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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

EXPECTATIONS, HYPE HIGH FOR UofL WBB SQUAD...FIELD HOCKEY INTEREVIEWS -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



FANS LOOKING FOR ANOTHER FINAL FOUR

The University of Louisville women's basketball team starts the regular season Friday in Martin, TN against the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks. Not a bad team last year...going 22-10 and defeating Memphis in the first round of the WNIT. They're picked to finish second in the Ohio Valley Conference this year...behind Belmont (who Louisville plays after UT-Martin) and they return two starters in Jessy Ward and Emanye Robertson. It's their season-opener as well...and their fans will pack the Skyhawk Arena to capacity to take in the action.  

We'll get much more in-depth in our Skyhawk preview on Friday...(maybe I'll even get my promised media packet from them by then...)

After a feel-good win for the Cards over Lindsey Wilson 97-50, I've heard from a few of you...the Louisville fans...about the game, the team and the expectations you have for the season. As most of you know, you don't have to prod me too hard to talk about any women's sports and basketball is the one I've been following the longest...so it's been fun *and hopefully will continue to be* a pleasure talking about this bunch of Belknap Birds so far.

There are high expectations out there with you for another run to the Final Four. That's admirable...and I wouldn't mind a trip to Dallas in the spring, either...but that road will not be an easy or guaranteed one.


Howie Lindsey, he of radio morning show LOUISVILLE FIRST, asked me the other morning about my starting five again. So do a lot of you. Now that I've seen Louisville in action. I'm glad to provide it...and have pretty much given up trying to patiently explain to people that the important five is the one that finishes a close game. Taking current injuries into account...I'm fine with a starting five of Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore, Asia Durr, Briahanna Jackson and Ciera Johnson. The Cards started that combination against LWC and left it out there for about three minutes before the substitutions began. I'm not reading much into the fact that when Bionca Dunham came in for Johnson...the Cards went on a 13-0 run before the next substitution. I also think that Cortnee Walton will regain her starting role once the elbow is good to go. 

Mind you, these are all my personal observations. I have no coaches whispering in my ear (actually, much the opposite..when Coach Walz called me out in the LWC presser for poor performance) nor do I have a crystal ball into the future.


You want to know about if the Cards can beat Kentucky this year. It comes up very often when I'm talking with you. You want this "W" very bad and I think they players do as well. And, the Cats have lost a lot of players...but Epps is still on campus and that keeps them pretty much in any game they play. Do I think Louisville can beat Kentucky? I certainly do. Do I think they will? I'm holding opinion on that until I see how the Cards fare against Maryland and South Carolina. in any event, it should be a fun first Sunday in December down by the mighty Ohio. 

You have asked me how the staff is going to keep all these players happy with playing time. I'll tell you that players, in the Walz system, get playing time because of their work ethic. As Coach has said, if you feel you need to take a night off, that's fine...he's got plenty of others who would like those minutes. I know he and the staff are concerned about the overall health and happiness of their squad. They always have been. The way I see it, if you are unhappy about a situation, you need to do something to change it (like turn a few heads in practice on in the game minutes you receive) or accept your role and move on with it. It's not about who can draw the prettiest picture, it about who uses their crayons the most effectively.

I'm looking forward to the game against UT-Martin...as well as the rest of the schedule. You've made it clear to us here at CARDINAL COUPLE that women's basketball is your favorite sport we cover. It's basketball season and we plan on doing that...while keeping a eye on the other UofL women's sports going on. 

We'll have a lot of other clowns in the car with us when it comes to WBB. The main-stream media basically ignores women's soccer, field hockey and volleyball. Oh, sure...they cover a few things during the season...but it isn't to the level of coverage that they descend on women's hoops with. With that, you get the un-knowledgeable and grand-standers as well. I guess coverage is good, no matter how it manifests its-self. Or, even the slow and boring have their stories to tell as well....Don't get me wrong...there are a lot of great journalists, media-types and pundits out there. They didn't show up for LWC, for the most part, but very soon they'll be jamming up media row and most likely be sending me and Sonja to the end-zone seating areas. 

So, what you have waited for is here. 18 chances to see Jeff Walz's team in the KFC YUM! Center. TV galore between the four-letter network, ACC Network Extra, RSN and probably a couple of more outlets. You're anticipating great things for this women's basketball team...while silently hoping they don't stumble out of the gate like last year. 

