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Friday, July 31, 2015

For the Atlanta Dream...this season has been a nightmare -- Friday Cardinal Couple


WHAT IN THE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS IS GOING ON HERE?


If you haven't been following the Atlanta Dream very closely this summer...well, I can't say that I blame you. Things down south are going south for Angel and Shoni's team.

Alice Cooper wrote a song years ago called "Welcome To My Nightmare". It's probably on head coach Michael Cooper's playlist. 

A drubbing last time out from San Antonio where Michael Cooper came up with the brilliant idea to not start either Angel or Shoni. Granted, both came of the bench and Shoni racked up 12 points and seven assists...Angel added 14 in 20 minutes. They started in the WNBA All-Star Game...Coop.

Maybe it's reality check time. Your benching All-Stars? 

The Dream also traded the only All-Star center the franchise has ever known in Erika de Souza. An original member of the franchise. Who's next... Angela Taylor? Going to peddle Tiffany Hayes off to the Sun? Angel to the Liberty? Shoni to Seattle? 

Maybe it's a youth movement...sure, fine...we get that...Maybe the eye is on tanking the season and being in line for "Stewie" when they hold the next WNBA draft next spring. Maybe you owe a little something, something to your fans, though?


The fans are not showing up or buying season tickets to see Damiris Dantas or Roneeka Hodges. The fans aren't walking in that building to see Cooper's defense. They want Shoni, Angel and three balls. They want to be entertained.  

Atlanta is 7-11 and has lost their last three. Up next are powerhouses Minnesota and Phoenix. The top two teams in the West. Get out the aspirin...

Let's be brutally honest here. This is Angel's team. Turn her, Shoni and Tiffany loose in the second half of the season. Let them play the game the way they play in All-Star games. 

Cooper prides himself in being a defensive specialist. So, your giving up 100+ to San Antonio? Without Danielle Adams? In legal terms...the defense rests. 

There has been speculation that the KFC YUM! Center wouldn't mind hosting the Dream for a summer while renovations occur at Phillips Arena. That could be a fun summer here for women's basketball enthusiasts. Atlanta states they are open to all options for the Dream. It would be a great dress rehearsal to see if Louisville could support a full-time WNBA franchise. 

And maybe the new franchise could trade for Shoni and Angel. 


Loyal fans attend games no matter what the record of their team is. Attendance increases when your team is doing well. I really hope Atlanta can turn it around. They have 16 games left to do so. They are five games out of first place...behind the surprising New York Liberty. There's still time...but is there the motivation to do it?

I guess we can dream....

paulie
xxxxx

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Emmonnie Henderson to concentrate on track and field in 2015-16 -- Thursday CARDINAL COUPLE


HENDERSON TO PURSUE OLYMPIC DREAMS


Dual sport student-athlete at UofL Emmonnie Henderson has decided to put her basketball career at Louisville on hold this upcoming season to concentrate on making the US Olympic team as a shot putter and discus thrower in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

" I wanted to take the year off from basketball, with hopes of returning, to focus on making it to the Olympics. It's been a goal of mine and I know I couldn't do it without the help of coach Dale Cowper and Jeff Walz, so I'm very grateful to them." 

"E" will throw in the indoor and outdoor track and field events for UofL. The indoor season traditionally runs from December through February and the outdoor season starts in March and ends in June. 

Henderson was to be one of the front-line veterans returning for Jeff Walz...which had only her, Myisha Hines-Allen and Cortnee Walton returning as players who played in the paint last season. UofL will have two freshmen in Erin de Grate and Sam Fuehring competing for playing time under the baskets...as well as Sydney Brackemyer, who sat out her 2014-15 freshman year with a knee injury. Mariya Moore, who can seemingly play all five positions for the Cards, might get some looks at the "4" now...in addition to her wing and guard skills. One never really knows about those last-minute additions and walk on, either...until we see them on the bench or at a practice. 

10 is a borderline comfort level number. Geno has done it with fewer players on the roster in the past...the persistent threat of injuries and those nights when it seems everyone has three fouls with 10 minutes to go make us hope for maybe a little more depth.

One thing is for certain...out of the 10 players currently slated to appear for UofL women's basketball in 2015-16...nine of them are freshmen or sophomores. 


Depth wise...Louisville loses about 10-15 of playing time in Henderson. As a reserve coming off the bench her first two seasons..."E" has been best noted for streak shooting, rebounding skills and being known as an aggressive defender that had a penchant for picking up fouls quickly. 

