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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple


TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

THE END OF THE YEAR....WHILE COLD WEATHER WRAPS THE LOUISVILLE REGION, A YOUNG MAN'S THOUGHTS NATURALLY TURN TO...SOFTBALL? OUR COLUMNIST WORLDWIDE JEFF MCADAMS, BUNDLED UP IN HIS WINTER COAT AND SCARF, SENDS THIS REPORT ON THE SOFTBALL CLASS THAT RECENTLY SIGNED IN NOVEMBER AND WILL TAKE THE FIELD OF HONOR IN THE 2015 SEASON. IT IS OVER A YEAR BEFORE THESE YOUNG LADIES WILL DEBUT IN GAME ACTION. NEVER FEAR, THOUGH...JEFF IS ALREADY OUT AT ULMER WITH HIS 19 COMMUNICATION DEVICES AWAITING THE STRIKES, BALLS, HOME RUNS AND HOLDING HIS MARGE RUCKENBROD POSTER...



Mid-November was the early signing period for many sports.  WE here at the Cardinal Couple had information in a few of our articles at the time about the signing classes for some of our sports, but didn't cover them all.  I'd like to rectify that oversight a bit, now.  Let's talk Softball today.

The New Signees

For spring sports such as Softball and Women's Lacrosse, the early signing really is early.  The class
that signed in November of 2013 won't play their first competitions for their signed schools for approximately 15 months after their signing, with first games for spring sports typically being in the early February timeframe, and for this signing class, that will be February of 2015.

Sydney Benz

Sydney will be joining us from the Chicago area as an infielder/short stop.  An impressive batter, Benz received several honors for her 2013 season where she chalked up a .459 batting average.  Sydney has also received a number of academic honors.

Whitney Arion is our current starting short stop and is a junior this year, so Sydney will likely have a year to watch and learn from Whit's senior year in the position or look to apply her skills in other infield positions...Katie Keller will be graduating from second base, for example.

Bridgette Flaherty

Bridgette will be making a trip to the north to come to Louisville, coming from the Atlanta, GA area,
specifically Woodstock, GA.  Flaherty will be only the second every southpaw pitcher for the Louisville Cardinals.  Flaherty has also picked up several honors in the academic realm in addition to being a force to be reckoned with from 43 feet away.

Rachel LeCoq and Caralisa "Carl" Connell will both be graduating at the end of this 2014 season.  While Coach Pearsall has picked up several pitchers in the current freshmen class, we don't want a repeat from the 2013 post-season where we ran out of pitching steam at the end of the season.  Besides, there are few enough left-handed pitchers in the college game that being able to put a leftie out there is very valuable.

Sydney Melton

This is actually
Syd Brackemyer.
I snuck her pic
in to see if you are
paying attention

 
OK, what is it with all of the Sydneys coming in next fall?  Two here for Softball along with Sydney Brackmyre coming in to be on the Women's Basketball team, we're going to be overloaded with Sydneys.  Well, that just means I have fewer names to have to learn how to spell.

Melton is also a short stop, so there may be some competition for that position in this class.  Sydney comes to us from Columbus, OH.  This is beginning to become a familiar refrain...Sydney has also earned number academic honors in high school.

Sydney has also competed in Swimming, Basketball, and some Track & Field, though we have no word about her participating in any of these sports at UofL.

Ashley Nikolao

The lone Kentuckian of the class, Ashley will just be coming a short distance up the
road from Flaherty, KY and Meade County High School.  As a utility player, Nikolao can fill in any position on the field.

Yes, you guessed it, numerous academic honors for Ashley as well.  In addition, Nikolao made the first-team All-State team here in Kentucky twice.

Madi Norman

How's this number grab you?  .639 for a high school career batting average.  That means Madi plays one of the traditional power positions like catcher or first base, right?  Nope, she's a pitcher.

And, yes, do I really even need to say it?  Norman has quite a few academic honors as well.  Madi hails from Tipton, MO, pretty much right in the middle of the state.

Alison Szydlowski

"Szydlowski", you're kidding me, right?  Another "Sid", Alison hails from Imperial, MO, which sounded familiar to me and took me a minute to realize that UofL Volleyballer Haley Pouliezos is also from Imperial.  Apparently you have to have a hard-to-spell last name if you're from Imperial.

Szydlowski is a catcher and third baseman.  Current Cardinal catchers and Cardinal Couple favorites
Maggie "Marge" Ruckenbrod and Taner Fowler both graduate after this season, so we'll be looking for another catcher to pick off runners at second base.  Conveniently, Alison played in the same club program that Ruckenbrod did, so might we see another productive pairing between Alison Szydlowski and perhaps Sydney Benz like we have with Marge Ruckenbrod and Katie Keller?

Oh yeah, can't forget a fair number of academic honors here as well.

