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Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Football Game was Played... Kinda; Women's Basketball defeats NC State 55-47 -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Escaping Reynolds with a win -- Paulie report

It was a spectacular first 15 1/2 minutes for Louisville women's basketball Sunday in the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, NC but a-nerve-racking, sense of impending doom final 24 1/2 for the Cards as they held on to down NC State 55-47 Sunday afternoon. 

Louisville rolled out to a 26-1 lead after Kylee Shook connected inside off a nice Dana Evans pass with 5:26 until half-time. Sitting in the end zone near the UofL bench, Sonja and I were amazed, tickled and in disbelief on NC State's shooting inefficiency. The Wolfpack were 0-23 from the floor to start the game. Yes. 0-23

Coach Walz did point out in the post-game presser that he didn't expect Wes Moore's team to stay cold and they did show signs of coming out of hibernation by the end of the first half....outscoring UofL 11-2 to end the half and getting a mock-standing ovation when Armani Hawkins finally connected on a three ball almost 17 minutes into the contest. 28-12 at the half was impressive but you could feel that maybe a slight momentum shift had occurred. As the Cards walked by us to the locker room, the previous grins and shouts had been replaced by somber faces and maybe a bit of frustration. 

I got my fantasy fulfilled with a picture with Ms. Wuf at the half. Her nosy husband insisted in butting in but they were good sports and played around some...him covering my pullover that read LOUISVILLE. That was fun. More fun was ahead but it was NC  State having most of it in the final 20 minutes...

As the game went on, it only got worse for the Cardinals. A 12-0 run by the Wolfies to end the third quarter set the tally at 41-30. I looked at Sonya and told her that the coaches needed to get the front line involved in scoring again. She told me I was worrying too much, it was a 11 pt. lead. Eventually Louisville did inside performnce...but had to withstand a 13-6 NC State start to the final period that got Moore's club within four at 47-43 on a steal and layup by the Pack from Sam Fuehring. A silent and sullen crowd had steadily 'amped' it up to rock concert decibel level and there were three minutes yet to play., 

Asia Durr then missed a layup, the swell of the crowd rose again but Hines-Allen made the play of the game for the Cards when she blocked a Aislinn Konig jumper, grabbed the ball and drove down the court to make a uncontested layup.

 NC State would get no closer.

Arica Carter's two free throws with 42 seconds put the cap on this bottle. Hines-Allen and Fuehring had eight of the Cards final 14 points.

Maybe the early blowout gave the Cards a false sense of confidence. One could hardly blame them...but Louisville seemed "back on their heels" (sorry UNC) for a lot of the second half, with NC State being the aggressor. A win on the road is golden in ACC play. An eight-point win against an NC State that played the Cards very close last year is huge, no matter how they got there. After all, the Wolfies went 1-1 last year against Walz with a win over Louisville in the KFC YUM! Center by two points and a loss to UofL in the ACC Tournament by just one..

I'll "Fred" you quickly and get on with my New Year's Eve in Raleigh. On a personal note, we drive back to the Ville Monday. Happy we saw two crucial ACC wins on the road for the Cards and were in 50 degree weather for at least the part of one day.

I even gave Sam Purcell early in the game my ink pen after his stopped working. He did return it at the end of the game. I used his, it was sporadic but occasionally did produce ink. Once again, I blame Sam Purcell for the close game. It's become fashionable to do so.


THE FRED REPORT


This one as scary as a
Freddy Krueger movie
at the end....
F - Free Throws. 70% still works for me here and the Cards went 7-10 to match that. They were at 7-9 until AC missed a couple with 29 seconds to play.  We award the capital "F" here. 
R- Rebounding. Despite the height advantage that the Wolfpack held, Louisville won the boards battle 42-37. Dooo-blay Hines-Allen led all grabbers with 12. It's what she does. We bestow a capital "R" for the category. 

E - Effort/Execution. Such a spectacular start and then a nearly total collapse. The effort early insists we give something, so we'll toss a lower case "e" for the overall effort/execution. 16 turnovers too many. Over half were unforced. 

D- Defense. Once again, early on it would have been a huge letter awarded here but the Cards allowed the two main threats that NC State has (Nelson and Leslie) to have their way late and they should have found another way to guard Kaila Ealey besides fouling her. We'll award a lower case "d" to close out the Fred report.



