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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kelsi Worrell Making Waves In And Out Of The Water -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



WORRELL NAMED TO CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN TEAM


Louisville sports fans are well aware of the big splash Kelsi Worrell has made in the water over the last four years at Louisville and in the Summer Olympics qualifiers. She's also been making waves academically...first as the ACC Swimming Scholar Athlete of the Year and now as First Team CoSIDA All-America Division I Women's At-Large team. 

To make the prestigious CoSIDA squad, a student/athlete must be a starter or important reserve on a squad and carry a 3.3 GPA. Nearly 75% of the student-athletes named to the 2015-16 squad (Worrell included) were at 3.9 or better on a 4.0 scale. 

That's getting it done outside of the water and Worrell is the first ever UofL swimmer to be named to the CoSIDA team in school history. 

Out of the classroom, Worrell has been displacing water in Omaha throughout the USA Olympic Trials. She'll represent the USA in the 100 Fly...winning the championship heat a couple of nights ago. She's also seeded fourth of eight in the 200 fly finals...which will take place tonight.

Worrell is also expected to take part in the 100 free-style also and there was talk last night by the television commentators wondering if she would scratch out of the 200 fly to concentrate on the 100 free. 

She is ranked fifth in NCAA college swimming in the 100 freestyle with a 47.30 (the best being a 46.70) and won the ACC Championships in the event. 


The butterfly is obviously her best event but the so-called "analysts" on television seem to think she's also at her best in shorter or sprint distances. 


The TV folks (don't you just love the way Rowdy Gaines uses his hands when he talks?...it's like he's trying to direct a plane into a parking spot) also call her "WOR-rell" (emphasis on the first syllable) instead of "Wor-RELL" (emphasis on the second syllable). Have we been doing it wrong here in Lou-ah-vul for the past four years? Am I being too nit-pickey? 

Getting it done by land or sea...(OK, water) is the prime directive for "KelsiWhirl" and one has to wonder when the Cards will pony up for a statue of the best swimmer ever at UofL on the corner of Floyd and Warnock?


Based on the recent "appointment" of the new Bevin/UofL board...it'll probably be awhile. For example, a newly "appointed" board member has repeatedly gone to Twitter to bash Ramsey, Jurich and Pitino and ask for their resignations...Seriously? Of course, this Twitter account has now been deleted...but is this really a guy we want on the board? Apparently so...

Oh, he's also opposed to the climate change theory, LGBT rights and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Plus Donald, Bernie and Hilary. We haven't gotten word back yet on puppies, butterflies or sunsets...

Yeah...right. That's one of the people we want overseeing UofL. Maybe Bevin could appoint Matt Jones, John Calipari and Richie Farmer, too. (Sorry for the snark. It happens.) 

paulie
xxxxx

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pat Summitt...What she strived for we can not forget -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


SUMMITT REACHED FOR HARD WORK AND COMPLETION

"One of the things I learned about her from the times I had the chance to sit down and talk with her on the recruiting trail: if you're going to do something, do it right." JEFF WALZ

It was what Pat Summitt was all about.

Accomplishment and gain earned by effort.


From her early days working her father's fields in Cheatman County to her final years working to raise funding for the terrible disease that finally ended her life...Pat Summit had a sense of direction, of being and purpose and the dedication to achieve the best results. She could drive, motivate and send out a resounding call-to-action in her own unique style. Hard work and doing it the right way were the basic tenants. 

Although she is gone, the lessons must not be forgotten. Especially in the dreaded Alzheimer's disease. 

We all know someone who has been affected by the villainous robber Alzheimer's. It may be a friend, family member or acquaintance. It has hit my family and took the most precious gift of all...the ability to relate, interact and remember. Seeing my father go from a vibrant, strong man...clear of thought and purpose to a shell of himself...asking me if he was my son...wondering where he was and why...and then the dull, blank expressionless stare.

We must find a cure for this life-taker. It is such a cruel and unfair way to go. Alzheimer's takes one's dignity. It robs you of the very real things that are you...your memories, your personality. So many things left to say that won't get said. So many words that might be heard but not understood. It takes you away from you and yours. I cannot imagine much more horrible than that. 

Pat Summitt knew the battle ahead. She chose to fight it while she could...just as fiercely and bravely as her attempts to drive each Tennessee Lady Vols squad she coached to victory. She said about the battle with Alzheimer's:

"Competition got me off the farm and trained me to seek challenges and endure setbacks. In combination with my faith, it sustains me now in my fight with Alzheimer's disease." 