Bullpen Club Dinner

Sidney Melton. See I
didn't forget to add her pic.
While we're on the subject of Softball, a reminder that the Bullpen Club Dinner is January 25th at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium.  Featured speaker for the night is Olympian and four-time All American pitcher Monica Abbott.  Doors to the Brown & Williamson Club at PJCS will open at 6 for a reception with the dinner and program to start at 7:30.  To reserve your seats, you can contact the always-delightful Christy Waltrip at Christy@gocards.com.

I had intended to attend this event but will be out of town that week and so will be unable to be there.  You can be sure, though, that I will make some appearances at the newly renovated Ulmer Stadium this spring to cheer on the Softball Cards.

JEFF MCADAMS

WE HOPE ALL OUR READERS HAVE A SAFE AND FUN NEW YEAR'S EVE AND REMIND YOU TO BE RESPONSIBLE TONIGHT. WE'LL PREVIEW THE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL GAME AGAINST TEMPLE IN PHILLY NEXT YEAR TOMORROW HERE AT THE C.C.

WE ALSO WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE OUT CELEBRATING THIS EVENING AND HAVE "HAD ONE TOO MANY"...DO THE RIGHT THING AND CALL A CAB OR APPOINT A DESIGNATED DRIVER.  REMEMBER, IT'S 'AMATEUR NIGHT' OUT THERE AND THE COPS WILL BE WATCHING...
SO DO THE RIGHT THING AND DON'T DRIVE DRUNK.

PAULIE

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Streaky Cards take 71-51 win over SMU



MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Shoni's 18 leads Louisville past stubborn SMU


Senior Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel scored 18 points and Bria Smith and Sara Hammond joined her in double figures as Louisville women's basketball improved their record to 13-1 with a 71-51 win over SMU Sunday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center.

It took the Cards awhile to get untracked in the first game of the AAC regular schedule. Although UofL was having success in keeping conference-leading scorer guard Kenna Mays quiet, forward Akil Simpson was having a career game against Louisville. Simpson scored the first bucket of the game, her jumper pulled SMU within two at 10-8 at the 15:18 mark and she had 10 of the Mustang's first 13 points after two free throws with 11:53 on the clock to cut Louisville's lead to 14-13.

SMU would still be challenging the Cards with 7:59 left in the first half...a Kiara Perry layup gave the Dallas visitors a 23-21 lead.

The final eight minutes of the half belonged to Louisville.

Three Sara Hammond scores and four points from Emmonnie Henderson pushed Louisville out to a 34-26 lead over the next five minutes. Sara and "E" would score again and back-to-back Shoni threes had the Cards ahead 44-30 with 84 ticks left on the clock. Megan Deines converted on a plus-one to give UofL their largest lead of the half at 47-30 and the Cards took a 47-32 lead to the locker room.

Louisville had held the 20 point + Mays to four points on 2-7 shooting...and had shut down Simpson after her big start.

The Cards continued the hot streak when the final half began. A 10-0 run to begin play, keyed by three straight Bria Smith scores, had Louisville comfortably ahead 57-32 with five minutes gone. The Cards captured the next five minute segment 6-1 and Cortnee Walton's layup put Louisville in command 63-33 with 10:52 left in the game.

SMU finally hit their first basket of the second half 18 seconds later and actually outscored the Cards 18-8 the rest of the way...but it was too little, too late for the Mustangs...who were plagued by 27.6% shooting in the final twenty.

Mays finished with just seven points on 3-13 shooting...going 1-6 from beyond the arc. The Mustangs did force Louisville into 18 turnovers for the game but went a woeful 1-18 from three-point range.

Jeff Walz distributed the court time evenly Sunday...no Card getting more than 29 minutes or less than 11. Guard Monny Niamke continued to impress off the bench...she's the best defensive stopper of Louisville guards and a little more time spent learning the Louisville offensive patterns and sets would bode well for her.

Emmonnie Henderson gave a strong performance with six points in 11 minutes to lead the bench...if, in fact, it can be said that there are any "bench" players on this team. Walz brought in Niamke, Walton, Dyer and Gibbs with just 4:01 gone in the first half and all the Cardinals played at least five minutes in the first twenty. The liberal substitution pattern continued in the final twenty...Asia Taylor, Walton, Niamke, Deines and Henderson were on the court when the game ended.

Louisville heads to Philly next for a 4 p.m. New Year's Day game against the Temple Owls.

THE FINAL WORD

- Shoni Schimmel passed Monique Reid and Kristin Mattox Sunday to become fourth on the all-time scoring list for Louisville. She's had a great last two games...averaging 24 points per contest. Next, Jazz Covington...68 points away.

- The Cards were outscored 7-1 in the final four minutes of Sunday's game...the final three of those minutes with the Schimmel sisters on the bench.