FINAL FRED TALLY:  F-R-e-d


THEY SAID IT

Jeff Walz after game:  https://soundcloud.com/user-748907999/dr0000_1318mp3

Wes Moore after game:  https://soundcloud.com/user-748907999/dr0000_1319mp3

Happy New Year everyone!   16-0. Hell, yeah. 

Paulie
xxxxx

Football


I figured I'd play on Case's article title from yesterday, but honestly, the football game yesterday was
much closer and more competitive of a game than the Basketball game Friday.  That being said, there was quite a bit in there that wasn't particularly encouraging.  Mississippi State won the game 31-27.

Lamar...well, he did Lamar things, but he also made some uncharacteristically bad throws, getting intercepted 4 times during the game.  At the same time, he showed why he won the Heisman last year and should have won it this year with some spectacular plays.  Alas, some of the real highlight material for Jackson came from massive breakdowns in the offensive line and protection.

On the defensive side of the ball, I'm not enough of an expert to critique defensive schemes and game plans, but I do know when tackles get missed when the player should've been able to wrap up the ball-carrier, and I saw a lot of that yesterday. A freshman quarterback making his first start looked like a first round NFL pick and the Cards couldn't stop anyone from running up the middle most of the game. 

UofL Football just wasn't a top-tier team this year, and that's not the end of the world, it happens, but it sure is a lot easier to be a fan when they're playing well and seeing greater success.

Basketball


OK, so we've had two days in a row of rather downer type games.  It's time to see some success, so let's move on to Women's Basketball.  So far the shining star of UofL Athletics for the year currently tied with their best start ever at 15-0.  You can probably put a quite successful Field Hockey season, and a surprisingly successful Volleyball season in 2nd and 3rd place.

Today's matchup is against NC State...a team that has seen more success in the past couple of years and could be a real threat to this hot start for UofL.  With a win today, the Cards will secure outright the best start in program history, and tie the overall longest win streak in program history.

NC State is 12-2 overall with a single win here in early conference play.  Their loses came to Rutgers, and South Dakota State...the latter of which all UofL WBB fans can understand.  In conference, they started with a victory over Virginia Tech.  Otherwise, none of their wins are all that impressive thus far, with the most notable probably being over Vanderbilt, and perhaps Georgetown.  The big threats from NC State look to be 6'2" Forward Chelsea Nelson and then a inside-outside committee of Center Akela Maize and a pair of guards Kiara Leslie, and Aislinn Konig.

Paulie is expected to be in attendance for this one as well, wrapping up his southern states swing. He tweets as @CardinalCouple, and I try to keep my game tweets on @CardCoupleRadio though you can find me responding to other UofL WBB fans on my personal account @JeffMcAdams. So look for commentary from him and myself on twitter. 

Let's hear your predictions in the comments.  Game time is 2:30pm today on Fox Sports (you should be able to catch the replay on the ACC Network Extra streaming platform if you can't catch it live.  My prediction will be 75-63 UofL and while I expect the play to be cleaner than what we saw at Georgia Tech, there will still be some rough edges to clean up.

WCHQ


We received a report from the WCHQ station manager that the new studio space is just about put together and ready to go, with just some details to finish up.  They expect to restart doing live DJ shifts and the like on schedule on the 2nd.  We'll be back with you for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this coming Saturday as normal on the 6th at 11 a.m.  We're super excited to get into the nice new studios and are looking forward to getting back in gear with the CCRH after a two week break. We should have plenty to talk about, right? We'll see what excuse Jared comes up with for not being available.



-- 
JMcA

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Basketball Game was Played... Kinda; Football Today -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

MBB Handed Worst Rivalry Loss Since 1999; UK Wins 90-61


The University of Kentucky Wildcats took David Padgett and Louisville's men's basketball team to task yesterday and stretched their series lead in the MBB rivalry back to 19 games after Louisville had closed the gap last year. Kentucky leads the series 34-16, including the times the teams have met in the postseason. Yesterday's loss, by 29, was the largest deficit for the Cards since 1999, when the Cats won by 30. From 1990 to 2001, Kentucky beat Louisville by at least 20 points five times. Louisville has beaten Kentucky by 20 or more only once, in 1988. Immediately after UK smacked Rick Pitino in his first rivalry game in red, Louisville turned around and won the next game by 18. After that, in the 16 games between the 2003 and 2016 annual rivalry games, no team won by more than 14 and the game was decided by single digits 12 times. 

