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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bowl, baskets and radio...SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


With today's title...rest assured I'm not recalling what I picked up at the yard sale down the street. Or providing an early Christmas list for next year. The Cards football squad tries to take a Tiger by the tail in the Citrus Bowl today at 11 a.m. in Orlando. The men's hoops contingent heads to Indy to shoot it out with the Hoosiers and we're back on the air with The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.

Let's take a look at all three events: 


LAMAR VS. DEFENSE


The Citrus Bowl tomorrow looks pretty much to me a question of whether Lamar Jackson can continue his Heisman-like efforts against an LSU squad which may have the best defensive Louisville has seen all season. He'll have help, of course, from his multiple and impressive receiver core and a couple of bona-fide running backs in Brandon Radcliff and Jeremy Smith. 

Can the Cards put aside the distractions of Wakey-Leaks, the shooting of James Hearns and Henry Famuerwa and suspension of coach Lonnie Galloway and just go out and play 60 minutes of un-troubled football? 

Louisville didn't end the season on the field on a bright note either with losses to Houston and UK. They've had a bit of time to implement a plan for this one, though....and Bobby usually does pretty good when you give him that luxury. Lamar finds a way to get it done and the Cards prevail today...we'll say 35-24.

This one goes at 11 a.m. on ABC.  


CARDS VS HOOSIERS


The Cardinal fan base is divided this weekend...with many headed to Camping World Stadium to tailgate and (I've heard maybe as many as 10,000) fans taking I-65 N to Indy for hoops. The Bankers Life Fieldhouse hosts the Cards and Indiana for a 12:38 p.m. (I love the preciseness here..) on CBS. What if it starts at 12:39? Does someone get fired? 

Both squads are coming off disappointing losses. The #11 Cards fell to Virginia a couple of nights ago 61-53 after knocking off #2 UK last week. #16 IU stumbled in their conference opener against Nebraska 87-83 in Bloomington. 

Decisions, decisions...for the fans staying home. Do you head somewhere that has a lot of TV's (remember you're competing against UK's football bowl game also in the bars) or just split-screen it at home?  

I don't know what it is about going to games in Indy...but I haven't seen a lot of Louisville wins when I attend...so I'm staying home and doing radio. You're welcome, Rick. I'll say Cards 77 - Hoosiers 74. 

We're gonna ask you find a way to include THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR in this sports smorgasbord as well...here's the details: 


THEY'RE BACK! THEY'RE BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN! 

(Sorry, Aerosmith...for the song title usage here...but I really do like the song)

SONG LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIPS4LyveJs


"I KNOW it's a grill...why isn't there anything on it?" 
THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR returns to the airwaves after taking last week off. Case, Worldwide and I will fill you in on men and women's hoops, football and whatever comes across our minds. We'll probably watching football in the studio, so ignore any dead air or profanity that might occur. It's pretty common for us, actually. I'll also ask the guys to give me a New Year's Resolution. I'll have one, too. 

We have great audio from Jeff Walz, Asia Durr, Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore and Quentin Hillsman for you and Case will try and land a single-engine Cessna on Frankfort Avenue sometime during the broadcast. 

(OK, he really isn't going to try that but it might be fun and we'll keep it under advisement.) If you have any suggestions on things we can have Case attempt...tweet us @Cardcoupleradio

Hello, radio! Glad to be back. We tee off at 11 a.m. On WCHQ 100.9 FM locally and the Internet Link below:

www.crescenthillradio.com

Hiya, buddy! Good morning! 
Paulie
xxxxx 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Louisville women's basketball -- Fluer de "Durr"...Cards pick off Orange 91-76 -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


ASIA DURR'S 34-POINT SECOND HALF PERFORMANCE HELPS LEAD WBB CARDS TO WIN OVER SYRACUSE.


The Fluer De Lis is the official symbol and seal of Louisville, KY. The English translation from French is "lily flower."  Last night in the KFC YUM! Center in front of 8586 enthused and loud fans...the University of Louisville women's basketball team put its own seal out there and created a new symbol...The Fluer De Durr. Asia Durr was the lily flower of Louisville and was in full bloom in the second half on a cold, raw and windy winter's eve.   

The Douglasville, GA sophomore had 34 second-half points on 10 for 18 shooting that included seven three pointers to put the Cards on her back and rally them to a 15 point win over the Syracuse Orange in a topsy-turvy, wild and exciting contest that featured a total seven players in the contest reaching double figures. 36 total for Asia..which means, you guessed it...a mere two in the first half. 

Durr had 18 points in a pivotal third quarter that saw the Cards erase a seven-point halftime deficit and take a 20-point with a 31-4 run over the first 7:40 that put them up 64-44 after trailing 40-33 at the half. She added 16 in the final ten minutes...including a "Are-you-kidding me?" three as the shot-clock expired with five seconds left in the contest to set the final score and drive the fans into one last, deafening frenzy. 

In-"Durr"-structable..."Durr-mination." Create your own Durr-word-play. 

The final feats from the Flock fared much better than the first 17 minutes in this one. Louisville was "the gang that couldn't shoot straight" and looked flat and without purpose against a 'Cuse squad that jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the first six minutes and sank four threes in a rough first quarter that saw Louisville trailing 22-10 after ten minutes. The Cards were 4 for 18 from the floor and had seven turnovers. Alexis Peterson was scoring anytime she felt like it and the Cards defense was about as appealing as a dry bologna sandwich on stale bread and no mayo or cheese... 

The Cards were still down by 11 at 27-16 halfway through the second act when  Sydney Zambrotta came in a provided a brief rallying spark with two free throws and a '3' but Louisville was only able to pare the Syracuse margin to seven at the break...needing a 5-0 flurry in the final 1:23 after a Mariya Moore three and Briahanna Jackson jumper closed out the first half scoring. 40-33 Syracuse after twenty and although the barn door was still closed there was a tad of hope that the cows were gathering around the entrance and expecting the farmer to let them in. 