- Puzzling is Asia Taylor's recent performances. After a commanding start to the season, she produced only four points and four rebounds in sixteen minutes.

- Two Cards finished with double-doubles Sunday...Bria Smith and Sara Hammond. It was Smith's third career double-double and career record in rebounding with 11.

- Stay away from the TV, Jeff.

When asked if he caught either of the UofL games Saturday, Coach Walz explained he was at a family Christmas get-together and saw bits and pieces of the games. He didn't catch any football until it was 22-2. Maybe we can get him to quit watching men's basketball in entirety.

- Louisville's 24 points in the second half were the lowest point production in a half this season. Maybe they were worried about the Bears game? To their credit, they did hold SMU to just 19 points in the final half.


Paulie

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cardinals open first (and last) season of league play in the AAC today


SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The women’s basketball team opens conference play in the American Athletic Conference today at the KFC YUM Center with a 3:00 tip against Southern Methodist University (SMU).  The Cardinals are entering the game on a 5 game winning streak and a 12-1 overall record.   The Mustangs of SMU have a 9-2 overall record. 

Senior guard Keena Mays is coming off a huge game, scoring 32 points to lead the Mustangs in an overtime victory against North Texas.  Mays is also the leading scorer in the AAC averaging 20.9 points per game.  No doubt, the Cardinals scouting report will focus heavily on Mays.   Supporting Mays on the court in scoring is senior forward Akil Simpson who is averaging 14.1 ppg and is also the leading rebounder with 8.3 per game. 

The Mustangs lone elite matchup of the season they were crushed by Tennessee.  In that game Mays was held to just 12 points while Simpson 11.  The Mustangs lost to Tennessee by 40 points. 

Unfortunately for the Mustangs I do not see this game much differently.   The Cardinals should dominate from the tip.  One could likely expect Henderson, Niamke and Deines logging extended minutes in this one.   In my opinion, this is likely to be the kind of game where the Cardinals can really work on specific aspects of their individual game, as well as specific aspects of team play.  In recent games the Cardinals have been focusing specifically on passing in and out of the post and working hard to manage the ball and limit turnovers. 

The team is reconvening after a brief holiday that break that likely saw most of the team headed home for the Holidays.  They were to report back to campus on Thursday, December 26. 

The Cardinals will hit the road for a midweek matchup against the Temple Owls on New Years Day.  They will return back home next Saturday for a match against Cincinnati.    We hope to see you at The YUM Center!

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The men’s basketball team had a tall order in Lexington and fell just shy on the day losing by 7 to the Cats.  National Championships are not won, or lost, in December.  Bragging rights go to the Cats for a sweep of the men’s and women’s team this season.

The highlight of the day was the dominant performance of the football team pounding Miami, winning the Russell Athletic Bowl, handedly.  Cardinal fans now await the announcement of Teddy Bridgewater, will he stay or will he go?     While I would love for Teddy to usher the football program in the to ACC, with a degree under his belt (how impressive is that, by the way?), I expect we will see Teddy in the NFL Draft. 

Jenny O'Bryan

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EDITOR NOTE

Teddy Bridgewater may have put on the most spectacular performance by a UofL quarterback in a bowl game ever. Some would counter with Browning Nagel in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl...but "Teddy Bowlgame" shone on a night where the Miami defenders mirrored the cartoon characters a few miles away at Disney World. Goofy. Donald Duck. Mickey Mouse and Dumbo.

Teddy needs to go. Best to walk out in the white hot spotlight when you can. (See Brian Brohm and Steve Kragthorpe as a "not to do" example). Maybe Devante Parker goes, too. It does not matter. Coach Charlie will reload, rebuild and make the Cards competitive in the ACC. I wonder how the 'Canes would vote now about accepting Louisville into the league?

Good luck Teddy! As a friend remarked last night, "So, if Teddy goes...can we consider it 'water under the bridge'?".  Hmmm...more like a raging river headed to the vast seas, maybe.

paulie



Jenny O'Bryan

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Saturday, December 28, 2013



SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- WILL IT BE A "ALL OR NOTHING" SATURDAY?

- MO DECIDES TO GO

- RADIO TODAY


Today is truly a "Super Saturday" when it comes to UofL Athletics. We'll take a brief diversion from our usual women's sports coverage to comment on the annual UofL vs. UK men's basketball game and the Cardinal football team's bowl game in the Russell Athletic Bowl vs. the Miami 'Canes

HOOPIN IT UP IN RUPP

Is this one is a fan rivalry first and foremost? None of the top eight UK scorers and none of the Cards top nine are from Kentucky. It's all about fan's bragging rights, right? No so fast my friend...Even though four of the UK starters are freshmen and have no idea what to expect, the Cards have four-year veteran of this battle in Russ Smith, local products Henderson and Levitch and two coaches who hate to lose to each other.