The dream to represent one's nation in the Olympics is a strong motivator and Henderson has shown significant strides in improvement at the discus...winning the ACC Outdoor Championships in the shot and discus and finishing third in the NCAA Championships in the discus.

She is ranked 12th in the United States in the discus and 23rd in the shot put. She was consistantly the Cards best thrower in both events and her discus skills improved over 25 feet this past season...making her a threat to win any event she entered. 

Jeff Walz weighs in on the decision: 

“Emmonnie expressed her goal of qualifying for a spot to compete in the 2016 Olympics,” head coach Jeff Walz said. “I truly believe this is the best move for her. We always tell our student-athletes that we want to look out for their best interests, and I think the best opportunity for her to make it to Rio to focus solely on track and field this school year.”  

We certainly wish "E" the best of luck in chasing the Olympic dream and hope to see her win many events this season in tosses for the Cards. How great would it be to see her competing in the Olympics and all of CardNation would love to see her return to the Cardinal WBB squad for the 2016-17 season. 

paulie
xxxxx

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Louisville Field Hockey --- IT'S AROUND THE CORNER ! Wednesday CARDINAL COUPLE


LOUISVILLE FIELD HOCKEY -- CAN THE UPSETS CONTINUE?


It was the intention to get down on campus this week and grab a Cardinal Couple preview of Louisville Field Hockey. 

Coach Sowry is on vacation, though. Well deserved, no doubt. She's been busy with summer camps and preparing for the 2015 season. Still about a month before the season. We can wait. We're hearing rumors of a combined preview with FH and WSOC on the same day in mid-August.

So...where would one hold this and who gets to go first? 

We'll offer today an unofficial prognostication on UofL Field Hockey. Subject to correction when I get in to talk to Coach....of course. 

First off, the upsets over Duke and UNC happened here last year. Significantly tougher to do that on their turf in 2015. 

The good news is that there will be 10 home games at Trager this year. Based on a preview of the schedule and Louisville's incredible win percentage at Trager over the last three years  (35 wins in 39 games for 90%)...these could end up 10-0 or 9-1....depending on how well they handle Virginia...who beat them in Charlottesville last year.

Add in a couple of road wins...maybe a sweep in California against
Cal and UC Davis (hint...West Coast Field Hockey hasn't caught up with East Coast yet)...and this could be a 13-14 win team entering the tough-as-nails ACC Tournament.


There are key scorers and defenders back from 2014...and a few names missing. A 2015 roster review shows the DuFour sisters missing.  We'll let Coach go into that when we catch up with her. 

What is impressive is that Chili Garcia, Shannon Sloss, Lotta Kahlert, Nicole Woods and Stephanie Byrne all return to provide Louisville a potent scoring attack. 

The defense returns starters Vic Stratton and Gianna Perrone but goalie Sydney King is graduated...leaving backup Elina Pereira as the only listed "keeper in the net." Only four defensive backs are listed and one is a freshman. 

At first glance, a roster of 18...compared to 24 from last year. 

Another NCAA run? We think so. Success on the road against UNC and Duke? Hopeful. 


Rare photo of a blonde
Justine Sowry
Playing in the "best by far" conference for D1 field hockey and already with the reputation of being a giant-killer...Justine Sowry is in the enviable and potential "mad scientist" role Jeff Walz enjoyed a couple of years ago. 

How well she mixes the test-tubes and applies the experiments remains to be seen... 

I think she'll produce a monster...Tobacco Road should be scared.

paulie
xxxxx

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Here's the Windup

The Hype is Getting Real


Lots of Quarterbacks...not so many offensive linemen
To hear Mainstream Sports Media (MSSM) here in Louisville over the past week or two, the world is standing still and people are on tenterhooks waiting for the UofL Football season opener in Atlanta on September 5th. Believe it or not, however, there's almost a full month's worth of UofL sports to happen before Football arrives on the scene.

I'm getting just as hyped as the MSSM is, but it's more for all of the other events that are coming down the pipe than for Football.

I thought I'd take the chance to run down the sports events that will happen between now and then to help you start getting into the Fall sports mood and maybe make some plans to attend some.  We will mention these again as the dates approach as we get back into the during-the-season swing of things, but here's the rundown on how things will get going.