Coach Walz wasn't too specific about what the team discussed at halftime. It probably wasn't the death of Debbie Reynolds or college bowl football. A vague reference from Myisha in the post-game presser...mentioning it was a game of runs (Prophetic... right?) and Louisville needing to cut deeper into the lead with good defense. 

Actions speak louder than words.


The Cards got the final half started in the right direction when Myisha Hines-Allen popped in two straight buckets in 38 seconds. Durr added a pair of free throws, Hines-Allen cashed in a layup and Louisville had a 42-40 lead. Then ensued a confusing sequence where Jackson was called for a foul and Syracuse's Brittany Sykes was whistled for a technical...all at the 7:38 mark. Durr hit one of the two free throws and then countered with a trifecta 15 seconds later to make it a 10-0 Louisville run. A harvest of Cardinal baskets (let's call it the Durr/Fuehr sequence) followed after a Orange bucket. Durr jumper, Sam Fuehring inside, Fuehring again inside, three for Durr and it was suddenly 54-42 Cards with half the half left to play.

The Cards would push on out to a 20-point advantage but "Q" 's players would close the half on a wild 15-5 run in the final 2:20 of the quarter to get within ten after three. Only four Cards scored in the third period...Durr with 18, Fuehring 10, HInes-Allen with six and Walton two. 55 total points scored in 10 minutes. 

What would the fourth quarter bring in this already frenzied and action-packed contest? 

More "soup du Durr" was served (hey, who let the Swedish Chef in here?) but not before Syracuse made one last attempt to steal the server's tray.

A Peterson 5-0 run to start the final period had the visitors within five at 69-64

Rut row.

A painful 90 seconds followed with just one Cardinal basket and five total missed shots before Durr drained a three. Gabby Cooper countered for the "Q" crew with a bomb but Hines-Allen's jumper and Durr's fifth "3" of the contest gave Louisville some breathing room at 79-69 with 5:34 to play. Durr connected on her sixth three to give the Cards a stress-relieving 84-69 advantage with 4:23 to go.  A dubious double technical foul...on Sykes again and BJ...with 3:42 left...stopped action for a few minutes at 84-71. Hines-Allen's jumper and the the final five Cardinal points of the game from Durr gave Louisville a hard-fought, well-deserved 91-76 victory. 

Besides Durr's 36...MHA finished with 18, Mariya Moore shone with a triple-double consisting of 11 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds and Fuehring's nine minute flurry added 10 to round out the UofL (13-2) double-figure performers. Credit to Peterson for pouring in 31 in the contest and Sykes had 20 and 10 rebounds in the losing cause for now 9-5 Syracuse. 

HOW DID FRED DO? 


Free throws -- Saints preserve us and praise Mother McCree...Louisville went 20-24 from the foul line for 83%. Durr's 9-12 was a big part of that...Moore 4-4 and three players at 2-2 allow me to award...with a tear in my eye and smile on my face a Capital "F" here. Thank you...Blessed Mother of the Charity Stripe. 

Rebounding -- The Cards ruled the paint with a 45-27 advantage.. The M&M gals with 21 and how about BJ with nine? Keep the capital letters coming...no doubt about a "R" in this column. 

Effort/Execution -- Durr's performance in the second half was outstanding and the Louisville run to start the third exemplary, yes...but Louisville started slow and had a burp to end the third and start the fourth. 18 Cards turnovers and 10 Syracuse steals create a scenario where we'll award a letter...but a small case "e". 

Defense -- It was good at times but allowing 13 threes, getting only four steals and forcing just 13 turnovers...plus allowing Sykes and Peterson 51 points on 43% shooting..means the "d" wasn't spectacular. I know, they're great guards, but they were averaging just slightly over 40 a game between the two of them prior to tonight.  The defense shone brightly to start the third. The "d"was good enough when it mattered and we'll complete the Fred sequence with a lower case "d".

Final FRED tally :  F-R-e-d


What We Liked

Asia Durr. (Fill in your own superlatives.) As I tweeted early this morning...

Asia Durr @A_Hooper25 had one of the most amazing performances I've seen in the 2nd half with 34 points in @UofLWBB 91-76 win over Syracuse.

Even "Q" Quentin Hillsman, the head Syracuse coach, opening remarks at the post-game presser were: "I guess we gotta say...Asia Durr. Wow. What a tremendous performance by her."

The run. To expand it just a bit...Louisville went from a 40-28 deficit in the second quarter to a 64-44 lead late in the third. That's a 36-4 run over roughly ten minutes. That'll win you a few games. 

Also starring... Let's not forget Moore, Hines-Allen, Fuehring and BJ's big efforts in this one. A star needs a solid supporting cast and Durr had one Thursday night. 


"Q" getting ready for his post-game radio show
The "Q" show! Another stellar performance by the Syracuse head coach. with a dizzying array of hand and arm gestures, plaintive pleas, ever-changing facial expressions, referee-bantering and player interactions...he lived up to the show we expected. The coat came off, the refs got Shakespearean dialogue and the man was literally drained when he reached the Syracuse radio play-by-play guy sitting next to me for his post-game radio show. I almost stood there and applauded his performance...but that probably would have looked a little weird and most likely would have been misconstrued. Bravo, Q! 

Things To Work On

Slow starts. How can you not get fired up and want to come out right off the bat to demolish the team that knocked you out of the ACC Tournament last year? A top 25 foe? Yes, the engine finally got running...but those first 17 minutes weren't exactly Louisville's finest of the season. 

