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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sports Continue On -- Tuesday Cardinal Couple


Sports Continue On


Cardnation is smarting after two basketball losses over the weekend, but there is plenty of UofL sports to still be enjoyed this year. Both teams had incredible seasons despite the sad endings and it only fuels our enthusiasm for the 2015-16 season. Go Cards! In victory or defeat, these are our teams...

Softball


I have to be honest, while Coach Sandy Pearsall claims not to have expectations for the level of achievement of her team at this point in the season, I did, and they didn't include sitting on top of the ACC conference standings (tied with Florida State).  To be fair, with the exception of North Carolina, the conference matchups that the Cards have seen so far basically constitute the bottom third of the ACC rankings.  North Carolina, however, is sitting in 3rd place, immediately behind the Cards and Seminoles.

One of the main tests for the Ulmer-dwellers comes this week as UK comes to play Wednesday.  The Cats bring a 23-9 record with them, but only sporting a 3-6 record in the ever-impressive Softball SEC softball standings.  The Cards will make the return trip to Lexington on the 21st.

The other real test looming for these batters is the Florida State visit on April 11th-13th.

The winter weather has broken, and I can say with certainty that afternoons at Ulmer are, barring rain, an absolutely wonderful way to relax for a couple of hours.  Most contests don't have any admission costs, but do be aware that the UK game this Wed. does carry a $5 ticket price, though sitting on the outfield berm remains free of charge.

Lacrosse


The Lacrosse team continues to be stuck in 10th place in the national rankings and are tied with Syracuse for 5th place in the ACC with a 1-2 conference record.  Overall, the Louisville Laxers are sporting an 8-3 record.

They tangle with American this afternoon at 2 o'clock in Washington DC.  The Eagles bring in an 8-3 overall record, 1-3 in the Patriot League.  The fast scoring Cardinals hope to get another win tucked into their belt before returning to Floyd Street to welcome 2nd ranked North Carolina (3rd in the ACC) to town for what looks to be one of the toughest tests of Kellie Young's squad this year.  The cards are coming off another narrow and very competitive loss at what was then 4th-ranked Northwestern (they fell to 6th after beating us and losing to top-of-the-leaderboard Maryland...I still don't get where these ranking movements are coming from).

By the end of the season, UofL will have played 6 of the other 9 teams ranked in the top-10 right now, skipping only Maryland, and 8th and 9th ranked Florida and Stony Brook.  The rest of the top 10 are filled out with conference foes North Carolina, Boston College, Virginia, Duke and Syracuse, as well as the aforementioned Northwestern.  The Cards will also finish the regular season with a game at currently 17th place Notre Dame.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

So don't give up on Cardinal Athletics for the year, there is plenty more sports to be played, and with Spring making its long-awaited debut, its a great time of year to be a Card fan.

I'll see you on Floyd Street!

Basketball


OK, if you really must have some basketball news.



Three of the freshmen for the coming year are in Chicago in preparation for the McDonald's All-American game.  Sam Fuerhing, Taja Cole, and Asia Durr are all participating in the all-star game, but Cole and Durr were also tabbed to compete in the 3rd point shooting competition last night. Durr also participated in the skills competition.

You wanted some outside shooting, it looks like you're going to get it.  Asia Durr scored 16 points, including all of the 2 point bonus balls in her final round, to win the 3-point competition.

jmca

Cardinal Couple Pick 'Em Contest

The four teams headed to Tampa are UConn, Maryland, South Carolina and Notre Dame. They were all #1 seeds.

With three games left to play...here's how the leader board looks:

49-11   Sonja, Charlie McAdams and K. Starks

- Sonja and Charlie both have UConn and Notre Dame advancing to the final game. They also have UConn winning.
K. Starks has Notre Dame and UConn advancing...with the Irish winning. If Charlie and Sonja end up in a tie, we'll go to a points scored decision. Charlie predicts 135 points will be scored in the final. Sonja says 112. If Sonja wins, she has already stated she'll give the $25 Cracker Barrel gift card to the runner-up. Hope you like dining out, Charlie...

48-12    Kenny S. and Curtis F. 

- Kenny S. has UConn and Notre Dame advancing to the final game with UConn winning. Curtis F. could be the spoiler here..with Maryland and South Carolina advancing and South Carolina cutting down the nets. 

Several possibilities...three games away from a title. Does Curtis rally to get his second title as "King of the Bracket Pick 'Em" here? Can Charlie or Sonja take first ever titles? 