Most of the sports that are competing early in the Fall season are women's sports, but I'm going to include the Men's Soccer games in here as they're the only men's sport that really kicks things off before Football starts.

Week 1

Wednesday August 12th

Women's soccer gets us started with an exhibition match at Northern Kentucky at 7pm

Weekend 1

Friday August 15th

Men's Soccer starts off the exhibition events here in Louisville with a 7:30pm game vs Lipscomb at Lynn Stadium

Sunday August 16th

Women's Soccer makes their Lynn Stadium debut with an exhibition game against IU at 5pm

Week 2

Tuesday August 18th

Men's Soccer continues exhibition play at Lynn Stadium. 7:30 first kick against UAB

Weekend 2

Friday August 21st

Regular season opener for Women's Soccer vs Wright State at Lynn stadium starting at 7:30

Saturday August 22nd

Field Hockey starts with an exhibition vs Iowa at Trager Stadium at 11:30am
Men's Soccer finishes up their exhibition schedule against Oakland in Rochester, MI with a 7:00 start
Volleyball hosts their one and only warmup, the Red & Black scrimmage at Cardinal Arena. No start time yet listed, but I expect mid-afternoon.

Sunday August 23rd

Women's Soccer at 1pm at Lynn Stadium vs Washington
Field Hockey wraps up their exhibition work with an Alumnae Match starting at 1:30 at Trager Stadium

Weekend 3

Friday August 28th

Women's Soccer takes their first road trip, visiting Kent State in Ohio with a 4:30 start
Field Hockey opens the official season welcoming Appalachian State with a 6:30 start at Trager
Men's Soccer also kicks off their real season at Lynn Stadium where William & Mary comes for a visit
Volleyball starts their season on the road in Champaign, IL with another TBA start time against the University of Illinois

Sunday August 30th

Field Hockey continues play at Trager with IU coming for a visit with another 1:30 start\

Week 4

Monday August 31st

Men's Soccer takes on the Cardinal-with-no-"s" when Stanford comes to visit for a 7:30 start in Lynn Stadium

Weekend 4

Friday September 4th

Field Hockey heads out west with a 3pm start vs the Cal Bears in Berkeley
Volleyball opens the home slate against Minnesota at 7pm (come early for UNC vs Wisconsin at 4:30)
Women's Soccer takes the first shot of the season vs UK at 7:30 in Lexington
Men's Soccer starts at the same time vs Stony Brook at Lynn Stadium

Saturday September 5th

Consuming oxygen (and other things) with Bon-nay and Gomer
Volleyball at 7 vs Wisconsin (UNC vs Minnesota is the early game at 4:30)
Cross-Country takes their first official run in Evansville at the Evansville Early Bird


OK, technically that last volleyball match happens after the 3:30 Football game on the 5th, but I wanted to get the full ACC/Big 10 Challenge listed.

Now really, with so many events happening in the month before Football gets started, isn't it a little silly to be consuming so much oxygen on that one sport?

JMcA

Monday, July 27, 2015

USA uses late 2nd quarter run to get by Russia in U 19 title game -- Monday Cardinal Couple


WILSON'S 30 PUSH USA BY PESKY RUSSIA 78-70


USA U 19 got 16 first half points from Azura Stevens and a U 19 record 30 points from A'ja Wilson to overcome and hold off Russia to take the U 19 title game by eight points in the finals at Chekhov, Russia Sunday.

This was a test of two teams that had blown by the competition by an average of over 30 points in their previous six games. A USA team that alternated three point guards looking for an answer against the superior Russia outside shooting and half court defense. In the end, the USA did it the way they'd been doing it all tournament long.

Going inside.


A back and forth 1st quarter that saw Russia gain an early lead and take a 21-19 lead after the first ten minutes. 

Stevens was providing the offense...working hard inside against the Russian bigs. Russia finding success with the three ball. Mariya Moore reduced to basically a passer and defender with no first quarter points.

It got scary to start the 2nd quarter. Russia rolled off the first six points and USA was down eight. Dawn Staley called a timeout to right the ship against a pumped up opponent and loud and raucous home court crowd. 

Whatever she said...worked.


USA climbed back to a 30-29 deficit after Moore found Stevens inside with 5:15 remaining. Moore would miss a three a couple of minutes later that would have put the Americans ahead...but a 9-2 run over the final three minutes...keyed by Wilson sweeping hook and a Moore pass to Napheesa Collier gave USA a 39-34 lead at the half. 

