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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Duke Devils the Cards

Duke Devils the Cards

Duke's starters got the job done when the Cards came to visit in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  All five Duke starters ended in doubt digits, and no bench points were registered by the Devils as they defeated the Cards 66-58.

Another Slow Start

It was yet another slow start for the Cards squad.  Finishing the first half with only 19 points, the only saving grace here is that Duke's offense was also stymied by a stiff defense so they ended the half with only a six point lead.  There were a few weaknesses in the Cards defense, however.  Duke was able to use their size to drive baseline and get a few easy shots from inside the paint, but otherwise, both teams had a difficult time getting any real offense going.

Despite some sloppy ball handling, the Cards actually came out of the first half with fewer turnovers than Duke (11-13), but Duke's size gave them a distinct advantage in the paint (18-10).  I always like to look at the ratio of assists to turnovers, and this fraction was not a pretty one for the Cards with only three assists compared to 11 turnovers.  Again, the bright side is that Duke fared little better with five assists versus 13 turnovers.  Where the Duke size also helped them tremendously, was in rebounding in the first half, claiming a 21-13 advantage on the boards.

Shooting percentages for the Cards in the first half were just atrocious.  Under 30% field goal shooting, under 15% shooting from beyond the arc, and 50% from the charity stripe is not going to win you many awards, or many games, for that matter.

Second Half Improvement

As is typical for this Cards team, the second half was an improvement...though it wasn't all that much of an improvement this time around.  The shooting percentages were marginally better, with around 40% for field goals, both outside and inside the arc, and technically the Cards can claim 100% Free Throw shooting, but that was only a single opportunity, so its not terribly relevant.

The assists to turnover numbers looked much better in the second half with 12 assists (on 16 made baskets) to only 4 turnovers.  Unfortunately, it took 41 shots to get those 16 baskets, again not a ratio that's going to get you to the win column very frequently.  Overall, it was 15 assists on 23 baskets versus 15 turnovers.  The difference, I think, in this game versus most of other games is that we weren't getting clean looks.  Duke was able to contest just about every shot we to their height and size which let them stay a step back and still alter shots.

Worldwide's Individual Player Analysis

How about game high assist leader Emmonnie Henderson with four?  She also pilfered a couple of balls, and only turned it over once, so let's chalk this one up as a good game for "E".

Sarah Hammond generally played well in the game, with a team high 17 points, a pair of assists and a blocked shot.

Otherwise, there's not a great deal to cheer for, here.  Mariya Moore drained some clutch 3's, the only player to shoot decently from beyond the arc with Jude only hitting two of eight.

Ariana Freeman got five minutes of playing time...because not much else was working, why not give the freshman a shot?  Only a single stat for the Virginian, a steal, but also no turnovers and she played cleanly with some solid defensive pressure, so let's call it a good showing for a player that hasn't seen all that much court time this year.

Shawnta' Dyer just didn't have a good outing at all, going 1-4 from the free throw line for her only point and not much else to her credit in this game.  Honestly, though, I'll take Dyer's performance over Jude Schimmel's first half effort.  While it doesn't show on the stat sheet, it was clear that her head just wasn't in the game in the first half, though she did have a better presence in the second half.

Up  Next

The Cards get a good opportunity to put this one behind them on Sunday at 2pm when Pitt comes calling in the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville will look to gain their 20th. win of the season against a Pitt Squad that gave the Cards all the wanted in the Jan. 6th matchup in "The Pete" before the Cards escaped with a 63-57 win.  



  1. I would love to see Duke in Greensboro without Ms. Ponytail. She is simply an awful official. It was so obvious she was biased towards Duke especially in the 2nd half. How that was not a flagrant on Hammond was ridiculous. She killed our momentum time after time giving Duke bail out calls.. But the girls have got to stop with these slow starts

    1. Refs didn't determine the ballgame. There players were better at making shots.

    2. No, the refs didn't determine the outcome. But how Dee Kant"ref"ner continues to get such high profile games boggles my mind. She is a showboat. The game is about the players, not her. She is too animated during games and it should be embarassing to her. She is one of the worst officials in the game.

  2. Attendance at Cameron Indoor was 5790 with a capacity of 9314. Our last home game v. Syracuse was 8387. Wouldn't it be fun to end the season with our average home attendance figure being larger than the capacity of Cameron Indoor?

  3. Aside from one very unhappy tweet from me last night, my bright spot tweet was Emmonnie's 4 assists. Great minds think alike, Worldwide. So proud of E for this stat line.

    If you listened to Coach Walz's radio show last week, he indicated he gets a lot of email, and had questions from the crowd, about E. He indicated she gets pulled because every time she touches the ball, she shoots. In the Syracuse game she had 7 shot attempts in 7 minutes, and Mariya did not take that many the whole first half. He stated he sat her down with film, and she understood. She told him "I just get so excited and caught up in the moment". He told her he wants her to get so excited to pass the ball.

    4 assists for E I hope was the turning point for her. She has great hands, a nice touch around the rim. Her passing can be a thing of beauty. Let's hope he praised her for the effort and sharing of the ball. Was their a post game presser? I would love to know what he said.

    1. No post game comments expect on the post game radio show with Matt Andrews. Walz did show a little love for "E" in those.

      The slow starts do need to end. The Cards will suffer especially against Notre Dame and UNC if they persist. A lot of it is because the players aren't following the game plan. And, of course, making shots. The Cards weren't hitting contested shots early on last night and any paint attempts were getting block more often that we've seen this year because of Duke's interior height and tight zone.