Striving. Knowing the odds, the battle ahead, the probable end result and still going out to fight the fight. 

We cannot forget that. 


It is easy to give up, to do less than your best. We tired, we become disillusioned, resigned to what will most likely happen and we surrender to it. It is hard to still carry the banner when all around you predict defeat. 

Still, you must try. If only for the reason that it might make a difference for someone else, to show that there is still hope, pride and courage. 

My father taught me many things...many of which I didn't fully understand until later in life...but one that still rings true is that you cannot quit. Accept defeat if it comes with humility and in a gracious manner, but learn from it and create an opportunity out of it to do better next time. 


Pat Summitt's fight is over but we can learn from it and continue to carry the banner. The banner of hope, hard work and finding a cure for this cruel killer. Jim Valvano encouraged us by imploring "don't give up". Pat Summitt embodied that as well in her actions.  


I'd like to think that if Pat could have sent a final message to us all, it might have been something like this. Don't give up. Don't quit. Continue to work hard. Somewhere...there is an answer, somewhere there is a cure. We must find it.

Good words to live by in a world where it is very easy sometimes to surrender. Let not the precious memories fade. Don't just participate, strive to win. Yes, we all lose at times. Learning from loss, though, is a victory in itself.

Help CARDINAL COUPLE in the fight against Alzheimer's. For us, for all, for those we love. LINK BELOW:

www.alzfdn.org

paulie
xxxxx






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

WONDERFUL WORRELL WINS -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


5th FASTER TIME EVER IN 100 METER BUTTERFLY HELPS KELSI WHIRL PUNCH TICKET TO RIO

It was the first event up on the nationally broadcast US Olympic Swimming qualifying events Monday night and it was over in less than a minute. 

Kelsi Worrell is headed to Rio. 

Using an almost perfect turn after 50 meters, the University of Louisville graduate pulled past 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Dana Vollmer to win the 100 meter butterfly in 56.48. 

In less than a minute and in the fifth fastest time in the history of the event, Kelsi was the champ. It was the second fastest time of the year in the 100 meter event. 

The 100 meter "fly" is definitely a sprint race. We are familiar with racing here in Louisville. In two minutes, we know the annual Kentucky Derby winner. This win by Worrell would be the equivalent of five furlongs...half the distance of the Derby...and it also qualifies her to swim on the USA medley relay team as well in Rio this summer.

As they were introduced and went to the blocks, Worrell had a calm and serene look on her face. It belied what was going on inside her. After the race, she explained:


"Before the race it was emotional. For me, it is my family sitting there in the front row and our big team section." 

The winning swimmers in Omaha sign a big, brightly colored "flip-flop" shoe by poolside after they finished their event. Fitting, indeed, since Kelsi Worrell took that last big step last night to represent the USA and Louisville in the greatest athletic venue of all...The Olympics.  

We'll join Howie Lindsey on Louisville First this morning to discuss it. Wonderful. Simply wonderful! 

WATCH IT AGAIN: 

LINK: WORRELL WINS 100 FLY

paulie
xxxxx

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Cardinal Couple Hometown Heroes

Hometown Heroes Team


I've talked about, you've waited for it with baited breath (I hope), it's time.

It's time for the latest Cardinal Couple honorary team.  This time it's the Hometown Heroes.  These are UofL women student athletes that are from Louisville or the immediately surrounding area.  In building this list, I was surprised at some of the women that I, for some reason, thought were from someplace else, but are Louisvillians through and through.

This list is based on the current rosters listed at GoCards.com (with the exception of Volleyball where I was able to make adjustments for the coming year based on my own knowledge).  Listed is the name, along with the high school and specifically where they are from (in the case of individuals listing more specific locations, or if they are from locations outside of Louisville proper, but still in the metro area).

We'll start it off with Cross Country combined with Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field.  Technically this is three separate sports, but there's so much overlap across all of them, it made the most sense to present them together.

Cross Country/Track & Field

Taylor Bradley - Eastern/Louisville
Megan Brooks - Charlestown/Charlestown, IN
Brianne Brown - North Oldham/Prospect
Emily Christman - Silver Creek/Charlestown, IN
Bailey Davis - Assumption/Louisville (two sport)
Hannah Herd - CAL/Simpsonville
Lilli Popovich - CAL/Louisville
Samantha Simms - SHA/Louisville
Abigail Wright - Assumption/Louisville

A nice spread of schools there, plus a couple from across the river, which is a fairly rare thing in the overall list.