I guess the reason I've been throwing random numbers at you is twofold. First, it goes to show that the rivalry in recent years has been mostly close, albeit with Kentucky winning most of the games. Second, I really don't have much to say about yesterday's game. Louisville looked bad. Sure, they didn't get a few calls to go their way, but that should not have made them completely abandon their game plan. They should not have been jacking up threes all afternoon only to finish with a final tally of 3-25 from behind the arc. Especially since they were shooting 47% (21-44) from two and 10-13 from the free throw line. Playing inside creates better shooting opportunities and increases the likelihood of a called foul, even if the game appears to be going unfairly.

Louisville actually kept the game close by committing to a balanced game plan for the better part of the first half. However, after Ray Spalding picked up his second foul with 6:42 remaining in the first and the game tied at 21, everything went out the window. Kentucky dominated from that moment on, winning the final 26 minutes of the game 69-40. Yikes. There isn't much else to say about the game really. If you missed it because of work, you didn't miss much. Louisville did not look ready to play. They did not appear to have nearly as much passion as the opponent. Quite frankly, if the Cards couldn't get up and perform for this game, the team is in for a long ACC season. I hope that David Padgett is ready to truly show his worth as a coach because this wasn't a close loss to Purdue or Seton Hall, this was a rivalry blowout. 

Louisville gets an opportunity to get their feet back under them to start ACC play with a matchup against Pittsburgh. Since Kevin Stallings took over, Pitt has been bad. Louisville needs to quickly forget everything about yesterday's game, except for how bad it stung. I'm not really sure there are any other lessons that can be taken from it. Just move on. Win some ACC games. See what happens.

Lamar Jackson Leads Cards Against Miss. St.


With more and more draft prospects electing to skip bowl games, Louisville will have a couple of positions to fill in today's matchup. Fortunately, quarterback will not be one of those positions. 

Russell Okung is one of many professional athletes supporting
college athletes' choice to sit out to avoid injury.
Before I go any further, let me say this: I am completely OK with players electing to sit out of games for whatever reason. This is my opinion only, not that of the site, and you're welcome to disagree with it. When a college player commits to play football, he's assuming he'll play approximately 12 regular season games per year and potentially a bowl game. That used to be a big deal. Bowl games were a great opportunity to play against a marquee opponent on national TV to get more exposure. *Raspberry noise* For lower tier teams, this is likely still true. For most major names, they've gotten their exposure already. They've received draft grades. They've read the draft boards and the scouting reports. They know what the next level thinks about them. Why risk injury in another 60+ snaps in a game that doesn't mean anything (NY6 and CFP excluded)? If they're comfortable and confident enough to sit out, I do not fault them, and I would encourage others to support players that make a tough decision that they consider best for their personal future.

Anyway, Lamar Jackson has stated publicly that he will be sitting down with his family to discuss his future after today's game and that he felt he owed it to his team to play in the game. (His sentiment and that of players that choose to sit out can both be OK!!) Jackson will lead his offense into potentially uncharted territory against the Bulldogs. Former head coach, Dan Mullen, took off for the University of Florida gig and took Todd Grantham with him. Louisville was in a position of unique advantage as far as film study went, as they knew Grantham's style of play quite well. Without Grantham, there is a bit more uncertainty on the defensive side of the ball. Fortunately, Peter Sirmon was there just a year ago, so Louisville should at least know the strengths and weaknesses as far as specific players go. 

Speaking of uncertainty, Mississippi State has some of their own on the offensive side of the ball as well. Bulldogs' star QB, Nick Fitzgerald, suffered an injury against Ole Miss that has him out of this game. Fitzgerald will be replaced by true freshman Keytaon Thompson. Thompson is making his first collegiate start after replacing Fitzgerald against Ole Miss and going 13-27 for 195 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception with 26 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown. The interim head coach for MSU has already acknowledged that the playbook was significantly pared down to contain only plays with which Thompson is comfortable. Louisville has had mixed results against dual threat QBs this year, and they'll play today's game without one of their best pass rushers and one of the best cornerbacks in the country. However, reducing the playbook only makes your system easier for the opposing defense to predict and counter. Sirmon should have the defense ready to take on the task against a team in as much turmoil as Mississippi State.