The lapse. Up by 20, the Cards had the KFC YUM! Center roaring in approval. A 20-5 Syracuse run followed...cutting that lead to five and creating a uneasy feeling in many of those who were giddy a few minutes before. When you have them on the run, chase them out the door and lock it. 

Kylee Shook. Sidelined with a sprained ankle from practice a few days ago, the talented first-year player had to watch this one. No report on when she'll return or severity of the sprain. Although she had the protective cast on, she wasn't on crutches and we hope for a speedy recovery. Sam Fuehring arguably may have got some of those minutes that Kylee might have seen...and made the most of them. We'd like to see both of them tear it up in their time out there in the future...because they are the future. 

So...



This game was a knockdown, battle to the end contest. This game had me worried going into it. I knew Syracuse had a top flight contingent of guards. They have a great three-point capability. They did nothing to assuage that fear of mine early on. Then, suddenly, Asia Durr showed up. That was basketball worth watching and I'll go back and find it on the ACC Network Extra rebroadcasts just to see it again. 

Who will stand up each night for Louisville? It's a query that gets answered by multiple players in varying ways on this Cardinal roster. Myisha one night, Asia the next. A freshman or two. BJ. 

Is Louisville a top five team yet? No, I see others better than them currently. Can they get there this season? I like their chances. 

On a night where runs were as prevalent as bees around a blooming bush in summer...Louisville overcame their staggering start and withstood a final charge from a talented Syracuse team . They got a career performance from a player that just may have a bushel-basket full of them before she ends her days on the Denny Crum Court. A good night during this holiday season. A late Christmas gift and pre-New Year's reason to celebrate. 

got the "W", oh, buddy!!!
paulie
xxxxx


They Said it!  

COACH WALZ POST GAME 

MYISHA HINES-ALLEN and MARIYA MOORE POST GAME

ASIA DURR ADDRESSES THE MEDIA

😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎









Thursday, December 29, 2016

UofL WBB Opens Conference Play -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Host Syracuse in ACC Opener


Jeff Walz and Co. will be hoping to end their Christmas vacation on a better note than Rick Pitino's squad when the Syracuse Orange come to town tonight. The Yum! Center will house a top 25 match-up as the Orange are ranked 25th. Louisville and Syracuse have been pretty even in their history as with the Cards owning an 8-6 advantage. The home advantage is large with Louisville holding a 5-1 lead.

Syracuse is 9-4 on the young season and was on a five game winning streak before falling to Texas A&M last Wednesday. The Orange are a high volume shooting team. They attempted 32 three pointers against the Aggies, but made only 7. Louisville will look to defend the three point line or could be looking at a tough contest.

It all starts with Alexis Peterson for the Orange. Shut her down and you've turned off the ignition and killed the car.

The "Cuse ended UofL's ACC tournament visit last year and the Orange made it all the way to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Championship game. There are a couple of key components gone from that team this year, but they are still a dangerous and worth foe.

Louisville's high hopes for the season would see a boost with a strong start to conference play. The game begins at 7PM and can be found on the ACC Network Extra if you can't make it to downtown Louisville."Q" is in town and that's worth the price of admission alone tonight

Men's Team Lays Egg Against Virginia


The men's basketball team didn't open conference play quite the way they hoped when they faced Virginia. The Cavaliers have been a thorn in Louisville's side since the Cards joined the ACC, as Louisville has been victorious in only one of the teams' five meetings. Although Louisville went on an 18-5 run to end the game to make the final score a bit more respectable, this one was decided early. Donovan Mitchell scored a fast break layup to make it 2-5, 2 of only 4 fast break points scored by the Cards (Louisville has 20 fast break points total in it's five conference games against Virginia). From that point, the Cards were never closer than six points from the Cavs. 

Louisville turned the ball over 11 times in the first half on their way to a 15 point halftime deficit. The Cards righted the ship in the final quarter of the game, but at that point it was too late. It seems that Louisville's complete game performance against Kentucky was an anomaly, and we are likely to see the Jekyll and Hyde team much more often. Louisville is now 1-1 in their holiday gauntlet, and still have tough games on the horizon with Indiana in Indianapolis and Notre Dame in South Bend. 

This one was ugly, and you can look one of many other places to read more about it. That's all I have to say about the game play, so you have my permission to stop reading here, if you'd like. Consider this my official rant warning.

Ditch the 'Yell Leaders'


Against the University of Kentucky, the Louisville marketing team decided to institute 'Yell Leaders.' These are regular students who have been granted the opportunity to be the hype leaders of the student section. It's a great idea in theory, but the implementation falls quite flat. The following are my many gripes with the system. Before I get started, allow me to say that I am not writing this because I'm jealous that I don't get to be a 'yell leader.' I'm writing this in the hopes that the University will get wind of it and understand why they should be canned. 

1) The 'yell leaders' have replaced the Ladybirds. The student section seats begin with Row B. Row A has always been the row on the floor, and its seats have always been reserved for the Ladybirds. In order to make room for the 'yell leaders,' Row A has been removed, leaving the Ladybirds with nowhere to sit. The Louisville dance team is now confined to the tunnel, unable to watch the game or cheer visibly from their seats. I've heard personally from multiple Ladybirds about their disappointment in this new arrangement.

2) The 'chant sheet' created to accompany the 'yell leaders' is full of chants not traditional to the UofL student section. It also encourages chants and behaviors which seem to belong more in a high school gym than a college arena. Fan heckling is commonplace in all sports, but Louisville deserves more originality than turning around while the other team is being introduced. By the way, the Chant Sheet indicates that the students should all be holding newspapers which they pretend to read while being turned around. Students are also expected to throw these newspapers in the air when Louisville scores its first basket. Since I've never even seen a newspaper in the Yum! Center, I'm going to assume that this Chant Sheet was just copied from some other University and edited poorly.