Field Hockey

Hailey Netherton - Assumption/Louisville
Katie Walsh - Ballard/Louisville

Unsurprisingly, the Aussie-born (but now American citizen!) Justine Sowry recruits widely, with consequently fewer locals on the team.

Rowing


Mara Louise Atherton - Manual/Louisville
Tiffany Chea - Manual/Louisville
Madeleine Chesney - Manual/Louisville
Emma Crush - Ballard/Prospect
Cynthia Doyle - Western/Louisville
Madelyn Green - KCD/Louisville
Keaton Jesse - Shelby County/Bagdad
Madison Luette - KCD/Louisville
Kylie Noltemeyer - Assumption/Louisville
Katie Nord - Mercy/Louisville
Meredity Price - Manual/Louisville
Hannah Richardson - North Oldham/Prospect
Rachael Schmetzer - SHA/Louisville
Sophie Schulz - CAL/Louisville

Big list, here.  Somewhat due to Rowing just having such a huge roster overall.  Also, they tend to pick up a lot of "novice" rowers from the University population at large, which obviously skews local.  I included Bagdad, in Shelby County, but that was borderline in my mind for being "in the Louisville area".

Soccer


Clare Andres - CAL/Louisville
Shelby Cohen - Oldham County/LaGrange
Hannah Konermann - Mercy/Louisville
Casey Whitfield - Manual/Louisville

Again, a spread of schools, here.  I think I knew Casey was a Manual graduate but it has slipped my mind, so that one was a pleasant surprise to see.

Softball


Michala Riggle - Christian Educational Consortium/Louisville
Jessica Adell - Ballard/Louisville
Morgan Meyer - Mercy/Louisville
Ashley Nikolao - Meade County/Flaherty
Jordan Vorbrink - Mercy/Louisville
Morgan Hart - PRP/Louisville
Sarah Lopesilvery - Oldham County/Simpsonville

Meade County was, again, at the edge of what I would consider "in the Louisville area".  Morgan Meyer is another that I hadn't realized was a hometown one.

Swimming & Diving


Ashley LeClair - SHA/Louisville
Hannah Magnuson - CAL/Louisville
Maggie Patterson - CAL/Louisville

Hannah Magnuson has gotten some attention in the Swimming events, but Arther Albiero is another coach that recruits very broadly and thus only has a fairly small number of locals competing for him.

Tennis


Olivia Boesing - Floyd Central/Floyds Knobs, IN

Tennis has a pretty small roster overall, so only a single local isn't that surprising.  Another of the very few examples from the Sunny Side of Louisville.

Volleyball


Molly Sauer - Assumption/Louisville
Nikki Koval - Mercy/Louisville

This is a relatively low number of hometown folks compared to the past few years.  Katie George is still listed on the site still, but has graduated.  The departure of Maya McClendon also decreased the hometown quotient for Volleyball.  Nikki Koval is not listed on the site, but joined the team in January as a transfer defensive specialist from USF.

Three women's teams at UofL have no locals on them at all: Basketball, Golf, and Lacrosse  Golf, like Tennis, has a very small roster in terms of numbers, so that's not surprising.  Basketball has had some locals in the past, but at Coach Walz ups the quality of recruiting, we're starting to see a wider and wider spread of player hometowns.  Lacrosse is a sport that just isn't all that popular in the Louisville area, although it is definitely a sport that growing in popularity all the time, so look for some locals on this squad in the future.

When you watch UofL sports this coming year, maybe keep some of these names in mind as some hometown heroes to cheer for.

In Other News


Tune in to NBC tonight at 8pm EDT for Day Two of the US Swimming Olympic Team Trials.  UofL's non-hometown-hero-but-we-still-love-her-anyway Kelsi Worrell is seeded second in the 100meter butterfly.  I believe this will be the first event of the telecast.  The top two from the event will join the US Olympic Swimming Team in Rio.  Last night, right before her semi-final swim, NBC had a shot of Kelsi doing the C-A-R-D-S cheer (I believe it was started in the stands and she joined in), while also showing her Cardinal allegiance with her UofL swim cap.