Uncle Mo was on the American bench but the Russians weren't done by any means. Although they would not see the lead again, they made it interesting.



A Musina three three minutes into the 3rd quarter cut the USA lead to 43-41. Moore countered with a three for USA. Another Russian three with 4:27 left in the quarter made it 50-49. Center Chatrice White with an impropable but buzzer-beating three to end the third and USA held on to a 57-53 lead with ten minutes to play. 

Moore struck again to start the final quarter for USA with a three to make it 60-53...but thee Russian went on a 10-5 run over the next three 3:20 to get within two at 65-63 after another Musina trey ball. Wilson countered inside with her 27th point of the game seconds later. 


Moore's assist to White inside gave America a 70-65 lead with four minutes remaining.  A steal and Wilson jumper three seconds later set the advantage at seven. The Russians were finally tiring and the Americans held 77-68 with a minute to go...Russia went 8 for 10 from trifecta range in the final 20 minutes.

Wilson was named MVP of the tournament and Napheesa Collier joined her on the All-Tournament team.

Paulie Observations:

-- A'ja Wilson may be the best 19 year old women's player in the world...but Russia's Daria Kolosovskaia isn't far behind. Selected to the All-Tournament team, she tallied 19 points and made a mockery of the USA defense in the middle with her dribble-drive.

-- Mariya Moore with almost 37 minutes on the court...high for USA. Only six points but the glue that held USA together on the court. Every team needs a passer to set up the scorers and Moore fulfilled that role excellently in the final game. 

-- Congratulations to a USA team that had its share of tough breaks and setbacks early on. The top two players of the 2015 Class (Durr and Samuelson) made the team but didn't make the trip and Shakayla Thomas left the squad after the Canada game to return stateside.


-- Kristine Anigwe did not play in the final and logged only two minutes in the semifinal win over Spain. No official word on any injury...but her play in the pool games was impressive. 

-- Australia won the 3rd place game over Spain and France finished fifth. Egypt failed to win a game in seven attempts. 

-- Those crazy ESPN3 announcers...referring to our #11 as "Marie" Moore. I expected to hear them use Mary Tyler Moore, Maya Moore or even Dinty Moore at some point in time. Obviously siding with the Russians, these two guys nearly lost a lung every time Russia scored. Let's hope they stay overseas...would hate to hear them tackle pronouncing "Arica", "Taja", "Emmonnie" or "Brianna". 

-- I wish they would have let Walz and KBA stand on the podium for the awards ceremony. They were just as integral in the USA win as the rest of the squad. 


paulie
xxxx 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

USA bests Spain...faces Russia today in U 19 WBB...Shoni, Angel in WNBA All-Star game -- Sunday Cardinal Couple



WILSON, COLLIER LEAD USA TO 80-65 WIN OVER SPAIN IN U 19 SEMIFINALS


Napheesa Collier (UConn) had 24 points and 14 rebounds and A'ja Wilson added 20 points and 16 boards in the USA 15 point semifinal win over Spain yesterday in Chekhov, Russia.

Louisville's Mariya Moore added 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists and also keyed a 20-3 second quarter run that broke a 21-21 tie wide open. 

USA struggled with turnovers and missed shots in the first quarter...seeing a 20-14 that was bolstered by a Moore assist to Collier disappear in the final two minutes to 21-19.

After Spain tied the contest to open the second quarter... USA ramped up the 1-2-1-1 zone trap pressure and pulled away. Moore block and steal led to a 37-24 lead and a Moore putback set the score at 41-24 with 2:54 to play. USA took a 44-29 lead to the locker room...getting their final points of the half when Moore led a fastbreak with a pass and layup. 44-31 at the break. 

The Spaniards did not want to go away and actually got within eight during a 7-0 run in the third quarter that made it 54-46. USA kept with the interior passing to Collier and Wilson, though, and two Moore free throws with 49 seconds to go in the quarter gave USA a 62-50 lead. 

It's a good thing the inside game was clicking...USA was 0-8 from trifecta range after 30 minutes. 

A spurt from Moore started the fourth quarter. A steal and score from her pushed the lead to 66-52. At the 9:03 mark, she got her second steal in less than ten seconds and created an assist to Crystal Dangerfield to make it a 16 point USA lead. 

Staley turned the court over to Ortiz, Cox, Patberg, White and Slocum to get the USA to the buzzer and Cox looked particularly impressive over the final four minutes to get the USA to the 80-65 win.