3) The people selected to be the 'yell leaders' aren't particularly good representatives of the University. This gripe is going to sound personal, but I don't intend for it to. The students who are now expected to be the leaders of the student section have a history of being disrespectful and inappropriate to opposing players and officials. Of course, I'm not going to sit here and say that most college students don't say reprehensible things at sporting events. I won't even tell you that I haven't made comments which would be in bad taste. The argument I'm making is that these students have been rewarded for it. Instead of being reprimanded for researching a player's personal life and making sometimes horrible remarks about a girlfriend or sister, they've been promoted for it. This recognition sends a bad message about the type of behavior that UofL wants to see from its students at sporting events.

4) Last, but definitely not least, THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING. The 'yell leaders' were created to motivate the student section and improve the atmosphere in the Yum! Center. Instead, they now just get to have front row seats without the effort of standing in line like everyone else. Against UK, they started a few CARDS chants, but other than that, they only jumped up on their boxes in excitement when everyone else was already excited. They weren't leading anything. Against UVA, only one of four made any effort to do anything other than stand at the front of the student section and watch the game. Even that effort was a half hearted over the shoulder megaphone usage while keeping eyes on the court. Having the opportunity to be a 'yell leader' or leader of the student section should be a sacrifice. This should be about inspiring your fellow students, not about getting the best view of the game for free.

The bottom line is that the creation of the 'yell leader' program is a flop. You heard it here, UofL. Please do something about it. 

P.S. You don't have to yell into a bullhorn. That's kind of what they're for.

Until next time, Go Cards.Beat Syracuse. Beat IU. Beat LSU.
-CH-

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

As ACC WBB Conference Play Draws Near...still a log jam at the top of conference -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



10 TEAMS IN ACC STILL WITH TWO LOSSES OR LESS


Six ACC teams being conference play on Thursday in a league that has 2/3rds of their members at .818 or better so far...in regards to win/loss percentages. 

Still atop the standing is Virginia Tech at 12-0 and now #19 in the nation. With just one loss are #15 Duke, #7 Florida State, #11 Miami and #2 Notre Dame. #8 Louisville, Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia have two losses on the season. 

Out of the remaining five schools, NC State is 10-3, Wake Forest 9-3, Pittsburgh 9-3, #25 Syracuse 9-4 and Boston College at 6-6. Seven ACC schools are ranked in the top 25.

Numbers will start to change soon, of course, as the conference battles get underway. Thursday's ACC v. ACC card includes Louisville hosting Syracuse, #7 Florida State at #11 Miami and #2 Notre Dame travelling to North Carolina State.  The FSU vs. Canes game should be a real doozy...maybe a slight edge to Miami at home...so should Syracuse coming to Louisville. We give the Cards an edge in that one, too. Notre Dame may get a tough test from the Wolfpack...but we see the Irish smiling at the end of this one. 


The national rankings are from the AP polls. The USA Coaches polls are slightly different. I usually go with the AP rankings...unless, of course, the Cards are ranked higher in the USA version. Yes, I am a blatant homer. In the fictitious Paulie polls, I wouldn't have Syracuse ranked. They lost to Drexel. Seriously? I also believe that Virginia Tech will take a bit of beating when they stop playing the Presbyterians, Gardner-Webb's and Bowling Green's of college women's basketball and line up against FSU, Louisville, Notre Dame and Duke. I will give the Hokies credit for wins over Tennessee, Auburn and Nebraska, though. 

So...who are my top five as of 12/28? 



No one can collar Collier at UConn
1) UConn. Someway, somehow they manage to keep dwarfing the rest of women's college basketball. I think DNA testing and surveillance needs to be implemented.
2) Notre Dame. They lost to UConn. They've handled everyone else. Good enough for me.
3) Maryland. They haven't lost yet. The Cards tossed a scare into them. A front line as good as South Carolina's and productive guards.
4) Florida State. They lost to UConn also. With a healthy Romero and Thomas,, Slaughter, White, James, Brown and Conde they can come at you from a lot of angles. 
5) South Carolina. I'm not sure how Duke managed to beat them...but they certainly have handled everyone else so far. Wilson, Coates and Davis an unstoppable power trio. 

Who's hot in the league? 

Syracuse's Alexis Peterson is averaging 22.9 ppg, fifth best in the nation. Rebecca Greenwell (Duke) checks in at 20.5 and Stephanie Watts (UNC) has a 19.8 scoring average per game.


Milan Quinn (Wake Forest) leads the ACC in rebounding with 9.8 grabs a game. She's the only ACC player averaging 9.0 or better. 

Lindsay Allen (Notre Dame) is the leading ACC assist creator with 7.1. Peterson is second with 6.6. Mariya's sister, Minyon Moore, has 5.5 a game for USC. 

Oderah Chidom (Duke) is atop the conference block party with 2.7 a game (32). Virginia's Felicia Alyeotan is next with 28.

Chanette Hicks (Va Tech) leads the nation in steals with 60...a solid five a game.
Peterson is #17 in the nation with 3.2. Minyon is doing pretty good here as well with 36...or 3.3 a contest. 



This Bison has buckets! 
Briana Day (Syracuse) has the highest shooting percentage (60%) in the ACC...with Brianna Turner (Notre Dame) right behind her at 57.4%.

Louisville's Asia Durr is second in the nation with 48 threes made. Taylor Thunstedt (North Dakota St.) has made 52 in 13 games. Watts and Greenwell chase Asia in-conference with 43 and 40 respectively. 