Also, if you, like me, need your volleyball fix.  Janelle Jenkins will be playing tonight at 5pm EDT in Indianapolis at the Girls Junior National Championships event.  This is part of her involvement in USA Volleyball's Collegiate National Team program.  Janelle is part of Team White.  The match will be streamed, though not in very high quality, at usavolleyball.org.  Look for the GJNC event links and it will be the stream for Court 1.  Tess Clark played with Team Red last night, and the two of them will play against each other tomorrow night (Tuesday).  All matches are scheduled for 5pm, but last night's didn't get started until about 6 due to delays in the GJNC matches on that court throughout the day.

- JMcA

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pat Summitt "struggling" as family prepares for worst -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


NO OFFICIAL STATEMENT YET ON 64 YEAR OLD COACH


We normally try to present the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics here at CARDINAL COUPLE, but today we'll reflect on the sad news out of Knoxville, TN.


Reports are that Pat Summitt is "struggling" in a Knoxville nursing home and family and some former players were with her Saturday, preparing to make public statements on her conditions when necessary. 

An unnamed source reported:

"I don't think anybody knows whether she'll last a day, a month or a year." 

Robin Roberts tweeted Saturday morning: 

"Hope you don't mind that I ask for prayers for a dear friend close to the end of her journey. Would mean a lot to her fam. Peace be w/you." 

Summitt coached the Lady Vols for 38 years...starting in 1974. She won 1098 games and 34 SEC Championships. 

I met Summitt in 2010. We hadn't been doing CARDINAL COUPLE very long...not quite a year yet. She and her Vols had come to the KFC YUM! Center to open the Louisville women's basketball 2010-11 season. They defeated the Cards 63-50...a freshman guard by the name of Meghan Simmons had an eye-popping performance for UT to lead them to the win....leading the Vols to a closing 19-6 run. This was before Summitt knew she had the dreaded, unforgiving onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.  


She entered the KFC YUM! Center media room and had a bit of difficulty climbing up to the podium. She joked about that...remarking that she wasn't getting any younger. She commented on several different things...spending more time on the podium that visiting coaches usually do. She had this to say about Jeff Walz: 

"He's excellent. He's really, really good and he's going to continue winning and he's going to continue to get great players. I think he does things the right way and I'd like to try and continue to keep the series going." 

After all the interviews had ended, I went to the Vols locker room to see if I could get a bit more from the legendary coach before they left the arena. I got there just in time. She was actually standing outside the locker room, near the floor entrance...gazing one last time at the interior of the KFC YUM! Center. She offered before she headed to the bus:



" I hope you can fill this place like it was tonight each and every game. Places like this are good for women's college basketball. We really like going to places like this, to play in environments like this. It makes us work hard and try to find a way to win. If we lose, we go home and learn from it. I'd love to play in here again. I'm not sure what the schedule looks like in the future...but tonight was special." 

It was the last time Pat Summitt coached in the KFC YUM! Center. I hope I can remember that sight for a long time...this veteran, heralded, wonderful coach gazing out with almost a childlike, innocent wonder into our arena.

Thank you for that memory, Pat. Rest easy.

                  *               *               *               *

Our weekly broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR has been archived on the Crescent Hill Radio Soundcloud and you can hear it at the link below:

LINK: THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 6-25-16


A fun show, indeed. We got into a variety of subjects and Worldwide tanked badly on the weekly quiz. We stress working hard even in the off-season and if he can't pick his game up...we're just going to have to cut his air-time back. 

Like that would go over well...

paulie
xxxxx



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Louisville women's basketball...Getting Ready -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


MIX OF FRESHMEN, RETURNEES PREPARE FOR THE SEASON


No...the game of women's college basketball doesn't just magically reappear in November. Before that, the players are working hard in the off-season to prepare for the five months that lie ahead for them. 

In UofL WBB's case...the month of June has been all about the conditioning and getting to know each other. With four of the five freshmen already on campus, they and the returnees are hitting the gym and the weight room to prepare themselves for their trip to Cuba in August and beyond. 

It's not all about the weight room and Cardinal Arena, though. Group building exercises, excursions and classes are also on the summer agenda for the 2016 team. 

Preparations in the summer are key for fall and winter success. Based on the way the players looked at the recent Walz Skills Camp, they're staying fit and ready to shine.