Paulie Impressions:

NOT in Russia
-- Spain's head coach is Mario Lopez. No, not that Mario Lopez. Unfortunately, Spain couldn't be saved by the bell or the buzzer.

-- Shakayla Thomas has left the team and gone home for personal reasons. She wasn't there for the Spain game. Listed as a DNP in the Canada game. We hope all is well...

-- The jolly play-by-play and color analyst guys on ESPN3 mentioned that there were some difficulties in Spain's Angela Salvadores getting clear to play at Duke. They didn't elaborate.

-- USA back in blue unis for Saturday's game. At least Walz's audio wasn't able to be heard in the background. I just don't think blondes look good in blue...IMHO. 

Coach Mario Lopez, who IS in Russia.
-- Russia beat the Aussies 76-57 to face USA today for the Gold. This one should be a war inside. 

-- UConn looks to be sitting pretty for 2016 in WBB with Stewie back, the big performance from Kia Nurse in the Pan Am's and the play of Crystal Dangerfield and Napheesa Collier. Someone needs to beat those guys...right? 

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SHONI GETS 13 in WNBA All-Star game


It's become increasingly clear that Shoni Schimmel has played her way back into shape. It's also apparent she does better in All-Star games than regular season games. Schimmel started and scored 13 points in 25 minutes yesterday for the East in a 117-112 loss to the West.

Maya Moore was voted the MVP and had 30 points to back it up. 

Hey...wouldn't it be fun to have Maya Moore and Mariya Moore on the same team someday? A PA Announcers nightmare maybe...

Angel added 9 pts. for the East. It was an All-Star game. Shoni and Angel were a combined 9 for 26 from the floor.

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CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO


Our Saturday broadcast should be available for listening on the SoundCloud later today. You won't want to miss Paulie's interviews with UofL head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes and senior Casey Whitfield.

Program these coordinates into your electrical device: 

https://soundcloud.com/chradio/cardinal-couple-072515


paulie
xxxxx

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Women's Soccer in 18 days!....USA U 19 in Final Four with 93-45 win over Canada.-- Saturday Cardinal Couple



KAREN FERGUSON-DAYES, TEAM ANTICIPATING SEASON START


Mark your calenders...the UofL women's soccer team gets the 2015 season underway on Weds.,Aug. 12th. with an exhibition game against NKU in Highland Heights, KY. Four days later, the Kickin' Cards bring in IU for an exhibition.

Those fall sports we've been waiting for are right around the corner. For soccer, it's a return of some exciting roster names and the advent of an excellent freshman class to defend Lynn Stadium.

Speaking of defense, the Cards had a solid one last year...and Inger Katrine Bjerke, Hannah Konermann and Paige Brown headline a solid unit that will keep opponent's goals to a minimum. 

Quite possibly the biggest new is the return of graduated senior Casey Whitfield to the squad after sitting out last season with an achilles injury. She'll join proven scorers Lexie Nieboda, Bella Habuda, Allison Price and Kaela Dickerman in finding the back of the net against a strong non-conference schedule and 11 ACC foes.

Add six highly anticipated first-timers to the program that will compete for playing time right away...and there's a lot to be excited about on the corner of Floyd and Byrne. 



Be sure to catch the Saturday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO at 11 a.m. for our exclusive interviews with Coach KFD and Casey Whitfield. 


Here's a few teasers...

-- Coach Dayes has been busy with other things than the 2015 squad. Hear her talk about the "soccer revolution".

-- UofL women's basketball isn't the only sport that offers "a day in the life" opportunity to prospective college soccer hopefuls. 

-- What did Coach think about the non-conference schedule last year? And this years?

-- Who does Coach KFD see as the team leaders for 2015?

-- What was Casey Whitfield's "dream come true"?

-- What other sport did Casey consider in high school and what other activity does she still enjoy?

-- What does Casey call this particular season? 

Make sure and tune in for these answers and the whole interviews! 

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USA U 19 with another lopsided win in the U 19 Championships in Russia...Canada the victim of a 93-45 drubbing. The win gets USA into the Final Four.

Mariya Moore going 9 for 11 from the free throw line and hitting a three for 12 points in 18 minutes.

This one was 28-5 at the end of the first quarter. 