The Cards and Bulldogs will kickoff at Noon on ESPN. Louisville is currently the favorite in this, their fourth straight bowl game against an SEC team. They've played an SEC team in 5 of their last 6 bowls with the Russell Athletic Bowl rout against Miami breaking up the streak. Today's game will move Louisville off of the .500 mark in these recent SEC bowl games in one direction or the other. This may be your last chance to see Lamar Jackson in a Louisville uniform, so try to enjoy it for all it's worth. 

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-


PAULIE REPORT

Louisville Lacrosse great Kay Morissette with Paulie
and Sonya tailgating at Taxslayer Bowl
The Cards battled Mississippi St. tooth and nail earlier today in the Taxslayer Bowl but ultimately, well...you know the outcome.

Louisville QB Lamar Jackson(ville) with and alternately good and bad outing...the four interceptions were quite costly but he ran with abandon against MSU and almost got the Cards to victory. My esteemed colleague Worldwide will give you his spin on it tomorrow.

Two sacks on the final drive. A prayer toward the endzone as time expired that was batted down. Game.

Louisville's defense made the freshman Bulldog QB look like a first round NFL pick. The Cards simply couldn't stop plays up the middle and, despite a halftime lead....simply could not stop the Bulldog offense.

Plenty to work on for the defense and Petrino will need to be able to replace Lamar magic.

A sense of longing, that Lamar didn't have to go out that way. One last win would have been great. One last Lamar smile and dance.

A cold bowl game. The fans about equally divided, the MSU fans and their cowbells. I can still hear them.

From shorts, to coats and champagne....
A chance but great encounter with Cardinal Forever and best lacrosse player to ever step on the Louisville Lacrosse field Kay Morissette in the parking lot with her family and friends. Great to see her and fun times...plus some conversation about the program, new coach Scott Teeter, Canisuis and her playing days.

Some things that can't be revealed here, just yet. Know this...Kay loves Louisville, enjoyed her year as Teeter's assistant coach and we just might hear some really great news about her future early in 2018.

Kay still looks like she could take the draw control, charge down the field in her unmistakable, hard-charging style, take a toss and drive it deep into the net past a goalie. Same big smile and twinkling eyes. Eyes that Kellie Young couldn't cloud or make misty. Eyes that housed dedication, sacrifice and love of game.

For us, an early day tomorrow, leaving here for Raleigh and a 2:30 p.m. WBB encounter against NC State. In search of the "sweet sixteenth" win for Asia, Walz and the best basketball team on campus.

Ms. Wuf! 6 hours on the road. the Paulie/Sonya road show continues....


Paulie 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Techsters Put Up a Battle - Friday Cardinal Couple

It came right down to the wire for the women's basketball squad versus Georgia Tech in Atlanta.  The Cards did pull out the win 74-71, but Coach Walz and the rest of the coaching staff will have plenty of film to break down for this UofL squad.  A win is a win, however, and with this one, the Cards tie their best ever start to a season at 15-0.

Coming back from the Christmas break, a number of fans worried that the Cards wouldn't really have their heads in the game, a worry that turned out to be pretty well founded.  The ACC Network Extra commentators talked several times about GT forcing turnovers, and their defense did force some, but the reality is that many of the Cardinal's turnovers were unforced and a number of them were just the result of one or more players just not paying attention to what was going on with their teammates and the ball movement.  Several passes just flew out of bounds because the passer didn't realize where the receiver was going, or the receiver just wasn't paying attention at all and never saw the ball fly by them until after it hit out of bounds.  In all, UofL committed 17 turnovers compared to GTs 12.  The assist to turnover ratio wasn't pretty either, with only 10 assists out of 30 made field goals.

There were bright spots, though, so let's not get too down on this team.  Asia Durr put on a show...again...this time in front of half of the suburb of Douglasville, GA who were in attendance.  She dropped 38, with 27 of those going down in the first half.  She did exit the game for a bit in the second half with a noticeable limp, but returned to relatively normal effectiveness.

Myisha Hines-Allen and Jazmine Jones joined Durr in double-digit scoring efforts, with MHA tallying 12, and Jaz picking up 10.  No double-doubles in this one for the Cards, though MHA did get close with 9 rebounds.

