Listen to our weekly show !!

Listen to our weekly show !!
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO'S LATEST BROADCAST IS UP AND RUNNING IN THE ARCHIVED SOUNDCLOUD. . We are all about the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports from a fan's perspective! CLICK THE CRESCENT HILL MICROPHONE TO HEAR OUR LATEST BROADCAST !! ***DOWNLOAD THE WCHQ APP*** AND PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO CARDINAL COUPLE AT THE PAYPAL LINK BELOW!

Donate to Cardinal Couple via PayPal

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Battle in the Bluegrass


SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- #3 and #7 Do battle in Lexington


(OUR STAFF BASKETBALL ACE JENNY O'BRYAN GIVES US HER TAKE ON TODAY'S GAME IN LEXINGTON. WE'RE FULLY REPRESENTED IN MEMORIAL TOMORROW WITH JEFF, JENNY, SONJA AND PAULIE ALL ATTENDING. WE HOPE FOR A PLEASANT RIDE HOME.)


The Battle of the Bluegrass heats up today in Lexington at 1:00 p.m.  This intrastate rivalry is a fan favorite.   Ask any Louisville Cardinal fan and one thing they always want for Christmas is a Kentucky loss.  A Kentucky loss to any team, in any sport, will make a Cardinal fans day.   It is a rivalry as strong as any in the nation and since it's basketball...it ramps up to a higher level.

So what is at stake today for our Cardinals? 

From the fan perspective, it is all about bragging rights.  Who gets to claim ownership of the state as the best team?   It’s about proving Louisville is little brother to no one.   Finally, just because Kentucky fans can’t seem to find their way down I-64 west, does not mean that Louisville does not exist.  (I am sure it means a whole lot more to fans, but I am keeping this relatively clean of smack talk.  I prefer to let my team do the talking with their actions on the court.)

Both the Wildcats and the Cardinals enter today without a blemish.   With both teams heading into this match-up with 7-0 records, someone gets their first mark in the loss column.   A loss this early in the season rarely hurts a team, when you think about the end goal, of post-season play.   Just look at the books for this game last year.  Louisville lost a heartbreaker at home.  I’d venture to say that the loss actually helped the team, rather then hurt it, in the big picture.   Coach Walz says it almost in every post game interview.  Yes they want the win, but more importantly, they want to get better as a team after each game.  So, regardless of the outcome of this game, as long as the team can grow and learn from the game, an early season loss does not hurt your end goal of post-season play. 

Probably the biggest thing that can be affected by this game is NCAA seeding implications.   The loss, to whom ever gets it, will not in and of itself prohibit post season play.  It can, however, come in to play in the selection committee’s seeding of teams.    I think this is particularly important this year with Regionals being hosted by home teams for the first (and likely last time) in many years.  Kentucky is hosting the first and second rounds of the tournament, and Louisville is hosting the Regional Round of play (sweet 16 and elite 8).  The higher your seed, the less likely you are to play in the tournament on someone else’s home court, in the early rounds.  So, your path to the Final Four (at least in theory) is easier, with the higher seed.    I do not pretend to understand the myriad of things the selection committee accounts for in seeding.  I do venture to say that a win against a top 10 team, on their home court, will be highly favored.  So, taking care of business today can go a long way in making March a little less stressful. 

What can we look for in today’s game?

 Both teams like to play in transition and put up a lot of points.   One of this biggest critique’s of the Kentucky squad from last season was that they could not play in the half court.  If you remember, Coach Walz really slowed the game down last year.  A lot of people (including myself) felt like it got slowed down too soon.  However, that is how you win games.  You take teams out of their comfort zone and make them beat you with their weakness.   I expect a slower pace again this year.  I do not see this as a high scoring affair. 

DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker are both a very strong presence in the paint.  They will score and pull down rebounds.  Both are averaging double digits in scoring.  Samantha Drake and Azia Bishop will offer relief in the post for the Cats.   Louisville also has a strong post presence of Asia Taylor, Sara Hammond, Shawnta Dyer, Cortnee Walton and Emmonie Henderson.  Dyer and Henderson are both improving their conditioning, but can both provide very valuable time to the Cardinals, especially if we get in to foul trouble. 