They'll take on Spain in the semifinals today at 1:15 p.m. They'll face the winner of Australia vs. Russia Sunday when they defeat the Spanish team. And, they will defeat the Spanish team. 

ESPN3 with the live feed.

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WCHQ 100.9 FM

Our final show of July today at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the Internet at crescenthillradio.com

We've gotta lotta hoops to review, a report and interviews on women's soccer and we'll blow up balloons and pop them if we run out of material. 

It's all about the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and we'd love it if you stop by and get happy with us! 

Link below:

WOMEN'S SPORTS AND A DOG LIVE ON THE RADIO


paulie
xxxxx


  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tim Eatman on the move again -- Friday Cardinal Couple


FORMER LOUISVILLE ASSISTANT WBB COACH GOES TO RUTGERS

Tim Eatman was one of the people influential in getting Angel McCoughtry to the Louisville campus. When Tom Collen left for Arkansas after Angel's sophomore year, Eatman went with him.

Eatman has been named an assistant for C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers. It also means he gets to work with Julie Hermann again.

Tim's pretty excited: 


"There are three reasons I decided to accept the challenge of my life by joining Coach C.Vivian Stringer as part of her staff at Rutgers University," said Eatman of joining the Scarlet Knight coaching ranks.

"First, it is an incredible opportunity to once again have the chance to work with a pioneer and hall of famer. Secondly, I embrace her vision to have a chance to win a national championship. Lastly, I will be reunited with Athletic Director Julie Hermann, who was my Senior Women's Administrator (SWA) at the University of Louisville. Julie was an amazing asset in assisting the staff in recruiting the core players that propelled Louisville to their first two Final Fours in the program's history. I am looking forward to competing in the Big Ten. It is an exciting day to be a part of the Scarlet Knight family."

We wish him well in Jersey. He built some pretty awesome defenses at the "Ville" 


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USA v CANADA TODAY

USA U 19 WBB looks to advance to the Final Four of the FIBA U 19 World Championship when they play Canada today at 1:15 p.m.

This one will be back at Chekhov and on You Tube again. Someone put Walz and Jacob in a cab and keep him away from public transpotation. 

USA defeated Canada last week in the Spanish International Invitational 95-40.

I like their chances here...

paulie
xxxxx

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

USA U 19 downs Argentina 89-39 -- Thursday Cardinal Couple


MOORE NAILS THREE THREES IN WIN


MOORE FOR THREEEEE!!!!
The USA U 19 women's basketball team advanced out of the Sweet Sixteen yesterday (we're shocked!) with a 50-point win over winless Argentina. This one was played at Vidnoje instead of Chekhov (seems they have two sites for these games...) and was played without Jeff Walz...who was still in Chekhov with shuttle issues. He tweeted:

"After shuttle issues Jacob and I weren't able 2 make game. Finishing Canada scout for tomorrow, Enjoying first half." 

OK, Coach...it happens...but I'm pretty sure they're playing the quarterfinals on Friday. Unless you know something we don't. (Who wants to bet he spent the day at the Moscow Zoo?) 

It's 47 km (that's 30 miles to you and I) between the two facilities. It would be like getting stuck in Shelbyville trying to get to the KFC YUM! Center....so we'll give him a pass and it looks like he got to see a good game in Chekhov...Canada maybe pulling the only upset of the day in knocking off Serbia.

At Vidnoje, meanwhile...

USA and Argentina were deadlocked in a 2-2 thriller (yawn...) 150 seconds into the contest when the USA took off on a 19-0 run over the next six minutes. Mariya Moore, who got the start, canned a three to put USA up 14-2. The first ten minutes mercifully ended for Argentina with USA leading 28-4.   


Mariya sat the first seven minutes of the second quarter but it didn't seem to affect Team USA...they held a 40-12 lead when she came in the game. She hooked up with a nice assist to Napheesa Collier at the 1:22 mark to make it 45-15 and USA led 48-18 at the half. 

Maybe the Argentinians were wishing they were in Chekhov at this point, too...or at the Zoo with Walz and Jacob.

Mariya started the second half and had an immediate impact by nailing a three for USA's first points of the half at the 8:38 mark. With 7:41 to go, she threaded a pass to A'ja Wilson for a basket +1.

Another Moore three tickled the nets with 6:44 showing on the clock and Argentina called a timeout...trailing 59-20. Two free throws pushed her point total to 11 with 3:48 remaining and the score stood at 63-22. A nifty interior pass by Moore to Chatrice White led to basket with 99 seconds left in the quarter and USA held 69-26 with ten minutes to play. 