QUICK HITS

-- We've had a few questions on the foot fracture that Sydney Zambrotta suffered. It's doesn't seem to be of much worry to the coaching staff...based on the conversations I've been a part of. The leg scooter she's using is a preventative measure...it's a "slight" fracture and expectations are that "Syd" will be ready to go for the Cuba trip. 


-- Nashville, anyone? There is a rumor out there (unconfirmed as of yet) that the Cards may be heading south in December to visit the Music City for a game against Vanderbilt. The Commodores have new coaching in place...if this does go down, I hope they play somewhere else in town besides the "crackerbox" campus gym called Memorial Gym. How about Bridgestone Arena? Louisville fans would travel for this one...could the 'Dores fans muster enough interest to make this a 10,000 or so attended event?

Also, I would love to see the Cards "make a weekend" of it and play former Cardinal assistant Cam Newbauer's Belmont squad while in town. If not this year, maybe it's something they could work on down the road (if, in fact, it happens at all). 

Conjecture and conditioning...have a great Saturday.

            *            *            *             *

THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR

We hit the Crescent Hill studios again this morning for another exciting edition of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. Show begins at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the Internet at: www.crescenthillradio.com

A variety of things to discuss today...the Walz camp and audio from Dez Byrd, swimming, academics and a WorldWide quiz...it should be frivolity at a frantic pace!

Join us, won't you?

paulie
xxxxx


Friday, June 24, 2016

Going the distance...Campers travel over 1400 miles for Walz Skills Camp -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



FROM SHIPROCK, NM TO LOUISVILLE

(Portions of today's article are from the New Mexico Activities Association Spotlight News)  


One of the things I like to do when watching a skills camp is go over the roster to see where the participants are coming in from. Obviously, Louisville players were in force...15 camp attendees were from our fair city to take part in the Walz Skills camp on Wednesday. 24...about 1/3 of the total...hailed from Kentucky. Ohio was well represented with 10 players and Indiana sent eight high-schoolers to learn from the Cardinal coaches, players and staff. 

Then there was the Shiprock, NM contingent. 

Three girls (Tia Woods 2018, TionTai Woods 2020 and Tanisha Begay 2017) made the 1411 mile trek from Shiprock to Louisville. Only Shelby McDaniel (Honolulu, HI) came further. 22 hours by car, according to Google, from their high school to the Student Activities Center on the UofL Belknap Campus. 


Tanisha is an interesting story, indeed. She averaged 15 points for the Lady Chieftains as a sophomore and was selected for the New Mexico first team all-state squad. Her team has gone 55-5 over the last two years. At 5'9" she's also a member of the New Mexico Heat Elite travelling squad and tours the nation during the summer with that travelling team. 

College interest in her? 

Coaches can start contacting players on Sept 1st to let them know they're thinking about them. At 10 p.m. on Aug 31st. in New Mexico (midnight on the east coast) she got her first two contacts.

From Princeton and Columbia. Ivy League. 

" I was...like...'What is this?...when my phone started vibrating to tell me I'd received an e-mail. Princeton was the first one and Columbia right after that." Begay relates.  


Others followed. New Mexico, New Mexico State and UNLV all reached out to her early as well. Begay carries a 4.0 GPA and also plays volleyball, runs track and cross country and shoots golf for Shiprock.

On the court she wears #23...no doubt inspired by Shoni's success in college and the WNBA. She wears #5 in volleyball...we haven't been able to determine if it's because of Katie George or not. 

Shiprock is in Navajo Country. Whether Louisville has made any recruitment of her yet is unknown...but there is always the possibility she might be the next Shoni Schimmel of the women's college basketball world. Or an Ivy League superstar. Whatever path she ends up on, she is driven to excel. As she puts it...

"You feel the success you have and you want to feel it even more...so what's the point of stopping at a certain point? I want to be the better person out there and it's what drives me and makes me be a better person on the court and in the classroom."



paulie
xxxxx




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Walz Skills Camp -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


OVER 70 RISING STARS COMPETE IN SECOND WALZ SKILLS CAMP



The heavenly stars may be out over Louisville, KY skies this evening...but the girls' high school basketball version of stars were certainly on display in Cardinal Arena Wednesday afternoon at the Jeff Walz Elite Skills Camp.

A "tired" but raptly involved Coach Walz was on hand to preside over the drills, skill-tests, scrimmages and interaction of over seventy rising high school basketball players...coming in from as far as Honolulu, HI and Shiprock, NM to learn from the Cardinals' staff, players and instructors. 

