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Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Off the bench" Hines-Allen and Smith key 68-55 Cards win over Miami -- Monday Cardinal Couple

18-3 run to start second half lifts Louisville over Hurricanes

Jeff Walz shook up the starting lineup against the Miami Hurricanes Sunday afternoon, inserting freshman Arica Carter and red-shirt senior Shawnta' Dyer into starting roles and bringing freshman Myisha Hines-Allen and senior Bria Smith off the bench.

At first, it didn't look like such a great idea. The "U" jumped out to a 7-2 on the Cards in the first four minutes of the first half and led 11-2 after a Jessica Thomas jumper at the 15:54 mark. That brought both Smith and MHA into the contest...but, thanks to the marksmanship of Miami's Adrienne Motley...the Canes' were still up 15-4 a minute later. 

The Cards weren't handling the Miami dribble-drive very well and could hit inside or out. Hines-Allen and Smith got into the rhythm after Emmonnie Henderson joined the action, though and Louisville ran off a 8-0 run over the next four minutes...HInes-Allen getting three straight baskets inside. It was 15-12 with 10:37 to go and Louisville looked alive and ready to take over.

It didn't happen right then for UofL, though...Miami regrouped and retaliated with a 12-2 run and after a Michelle Woods steal from Dyer and was 27-14 'Canes with six minutes left in the half. 

A questionable foul on Carter at the 6:04 mark drew Walz's outrage and a subsequent technical foul. Miami was unable to convert the resulting three free throws, however and Louisville went to work. 

The Cards started whittling away at the UofM lead...a Jude three and two "E" scores had Louisville back in the contest at 29-25 with three minutes remaining. Henderson would make it 29-27 with an inside score with 2:11 showing on the clock...but the Cards failed to score the rest of the way and Miami took a 31-27 lead to halftime. 

Hines-Allen was leading the Cards with 12 points and
Louisville got strong seven minutes from "E" and six points. Mariya Moore was still scoreless after playing 18 of the 20 minutes, though...and a ineffective Sara Hammond had a zero in the point total after seven minutes, no rebounds and two turnovers. 

The Cards were having a hard time stopping guard Adrienne Motley, who had 14 first-half points on 6 for 8 shooting. 

Louisville came out strong to begin the second stanza, though and ran off on a 9-0 run in the first 3 1/2 minutes to grab a 36-31 lead when Dyer scored in the paint. Woods tried to stop the bleeding for the "U" by hitting a three..but Louisville responded with another 9-0 blast and held a 47-34 advantage after a Moore "3". 

9:43 showed on the clock and it looked like the Cards had put this one out of danger. The game got pretty physical the rest of the way...Miami doing a lot of bumping, showing and hard fouling to try and get back in the contest...but the team played the rest of the way to a 21-21 tie. 

Smith, Hines-Allen and Moore took over the Cardinal scoring, those three responsible for those final 21 UofL points. The Cards record their 18th win and sixth in the ACC 68-55. 

Louisville shot 55% in the second half (11-20) and 44.4% for the game. The Cards took the points in the pain category (30-18), points off turnovers (17-14) and created 17 turnovers while committing 16. UofL held a whopping 42-12 bench scoring advantage and had 10 second chance points to Miami's three. 

Miami committed 11 fouls (that were called, anyway...if officials Edward Sidlasky, Joe Cunningham and Dan Outlaw had been watching the flagrant bumps and elbows of the Cane players...they could have added 11 more) in the final eight minutes and had a 23 to 13 foul total count advantage. 

Louisville was able to sink 18-28 free throws for the night...all of them in the second half. 

Louisville was led by Hines-Allen's 23 points on 10-11 shooting. Moore had all her 13 points in the final twenty minutes and Smith also added 13 for the Cards. Shawnta' Dyer closed out the UofL double figure producers with 10.

Only two other Cards put points on the stat sheet. Henderson's six first half points and a three from Jude in the first half. Hammond played 21 minutes and contributed four rebounds while going 0-3 from the floor and 0-2 from the charity stripe. Carter provided 15 minutes, an assist and a steal. Megan Deines saw just two the first half...leaving the game after a getting a hard slam from Miami's Jassamy Williams that resulted in a missed shot and no call from the zebras. 

A good win against a hard-nosed, physical team that has a bona-fide star in Motley. Credit the Cards defense for holding her to just four second half points. 9887 turned out for the contest on a day where the Louisville men's team was playing in Pittsburgh on national TV in a 4 p.m. start.

