, in summation...don't expect the addition of the 10-second clock to tilt the apple cart of NCAA WBB hoops. What it will mandate is that coaches work extensively with all players on improving their ball-handling skills.

If anything, it gives a trailing team late in a contest, a new opportunity to get back into a contest if they can press and defend well and create turnovers and clock violations.

You can rest assured the Lady Cards have been working hard in the off-season to capitalize on the new rule. And that should create a lot of fun moments of UofL fans in the upcoming season.



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