Friday, January 3, 2014
Friday Cardinal Couple --- Nita Slaughter is back !!!
FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
Senior wing Nita Slaughter has been cleared to practice and play the remainder of the season by doctors. Jeff Walz broke the news in a press conference today, stating that Slaughter participated in practice Thursday, will practice today and will dress for the Saturday game vs. Cincinnati at 2 p.m. Saturday.
It is surprising...but great news for the Cards. The leader in three-point percentage for the Cards is back
Nita is back !!
Slaughter was sidelined initially because a blood clot was found in her lungs and the use of blood-thinners prevents an athlete from competition. The most recent scans taken at the Mayo Clinic were clean of the previously seen blood clot in her lung and no further treatment is needed, therefore clearing her to play. After her full evaluation, the treating physicians are confident in her clearance at this point. She has returned to team practices and will be able to return to games once deemed ready by the coaching staff. "I am excited about returning to the court," said Slaughter. "After being away the last month, I realized how much I love the game of basketball. I am grateful for the opportunity to return and being able to contribute to my team. I am looking forward to competing with my team and picking up where we left off last year."
Walz said Slaughter was referred by doctors at Jewish Hospital to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where she underwent extensive tests that all returned within the normal range for heart activity. The tests also showed no trace of the blood clot, and no further treatment is needed. Walz said she has been taken off all medications.
"We've had some great news on Antonita," Walz said. "As of (Thursday), Antonita has actually been cleared to play. . . . We're thrilled to have Antonita back. But more importantly, we're thrilled that she's okay. What took place on Dec. 3 was probably the scariest moment that I've been involved with in college coaching. To see her now back, smiling, and in good health, is what we're most concerned about and most excited about."
Walz said Slaughter could play a few minutes in Saturday's 2 p.m. home game against Cincinnati, "depending on situations, just to get her a chance to get back out there, depending on how she's feeling" and that her return will be gradual.
Walz said both Slaughter and her teammates were excited at practice on Thursday.
"She was absolutely thrilled, relieved, just, you know, it's a situation for a month you're just doing extensive tests, EKGs, looked at her heart, and everything came back and looked great," Walz said. "It's not something that was taken lightly, by no means. We've gone to the best of the best. They've consulted with others after looking at all the tests and results, and believe that she's good to go."
Walz said he'd just judge her ability to play moving forward based on what he sees in practice. He said that he'll proceed cautiously, and he has that luxury.
Slaughter is the team's fifth-leading scorer at 9.3 points per game, and she is the Cardinals' most consistent three-point shooter. She started 30 of 38 games during U of L's national runner-up season last year, averaging 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 36 percent from three-point range, and making the All-Final Four team.
"It's going to take a while. It's not something where she'll just jump back and play 25 or 30 minutes a game," Walz said. "She's gone an entire month with no activity. You can't take a month off and then expect to jump back into college athletics at this level. We're fortunate, we play Saturday, then we have a week off. So she'll get some time to get some conditioning in. But what's really exciting for our program is the fact that we have a deep group. It's not something that she's going to have to be pressed to get right back out there. We're going to be able to take our time and get her in as we see fit."
- A few AAC and Cardinal WBB stats
Here's a few numbers for the AAC and UofL nationwide:
UCONN 14-0 2-0 won last 14
Louisville 14-1 2-0 won last 7
Rutgers 10-2 1-0 won last 6
SMU 10-3 1-1 lost last 1
UCF 8-5 1-1 lost last 1
Temple 7-5 1-1 lost last 1
USF 6-7 1-1 won last 1
Memphis 7-6 0-1 lost last 1
Cincy 7-6 0-2 lost last 2
Houston 4-9 0-2 lost last 2
Houston @ Rutgers
Cincy @ LOUISVILLE
UCF @ Temple
UConn @ Memphis
USF @ SMU
Rutgers @ Cincy
Houston @ UConn
Temple @ USF
Memphis @ SMU
Defensive Scoring (per game)
#2 UConn 47.5
#9 Rutgers 53.8
#14 TCU 54.9
Offensive scoring (per game)
Rebounding Margin (per game)
#11 Louisville +12.5 48.5 -36.0
#19 Louisville 18.5
#24 Louisville 11.1