Keep in mind that there will be ups and downs on this roller-coaster. How will the Cards handle the challenging stretch where they face South Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, Western Kentucky and South Dakota State? Will Asia Durr continue the incredible start she has gotten off to.? Will the freshmen continue to be a significant part of the success we saw against LWC? Does free throw shooting improve? We hope and pray each year that injuries will be kept to a minimum...can Walton, Shook and Carter get back to playing and will they perform effectively? 


These two brought a lot of joy and excitement to WBB! 
Let's not forget the most important element...the one we base CARDINAL COUPLE on...the joy and excitement. We hope to see the dazzling debut of Jazmine Jones, Dunham, Durr and their teammates continue to soar. I get as excited about walking into the KFC YUM! Center each home game as I do about anything. The atmosphere, activity, greeting all of you and the games. Five months of fantastic fulfillment and electric excitement. For all the hype and explosiveness Lamar Jackson has created this fall, I hope to see several WBB players and this team get the nationwide attention, admiration and praise that #8 has drawn. 

Welcome to where dreams live. Where hope soars, giddiness and frustration stroll down the street together. A place where levity and anger share bunk beds with expectations and disappointments. Sit down, buckle up and prepare for the ride. It's going to be an entertaining one. 


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FIELD HOCKEY INTERVIEWS


UofL's Field Hockey squad travels to Durham, NC to open the NCAA Tournament against Delaware on Saturday. Coach Justine Sowry, Ayeshia McFerran, Lotta Kahlert and Erin McCrudden met with members of the media Wednesday morning to discuss the upcoming game that'll take place on Saturday. We have the audio for you below: 

LINK: Justine Sowry https://soundcloud.com/user-748907999/dr0000_0906mp3-justine-sowry

LINK: Ayeshia McFerran https://soundcloud.com/user-748907999/dr0000_0907mp3-ayeshia-mcferran

LINK: Lotta Kahlert: https://soundcloud.com/user-748907999/dr0000_0908mp3

LINK: Erin McCrudden: https://soundcloud.com/user-748907999/dr0000_0909mp3 


We'll have more on the tournament and the Cards on Saturday and also discuss on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR on WCHQ 100.9 FM Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

paulie
xxxxx 

14 comments:

  1. Paulie, UK lost half their team and you are still holding opinion on whether Cards will beat them is a testament Matthew Mitchell and your healthy RESPECT for their program. I find it amazing they still have a chance to even be competitive! Lets lay a double digit thrashing on them and get rid of this "guard" curse they have held over us for 5 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UofL has had better team than them in the past and still lost. Naturally, I hope UofL wins by a bunch. I respect their talent...especially Epps. Respecting the program? Nah...not so much.

      Paulie

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  2. Asia Durr has played one exhibition game. That is not an incredible start. It's encouraging for sure though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure looked incredible to us on press row in that first quarter when she was bombing the lights out of the ball. Encouraging, yeah, you bet.

      Paulie

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    2. Wade is a notorious Asia Durr doubter. His reputation proceeds him! 😆

      Delete
    3. After the game I was talking with a couple of other media types and we came up with Durr as our Player-of-the-game. We were also very impressed with Sam Fuehring and Bionca Dunham. As far as MHA goes...well, I'm always impressed with her.

      Paulie

      Delete
  3. I am hereby on Wed Nov 9 2016 predicting a double digit Louisville obliteration OVER UK on Sunday Dec 4 and dancing in the streets of Lou-ah-vull. Jeff Walz, after the game, will even finally refrain from referencing how the Cards go further in the tournament than UK every year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if the Cards lose to SC and MD which we have an even 50/50 chance of winning both, the Cards will annihilate the Cats

      Delete
    2. I approve this message!

      Paulie

      Delete
  4. Long Beach will give UK a great game in opener with a chance of beating them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raven Benton has skill, was a double digit performer for them last year ans is a pre-seasson all-conference pick in the Big West. They were 24-9 last year and were picked in the preseason poll to finish first in the Big West. I can see them giving the Cats a tussle, for sure...if they were on UK's schedule.

      The two teams don't play this year...at least not on any of the 2016-17 schedules I am looking at.

      If they did, though...it could be a interesting game. LB State does play Duke in the pre-conference slate and that could be a fun one to watch.

      Paulie

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    2. thanks I thought my drinking days were over but I'll keep working at it!

      Delete
  5. If UofL play's good defense they will beat UK!��

    ReplyDelete

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