EARLY SEASON LOSSES NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING
There has been conversation and discussion on Louisville WBB's opening season loss to California on Sunday at the KFC YUM! Center. It's nothing new to the program under Jeff Walz and certainly isn't a foreboding sign of a traumatic season ahead. In fact, there have been some pretty decent Walz-coached teams that dropped early games and turned out to be outstanding by the end of the season.
We'll go back to Walz's first team...back in the 2007-08 season. The Cards took a 1-0 record on the road to the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, MN and fell to Western Carolina and Minnesota. This team, featuring juniors Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham, was going through a learning curve on Walz's game philosophies and strategies but ran off 10 wins in a row after the Minnesota miscues and ended up in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in New Orleans...bowing out in a hard-fought 78-74 battle against #2 UNC.
The 2010-11 season had the Cards opening against #4 Tennessee to open the KFC YUM! Center in front of 22,124 fans. The Cards ran into an on-fire Meghan Simmons and dropped a 63-50 contest. It was the beginning of the Shoni Schimmel era at Louisville and the Cards would march to another NCAA Sweet Sixteen after upsetting #5 Xavier on their home court before falling to Courtney Vandersloot and the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Spokane.
In 2011-12 Louisville traveled to face a talented #6 Texas A&M squad in their second game of the season. A&M had won the national championship the year before and took Louisville down 76-58. The Cards would win 13 of their next 14 after that. Maryland ended Louisville's season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
So, as you can see, an early loss is hardly a predication of a team's potential and overall success. Opportunity out of defeat is a powerful teaching tool and motivation to improve.
With six days to prepare for WKU...we fully expect to see a much improved UofL squad that will end the month of November in the Gulf Coast showcase and open December at Michigan State.
Louisville dropped to #16 in the latest NCAA polls and, to no one's surprise...California entered at #21.
Cardinal fans have no claim on being the only highly-ranked team to suffer an opening loss this season. Florida State fell from #7 to #14 after losing to Florida and Arizona State dropped from #15 to #18 after losing to UK.
Arizona State has a candidate for Worldwide's women's basketball 'best name team' in Peace Amukamara
HITTING THE ROAD
|PAULIE ON THE ROAD IN CHARLOTTE|
We'll be inside Diddle Arena for the broadcast that starts at 11 AM. The WKU men play at 1 PM and the WKU women face Louisville at 3:30 PM.
We hope to also be joined on the broadcast by SB Nation's Swish Appeal writer Paige Sherrard who also doubles with those wild and crazy Cardinal Sports Zone guys
as their "first lady of sports".
You can see her write up of the Louisville/Cal game at the link below and follow her on Twitter @PaigeS_502