Close but no cigar to the (6) entries that are 47-12. Who do you think will take the crown? 

paulie
xxxxx





31 comments:

  1. Thank you, Paulie and Worldwide for your continued excellence in reporting and commenting on Cardinal women's sports. I do so enjoy reading your entries and listening your radio show on Saturdays. We are lucky to have you guys. And thank to Sonia for her work in the back ground.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for listening and commenting, Charlie! WE appreciate your kind words and are striving to keep up the standards and observations each and every day. Best of luck to you in the Bracket Pick 'Em...it looks like it's going to be another coronation of the King Geno...but there is a reason they play the games...Wish I was in Tampa covering the Cards, obviously...but our day will come.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here I am, waiting in the bushes and ready to pounce on the front runners in the stretch. South Carolina and Maryland have the abilities to knock off the chosen two. Can't wait for the Final Four. I wish I was in Tampa too, Paulie

    Curtis Franklin

    ReplyDelete
  4. We had a question a couple of days ago about when an incoming freshman can start practicing with the returning players. The answer we have received is...Once they arrive on campus for summer school.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
  5. After UK Wednesday Softball goes on the road for series in conference at Va. Tch and out of conference at DePaul. Then FSU comes to town. I can't wait for that series!

    ReplyDelete
  6. So who does Cardinal Couple think was the WBB team's MOP of the year?

    Big Ed The Flatfoot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mariya Moore. No question.

      Delete
    2. Mariya Moore

      Delete
  7. Hmmm...this is one of the topics we were thinking of doing an article on down the road....so Sonja and I have had a little discussion about it. I'll also open it up to reader comment and prefence as well.

    My answer may surprise some....but I go with Shawnta' Dyer. She was always dependable, steady and a big lift to the team offensively and defensively in games. She had an "Asia Taylor" type senior year and was usually pretty consistant in the minutes she contributed.

    Sonja indicated to me that she was leaning toward Jude....because of the many things she contributed...many which didn't grab headlines or stuff stat sheets. In fairness, she figured she might have a few days to ponder this question...so it is possible she could change her final determination.

    Can't speak for WorldWide...I imagine he'll stumble upon this thread and leave his answer.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
  8. From Walz presser (is Cardinal Couple there)

    "There are a couple of players who have to decide whether they want to be here or not."

    Looks like the dump truck is backing up to the landfill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not there. Can't say if Worldwide or Sam the dry weather Intern are or not.

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. Sam the dry Intern was there and recorded for our Saturday Radio Show. We'll hit the high points in tomorrow's CC. Also trying to get an audience with Coach to recap the year, etc.

      Paulie

      Delete
    3. Threatening players scholarships. Guess that's the pressure cooker of being a student athlete. No guarantees unless you go to Maryland. Pretty cut-throat. I hope Freeman and Carter stay.

      Delete
    4. Unfortunately, that is the reality of scholarship athletes. I don't know the specific numbers for bball, but in volleyball, I was told that they have 12 scholarships. We're looking at a roster of 17 for this fall.

      Pretty simple math, there. :/

      Delete
    5. An interesting byproduct of Title IX is what it has done to scholarship limits set by the NCAA. The following link breaks it down by Division, Gender and Sport. It also includes average dollars awarded by division. The average annual D1 women's award is $14,440 vs the men at $13,821. Not sure what would drive the $839 or 6% difference but it would be interesting to look into.

      http://www.scholarshipstats.com/ncaalimits.html

      Note that in D1 WBB scholarships are limited to 15 while the MBB limit is 13. Worldwide is right on Volleyball it is 12 for the women and 4.5 for the men.

      Ran across one of the annual tournament time "UConn is ruining WCBB" columns today that floats the idea of reducing the number of WCBB scholarships to 13. The thinking being that this move would spread the talent around a bit more and help bring other programs closer to UConn's level. This was also referenced in Ackerman's white paper of a couple years ago. Not sure I buy the logic but it's one perspective. Here's the link:

      http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/colleges/ncaa_tournament/20150331_Dominant_UConn_is_taking_all_the_excitement_out_of_women_s_basketball.html

      There has been a lot of talk about "guaranteeing" four year scholarships bouncing around the last few years. The idea certainly has some merit but there would also be a number of unintended consequences of such a move.

      One of the big challenges with WCBB is the frequency and severity of season ending injuries to scholarship ballers. It's not rare for a top program to have 2 or 3 full ride kids sitting out for full seasons in WCBB. Our program has been a example of that reality. When you consider injuries I'd say the "effective" WBB limits for kids that can actually play in a given year is more like 12 or 13 for most major programs.