All the Cards assistant and associate coaches were on hand to monitor and organize the activities...plus players Myisha Hines-Allen, Briahanna Jackson, Arica Carter, Brianna Jones, Cortnee Walton, Jessica Laemmle, Sam Fuehring (as a blonde!), Ciera Johnson, Kylee Shook, Taylor Johnson and Sydney Zambrotta...the latter using a leg scooter because a slight foot fracture.


.
TOGETHER AGAIN ON THE COURT.
OH, MY !!!!A-TAYY AND GRANDMA
In addition to the Cards players and staff, UofL greats Asia Taylor and Dez Byrd were also covering the five courts in use...Taylor still with the boundless energy and dominating court-presence that we all came to love and admire during her years here. It's always great catching up with my buddy and Sonja's all-time favorite Cardinal "A-Tayy" and the girls under her instruction were gaining valuable knowledge on the skills and needs for playing in the paint. 

Byrd, still looking like she could put up a double-double in points and assists, is back in the 'Ville while also busily involved in her Byrd's Basketball Evolution organization. I highly recommend that you check out their activities at:



http://byrdsbasketballevolution.webs.com/


I also got a few minutes of "air-time" with Dez that we'll play on our Saturday radio show...THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. You won't want to miss these four minutes of classic, fun and inspirational "Dez"!  

Ah...yes...the players. I knew we were needing to discuss something else in this article...


Headlined by top ranked 2019 prospect Zoe Evans, top ranked 2020 prospect Sarah Andrews, 2017 powerhouse Lindsey Duvall, rising Chattanooga junior Elizabeth Balogun and many other top-flight players from the 2017-2021 classes...there was plenty of great basketball on display for the spectators. 

Upon arrival, I spent my first moments observing the post players. Steph Norman led them through ball-handling, positioning, one and two handed passing, shooting and driving skills. Over the next four hours, I watched a variety of drills, scrimmages, question and answer sessions and instructions with these eager and hard-working campers. 

A recruiting service or professional evaluator of high school girls basketball talent...I am not. I will share with you, though, my observations on some players who did catch my attention.


-- Zoe Young. 5'10". Urbandale, IA. 2019. It's easy to see why she's one of the top-ranked in her class. She moves effortlessly up and down the court, shooting with accuracy and getting her teammates involved. She's got an incredibly quick first step that was fun to watch and she's not afraid to mix it up inside, either. It's hard to believe she's just a rising sophomore with her skill set. 

-- Sarah Andrews. 5'8" Irving, TX. 2020. Andrews drives well to the basket and finishes very effectively. A ball-hawking defender, she creates her share of steals and can usually finish them off with a layup. She's not afraid to take the rock down the lane and can score with either hand. I didn't see a lot of outside shooting from her..but her mid-range game is very solid for just a freshman.   

-- Lindsey Duvall. 5'8" Mt.Washington, KY. 2017.  Scouts have raved about her ability to bury the mid-range jumper, attack the basket and distribute the ball very effectively and all that was on display on Wednesday. She worked well with the "bigs" she was teamed up with (Diamond Forrest, Grace Berger) and her and Zoe Young working together on the same team was a delight to watch. 

-- Elizabeth Balogun. 6'3" Chattanooga, TN 2018. She showed some very strong and polished inside moves and is a dangerous shot-blocker. Can score easily inside or from mid-range and runs the court very well...finishing effectively on fast breaks. A veteran observer and I agreed she looks like a young Asia Taylor with her multiple skills and court domination. 


-- Tatyana Wyatt. 6'2" Columbus, GA 2017. This smooth-as-silk forward is an all-over-the-court player who can beat the defense inside with deceptive moves or post a foe up from outside and punish them all day. Wyatt understands the flow of the game very well and is very capable of making big defensive stops. Watching her and Jorie Allen ( 6'1" - Bedford, IN 2019) go against each other in one of the scrimmages was an exciting and well matched duel of skilled players pushing each other to play their best. Allen has the court sense and scoring ability to become a great one and is just a sophomore...look for her to be one of the best in the Hoosier state by her senior year. She goes to the boards with aggression and has a soft, inside touch. 

Diminutive Dakota McCaughhan. 5'2" Secane. PA 2020 was a pleasant surprise to watch at point guard. Torching the competition with her three, she also drives the ball down the court at a ferocious pace with accuracy and confidence. A very skilled defender...this "attack Yorkie" won my heart over with her fearless play and more-than-held her own with players easily six or more inches taller than her. 

