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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Monday Cardinal Couple -- The Tigers got Schimmeled



MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Shoni's nine threes "Schimmel" Memphis

- Annual Alumni game was fun to watch


Teammates mob Shoni after her 8th three ends the 1st half
Louisville Women’s Basketball tipped it off on Sunday afternoon against the Memphis Tigers.  We were hoping for a good solid 40 minutes of basketball, although we did not get that, it was an exciting win for the Cardinal squad.  The Cardinals win, 88-61. 

It was another slow start for the #5 team in the country.   Asia Taylor and Sara Hammond kept the Cards in it early, making strong moves in the paint and scoring all the early points in the first half.  Taylor had 8 of the Cardinals first 10 points, 6 coming from the free throw line. 

Shoni Schimmel had missed 4 straight shots before she found herself on the sidelines, watching her team.  With eight minutes left in the first half, Shoni reenters the game, and gives the Cards the BOOM that shut the door on the Tigers. 

The early success of the post players opened up some opportunities from the perimeter.  Like any good shooter, Shoni took advantage of it.  In a 3 minute span Shoni launched, and hit, 6 shots from beyond the arc.   Before the half was over she would go on a 9-9 shooting spree, 8 from beyond the arc, scoring 26 points.   

With 15 seconds left in the first half, Coach Walz called a time out, and drew up a play.  The Cardinals executed perfectly, to end the half with a Shoni 3, and a commanding 47-25 halftime lead.  (The first half ended with Shoni at 26, Memphis at 25.). 

WBB alumni take to the court at halftime ceremonies
Basketball is a game of two halves.  They did have to play the second half, though the game was over at halftime.  At times the second half was tough to watch with little offensive momentum due to a lot of hand checks and fouls.

The second half bright spot was Emmonnie Henderson.  Matching her career high of 14 points, she has put together back-to-back double-digit performances.  The freshman is putting it all together, and is seeing success.  Success breeds success, and I imagine it will fuel this young player to continue to condition and work hard to push through her fatigue.  Thinks are looking mighty good for the lone freshman on the squad. 

While Shoni stole the show, and rightfully so, there is much to celebrate in this win.
 
Tise Wright warms up for the Alumni game
~Shoni broke her own record of most 3’s made in a game (8), by matching that in the first half.  The second half provided one more three for the sharp shooter, breaking her own record, and setting a record for the school for the most 3’s in a game.  It was a dominant performance from Shoni.   Shoni was efficient, scoring 29 points on 10-16 shooting in 27 minutes of play. 

~ Jude is back!  The hobbled Schimmel played 16 minutes and looked good.  She did not show any signs of pain until late in the game when she was fouled and went down, apparently tweaking something.  Her speed was good and, to this observer, there were no lingering effects of the ankle sprain.  In 16 minutes of play Jude had 5 pts, 3 rebounds and most importantly, 4 assists.   She also had 2 steals and 2 turnovers.  A very nice return for Jude. 

~ Less dribbling, more passing.  The Cardinals had some very nice ball movement going on, specifically in the first half.  Apparently Coach Walz challenged the squad to dribble less, and pass more.  There were very crisp passes in to the post allowing for easy buckets, and nice perimeter passing.  It was a good effort on the day. 

Brandie Raddie drains a three in Alumni game
~ Sharing the ball.  With the directive to pass the ball, the assist numbers are piling up.  Shoni could not have set a school record 3’s, were it not for teammates passing her the ball.  Feeding the post with crisp passes, further tallies up the assists.  We will need to continue to see this kind of effort as the team moves in to the meat of the conference schedule.  Bria Smith led the Cardinals in the assist category with 6.  This is the 3rd game in a row where I have been impressed with Smith racking up the assists. 

While there is much to work on for this squad, it is hard to not be impressed with the best start in school history.  At 20-1 the Cardinals are sitting in the 5 spot in the country.  It is a good place to be.  However, with the season motto of Unfinished Business, the Cardinals still have quite a task ahead of them. 