362 days till christmas! 
paulie
xxxxx






Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Splashing Time Returns -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



COMERFORD, COTRELL BACK IN THE WATER FOR UOFL SWIMMING


Sometimes, we get a little too wrapped up about UofL women's basketball in the winter months (not that this is a bad thing) and forget there are other things going on down on the Belknap Campus. One of those things is swimming and the strokers and divers jump right back into action after the Christmas break. 

When you think of swimming and UofL, obviously the first name that comes to mind is Kelsi Worrell. Now graduated, who will carry on in her proficiency and victories? 



One name we'll offer up is Mallory Comerford. The Kalamazoo, MI. sophomore is a free-style specialist. She is ranked in the top 25 in the world. Teaming up with Worrell, she also was part of the winning 400 free relay team in the SC World Championships in early December.  She won the silver medal in the NCAA 200 Free Championships last season and is a key component on the 200-yard freestyle relay team for Arthur Albiero. A multiple ACC Swimmer of the Week award recipient last season...you can expect her to hit the wall first as the season progresses. 

Another key performer in the Ralph Wright Natatorium on campus is senior Andee Cottrell. Considered one of the best breaststroke swimmer in the ACC and NCAA, the Reynoldsville, OH senior won the 2016 ACC 100 breaststroke and is another key component on the Cardinal "A' relay teams. 

Other names to know: Casey Fanz. The freshman from Powhatten, VA has put up some impressive numbers is the back and in relays so far in the early season. Abbie Houck is a senior out of Boulder, CO and specializes in the free...an All-ACC performer for two years. Hannah Magnuson is a local talent, out of Christian Academy and the junior has won multiple meets in the butterfly and as a relay participant. Toss in the pool Rachel Grooms, Alina Kendzier, Silvia Guerra, Avery Braunecker and Feldma Bradford and you have 10 top-flight performers that should lead Louisville to a lot of wins the rest of the season.

Albiero has built a dynasty in his 14 seasons as the Cardinals head coach. He was in on the ground floor of the Ralph Wright and oversaw the plans for the construction of the state-of-the art facility. He keeps the water in the family as well...his son Estefan is a senior free stylist on the Louisville men's team and his wife Amy the head coach at Christian Academy high school. 

Albiero explains his philosophy: 

" One of my strengths is my relationship with the student-athletes. I am demanding..but reasonable. I believe you have to enjoy the process of preparation and you have to have fun to swim fast."  

The #8 ranked splash-and-dive Cards return to action January 6th. in the "Ralph" against Missouri.  The Cards will have four meets at home before they enter the ACC Championships in mid-February. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Louisville women's basketball -- Where Do We Go From Here?/Games People Play -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE




CARDS HAVE FUTURE AND FATE FOR 2016-17
IN FRONT OF THEM




I heard this classic from the Alan Parsons Project on Christmas Day when we were on the road. Give it a listen...it's a great song! It started me thinking (always a dangerous thing) about what lies ahead for the Cards WBB squad (and the ACC foes) as they come out of the Christmas break and the team
gets ready for conference and tournament play.


(Just as a side note...I actually met "the man" himself in the airport in Atlanta back in the late eighties...we were both waiting for a flight to Miami and had a pleasant conversation for about an hour about music and his works...I never knew he worked on Beatles albums and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album or that he wasn't much of a sports fan.) I figured with Games People Play...but I was wrong. 

Okay, enough of Paulie Irrelevant Musical Reminisces. Off to hoops we go! 

It was good for the players (we hope) and the staff to have a little while
to see family and friends over Christmas. We know most of the Cards flew
out of Nashville the morning after the win at Vandy or came back to Louisville
and departed from there. They probably didn't meet Alan Parsons but they'll start arriving back on campus today and begin preparations for Thursday's ACC opener against "Q" and the Cuse. We're hoping the players had a good respite at home. The games these people play start up again in a dizzying flurry in a few days. 



Coach Sam Purcell's outfit for Easter? 
Trips home can be a blessing and a curse. I wonder if Mariya and Minyon Moore did some comparison notes on their seasons so far. Did Briahanna Jackson guard the turkey and ham to make sure no one got any before Christmas dinner was ready to serve? Was Asia Durr deftly tossing dinner rolls across the table with precise accuracy to the rest of the family? Did anyone beat the speedy Jazmine Jones to the table? Did Myisha Hines-Allen control the stuffing and block everyone from getting dessert? 

Then, there's the "why aren't you playing more?" or "how did (so-and-so) beat you?" questions. A bit of the good and bad mixed in. The trip home was, hopefully, nurturing and restoring in spirit for what lies ahead. 

So...what does loom ahead for these Cards? Where will they go from here? In this case...the "games people play" turn into ACC contests and the drive to get a nice seeding in the NCAA Tournament. It's hard to believe there are only 17 games left until the ACC Tournament in March in the Hooterville/Bugtussle Memorial Warehouse in Conway, SC. 

The Cards get to the heavy shoveling right off the bat when "Q" brings his defending NCAA WBB runner-up squad to the Bucket on Thursday, Dec.29th. Probably a less than satisfying start for these Orange at 9-3...especially after their stumble-and-spilling-all-the-eggnog effort against Texas A&M in Florida.



(Didn't get the Red Ryder BB gun?) 
They have Peterson, my 'name-sake' Sykes, the tall Day twins and "Slim" plus a few others back
from that championship quest and I'm betting they'll have a major voice in the clamoring for Elite Eight and better slots in late March. The Cards are 8-6 against Syracuse in the all-time series...knocking the pulp out of the Orange 71-53 at the Orange Dome last year and then falling to them 80-75 in a game in the ACC Tournament I'm pretty sure most of the Cards would like to forget. 


So how do you list this one...category-wise on the KFC YUM! Center list of events? Sports, comedy or entertainment? 