      Delete
    6. Guaranteed lifetime scholarships for student athletes is going on now. Several D1 schools have already started to past year including Maryland. More schools will soon follow. Some coaches, under intense pressure to win, abuse players as was well documented by a recent HBO special with Bryant Gumbell.
      http://www.cornnation.com/2014/8/20/6047537/corn-flakes-maryland-guarantees-four-year-scholarships

      Delete
    7. It's going on now at a very limited number of schools. Others may adopt the practice but it is far from becoming a universal policy or being mandated by the NCAA.

      Gumbell is legendary for only presenting one side of an argument in dramatic fashion. There are some legit reasons to offer guaranteed scholarships and there likewise plenty of legit reasons not to do so.

      Guaranteeing four year scholarships for college athletes is an assured way to drive non-net revenue sports, like U of L WBB, even deeper into the red. There may be a middle ground that makes sense. U of L can easily afford to cover these type of expenses in the WBB program due to the MBB program throwing off 20+ million dollars in net cash every year. Few other programs can afford the luxury.

      Ackerman's NCAA White Paper was originally commissioned to address the ongoing financial losses that are generated by WCBB. It's recommended reading for anyone interested in the issues facing the game.

      Delete
  9. Anyone have an idea of who Walz might be talking about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me and Worldwide. Much like Coach, we haven't made a basket or grabbed a rebound in 5 years of covering the program. Worldwide headed to the Temple Owls. Me??? Gonna go to Dougie Bruno and those Bleu Demons. Or "Q" and Syracuse. Lotta material available at either.

      Seriously, folks...Walz will announce when the time is right and proper to do so. Trust in your coaches and their decision-making. All things will be revealed when there is revealing to do.

      Paulie
      (Once a Cardinal, now an Orange or Blue)

      Delete
    2. Said last week that if forced to choose a MOP, it would be Jude, the one player we had to have on the floor. Shawnta is a close second, she was a silent killer. On the other hand, this is one year the team as a whole deserves it as one.
      And, that Dayton team was no joke! You lead UConn at halftime, you are good!

      Delete
    3. Due deference to your request, Paulie, but one would figure Freeman is one?

      Blue Lou

      Delete
    4. I was surprised at that first half, too. K. Geno got out the Kryptonite at the half. All credit to Dayton for making it at least a game for 30...

      Paulie

      Delete
  10. Just saw a tweet from Jody Demling....

    Jeff Walz said he met with frosh guard Arica Carter today and “challenged her. She has to figure out if this is what she wants."

    ReplyDelete
  11. And...forgot to mention,,,Dyer gets my vote for MOP. She brought it every night, on both ends of the floor. I hope that Hines-Allen and Henderson learned from watching Dyer play defense.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've gotta go with Jude on MOP although a good case can be made for Moore or Dyer too. Jude finished in the top five in the ACC in three key PG statistical categories this year which in my mind is really impressive particularly considering the ACC is the best WCBB conference in the country and this was our first year in the league.

    Given the limited number of minutes she played in her first three years for her to step into the starting point guard role as a senior and lead the club to a third place finish is quite an accomplishment.

    A person wonders what she might have been able to do if she had played more minutes earlier in her career and been able to improve her offensive efficiency.

    I see all of the seniors except Jude are going to Tampa this weekend for an overseas combine. Good Luck to all of them. If that is the path they choose post-graduation I hope they all get a chance to see what it's like to play over there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The combine is actually also a chance for scouts and GM from overseas and the WNBA clubs to see the girls in action and see if they might be a fit for playing for them in Euroleague or other venues

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. I hope some of our kids get a shot at the WNBA. Will be interesting to see how that works out.

      Delete
  13. Yes it is the annual Break Up The Huskies crusade time. Fagettaboutit. If he can recruit that well and players decide to go there, it is fair game. Geno's success comes from hard work and player dedication. IF the best want to play with the best, so be it. Walz could be the next Geno in recruiting terms in a fe years. WSill people cry 'Break Up the Cardinals?"

    Much ado about nothing.

    The Real Joe Hill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No doubt. It's no coincidence that the folks leading the anti-UConn contingent invariably come from the same groups...Tennessee fans and the WCBB "traditionalists" both of whom choke on Geno & UConn's success every time they win but can't go after them more aggressively because UConn is just that good.

      Delete

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