Thursday, January 8, 2015
Mid-term assessment for WBB -- Thursday Cardinal Couple
#6 Cards Doing Much Well But Room To Improve
The University of Louisville WBB squad has played 15 games so far in the 2014-15 season. Yes, fans...we've reached the halfway point of the regular season schedule...and the Cards stand at 14-1 and are #6 in the nation. And, tied for #1 in the ACC.
There is a lot to be impressed with so far. How many of you saw this team at 14-1? Raise your hand. How many of you with those hands still up thought the two leading scorers would be freshmen so far? Keep 'em up if you did. Finally, how many of you with hands still in the air thought this team...with four main scorers from last year would be averaging 80 points a game? And how many thought we would lose to UK in the KFC YUM! Center this year?
I don't see any hands left in the air.
Based on the record and ranking so far, the Cards are easily in the top 10% of the NCAA WBB squads this season and we'll give them an "A" for their first semester.
A recent CARDINAL COUPLE POLL indicated to us that 50% of you that voted considered Mariya Moore the MOP of the season so far. We'll not disagree...she has been impressive. She leads the team in scoring, has made the most threes (25) and is a 75% free throw shooter. She's also the team leader in assists with 55. She sits at the top of our class and gets an "A".
We'll hand out two more "A" grades also...to Jude Schimmel and Shawnta' Dyer. Jude's efforts aren't always the type that stuff a stat sheet...but she is the floor leader, ball controller and leads Louisville in steals (39). She's only averaging two turnovers a game in 26 minutes average court time. Shawnta's numbers are quite impressive for the amount of time she sees. Second in total rebounds, second in blocks and shooting 50% from the floor. She averages seven points a game in 16 minutes. Imagine where those numbers might be if she was getting 25 minutes.
We'll hand out four "B" grades to this squad...
-Sara Hammond. Fourth in scoring (10.7), now leading in rebounding per game (6.1) and almost 70% from the charity stripe. If she makes a few more two footers, especially early in games...we'll consider an "A" for the final grade.
Early fouls also need to decrease.
- Bria Smith. She's scored two more points than Hammond on the season (161) and has the only triple-double of the year. She defense can be quite good and she's over 50% from the floor. More successful mid-range jumpers will get her an "A".
- Myisha Hines-Allen. She started with a bang this season and is Louisville's second leading scorer. Although she's struggled a bit of late...as other team's have figured out how to defend her...we're impressed with this freshman. We'd like to see less fouls and more rebounding.
- Arica Carter. A slow start for this freshman but has really picked up the pace. As with Jude, a lot of what she does isn't stat material...but she's blazingly quick, passes well and the mid-range jumper is deadly at times. She is 0-10 from the trifecta arc, though...improvement needed there.
Earning "C" grades for this team are four players:
- Emmonnie Henderson. She's been great in spurts at times and then there are the brief appearances where you wonder if she's playing for the opponent. "Buying in" to the team concept means learning the scout and demonstrating that on the court. A more consistent effort raises this grade.
- Megan Deines. A valuable contributor off the bench...
Deines can hit the three, create with passing and get out on the break. Her rebounding (1.5 a game), free throw shooting (46%) and defensive aggressiveness could all use a overhaul, though.
- Sherrone Vails. Limited in playing time, Sherrone does what she can in her playing time and is still feared as a shot-swatter and shooting 50%. "Bigs" get fouled, though and her free throw % is only 61%. "Bigs" need to rebound also and her 33 grabs in 113 court minutes could improve.
- Arianna Freeman. Another who hasn't seen a bunch of minutes and it's difficult to judge just what she can do and how well it can be done so far. 2 for 13 from the floor isn't impressive but those stats could improve with time added on the court. Average, so far, in other game aspects and that gets her a "C". Give her a few more dribbles when you can, Jeff.
We're giving Cortnee Walton a "incomplete" since she saw so little action and is out now with injury. She probably would have graded out with a "B"...in professor Paulie's opinion...but four games just isn't enough to decide. Heal well, Arizona Archangel...
The second semester will be a lot tougher learning curve for
this team. Replacing GCU, Belmont, ODU and Lafayette with Duke, UNC, Notre Dame and Fla. St. means the wins will not come as easily (if there are wins against these four) and the stats could drop as the competition increases.
We'd be happy to see this 2014-15 team get through ACC play with a conference record of 12-4. We'd be thrilled to see Louisville go 8-0 in January...trips to Wake Forest and Florida State will be challenging, though. And Syracuse visits in January. They are to be feared.
14 games left... seven in the YUM!, seven on the road. Eight of them on national or regional TV. Three of them ESPN2 games.
They've reached the halfway point in the race and the Cards are looking good so far, among the leaders and strong on the approach. We'll see how this race is looking when the contenders hit the top of the stretch in February.
Don't forget to e-mail us your pick in our January CARDINAL COUPLE CONTEST. This month the contest is...
How many points will Mariya Moore score in January? Your prize is a CARDINAL COUPLE T-SHIRT!!! (and the respect and admiration of the staff chimps here at CC). Regular reader The Real Joe Hill is going with 110.
REMEMBER WE NEED YOUR SELECTION IN BY JANUARY 14TH 1:00 PM