UK'S Willie Cauley-Stein sees it like this:

"Until you've been here a year or you've lived in the state, you don't know about this rivalry. It's a problem, it really is, because it's so serious to the fans and if you don't take it serious, then the fans think you don't care very much."

It is, for UK...a chance to defeat the reigning national champ. It is, for Louiville...a chance to take a win out of one of the hardest places for a visiting basketball team to play. (Thank God they don't move this one to Memorial like the women do every two years...)

It is Blue vs. Red. How will it come out? It'll be "Russdiculous". The Cards win 76-69 and Smith leads all scorers.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

Right after the hoops, Cardinal fans will shift focus and attention to football. That's right....Cincinnati plays UNC in the Belk Bowl and this one will be in the fourth quarter by then.

What? Someone else is tackling and tossing the pigskin? Oh...yeah...Cards and Canes! Must see TV!

Charlie Strong's UofL football Cardinals are in Orlando with about 20,000 or so of their closest friends to play in the Schnellenberger Bowl. Howard coached both squads and won a national title when he was at Miami. He'll spend the first half on Miami's sideline and the second half with the Cardinals. No telling where Bev his wife will be.

Maybe back in Boca Raton watching the UNC v Cincy game?

Louisville will play Miami in ACC competition next year, so  this one is a tune-up for that. It's also a Miami vs. Miami matchup....about a dozen or so Cards are from or played high school football in and around the Miami area.

Will Teddy Bridgwater lead the Cards to the win and then announce he's coming back for a final year? Or does Louisville lose and Teddy tell the world he's going pro? And what exactly is an ibus and why does Miami call their mascot Sebastian?

Louisville wanted to be in a BCS bowl. Ironically, they're travelling to the city (Orlando) where the team (Central Florida) is from that upset that apple cart for Louisville. Will Mickey and Goofy be at the game? (No..they'll be at home watching UNC and ....oh, never mind...)

Cards win, Cards win...this one just might be a shootout with the overall quickness that each team possesses. Make it Louisville 41 - Miami 35. And Teddy takes off for the NFL

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


NO MO AT FERN CREEK

It lasted five months...the former UofL women's basketball star's employment as the head coach of Fern Creek's Girls basketball team.

Monique Reid is headed to Germany to play in the Euroleagues. She's the second former Jeff Walz player to coach and leave Fern Creek. Candyce Bingham did a stint there coaching the Tigers before going back to UofL. 

The Creekers lost twice yesterday in the Floyd Central Shootout...to Floyd Central and Indianapolis Home School. Presumably without Reid.

We wish Mo the best in Deutschland.

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Yes we are doin' Internet radio today. The CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR on Crescent Hill Radio airs at 11 a.m.

We'll be one short in the studio...Worldwide texting me yesterday with the cryptic message:

Not gonna be able to make the show. Have a family commitment at that time.

We've sent investigative reporters Smooth Charlie and Bill the Goat out to track Worldwide's movements this morning.

Jenny and I wil attempt to carry on in his tradition.

http://www.crescenthillradio.com

paulie
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday CARDINAL COUPLE -- My buddy Ed


FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- An e-mail from my buddy Ed


A picture of Paulie from 1973 with my buddies
Stu, Terrie and Laurie. Who is who?
EDITOR NOTE: I recently received an e-mail from my buddy Ed. We met in high school and became fast friends...despite his loyalty to UK and my devotion to UofL. Ed attended UK, got his degree and now works for a neighboring state's county extension office. We've stayed in touch throughout the years...our conversations usually center around family, our lives, the rivalry of the two schools and about a third friend...who gained some notoriety as a musician. Here's Ed's latest e-mail to me:

HI PAUL!

Happy Holidays to you! Thought I'd send you an e-mail about the UK women's win over UofL and gloat a bit. How did you enjoy the game? Ha-Ha! I kow you don't like Memorial much. Truth be told, I'd rather see our women play in Rupp for all home games. It looks like a good season for both UK basketball squads.

I like your website and did listen to one of your archived radio shows. You still haven't grown up yet, have you? I was telling my wife about our summer of 1972 experience at Seven Oaks. Have you ever told Sonja about it? It'll live in my memory forever. I wonder whatever happened to those guys from Bloomington and the girl? And the security cop?

So, UK gets a chance to beat Louisville again Saturday in hoops. Will you be watching it down in Orlando? I like your football teams chances against the Canes. Teddy Bridgewater is an amazing QB and a great life success story. He should have been a Wildcat. Ha-Ha!.

I see Louisville taking a loss in the hoops game, tho. Your "bigs" can't handle ours inside and that'll be the difference. A close game, for sure. Both teams will probably get a chance to meet again in the FINAL FOUR I hope, depending on the seeding.