In a game where Hammond had a limited role after carrying the team in the loss to Florida State, it was Hines-Allen and Smith who responded with strong efforts from the bench after rough outings at FSU. 

Walz explained the lineup change and success as "Myisha getting mad because she didn't get the start and responding and Bria watching because of her tendency to get off to poor starts." 

If MHA is good for 23 points in 29 minutes off the bench, let her watch the first four minutes next to Walz the rest of the season... 

The homestand continues Thursday when Quentin Hillsman brings the dangerous Syracuse Orange into town for a 7 p.m. tipoff. 



  1. Really wish this team would find a way to play a 40 minute game. I guess it's good to know we can play terrible for nearly an entire half and still win, though. Hopefully Jude is 100% by Thursday.. Megan with only 2 minutes today! Ouch! She has got to play better for us.

  2. Glad to know that I was the only one that didn't notice Miami being overly physical. I saw a bunch of elbows thrown up high. One of Miami's player even swung at Sara on the Bria tie-up in the 2nd half.

  3. I keep waiting for "E" to get more minutes. I understand that Walz will yank her immediately for certain transgressions - he did the same thing to Hammond her freshman year and, to an extent, her sophomore year. But when I see those rebounds and outlet passes that ignited our first-half run, I want more.

    A good win against a tough, physical opponent.

    1. I am real over seeing E ( 6 points 6 rebounds in a very few minutes of play) get benched by Jeff when I see others with as many if not more game imperfections that do not receive the same Public A** Chewing.

      No matter the justifications that Jeff makes, after awhile, the public beheadings become more detrimental than beneficial.

    2. Walz wants her out there more but she has to get over the urge to shoot the ball every time she gets her hands on it in the offensive set. She got up seven shots in seven minutes Hines-Allen scored 23 points on 11 shots.


    3. Re Emmonnie:
      Do you REALLY want to go there (where E taking shots (0 turnovers) and not instead passing away the ball (3 turnovers)?
      Ok, let’s do that. E often is the alternate player to Sara, not Hines-Allen so I will look there.

      Most often E received the ball down under the basket, after working to get herself in an open position (like Dyer does) rather than receiving it 10-20 feet away from the basket so I personally think the need to pass would be greater out away from the basket.

      E was 3-7 with one shot taken at last second of the ½ and another miss was rebounded by E and put back in. (a little close to one of those good free throw misses that Jeff talks about). Sara was 0-4 which included another missed 3 point attempt.
      Sara while not “always” taking the shot but instead passing managed to throw the ball away 3 times to 0 turnovers for E. So throwing the ball away is being read as better than shooting too often, yes?

      Sara did have 4 rebounds in that 21 minutes but E had 6 in her 7 minutes.

      In the alternative as I really am not trying to pick on Sara, we could also look at the stats for Dyer (the other equivalent to E’s position) who played 23 minutes. Her 3-6 FG and 4 – 6 FT amounted to 10 points and did have a good game and should have had the playing time. She also had 8 rebounds 1 steal, 1 block and yes, 3 turnovers.

      In the alternative if we triple E’s playing time (she might have been on oxygen but these are possible stats, not reality) so we can better match stats for all 3 E would have produced 9 for 21 shots (43%) for 18 points compared to Shawnta’ 50% and 10 points and Sara’s 0% and 0 points.
      She would also have had 18 rebounds compared to the Shawnta 8 and Sara 4.

      I am pretty such that the actual use of stats in this case exposes something else going on besides E shooting too often. Maybe something else, but not shooting as I think all of us would have given her the game ball had she produced 18 points and 18 rebounds in 21 minutes of play.

      I fail to see anything in E’s play that warranted the focused rage that Jeff showed her and while in front of the fans as I think in the South we tend to think that dirty laundry needs to not have such public airings. Yes it was mentioned that Jeff did these types of things to Sara in earlier years. I did not and still do not see that as a positive either as it actually just looks like an uncontrolled temper tantrum which I don’t see Geno display on such a regular basis. Being tough is just not the same as throwing a tantrum and what I was saw was a tantrum.

      Do you see where the treatment to Sara in those years really helped? Really? Do you really think it is going to benefit E and in translation, the team? Really?

    4. You've got some good points. That said Walz is the one that said she needed to quit shooting every time she touched the ball. Check out the presser comments.

      Walz has been talking about the same issues with E since she hit town as a freshman. She wasn't in good enough shape for her entire first year. She's in better shape this year for sure, but the idea that if you triple her minutes her stats track her original production is wishful thinking. I really like her game too but she doesn't run the floor like the other bigs and I think Walz was straight up about that from day one.