Others I made notes on...Jordan Brock 5'8" Harlan, KY. 2017 passes the ball well and had great up and down the court quickness. Can knocked the lights out of it from three range if left unguarded. Kayla Kirtley 6'2" Arcadia, IN 2018 has a very nice outside jumper for her height and position...could be a definite wing threat for someone down the road. Ajah Stallings 5'9" Indianapolis 2018 has a nice outside touch and drives to the basket well...give her a step and you're not gonna contain her. Meghan Walz 5'9" Fort Thomas, KY 2018 is Jeff Walz's niece and has a nice overall game...steady on defense and displaying a nice shooting touch. 

My two candidates for Worldwide's ALL-NAME team were Treasure Hunt (5'11" Chattanooga, TN 2020) and Diamond Forrest ( 6'4" Smyrna, TN 2017). 

Obviously, there are merits, accolades and appreciation for any and all who attend a prestigious skills camp like this one has become and I didn't get a chance to watch any set of players or teams too long...since I was trying to get an overall feel for the camp and maneuvering around the five courts. Congratulations to all the girls who put out great effort Wednesday! 

All of you were a pleasure to watch with your skills, hard work, spirit and competitive nature. As I mentioned to Louisville director of women's basketball operations Kate Matthews...it makes me want this 2016-17 basketball season to start...tomorrow! 

paulie
xxxxx




Louisville WBB hosts Elite Camp today -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


TOP PROSPECTS TAKE THE COURT TODAY

We've discussed here before that June and July are huge camps months on the UofL Belknap Campus. A huge camp among these camps takes place today when Jeff Walz's Elite Camp brings in talented high school girls basketball players to go through the skills and drills in Cardinal Arena.

Expected to attend are:

-- #1 ranked in the class of 2019 Zoe Young. The 5'9" off-guard from Valley High School in Des Moines, IA. She's already received offers from Iowa, Iowa St., Michigan St. and Louisville going into her sophomore year. Comfortable with bombing from trifectaland or leading the fast break...she has coaches raving about her athleticism and skills.  

Basketball took her away from her early love...figure skating on the ice...and the results from frozen water to freezing defenders were catching coaches attention. 

The national recruiting process started early on for her...Indiana showed interest when she was a seventh-grader. 

-- Also expected to participate in #1 in the 2020 class Sarah Andrews. Andrews is a high-energy point guard who excels and breaking down defenses with her passing skills and floor leadership and can score accurately from the perimeter or inside the paint.

Getting ready to enter her freshman year in Irving, TX...the 5'6" play-maker also exhibits her skills for Lady Big Dogs Basketball...and his very comfortable and fits in well with players 3-4 years older than her. 

Should be some intense competition today at Walz's Elite Camp. Paulie will try to swing by and get some sights and sounds on the day.

paulie
xxxxx 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dana Evans added to USA U18 Women's National Team...2017-18 UofL WBB -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


EVANS REPLACES INJURED DANGERFIELD ON FIBA SQUAD


Dana Evans, a 5'6" guard from Gary, IN that is currently listing Louisville in her college list, has been selected to replace injured Crystal Dangerfield (hip) on the 2016 USA Women's National U 18 team that will compete in the FIBA Americas Championships in Valvidia, Chile July 13-17.

Evans relates: 

" I was surprised and excited. I saw Colorado Springs pop up on my phone and I jumped up. This means a lot to me, being the first boy or girl from Gary, IN to play for a USA junior basketball national team. I have a really strong faith in what God has planned for me. I'm dedicated to this game of basketball and I enjoy playing it. This is a dream come true and I am thankful for the opportunity." 

Suzie McConnell-Serio (Pittsburgh) and her staff chose the right person to replace the talented point-guard Dangerfield. Evans is a ultra-quick and talented floor general that can distribute the ball well and definitely create opportunities for her own shot. She's a disrupting influence on defense and very comfortable in a up-tempo type of game.

All those accolades fit well for a Jeff Walz style team. 


                                 *     *    *



Speaking of the Louisville women's basketball team, during my appearance on Howie Lindsey's Louisville 1st radio show this morning, the question was posed to me about what recruiting needs did Jeff Walz need to fill for next year's class. 