My neighbors here will come over for my annual UK vs. UofL party. Even though most of them are UT fans, they like the yearly get-together and chance to spend a few hours eating, drinking and talking. We will even have a UofL fan attending this year (a first!). Guy down the street and his wife and kids recently moved into the neighborhood from Jeffersontown. He's a 30-something who barely remembers Crum and those great 1980's Cardinal teams under Denny Crum. We met one afternoon when I was walking Tank and he has a flagpole that flies the American and Cardinal flag. I joked I was going to steal that flag and I also found out he likes Kentucky bourbon ( Evan Williams) so he can't be that bad of a neighbor, right?

So, tell your readers and listeners to prepare for the loss. I know you don't talk men's sports much on your site, but this game is worth a little coverage from you, right?

Cindy sends her love. Jeff and Kevin say Hi also. They're going to vacation in the Bahamas for a few weeks in January. They'll come over to the UK Man Cave to watch the game with us, even though neither cares about sports all that much.

So, GO CATS! and take care of yourself, Sonja and Sarge's house. How are Rachel and Sissy? Look forward to hearing back from you!

Big Ed


We'll be back to 'normal' articles tomorrow with a look at both the UofL men's basketball and football games and the upcoming WBB contest will be featured Sunday. We also will be doing radio Saturday...so tune in at 11 A.M. @Crescent Hill Radio

-Paulie

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day CARDINAL COUPLE --MERRY CHRISTMAS!!



MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CARDINAL COUPLE


We wish you a Merry Christmas and thank you for following us in 2013. We will do our best to keep up the expectations of our readers and listeners in 2014 and we appreciate your comments, suggestions, ideas and e-mails. ENJOY your holidays and get ready....because 2014 is going to be another GREAT year for UofL Women's Athletics !!! We'll see you Saturday...we're taking a few days off... 

Paulie, Sonja, Jenny, Jeff and David

BELOW IS A LITTLE CHRISTMAS DITTY FROM OUR FRIEND NICK PEAY at CRESCENT HILL RADIO. CLICK THE LINK  "MERRY CHRISTMAS" BELOW AND ENJOY NICK'S SONG ABOUT SANTA ! CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE SONG...MERRY CHRISTMAS !!

MERRY CHRISTMAS !!




" and they asked me the meaning of this holiday and what it entailed...so I told them of the traditions, gatherings and fun. They were not impressed and returned me to my cell...where my fellow soldiers and prisioners were detained in various stages of dying and suffering. We clung to the hope that we would be liberated and returned to our homeland. Some days, it was a lot harder than others. You see...when you've had your freedom and lost it...it makes you appreciate it even more."

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- What makes a rivalry?


TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Jeff MCAdams takes a look at rivalries


Sunday afternoon I had the opportunity to watch the UK vs Duke Women's Basketball game in Rupp Arena as a special correspondent for www.dwhoops.com.  Published by Orin Day, dwhoops.com is a site all about Duke Women's Basketball.  I was asked to go to the game and write an article about the game from the perspective of a Louisville fan.  Of course, with Louisville joining The ACC next year, Duke vs Kentucky takes on added significance.

You can see what I wrote below:

 A LOUISVILLE FAN GOES TO LEXINGTON

Leading to the game, Orin sent me some ideas of topics that would likely be well received on his site about the game.  One of the ideas was to write about whether there would be a Duke-Louisville rivalry develop in Women's Basketball in The ACC.

While dwhoops.com is focused on Women's Basketball, WE here at Cardinal Couple cover all women's sports, so I'd like to take this space to explore the idea of a potential Duke-Louisville rivalry from the broader perspective of really all sports, but with a particular focus on women's athletics.

What makes for a good rivalry?

Physical proximity can be one factor.  Think of all of the cross-town rivalries:  Duke v UNC, Cincinnati v Xavier, Cal v Stanford, USC v UCLA, Houston v Rice, and many more.  Then intra-state: Louisville v Kentucky, Michigan v Michigan State, UNC v NC State, Alabama v Auburn and again many more.

Familiarity through regular competition can be another factor.  Here you find some of the historical rivalries like Ohio State v Michigan, Army v Navy, Pitt v WVU, Louisville v Memphis, Louisville v Cincinnati, and...well...let's just put this link, here, to give an idea.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NCAA_college_football_rivalry_games



Competitiveness comes into play as a factor as well.  If one school regularly beats the other by wide margins, it is very difficult to build any real excitement about meeting the school in competition.  For example, not too many people consider Louisville and UConn to be in a signficant rivalry, despite a lot of familiarity between the schools and meeting in competition quite regularly, many of those competitions just aren't all that competitive.  We regularly beat UConn in many sports such as Volleyball, Softball, and Men's Basketball; while UConn usually hands us a defeat in Women's Basketball and Field Hockey.