After the "Brother Q travelling prime-time road revival medicine show and revue" exits the YUM!...so do the Cards for a couple of days...making a stop in the Cameron Indoor Stadium to check in on Becca Greenwell and JoAnne P first. Another tough game...the Dookies are #17 in the nation and are 11-1...getting sunk by the Commodores in that quaint little barnyard by the Duke Chapel and Forest. The journey continues to Charlottesville, VA after that...facing a Virginia Cavaliers bunch that is 9-2 (losses to St John and Northwestern) and has another JoAnne head coach. Someone in the ACC scheduling phone booth has a sense of flair for humor, I guess. 


We'd love to see Louisville emerge 3-0 out of the stretch of the schedule because it doesn't get any easier after it. It is, after all, the ACC and despite Vanderbilt head coach Stephanie White's claim that her conference is the toughest in the land.....we'll respectfully disagree and point to the conference that had seven teams in the latest Top 25 poll. 

Alex, let's go to toughest conferences in college sports for $1000. What is ACC women's basketball? 

It is very pleasant and almost spring-like in Louisville, KY this morning, if you ignore the gusting breeze blowing. A high expected in the 70's...a possible record warmth temperature for this day in Louisville meteorological history.

A calm before the storm? A brief lull in the battle? Definitely a change in the weather, though, in terms of scheduling ahead...as a storm front rolls into Lamar Jackson's college town beginning Thursday. 

any gifts to return? or gifs? 
paulie
xxxxx





Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Worldwide's Holiday Wish List -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Christmas Eve


Merry Christmas to Cards fans the world over.  I was, as I suspect most of our reader was, raised in a Christian tradition.  So Merry Christmas to you.  To those who celebrate in other religious traditions, Happy Hanukkah, Habari Gani, blessed Kwanzaa  and even Happy Festivus!

It is at this season in the year when we almost a habitually look back to review the year past, and look to the new year and make plans and wish for better.  The general consensus seems to be that 2016 was mostly a dumpster fire, so let's look to the future.

So here are my Christmahanukwanzikah Cardinal wishes.  And I may throw in a Festivus Airing of a Grievance just for good measure.

Free Throw Shooting


I like the letter "F".  It's a fine letter.  It's fun, it's fancy, it has plenty of typographic features.  It's footloose and fancy-free, and it's free to all.  I would dearly love to give away some genuine Cardinal Couple "F"'s to the Women's Basketball team.  We just need to hit some stinkin' free throws.  I think at this point, Paulie would probably even award a lower-case "f" for free throw percentages in the 65% range just as a measure of good faith.  Get your shots up over the break, please.  Let's F this place up!

Deep Runs


I've become quite the fan of Lacrosse and Field Hockey over my years of writing (and radio show co-hosting) for Cardinal Couple.  These are two teams that have remarkably similar circumstances overall.  They have been steadily building their respective programs in recent years into national powerhouses, they both compete in an ACC conference lineup that is far and away the dominant conference in the land for their respective sports, and they both have struggled to get beyond the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Let's keep in mind, however, that these tournaments are among the smaller NCAA sports tournaments.  Field Hockey has had only 18 teams in the past couple of years and Lacrosse, 24.  That means even the opening rounds of these tournaments are already very stiff competition.  There is no shame whatsoever in the success of these two teams over the past couple of years, but man oh man wouldn't it be magically if they could go at least a couple of rounds deeper into their tournament runs.

Think of the lift that would provide to these programs.

A New Day


It's a new dawn, a new day, and I'm feeling good (with apologies to Michael Bublé), about UofL
Volleyball.  2016 was a pretty tough year to be a volleyball fan at UofL, but we've got a new head coach and associate head coach.  We can look forward to another great hire to assistant coach, and we're looking for a new resurgence in this program.  For now, I'm not asking for miracles and immediate national championships...though I certainly wouldn't turn one down.  I want to see this program built, like the Lacrosse and Field Hockey programs have done, over time to be a perennial national powerhouse.  I think we've got the potential to do it, we've got a coach, who in typical Tom Jurish fashion, is being given a shot to prove herself.   I don't think Dani plans to miss her chance or throw away this shot.  (Thanks, Eminem, and Lin-Manual Miranda)  Let's start with just asking for a great season of volleyball.  I'm not asking for a national championship, or even necessarily a deep run in the NCAA.  Let's build this program right and get it on an upward trajectory.

A Wish and a Grievance


I've hit this topic before, so I'll keep this one short, but I still see this happen, so I like to keep the idea on this one out there.

The student-athletes at the University of Louisville represent the school, they are Louisville Cardinals...all of them.  Some schools will delineate their women's teams by calling them "The Lady Mascots" (fill in the mascot of choice for the school), sometimes to some comical effect ("Lady Bulls"?).  UofL makes a distinct point of not doing that.  All of the student-athletes at UofL are "Cardinals" plain and simple.  To call the men's teams "The Cardinals", and the women's team "The Lady Cardinals" would give the appearance and impression that the men's team are more representative of the school and program than the women's team are.

Please, let's try to stamp out the usage of "Lady Cards" when it comes to UofL.  If other teams wish to call their teams Lady Bulls, or Lady Vols, or Lady Whatevers then that's their choice.  UofL has chosen to be bold in supporting the women's teams at UofL and present them as full representatives of the school, let's support them in that.  This is reflective of the deep commitment and approach to women's athletics at UofL, where there is no distinction drawn between the different programs, and their support within the athletic department.  I, for one, am proud of how UofL handles this.

A Radio Break


We're taking a break from radio this week, due to Christmas Eve commitments for us and Kathy, the amazing engineer that produces the show for us at WCHQ.  We hope to be back on the air next week with plenty of basketball to catch up on.