Moore, Dangerfield, Wilson, Thomas and Collier got a well-deserved rest in the fourth quarter...and USA rolled on to the 89-39 win. Things got a tad chippy late...Lauren Cox and Ali Patberg were decked on a couple of aggressive fouls and Cox delivered a pretty solid elbow of her own that sent the Argentina center to the floor. 



On a side note, I've fallen in love with Ali Patberg's game. So much hustle, defensive intensity and a better-than-average shot. Muffet McGraw is going to love her, too....

USA gets Canada next. Also advancing into the "Great Eight" were France, Australia, Belgium, Russia, Spain and China...who beat Taiwan. Really? All that way just to play Taiwan? They could have met in Hong Kong...

Paulie Observations:

-- It's nice to see Sasha Baron Cohen has found work again...I'm pretty sure that was him imitating Borat as the PA Announcer during the game. 

-- The Argentina team had DirecTv sponsorship's on their jerseys. Now I know why the audio kept going out. They also did this crazy kind of circle dance around the half-court emblem before the game started and were chanting something. It probably wasn't USA! USA!

-- In the "Son, are you old enough to drive?" category...the male referee looked to be maybe in his freshmen year of high school. He blew the whistle, though, with the aplomb of Dee Kanter on a nationally televised game. 

-- Hadn't noticed this before...but the shot clock violation horn sounded like a car alarm going off. Or, maybe it was a car alarm? Maybe it was Walz trying to sneak into the arena through an unauthorized entrance...in any event, let's hope the ACC doesn't adopt this "horrid horn" policy...

paulie





(Moore) of the same...USA blasts Egypt 104-41 to close Pool Play -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple


MOORE'S 15 HELP USA ERASE EGYPT


The USA couldn't have been too worried about playing Egypt yesterday in the final round of pool play at the FIBA U 19 World Championships...after all, the Egyptians were 0-2 in games against Spain and China...teams that USA dispatched with relative ease. I know, you never overlook anyone...but this one seemed to be a romp-waiting-to-happen. 

For the first five minutes, though...Egypt looked like they belonged. A combination of shots that wouldn't fall and a slow start had the USA trailing Egypt 7-6 halfway through the first quarter. Five of Egypt's points had come from incoming WKU freshman Nadine Salaawi. She could be a good one for Michelle Clark Heard.


It was time shake it up a bit so USA head coach Dawn Staley brought in Shakayla Thomas, Lauren Cox, Crystal Dangerfield, Chatrice White and Jeff Walz...oops, Ali Patberg. The mass substitution worked and USA went on a 8-2 run to take a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

It just got worse for Egypt after that. 

52-18 at halftime....another buzzer beater by USA...this time Gabby Ortiz with the putback to end the half. Egypt played on a even keel with the USA squad in the third quarter...but trailed 80-41 at the end of three...getting their final basket of the game with 35 seconds in the third.

You read that right. USA pitched a 24-0 shutout in the final quarter. 

"Don't worry about it, Tommy. I got this covered." 
Mariya Moore and "Shaq" Thomas led USA with 15 points. "A" Wilson added 14 and Lauren Cox had an impressive 10 points and 17 rebounds against the diminutive Egyptians.

Moore stat line looked pretty decent. 5/6 from the floor, including 3/4 from three point range. She also hit both her free throws. No steals and 14 minutes of playing time. All the USA players saw at least 14 minutes and they all scored. 

So...the USA squad advances into the round of 16 and will face up against 0-3 Argentina today. It's a 10:30 a.m. start, according to the USA Basketball site and can be watched live at YouTube.com/FIBA

Other undefeated team are Russia, Australia and Belgium.

Paulie Observations

-- I'm gonna admit I didn't watch this one from start to finish...just the highlights...but if Lauren Cox could play her entire career against Egypt, she'd be the next "Stewie".

-- We want asst. coaches observations! All the quotes come out of Staley...and, yes, she is the head coach...but KBA and Walz are working just as hard. Give them the damn microphone...

-- USA had a 63-20 rebounding edge. A lot of that was because Egypt shot 25%. 

-- China knocked off Spain 66-63 yesterday to finish second in the Group B pool. Out of the eight games yesterday, USA was, by far, the team who scored the most points. Next was Australia with 87 against South Korea. 