      Sara had a bad game which isn't the end of the world. It happens. I think the idea that somehow Walz's coaching hasn't been good for Sara is a bit much. She was on all kinds of preseason potential award winner watch lists. I hardly think that his coaching has hurt Sara's development. It's hard to remember a baller that was better positioned going into her senior year than Sara. Of course she deserves most of the credit for that but to insinuate that somehow Walz's coaching has had a negative impact on her career is a bit much.

      What no one sees is how often the same message gets delivered to players throughout the season that fans don't see. I don't in any way support Walz "John Wayning" anyone and unnecessarily embarrassing them in front of the crowd but I'm sure there is a context to that exchange.

      E is tough and hard headed. So is Walz. Hopefully they find common ground. I actually think Walz likes her impact on the team and especially her potential but she's got to bring herself along and follow the plan. If she does she'll be a two year starter and a major force for the next couple years.

      I think if you look back at Auriemma's time at UConn you'll find that he was pretty much a complete and total wild man for much of his early career coaching the Huskies. That of course explains why he was so universally despised by the opposing coaches for so long. I'm thinking that by the time Walz is 61 years old like Geno is now he will have mellowed a bit.

  4. Nice to get the W! I liked Walz's coaching moves on the starting line up and getting T'd up intentionally to get the kids and the crowd more into the game. Our freshmen reappeared with a vengeance and we got flashes of the Bria of old. Good Stuff. I agree on E looking good too. If ACC play continues to be this physical we're going to need her strength and attitude as time goes on. Also thought Dyer had a really solid game with 8 boards and 10 points in only 23 minutes.

    We're thin thin thin at point guard. Hopefully Jude's ankle isn't too serious. Was disappointed that we didn't handle the half court trap better at the end and our free throw shooting trailed off towards the end also...but it's a Win. We'll take it.

  5. While the overall FT percentage was not great, they made almost all of the key ones. The late misses, while disappointing, occurred after the game was decided.

    Paulie, I agree that "E" takes too many shots. But she works her butt off to get into position to receive an entry pass, and I can't blame her too much for trying to score down low. Last night, if my memory is correct, she made three layups, including one on an offensive board after her own miss off a nice feed into the post. That's four shots, all good ones. Another miss occurred right at the end of the half on a rushed jumper. Can't really blame her for that one. She did take the one quick fadeaway, the shot that Walz complains about. I can't recall her other miss but I think it might have been a rushed inside shot.

    As I mentioned earlier, what really impresses me about her play is the way she can rip down a rebound and immediately throw the quick outlet pass.

    All of that said, Dyer is getting a lot of minutes that I thought "E" would get. And Dyer deserves every one of them. She's quietly efficient - all of a sudden you look up and she has 8-10 points and 6-8 rebounds.

    1. The other aspect to Dyer that she brings is her defense and shot blocking/altering ability. That's as big a contribution she makes as her offense.
      Goes unnoticed alot

  6. It's not that he doesn't want her to shoot the ball. He just doesn't want her to shoot it everytime it is in her hands. Other players are wide open when she's being double or triple teamed under the basket.

    1. I totally agree. She is actually a good passer and has exhibited that a few times.

  7. Do we anymore guards on the bench that can give Jude a breather besides Arica Carter? What's the scoop on Freeman

    1. Walz has been quoted as saying that she's not ready for this level of competition yet. Carter shows promise but she's not ready either.

    2. To me if Jude can't go for whatever reason you move Moore to the point. She already leads the club in assists and would be great there. To the extent Jude can still play a bit while healing she comes off the bench in limited minutes. Moves Carter back to the second point guard sub for now.

      Would have to backfill the 2/3 a bit, but with the solid play of Dyer now and E's improving game you can move bodies around. Still have Bria at the 2/3 and can bring Megan / Carter in also. Seems to me that Hammond, Dyer, Hines-Allen, E can handle the 4 & 5 slots between them.

      I thought Walz's presser comments were interesting concerning Sara. He wants her to play lower and indicated that he thought the physicality of the Miami game bothered her. She needs to be able to bang like the other three instead of moving outside when folks start beating on her.

      After seeing Megan & Jude both get smacked in the face with no foul calls vs Miami I think we sent a pretty good message that we can both take it and bring it. Really a good win.

    3. I wish Coach would let Arica play through some of her mistakes. He yanks her after one mistake and then berates her on the sideline. Her body language tells me that she doesn't respond well to that. When he does insert her back into the game, it has to be going through her head that she is going to get pulled as soon as she makes an error.