The next obstacle in front of the Cards is a road trip to Rutgers on Tuesday, January 28.  Tip time is 9:00 p.m.   The rest of these conference games matter, and the Cardinals are going to need to care of business each and every outing, not becoming complacent.   As a regional host in the NCAA Tournament, winning out (except for UConn) will go a long way in securing a top spot in seeding.  

(Shoni, Sara and E talk about the win at the link below.) 

http://www.courier-journal.com/videonetwork/3109311158001/Shoni-Schimmel-talks-UofL-record-9-3-pointers 

(Jeff Walz on Shoni's efforts at the link below)

http://www.courier-journal.com/videonetwork/3109597229001/Jeff-Walz-on-Shoni-Schimmel-s-9-threes
 

jenny o’bryan


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The annual UofL WBB alumni game was staged after the contest and it was great to see some of the former stars of Louisville teams out there playing. Score really doesn't matter in a contest like this...and, as Jeff Walz commented as he finished up his media comments...defense wasn't going to be a priority.

Some of the participants that were out there included Candyce Bingham, Laura Terry (with hair!), Shelby Harper, Tise Wright, Brandie Raddie, Dez Byrd, Misty Smith, Kristen Maddox (Cox) and another dozen former Cardinals.

-Dez has not lost any of the intensity that she displayed when she was helping lead the Cards to their first FINAL FOUR trip. She still has the "look out I'm driving the middle and going to the hoop" move and it was successful a couple of times.

- Kristen Maddox, in my top five favorites of all time for WBB, drained a couple of threes and still motors up and down the court with speed. That unmistakable big smile is still present also.

- Brandie Raddie was also sinking the three-ball and leading the fast-break. She looks like she could step back out there and provide instant offense for the Cards.

-Shelby Harper...dashing here and there with that frantic Yorkie style, creating turnovers and setting up her teammates.

-A slimmed-down Tise Wright, banging the boards and hitting on follow ups and interior passes. Laughing a lot. Enjoying the game and the chance to be out with her teammates again.

-Asia Taylor taking over PA duties from Jared Stillman and, along with Nita Slaughter...providing a "AND 1" style of commentary...complimenting, taunting and exhorting the players.


It brought back some great memories. Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal.

paulie
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4 comments:

  1. Not much more can be said about Shoni. I've seen a lot of basketball games over the last 50+ years and if I have seen a more spectacular eight minutes I sure don't recall it.

    I am really impressed by Henderson's progress. As her conditioning has improved she has become a real force inside.

    If I may nitpick a bit, I'll focus on that pesky free throw shooting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've watched way more than my share of basketball games and played quite a few myself. I have never witnessed a performance like that. Had to go home and watch again just to make sure it really happened.

      I agree that "E" is coming along wonderfully but I wonder how her new body is going to translate to throwing the shot put. Hopefully she hasn't lost strength and has gained some speed so that maybe it won't affect her.

      Free throws and open lanes to the basket for easy lay ups is going to kill their chances if they don't do something about it before tourney play.

      Delete
  2. I will point out Asia and E went 10-10 from the charity stripe. 67.7%...although under the mandated Walz 70% or better...is OK. Megan and Bria were 4-10.

    Shoni's eight minutes were spectacular and if she isn't All-American this season...then they need to re-evaluate how they choose the team.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shoni got player of the week from ESPN. Good Stuff. Nice write up.

    http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10357095/louisville-cardinals-shoni-schimmel-espnw-player-week

    Pretty good restart for Jude. Here's hoping she found her shooting touch during her recuperation. I was impressed with Henderson's comments in the "Quotes" section of the Card Site. Clearly maturing and stating how she needs to continue to do so if the Cards are to have a shot at a national title. I like how she thinks. She also has that no BS aura and confidence of a winner. Someone that you want in the game when the chips are down. She's gonna be a good one before it's all over.

    If we can buckle down and take care of business at Rutgers we've got a legit shot at running the table with the exception of UConn. We're probably going to need some help though to score a One Seed for the tourney though.

    The ND / Maryland tussle tonight will be a good one. The Terps have a legit shot at taking the Irish down. I don't see Duke winning out. If they get beat a couple of times in ACC league play (which could easily happen) we've got a shot at bumping them out of their One Seed.

    It's crunch time.

    ReplyDelete

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