      Obviously, hitting mid-range jumpers will solve these woes if the Cards face this type of zoning again (and they undoubtably will). The question is, who will step up that can make these mid-range jumpers. Bria was having an off-shooting night. Mariya, Sara...maybe Jude?

      Walz has several days to work on it before Pitt. The one thing he can't secure is a guarantee of player's ability to hit a mid-range jumper. Those 12-15 footers can be tricky and if the inside game isn't producing the points (like was evident last night)...the Cards could be in store for some rough shooting percentages.

      The loss...while disheartening...isn't that big of an upset in terms of things. Duke plays well in Cameron and they took the Cards out of the transition game.


  4. To be honest with you, I was very disappointed with the performance, but, in retrospect, I never really anticipated this good of a season when it began. I guess I should be happy it has turned out as well as it has. Go Cards.

  5. What's the old saying?...Sometimes you eat the Bear and sometimes the Bear eats you. We got eaten last night. That said we had our chances. If we just could have dropped a couple shots at critical times we'd have been right there. Missing the bunnies & free throws continues to kill us. Jude's 0 for 6 on threes when it mattered hurt and I agree with a prior commenter that she just didn't seem as on top of things as usual. Walz pulled her after a particularly bad cross court pass that ended up being a turnover. It was her only turnover for the game but it was really ugly. She'd been playing over 35 minutes in the last several games and only logged 24 minutes which tells me Walz was less than happy with her game last night. Dienes didn't play at all which is an ominous sign for her. Putting Freeman in for five minutes instead of Megan sends a message.

    I also agree with a prior commenter that the forearm / elbow to the face that Sara took on what was basically a breakaway was an obvious flagrant. I rarely second guess Walz but I was surprised he didn't make a huge deal about it at the time. Would have been the perfect time to get T'd up and try to get the kids motivated.

    They were just better than us last night. Their length hurt us. This was a perfect opportunity for Vails & Dyer to make a statement against their size and they just didn't. As noted by others, E had a good outing but also missed some bunnies that we needed. I like her assists too but 1 for 5 from five feet and closer isn't an epic showing. At least she didn't seem intimidated like some of our other kids.

    Learn and move on...

  6. This is a learning point right now, lost some great players who were big last year. Lost to another great team, bad calls good calls, missed shots all are going to happen, we were with in striking distance but Chit happens. Competing in a rebuilding era we are doing good. I just hope Louisville comes back to Spokane ;-) They are holding playoffs there right? Jude going playing last year in NW would be awesome!

    1. Louisville (and Arizona State) wouldn't be able to host because of scheduling conflicts in the home venues. Although the majority of Cardinal fans in this area would probably be disappointed that Louisville would not be playing in an area around Louisville... if Spokane is where the Cards end would create a great scenario in Spokane. Time will tell. Still half the conference schedule and ACC Tournament to go through.


    2. Shoni was selected to NBA AllStar celebrity game btw

  7. Paulie, I'm afraid we'll be searching for those mid-range jumpers until next season. Smith has had "off-shooting nights" her whole career and that isn't going to miraculously change. She's a driver, not a jump shooter. Sara is the best (and maybe only) mid-range shooter on the team. Nobody can create a shot on her own.

    I was pleased by the effort but this is just not a good shooting team. Hard to beat a good team when you can't make any outside shots.

    I was pleased with "E"'s passing and rebounding. Can't fault her too much on the missed inside shots - they were pretty good shots that were contested by bigger players.

    Isn't that two straight games where Deines doesn't play? Is she injured?

    1. Mike D I agree wholeheartedly about our deficient mid-range shooting as well as 3 pointers. Jude dropped a few but not when we needed them most in the first half. Jude's shots clang off the basket when they miss. Mariya's missdx are real ugly, though she did drop about 4 in succession. I wonder how much upside their will be for Mariya through her career here. Her shot is funky with a low release point.

    2. All we heard in the preseason at this site and others was that Bria's midrange jumper had improved tremendously and that the Cards were going to be an inside scoring team. When they finally faced someone who tested both of these, neither showed up.

      If Louisville gets out of February 4-3, I'll be happy.

      Curtis Franklin

  8. I don't think Megan is hurt. She's played three minutes in the last three games.

    Miami - 2 minutes
    Syracuse - 1 minute
    Duke - DNP

    She played 9 minutes vs FSU when she had the unfortunate air ball on that three at the end of the game that would have tied it. Hope she gets another shot at contributing.

    It's impossible not to like E's game and attitude. Walz wouldn't have an issue with her shot selection if she was making most of them. Like any game plan if you deviate from it you'd better be making the shots you take outside the plan. If not it's on you. I think that's the issue with E & Walz. If she was dropping the majority of the shots she's taking he wouldn't have a problem with it. She just isn't.

    We're just not a great outside shooting team this year, but that's not news. If we were even a good free throw shooting team instead of being last in the ACC our W / L record would be different right now. No excuse to not hit free throws at the college level. We used to call it Basic Basketball. If we had hit our free throws in any of our losses it's likely a different outcome. Luckily for us many of the teams we play are lousy at them too.

    I like Bria but she's a head's down baller as noted by another commenter. Depending upon the game she is either great or not. I agree that it will not change for her. Her game could survive in the AAC, in the ACC not so much.

    I'm not particularly discouraged by this loss. Jude hits 1 or 2 of her first six threes, we hit free throws at a reasonable rate, we get a flagrant on the Sara face hatchet job and we probably have a different outcome.

  9. One of Jude's made threes at the end looked like it was from about 28 feet. Maybe she just needs to move out farther and she'll start knocking them down...


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