-- JMcA

Friday, December 23, 2016

Louisville women's basketball -- Five things to consider...FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


CARDS HOME FOR A FEW DAYS WITH THESE THINGS TO CONSIDER


By now, we're assuming that the University of Louisville women's basketball team has arrived home and are among family and friends...celebrating the Christmas holiday....barring any Trains, Planes and Automobile incidents. Lest you think the several days away from campus will be filled with only mass-eating, TV binge-watching and trips to the mall...be aware that each player was sent home with strength and conditioning exercises and training tips to keep themselves in shape while away from the whistles and clipboards of the UofL coaching staff. 

It won't be a festive suit-wearing and egg-nog swilling marathon for the coaches, though...while the players are away. There are potential recruits to be called. Strategies and philosophies (yes, even theorems) to be administered to be planned by the Walz bunch while they're off until after Christmas Day. The Cards jump into the ACC pool on Dec. 29th. against a dangerous, if a bit under-performing, Syracuse squad and trips to Duke and Virginia loom ahead within that same week span of time. 

So what are some of the things the Cards need to continue to excel at and work on as conference play awaits? Let's look at five tenets of what we refer to as Louisville women's basketball in terms of what the Cards need to do to remain in their winning ways scenario and dispose of the worthy foes that lie ahead. There are some huge tasks ahead and preparation is such an important part of the battle...


  1. Defensive intensity. It was there in mass quantities against Vandy...and it's been there pretty much since the loss to Maryland three weeks ago. A lot of that comes from the combined efforts of the players on the floor to keep competition's shooting percentages low. Louisville dominated Vandy down low. Will they be able to do the same against the guard-strong Syracuse and Duke squads who also have strength in the paint? 
  2. Recognizing who's hot. Louisville got a huge game out of Myisha Hines-Allen against Vandy...a lot of that attributable to her teammates recognizing the "hot hand" and getting the ball to her. Next time it might be Mariya Moore or maybe Asia Durr. That knowledge and recognition comes from player awareness and coaching. The old football term "feed the studs" applies here...can the Cards continue to recognize and react? 
  3. Improving on the weaknesses. Despite the 12-2 record, there are things the Cards need to practice and work on. We'd like to see Moore and Jackson's shooting skills return and Cortnee cash in on the 10-12 foot jumper when she's unguarded and the team's overall free throw performance improve. Texas A&M defeated Syracuse in part by going 34 for 40 from the free throw line. A excellent 85%. We're not saying the Cards will have that many opportunities at the charity stripe against the Orange (or anyone)...but why not take advantage of the "unguarded ones?"
  4. Getting the best out of what you have. It looks like, as least for now, that Hines-Allen, Moore, Walton, Jackson and Durr are going to see the majority of the minutes for Louisville. That's fine, we have no issue with that at all...but when Taylor Johnson, Kylee Shook, Jazmine Jones or (name your player) are out there...Louisville needs a clear focus and execution out of them. If you're sent into a game with a specific instruction or mission...execute it. If you want that playing time, go out and earn it...regardless if you're a starter or not. 
  5. Finish what you've started. What is one of the things that makes UConn so successful? They have that ability, that desire..to take a ten point lead and stretch it to fifteen, then twenty...twenty five before the opponent knows what hit them. Seal the deal, complete the meal and don't let the foe steal their way back into the game. I'm not sure that this Louisville team has the "killer instinct" ability that they need yet...I'm sure the motivation is there...but it needs to be executed. Once you've hit the accelerator...there's no need to keep tapping the brake. Keep driving.  

The ACC is not going to be an easy ride for Louisville (or anyone in the conference) because of the vast talent and skill sets that exist on all 15 squads. Being prepared to perform and taking the teaching tips that are provided to you by the coaches can often turn the tide in your direction. Know you foes and also know you.

The great WWII General George S. Patton, Jr. defeated Nazi forces under the command of Erwin Rommel in a key battle held in the Tunisian area known as El Guettar. It was planning and strategy, combined wih performance, that won this key north African skirmish for the Allied forces. As the battle swung in the Allied Forces favor...Patton exclaimed..."Rommel, you magnificent bastard...I read your book!" He had done the work, knew the foe and his capabilities and succeeded. 

Patton's preparation and getting the maximum utilization of his resources...including Patton reading a book written by Rommel a few years back about tank strategies...won the day that day for his side. The Cardinals must use all the resources, skills and then put them into action when the time comes to "win the day" in the upcoming future. Know the book on your foe. Then, perform the task. 

We've already had Walz's theories on participation and free throw shooting fully lined out for us this year. Will he and the squad have their "El Guettar" moment ahead? We'll find out very soon. Take a few days to take it all in, Cards...because you'll be drinking from a fire-hose before you know it and the season gets very real in a week. 


two xmas shopping days left!
Paulie
xxxxx

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Louisville Women's basketball...Cards defeat Vandy 78-66 -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



MYSHIA HINES-ALLEN GOES FOR 24 and 15 IN WIN


The University of Louisville women's basketball team defeats Vanderbilt 78-66 on the road in Nashville Wednesday night. Myisha Hines-Allen led the way with 24 points, 15 rebounds and a MMA take-down in the third quarter. It was a dogfight with Louisville going on a late 7-4 run to collect the win. 

The Cards took the lead, as it turned out, for good early in the first when a Mariya Moore three put UofL put 7-5 three minutes into the contest. Back to back scores by MHA gave the Cards a 13-7 edge and two consecutive Kylee Shook baskets made it 17-13 with 3:38 left in the quarter. Cortnee Walton's inside basket set the first period total to 21-18 Cards.