    4. He's tough. Same with E. I think he's tough on them because he knows how good these kids can be if they'd just listen and follow the game plan. Most of the really good coaches do the same. A good example would be Auriemma.

      As a kid that used to get yelled at a lot in similar situations when I played ball I finally got sick of it and asked the coach why he kept picking on me. He looked at me straight up and said "you don't need to worry when I yell at you because it means I still believe you have the talent and potential to be really good." He finished up with "when you really need to worry is when I stop yelling because that means I don't think you can ever get where your ability can take you". That lesson stuck with me for the rest of my life.

    5. I saw Walz yank Arica in person at the Cal game and noticed her body language was not good. I figured it was just an isolated game but wondered if that was still the case now since on TV its much harder to see how the players react after being pulled. He does pull a lot of people after a quick mistake. I'm glad he does alotof the time but surprised since his reputation in recruiting is to let you play through and make mistakes.

    6. BurnBrother .... I don't think Moore is a shifty or strong enough open court ball handler to play the point. Maybe once the set offense is set up but not bringing the ball up. Mariya has a lot of work to do on keeping her head up while dribbling. She has great vision and awareness but she is not a smooth ball handler.

    7. No doubt that Moore has some room to grow, but I don't see another good choice for point after Jude right now. Bria would be a distant second as the consistency just hasn't been there in my opinion. I wish Arica was a bit farther along in her game because I love her ball handling skills...passing not so much yet but that will come.

      As far as bringing the ball up the court it's been pretty interesting this year. On many occasions when we're facing full court man to man pressure, particularly when Jude has a strong, quick defender on her, we've been moving the ball to any number of kids to bring it up and it seems to have worked pretty well. We don't seem to have turnover problems with that kind of pressure. The zone presses have been a little bit different story. If I was scouting the Cards right now I'd throw full, 3/4 and / or 1/2 court zone pressure at them till they prove they can break it. The length & athleticism of Miami on that half court trap exposed us a bit. Something I imagine Walz will have them working on this week.

      Hopefully Jude's ankle is good to go so the entire discussion is moot.

  8. ^ Burn Brother, exactly. He use to yell at Megan like that. He doesn't much anymore. These kids HAVE to know how intense he is on the court. This is not a surprise to them.

    1. Do you really think the yelling at Megan has made a difference in where she is today as opposed to where she would be?

      I need to look up the definition of intense.

  9. I want to thank you all for your comments. One of the anticipations I have during the work day is getting home and seeing what our informative and intelligent readership base has provided for me to read, dissect, occasionally chuckle at and comment on. We are all great "Monday Morning Quarterbacks" after games and a lot of time that comments that you express on dead on with those that Coach Walz has covered. Either your camped out in his living room or you understand the game and the things that happen during it.

    The end of each contest brings us a whole new opportunity to discuss, analyze and reflect on what happened during the 40 minutes that these student-athletes were fighting for the red and black. I sometimes lose sight that they are teenagers and women in their twenties...and that, despite it is a game and the care and nurturing of these student-athletes is "Job #1"

    Coach Walz is a kind and caring person and I could fill up a week's worth of columns describing some of the amazing, unselfish and heartfelt efforts and actions he has done for these players, this fan base, our community and college basketball. He is also a very driven man in terms of seeing his players achieve their maximum potential and to be a part of a solid, united and dedicated group. He told me something a few year back...shortly after he arrived here...that I've never forgotten.

    " At the end of the day...long after the stats have been recorded, the outcome decided and the crowd has main concern is that these women I have learn how to be successful at life and realize that nothing is given to them and nothing develops without dedication and honesty."

    I may have paraphrased a few of the words here...after all, I'm rapidly becoming a senile old man...and my perceived third grade education level fails me at times...but it serves to me as a reminder that despite what you see on the sidelines and in the post game comments...he has been, is currently and always will be most concerned about these student-athletes being successful in life after college hoops. If it takes a little yelling, some brutal facts and encouragement on his part, let's remember that the end justifies the means.

    OK, I'm off the soapbox. Beat Syracuse. Welcome "Q"...the grand showstopper of sideline antics. A delightful combination of used car salesman, defense attorney, "B" movie actor, dance floor master and man of 1000 expressions. He's probably my third favorite WBB coach behind Walz and Doug Bruno.


  10. Hines-Allen, Louisville's second leading scorer, came off the bench for just the second time this season and added eight rebounds. Shawnta' Dyer started in place of Hines-Allen and scored 10 points and had eight rebounds.

    Since this "worked" so well with H-A abd Bria, Does this mean that Sara will not be starting Thursday?


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