So how do these factors come into play with Louisville and Duke?

Louisville and Duke aren't in any real proximity to each other.  Its a solid 8 hour drive from Louisville to Durham, NC, so that factor doesn't help.

How often will Louisville and Duke meet up against each other in competition after we join The ACC?  With the size of The ACC, we wouldn't be expected to regularly meet up with Duke more than once in any sport in any season.  It will be even less in Football as we will be in the Atlantic division replacing Maryland, and Duke is in the Coastal division.  Post season tournaments will give another opportunity for the schools to meet one another.

If the schools play lots of sports in common, it can help bolster a nascent rivalry as well, so let's figure out what sports Louisville and Duke play in common.  Baseball, Basketball (M&W), Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf (M&W), Lacrosse (W), Rowing, Soccer (M&W), Swimming & Diving, Tennis (M&W), Track & Field, and Volleyball (W).  The only sport that Louisville participates in that Duke doesn't is Softball, and Duke has announced that they are adding Softball, with anticipated first varsity competition in 2018.  Duke competes in three sports that Louisville doesn't: Fencing, Lacrosse (M), and Wrestling.  That's a really remarkably compatible list of sports...these are schools that are going to be seeing each other a lot across sports.  I think this factor is a mild positive for the idea of a budding rivalry.

So what about competitiveness in each sport?

Baseball - no, we have quite a good team, Duke is not so great
Basketball (M&W) - yes, all four teams are relatively competing at high levels
Field Hockey - yes, both Duke and Louisville are good, but not yet great teams
Football - yes, both teams seem to be on an upward trajectory
Lacrosse (W) - no, Duke is very good in both Men's and Women's Lacrosse.  While our Women's team is progressing, we're not at Duke's level of play, yet.
Soccer (M) - probably not, Duke is mediocre, we're pretty good
Soccer (W) - yes, like Field Hockey, both teams are good but not yet great
Volleyball (W) - quite possibly, Duke won the ACC and only had 5 losses on the year as a whole

I don't really feel like I have enough expertise to judge for Cross Country, Rowing, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, and Track & Field.  If any readers want to weigh in on those sports in comments, I'd love to hear your take.

So there are a lot of sports where I expect us to be competitive with Duke, so that factor works in
favor of a budding rivalry.

All in all, I think there is real potential for Duke-Louisville to build into a significant rivalry over the years.  As I said in my article for dwhoops.com, though, only time will tell.  Are there other ACC teams that might develop into a rivalry more than Duke?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.

-Jeff McAdams

EDITOR NOTE:

Pam Bustin left the Cards Field Hockey program to assume the head coaching role at Duke.  Nolan Smith was a highly recruited men's basketball player who chose Duke over Louisville. His dad, Derek Smith, was a member of the 1980 UofL National Championship team. Louisville defeated Duke for the 1986 NCAA National Championship in men's basketball. Jay Bilas, a member of that 1986 Duke squad and current ESPN basketball commentator isn't very popular among UofL fans. Duke went to court to cancel a UofL vs. Duke planned football series several years ago.

The Cards defeated Duke last year in the NCAA Tournament...the game where Kevin Ware had his scary leg injury. There are plenty of seeds present to grow a fun rivalry against the Blue Devils. Whether it will grow and develop or not remains to be seen. 

As a side note...my father, uncles and aunt were born 12 miles down Hwy 70 from the Duke campus. I still have dozens of relatives in the Burlington and Haw River area...but their loyalties are pretty much equally divided between Duke and UNC. I grew up visiting the area each summer and have visited the Duke Gardens, walked the trails in the Duke Forest, played pick-up basketball in Cameron Indoor Stadium and attended services in Duke Chapel.

My father's ashes were laid to rest in the Sykes Cemetery in Haw River.

My wife Sonja has an autographed picture of Coach K...signed "Go Cards!" from a chance meeting on an airplane flight years ago.  Yes, the Blue Devils and the Sykes family have a history.

Personally, I'm OK with Duke Athletics. I tend to make fun of Coach Joanne P. and her quizzical coaching style and mannerisms...but I expect when it comes down to Duke and UK, I'll choose the "Dookies" as the lesser of two evils. Against us? It'll be "GO CARDS" every time.

-Paulie

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Monday, December 23, 2013

MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE -- Dear Santa



MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- All I want for Christmas is...Santa looks at UofL's list


You know the guy with the beard is mighty busy this time of  year. No, I'm not talking about Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson...the reference is to Jolly Ol' St. Nick. They say he's making a list and checking it twice. Maybe he should share his planning strategies with the AAC Conference officials...if anyone ever needed guidance, it would be them.