-- And, in the "Gee, ya think so?"/Captain Obvious quote of yesterday...we bring you Coach Staley's observations on playing Argentina:

" We're going to have to get the ball inside." 

Uh....yeah....that could work.

Or maybe USA could stand behind the half-court line and bomb threes for four quarters?  

paulie
xxxxx

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - All M&M Team

M&Ms are a favorite candy (and registered trademark of Mars, Inc...some legal blah blah here), but they also are the initials for some fantastic UofL athletes.

So, I present the Cardinal Couple 2015 All-M&M team.

First Team


Mariya Moore


Most Cardinal Couple readers will be familiar with Mariya Moore.  Currently in Russia playing with the U19 US National Team, Mariya is well known as a guard on the UofL Women's Basketball team with quite the shooting touch.  If the U19 play is any indication, she's been developing some defensive prowess as well.  A rising sophomore, we should be seeing Moore in the red and black for another three seasons.

Maya McClendon


Maya McClendon's older sister made quite an impact playing at perennial Volleyball powerhouse Penn State.  Maya is shorter, at only 5'9" compared to her sister's 6'1", but has more hops and may very well be a better overall player.  A rising junior, McClendon has another two years of play to build her legacy.  The McClendon's are from Louisville, and both sisters attended duPont Manual High School just across Cardinal Blvd from  UofL.  Maya typically plays the full rotation on the court, but may see a break from passing duties this year with Erin Fairs being expected to play full rotation as well.

Morgan Miller


Sticking with Volleyball, we have an incoming freshman from Magnolia Texas (Magnolia High School).  Sharing a hometown with last year's libero Roxanne McVey (but different high school), Morgan is just loaded with the "M"'s, with both first and last names, hometown, and high school all being "M"'s.  Miller is listed as a setter and right side hitter.  With a whopping four setters listed on the UofL Volleyball roster, and Katie George returning, I wouldn't expect to see Morgan taking the 2nd hit very often, but as the only player listed as right side, you may very well see her on the court quite a bit, depending on whether another player shifts over to the right side to play (I'm thinking the play-anywhere Janelle Jenkins might go to the right side this year).

Morgan Meyer


Morgan Meyer and Morgan Miller have already proven that they can make me stop and make sure I'm saying the right name when trying to talk about either of them because the names are so phonetically similar.  They are on totally different teams, though.  Meyer is a rising junior on the softball and is listed as an outfielder.  This past season, however, we mostly saw the speedster Meyer as a pinch runner, typically coming in to round the bases in lieu of slugger Brittany Duncan.  With two of the four graduating seniors this past year being outfielders, or at least occasionally in the outfield, I hope Meyer will get some more time in the field and at bat this year.  "Mo" Meyer is also a Louisvillian, having attended Mercy Academy.

Michelle Molodynia


Speaking of speedsters, Michelle is on both the Cross Country and Track teams.  Technically this makes her a three sport athlete as the NCAA considers Indoor Track&Field to be a separate sport from Outdoor Track&Field.  Michelle is the only women's athlete that I didn't know about before beginning research for this team.  A rising Senior, Molodynia hails from Niagara Falls, Ontario.  You would think, as a Cross Country runner, she would stick to the distance events for T&F, but she is listed as a middle-distance runner, competing in the 800meter to 1mile range of events.

Second Team


While Cardinal Couple is primarily about women's athletics at UofL, I'll add a second team honor for the M&M guys.

Mangok Mathiang


Another basketball name that you probably know already.  Mangok, joined with Montrezl Harrell to begin a trend of odd silent letters in names.  He also continued a trend of excellence.  Born in Sudan Africa, he is a resident of Melbourne Australia, Mathiang represented his home country down under in the World University Games.  While the Aussies didn't fair too well overall in the basketball competition, Mangok led the WUGs competition in rebounding and ended up 8th in scoring with five double-doubles.  A rising sophomore, he graduated in the same class with lock-down UofL soccer defender Chatham DeProspo from IMG Academy in Florida.

Marcus Motill


The only other name that I didn't know before beginning research for this team selection, Marcus is also a runner on the Track&Field team primarily competing in the indoor season.  He has run everything from 60meter to 1000meter in the indoor season, and has added in 60meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot put and heptathlon in the indoor season.  Motill has also run the 400meter in the outdoor season.  A rising junior, he hails from Stamford, CT.

JMcA