Not being Jeff Walz, there is no way I can give a 100% accurate answer on who or what Coach Walz and staff feel their needs are. My answer revolved around taking what they do bring in and getting them to jell with the squad that returns for the 2017-18 season. 

My segments on Howie's show are usually just 5-10 minutes so there was not time to get in-depth on the subject. Here's a bit more on it: 

One would assume Louisville would want additional depth at the guard slots. Looking ahead to 2017-18, let's presume that Asia Durr, Arica Carter, Sydney Zambrotta, Jessica Laemmle and Jazmine Jones will all be on campus. Adding a Evans would be a great gain. Another guard wouldn't hurt. The name Lindsey Duvall has been bandied around a bit by fans, since she re-opened her recruiting options. The leading question of our readership from last year about Louisville women's basketball revolved around guard play. We expect significant improvement at the guard spots in 2016-17...skilled and versatile graduate student Taylor Johnson joins the returnees and freshmen.

2017-18 has Mariya Moore and Brianna Jones back at wing. Jazmine Jones is certainly capable of popping out there and Kylee Shook would be an option as well. Wing looks secure. 


Inside, hopefully Myisha Hines-Allen, Shook, Ciera Johnson, Bionca Dunham, Sam Fuehring and Loretta Kakala (so far, the lone 2017 commit) will all be on campus for the 2017-18 season. That is a very impressive list. Adding height obviously never hurts and the Cards could be looking for another 6'4" - 6'5" post player. 

We've mentioned 13 players here. Of course, there is always the happenstance of transfers. Over the past two years, a total of six players (Syd Brackemyre, Taja Cole, Erin DeGrate, Ariana Freeman, Megan Deines and Emmonnie Henderson) have either left the program to play elsewhere or decided to concentrate on another sport. Out of the 13 listed, one never knows if there are a couple listed that may not be back for 2017-18. 

So, let's get through 2016-17 first. The anticipation is off the charts. 

paulie
xxxxx 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Up and Coming - Monday Cardinal Couple

Is Swimming & Diving the Most Up and Coming Program?


The last decade has seen the emergence of a number of UofL athletics programs onto the national scenes of their sport.

Women's basketball has been on the rise under Jeff Walz's tenure on campus. It wasn't in all that bad shape before Walz...Tom Collen was getting to the NCAA Tournament, but was stepped on the accelerator and WBB took off. 

Lacrosse didn't exist as a competing team a decade ago, and already this team is achieving national rankings, appearances in the NCAA tournament, and signature victories over top national powers. 

Field Hockey has a much longer history at UofL, but has been on a similar trajectory of late. Pam Bustin left the program in good shape for Justine Sowry and our recent USA citizen has grown it into a top ten contender each year. 

But is everyone chasing the taillights of Swimming & Diving right now?  I believe so.  

The big story (on the women's side, at least) has been Kelsi Worrell, but she's not been alone in visibility on the big stages of swimming and diving.  We mentioned Alina Kendzior, a rising sophomore, during The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this weekend, for setting two national records for Estonia in the 100m and 50m backstroke events.

Mallory Comerford, also entering her sophomore year, has been making waves in the butterfly, looking to follow in Worrell's footsteps to become Louisville's Fly specialist.

Andrea Kneppers just graduated, but also took great strides in achieving success for The Cards and is still swimming well for The Netherlands while, across the North and Baltic Seas, Tanja Kylliainnen looks to be making an Olympics appearance for Finland.

Other names to keep an eye on for the future of UofL swimming are Sophie Cattermole, Andrea Cottrell, Paige Ezell, and Abigail Houck..

Let's not forget that the sport includes Diving as well, and Andrea Acquista made the NCAA championship event this past year.  With the hiring, a couple of years ago, of KZ Li as Head Diving Coach, the Diving side of this team looks to take some major steps forward as well.

Is Swimming and Diving the most up and coming program at UofL?  I think so, some programs are more advanced at this point, but the upward rise of the Swimming and Diving squad appears to be more rapid, at this point, than any of the others.  Arthur Albiero has already built a strong (and very international!) program, and is looking for more success in the future.  Cardinal Couple will be watching and providing the best coverage we can.

___________________________________________________


In case you missed the Saturday broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on WCHQ 100.9 and streaming live on the Internet at www.crescenthillradio.com, the rebroadcast is available on SoundCloud. 

LINK: https://soundcloud.com/chradio/cardinal-couple-20160618


JMcA