We were able to gain exclusive content of what some of the UofL women's sports teams players and coaches have asked Santa Claus for this Christmas. Whether or not the Jolly Ol' Fat Man delivers or not is hard to say...but if you believe in the spirit of Christmas...hang your stockings by the chimney with care and hope that he comes through this year.

Jeff Walz writes:

Dear Santa:

I've been a (pretty) good boy this year. Forget those technicals...but if your elves were as contentious, blind and without a clue as these refs I have to deal with each season...I'm sure you'd understand. Here's my Christmas list and if you have any questions about it, call me on my talk show Wednesday nights between 6 and 7 pm.

- Consistency in officiating
- Two 6'6" centers who can rebound, score and stay out of foul trouble
- A win in my final game of the season
- A clean bill of health for Sherrone, Nita and Starr
- An all expenses paid trip for my buddy Geno and his basketball team to Italy for four months. They could leave New Year's Day and come back right before Derby.
- A magic potion that makes players good free throw shooters.

Your friend,
Jeff

( The letter was delivered with several vouchers for free beer at the KFC YUM! Center during WBB games...)

Anne Kordes writes:

Hi Big Guy with the funny hat!

My Christmas letter (all 18 pages of it) is attached. Here's a brief summary of the highlights and priorities. Or, you can simply just stop by for a chat...I can always use a little help changing diapers, tracking down loose volleyballs and keeping Nancy Worley off Twitter. Here goes:

Could I please have a couple of middles that come in and play like Gwen Rucker, Randi Ewing and Brooke Mattingly did? I'm OK if they're rebuilds or slightly used.

Would you deliver a libero that has the skills of Caitlin Welch? I know that's a tough order to fill...but I'll get you a great table at the Volleyball banquet and unlimited wine refills if you deliver.

I'd also like a certificate that shows my team and I are granted automatic access to the NCAA Regionals. This is the third year I've asked for it. You keep leaving coal and sticks in my stocking.
 
Your pal!
Anne

( Anne's letter was delivered by Katie George and Maya McClendon..who were whooping, screaming and stomping all the way up Santa's sidewalk at the North Pole. Katie then set it up perfectly for Maya, who slammed it through the Claus front window.)

Finally, this from SHONI ..

SEASONS GREETINGS FROM THE LAND OF NO LOOK PASSES AND DEEP THREES!

I'VE HAD A PRETTY GOOD YEAR AND DON'T REALLY NEED MUCH THIS YEAR BUT I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES THAT COULD USE SOME THINGS. I AM A NATIVE AMERICAN AND I'D LIKE YOU TO MAKE ALL PEOPLE AWARE OF THE PLIGHT AND TROUBLES THAT MY PEOPLE SUFFER. PLEASE END THE STEREOTYPES AND MISNOMERS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH OUR LIFESTYLES, HERITAGE AND TRADITIONS.

I'VE BEEN A GOOD GIRL AND TRAVELLED THE NATION SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THESE ISSUES. GRANT ME THE STRENGTH AND ABILITY TO CONTINUE MY CAUSE AND QUEST. I KNOW IT'S A BIG ORDER, BUT COULD YOU DELIVER TO ALL PEOPLE THE ABILITY TO SEE BEYOND RACIAL, ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL PREJUDICES AND ALLOW THEM TO SEE THAT ALL OF GOD'S CHILDREN ARE CREATED EQUAL AND ARE LOVED IN HIS EYES?

ALSO, I HAVE A LITTLE SISTER THAT IS A GOOD BASKETBALL PLAYER AND I HAVE ENJOYED PLAYING WITH HER. I'LL BE LEAVING FOR A DIFFERENT LEAGUE NEXT YEAR...SO WOULD YOU BRING HER MY "WOW" FACTOR, PLAYMAKING ABILITIES AND SKILL TO HIT FROM ANYWHERE ON THE COURT...SO SHE CAN LEAD OUR TEAM TO CONTINUED GREAT SUCCESS? SHE'S GOT A TON OF TALENT AND THESE ADDITIONAL GIFTS JUST MIGHT MAKE HER THE BEST GUARD IN THE LAND NEXT YEAR.

#23
lOUISVILLE, KY

( Shoni's letter was delivered at break-neck speed, driving between two defenders and tossed without looking, behind her back into Santa's mailbag.)

We here at CARDINAL COUPLE wish you the best of the holidays and hope you dreams and wishes come true.

paulie

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE -- The Buffs got Schimmeled



SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Shoni goes for 30 in Louisville's 69-62 win

- Jenny wins prediction and quiz events



Photo courtesy of Charlie Springer - UofLCardGame.com
On an afternoon when the Cardinals had a terrible day shooting, a first half of play with terrible calls from the refs, and a technical on Coach Jeff Walz, the Cards found a way to get the win.  The final score was 69-62 , Shoni Schimmel with 30 of those points. 