Both the Cardinals and the Cats are loaded with talented guards and wings.  We have the Schimmels, Bria Smith, ‘Nita Slaughter, Tia Gibbs, Megan Deines and Monny Niamke.   All are very talented in their own right.  Niamke is the newest addition to this crew but she showed her defensive prowess and speed against FSU most recently.  The Cats have an equally impressive group of guards.  Jennifer O’Neill, Janee Thompson (the freshman guard from last season, who showed incredible poise in a high pressure situation in her very early collegiate career, to seal the win against Louisville), Kastine Evans, Bria Goss (who looks to be the high scorer for the Cats) and freshman Linnae Harper (a high school teammate of Thompson, and a top 5 kid in the class of 2013) and Makayla Epps. 

Looking at the above personnel I see a lot of talent on both sides, one side not more outstanding than the other.  So what decides this game? 

The obvious glaring issues the Cardinals have had are turnovers, fouls and free throws.   The Cardinals will have to take care of business in all of these categories.  

- Kentucky is a high-pressure defense.  They can and will create turnovers.   The Cardinals will have to keep the turnovers limited, and honest.  No giving the ball away to Kentucky.  

-With that high pressure defense will come fouling.   Louisville will have to take advantage of calls they get and play high-pressure defense with their feet, not their hands.  We do not want to see any of our players on the bench early in foul trouble, much like we saw against Oklahoma. 

-Louisville will have to do better at the line.  We have been saying all along that free throw shooting can and will lose you games against high ranked teams.   Let’s be on the right side of that stat tomorrow. 

There is one piece of the puzzle that I think will weigh heavily in our favor tomorrow, and that is competition level.   Louisville has been challenged this season. 

The Cardinals have played two top 15 teams and a 3rd team (FSU) that is getting a lot of votes and will likely crack the top 25 soon.   Kentucky has had no such challenge this season.   Not only has Louisville played some top competition, the Cardinals have also come from behind twice to force overtime and win the game going away.  This Cardinal team has learned to not panic and to trust themselves and their teammates.  This, I believe, will work to the Cardinals advantage. 

My prediction for this game is a close, low scoring affair.  I firmly believe that the Cardinals have the talent to win this game.  The question mark in my mind is if they can stay away from a slow start and the game time lapses that allow opponents to come back, or build a lead.  IF the Cardinals can stay present throughout the game, play a full 40 minutes, I give the win to the Cards.  

Let us know how you think it'll go in our comments section.  

Regardless of what happens today, it will not make or break the season.  A win on the road would be fantastic and likely help with postseason seeding.  A loss will mean the groan of Wildcat bragging rights and a little less control (and perhaps a little more stress for the coaching staff) over their postseason fate.  Neither will prove to be obstacles insurmountable.  So, have fun Cardinal fans as you cheer on your favorite team and as always, stay classy.  

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////


( OUR LATEST BROADCAST IS NOW UP ON THE SOUNCLOUD AND AVAILABLE FOR LISTENING. WE SPEND OVER HALF THE SHOW TALKING ABOUT TODAY'S GAME. WE ALSO WONDERED ALOUD WHY PAULIE DIDN'T SEE LAURA TERRY AT THE GAME. THANKS TO READER KENNY S., WE HAVE LEARNED SHE WAS ABSENT BECAUSE A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. OUR SYMPATHY IS EXTENDED TO THE TERRY FAMILY...PAULIE)

LINK:

RADIO AS IT HAS NEVER BEEN PRESENTED. A TOTAL QUAGMIRE...AS ONLY WE CAN DO IT!



-jennyobryan

...
..
.

3 comments:

  1. I like our chances but beating the CATS in Lexington is a tough task if the refs let them get away with holding, shoving, and hand checking. The game at the YUM! last year was UGLY! We usually get hosed in Memorial.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A defensive struggle last year...no doubt. Ugly is a strong term. Ugly was the 2009-10 season when UK demolished the Cards in Memorial. Today's game was be highly contested and we'll be keeping an eye on the foul count and who is getting singled out. I hope they assign a good crew.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
  3. If history in high pressure games holds true look for Jude to again be a part of the highlight play of the game, game winning or saving play. This means that today Louisville wins by 1-3 points.

    She has caused the NCAA to approve a new speciality category which is as a contributor in a game saving or winning play ( must rebound, pass, dribble or make a shot ). Jude is currently in the lead due to number of times in the category with Mo's NCAA tournament game winning free throws and Shoni's shot heard around the world over Brittney as fan vote favorites.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...