Louisville started the second frame with a 6-0 run on baskets from Jazmine Jones, Hines-Allen and Taylor Johnson and Ciera Johnson scored three straight times inside to make it 35-26 with 4:30 left until halftime. An Asia Durr three gave the Cards their largest lead of the half at 41-27 and Hines-Allen's jumper with 25 seconds remaining sent the Cards to the locker room with a 48-39 lead. Hines-Allen had 13 points and 12 rebounds after 20 and Louisville was getting their way inside on offense. 

Vandy would not go away quietly, though. The Commodores started the second half on a 7-0 run led by Rachel Bell to cut the margin to two. Sydney Zambrotta canned a three for the Cards to stop the momentum at the 7:22 mark to push Louisville out to a 51-46 lead. 90 seconds later...while going for a rebound on a missed shot, Hines-Allen ripped the ball from Vanderbilt's Cierra Walker and sent her crashing to the floor. After a 3 minute referee review a technical was assessed to MHA...but Walker converted only one free throw and Vandy failed to score on the ensuing possession. Briahanna Jackson's three lifted Louisville back to a 56-49 advantage and the Cardinal held a 58-53 advantage with ten minutes to play. 

The technical call was over the top and unwarranted. Two players going for possession. One gets it and the other doesn't and hits the floor. No technical foul here. Maybe it fired Louisville up? 


A Hines-Allen hook shot after a great move inside kept the Cards in control at 63-56 with 6:52 remaining and Cortnee Walton's score inside set the margin at 67-57 with 4:44 showing on the clock. Vandy would get no close that six the rest of the way. The Cards would lose Walton to fouls with 2:20 to go...but Ciera Johnson entered and scored on a perfectly executed out-of-bounds play 45 seconds later to make it 71-62 Cards. Hines-Allen hit a jumper, Durr got a layup and free throw and Moore a free throw in the final minute to secure the Cards 12 point victory. 78-66...Cards win....the Cards win!!

Louisville shot 47% for the game...Vandy just 31% and the Cards easily won the points-in-the-paint battle 48-26. 

Louisville is now 5-0 against schools from Tennessee this year. 


HOW DID FRED DO? 

Free Throws -- Despite Durr's 6 for 6 marksmanship, the Cards were 9-14 from the line for 64%. Vandy was getting calls all night nut only went 18-27 (67%). Unfortunately, no letter can be offered here.

Rebounds --  The Cards won the boards battle 45-44. Hats off to Hines-Allen and Shook...who had seven in 11 minutes. Louisville was beaten on the offensive boards 18-13, though. A small case "r" is what we're offering for this category.

Effort/Execution -- No doubt about the desire, drive and hustle tonight for the Cards. There were times when mental mistakes played a part in the Cards offensive execution...but they did command the paint-scoring, Jackson was seemingly everywhere again tonight and Myisha may have had her best game of the year. Louisville hit clutch threes when they were needed...so, a capital "E" is the call. 

Defense -- The Cardinal defense was overall very good...Zambrotta needs to pick it up and Vandy only scored five points in the final five minutes...we have no problem in giving a capital "D" out for this category.

FINAL FRED TALLY:  _-r-E-D


THINGS WE LIKED


Howlin' about Hines-Allen. #2 came to play tonight and made sure the Cards got out of Music City with the "W". Vandy had no answer for her and MHA's teammates realized that she had the hunger and kept her plate full. 11-18 shooting and solid defense. 

Continued solid play from the freshmen. Walz had no problem going to Jaz, Kylee, Ciera and "Z" for situational playing time and they responded with 17 points and 9 rebounds in 31 total minutes. Walz brought only five players off the bench tonight and four were freshmen. That says a lot. 

Sealing the deal. Vandy managed to get within six points with 3:38 left. Louisville doubled that lead the rest of the way.  Durr had six of those final 11 Louisville points. 

THINGS TO WORK ON

Need a little Moore. Mariya hit her first three but missed the next six. She was 2 for 10 for the night. Don't get me wrong here, she helps the team in so many other ways besides scoring...but we'd like to see that shot fall a bit more. Her eight assists led Louisville, in her defense. 

Consistency. Vandy went on a 19-7 run to end the second quarter and start the third. A lull in offensive efficiency and defense in the ACC is most likely going to put a "L" or two on the Cards record. 


SO...


This was a hard-fought win over a very good Vandy squad that is going to pull a few upsets in the SEC this year...if not contend for the conference title. Louisville took the 'Dores best effort...withstood the shots and still came out on top...thanks to Myisha Hines-Allen, Asia Durr and a stifling defense. You have to be proud of how the Cards never got too rattled and came back with clutch shots and plays when Vandy was poised to make runs. 

Louisville will be off until the 29th. Cardinal fans really need to put about 13, 000 in the YUM! that night when a very good Syracuse team comes to town...even though they did get smacked by un-ranked Texas A&M Wednesday down in Florida. This is a very special team, these Cards, and they deserve your support and attendance. It's a Thursday night game...many of you will probably be off that next Friday and there's no better entertainment value around. 

Come to the YUM! and watch the Cards win. 


😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😕😅😅😅😅😅😅


CARDS CONQUER CATS BEHIND "Q's" BIG NIGHT

A loud "WOO-HOO!!!" and congrats to the guys...knocking off in-state rival Kentucky Wednesday night 73-70. Hometown hero Quentin Snider with 22 points in the win for Pitino's Cards. 

This one was a thriller from opening tip-off to final buzzer. The KFC YUM! Center was crazy from start to finish. I called it on Howie Lindsey's Louisville First that the Cards would win...but, privately...I was really nervous about this one and was just hoping for a good game. 

I got that...and much, much more. One for the ages. 

A sweep in hoops this year over Big Blue. Who owns this state? 

hello Thursday! 
paulie
xxxxx