The question going into this game was if Brittany Wilson of Colorado could shut Shoni Schimmel down again this year.   Last year, in Colorado, Shoni was held scoreless in the first half and held to 4 for the day.  We talked about it on the radio on Saturday morning, and we all agreed, Shoni would not be shut down again.  Shoni responded loud and clear with 30 points, only one trey on the day, and going 13-16 from the free throw line, all with only one turnover.   The Cardinals needed every one of her points today to secure the win. It was more free throws attempted and made than Shoni had on the books for the season. She, Tia and Asia were 19-23 from the line. The others? 5-17. Ugh... 

The game was much closer than I anticipated.  The greatest lead for either team was 6 points, in what would be a back and forth game that was very intense during the first half. 

While I believe refs do not win or lose games for a team, they certainly can affect a game.  The first half was terribly officiated with the bigger Buffs all over the backs of the rebounding Cards.  Coach Walz was hot and in the ear of the female ref constantly.  That Coach did not get T’d up until late in the first half is the real surprise here.  I believe the technical on Walz was certainly warranted, but the refs left him no choice with the lack of calls.  The technical worked. The crowd went wild and was the loudest I can remember it in a long time, and the Cardinals closed the half on a 9-0 run after the technical. 

Bria Smith had a very good first half of play having huge success with her mid range jumper.  Heading in to the second half, we saw the Bria we are used to,  slashing towards the basket, and ending up on the free throw line.  Her first half was much more successful.   Bria shot an abysmal 5-12 from the line. 

Tia Gibbs found a way to contribute mightily for her team, even though she could not get her offense going.   Tia had great effort on the boards pulling down 8 rebounds.   She contributed on the defensive end when she could not get her shots to fall, getting 1 blocked shot and 2 steals. Her performance is an excellent example of finding ways to contribute other than with points.  She, however, was also a bright spot at the free throw line hitting all 3 attempts. 

Louie's mascot pals showed up to celebrate his birthday
While the Cardinals continued to outwork their opponent on the boards, two very recent successful areas for the Cards were not present today.  Ball movement and passing has been talked about a lot recently here at Cardinal Couple.  We have been lauding the team for their excellent passing, especially from the post players.  That was not as evident today.  Which brings me to my next point, which is assists, only 5 on the day.  Of course, it is hard to get an assist when shots aren’t falling.   The Cardinals shot a season low 33.8% for the day. 

I am proud of the Cardinals for getting the win today.  However, I think they are lucky this one ended up in the win column.  Anytime you leave 16 points on the floor (free throw shooting), you are going to be lucky to get the win.  It was a terrible day at the line for many of the Cardinals today.  Absolutely terrible.  I know Coach Walz talks about it all the time.  I am not sure when it will change for this team.  It is embarrassingly bad. 

The Cardinals close the out of conference slate of the schedule 12-1.  They are 4-1 against ranked opponents.  While there have been a couple of nail biters and overtime games, the Cardinals have found ways to win in tough situations.  It is a great start to a season of Unfinished Business, but there is much work to do. 

The team has time off until Dec. 26.  Many were catching flights home by days end on Saturday.   We here at Cardinal Couple wish the players and coaches safe travels and a very happy holiday season.

The Cardinals will open AAC play next week against SMU.   They will be back at it again on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 3:00 pm at The YUM Center.   We hope to see you there. 
 
In the meantime, Happy Holidays!

 
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In a preseason write up, I predicted a lone loss going in to conference play.  Looks like I did a fine job in those picks, the only loss coming to Kentucky (as predicted).  How did you do?  Let us know in the comment section. 

Jenny O'Bryan

editor's notes...

- I predicted the cards would fall three times, so i was out of the running. i don't recall what Worldwide came up with...but jenny is on a streak lately...defeating Worldwide in the radio show quiz yesterday also. 

- 1-10 from three-point range was distressing... but Colorado didn't fare much better, going 3-12 from the deep. Stellar defense? Nah...just poor shooting.

- Party foul!  The mascots DID NOT play their annual mascot game at halftime. Zumba instead. Really? On Louie's Birthday? Sticks and coal in Louisville Marketing's stocking for this Homer Simpson move. 

- I did ask coach Walz what he said to draw the "T". He responded with..."What? Paul, you didn't hear me? I thought I was plenty loud." Based on how the team responded, I think Walz should continue to get "teed" up in all close games. Just a thought...

- The other highlight of the presser came from the incomparable Bob Domine, who point blank asked Walz about the lack of any top 25 schools left on the Cards schedule. Walz got a puzzled look on his face and then mentioned to Bob that he thought UConn was a fairly good team. The room erupted in laughter. Yep...


- Paulie


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The latest CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR broadcast is now up on the SOUNDCLOUD and you can give it a listen at the link below!

WHO LIVES CLOSEST TO SANTA CLAUS?

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