Georgia Tech really put up a fight in this one, keeping the score relatively close throughout the game.  UofL only won the game because of their dominant effort in the 2nd quarter, outscoring the Techsters 33-14 in the frame.  Otherwise, Tech won the other 3 quarters (20-13, 22-16, 15-12).  The final margin came down to an inbounds play from the sidelines with the score tied 71-71, where the Cardinals used a little bit of misdirection.  Walz had Durr streak back into the backcourt and then inbounded the ball to MHA, who was able to find her way around a couple of defenders for an layup.  GT called time out in order to advance the ball to half court (have I mentioned how much I hate that rule change?) and on the inbounds, Jaz Jones jumped like a defending safety and came down with the ball, drawing a foul in the process.  Hitting 1 of the 2 put the Cards up by the final margin 74-71, with GT's last second desperation heave falling short.

In addition to the double-digit scoring, I thought Sam Fuerhing played well, with her typical defensive effort and drawing charges.  The other starter, Arica Carter, contributed her typical solid play...not wowing, but playing good basketball without any "What were you thinking?" moments.

Let's hope this outing pulled the team back into sharp form, because they certainly weren't at top form last night.  Clouded brains from the break, perhaps, kept them from performing at their best for the most part.  The road doesn't get any easier with the next stop Sunday afternoon in Raleigh for a matchup with NC State (sitting 18th in the RPI), before returning home for a January 4th bout with Duke.  Paulie will be continuing his road swing after his visit to Atlanta last night, swinging down to Jacksonville for tomorrow's Football Game, and then back through Raleigh.  Look for further reports from this road trip.

In other scheduling notes, Men's Basketball takes up the Battle of the Bluegrass series today at 1pm at Rupp Arena.  This one is on CBS.  If you're away from a TV, there is a CBS Sports app where you can pick up the stream with a pay TV provider login.  Then, of course, tomorrow, Football takes on Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl), in Jacksonville, FL.  A noon start for that one on ESPN.

--

JMcA


PAULIE REPORT


Tillie the Tour Guide, Sonya and Transportation Tom
We had fun at the UofL vs. UK game watch party despite the slaughter the Cats put on Padgett's players. Ran into some tailgate buddies, as you'll be able to see in the out-of-focus Paulie pictures with this segment. Where is my photographer Jared when I really need him?

A lot of Cardinal fans at the River City Brewery and some tasty local craft beers to boot, Vince Tyra was also there, I did not get a chance to talk to him but several people at our table did.

Lots of questions about WBB there as well, I had my WCHQ shirt on and some people recognized me. We're still undefeated and ran into a good opponent in Georgia Tech. We'll see what happens Sunday.

Tom, Sonya and Bonnie
NC State another tough ACC foe. Let's hope Asia Durr plays as well in Raleigh as she did in Atlanta.
Probably won't be as many Card fans in Raleigh as Atlanta but what's a six hour trip from here, right?

Do it.

Maybe the media seating will be better than the vertigo-challenged, edge of the cliff digs we had to endure in McCamish. Never been in Reynolds Coliseum before, another first for me. Somehow, Sonya, Verizon Navigator and I will find it.

Saturday football. I'm excited and let's go Cards.


Paulie





--
JMcA

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Gameday Thursday - Cardinal Couple

(Editor's note: A slight communication glitch, with Paulie on the go, delayed the posting of this article slightly.  We're getting it all put together here.  -  Worldwide

UPDATE....CARDS WIN 74-71 at Georgia Tech

welcome to the ACC. 

Myisha Hines-Allen scored in the paint with either 1.2 or 1.9 seconds to play in the game (there is debate on what the actual time was) to give the Cards a 73-71 lead and Jasmine Jones added a free throw to give the Cards a hard fought three-point win Thursday night in Atlanta. 

Asia Durr magnificent with 38 points. The Cards led 46-34 at the half after a 33-14 2nd quarter, but GT slowly chipped away at the lead and tied the game at 71-71 on a Zaire O'Neill putback.

Too close for comfort. A nice UofL fan base in the 1473 present. Maybe 500 Card fans. 

Worldwide will have the complete take on it in Friday's Cardinal Couple

Paulie




An Early Start to a Big Weekend


Sitting in for Paulie, I already have 1 prediction wrong. Tuesdays article was not my last of the year.

This is a big weekend for UofL sports.  A heated rivalry game against Kentucky, the Taxslayer Bowl against Mississppi State, but the women get the weekend started early when they visit Georgia Tech tonight at 7 pm.  Holding steady at #3 in the AP rankings, the Cardinals (14-0) are looking to match their best ever start with a win.
When you're on a flight with other passengers and you have extra
pizza, this is what you do.

This road trip hasn't gotten off to the best of starts as the flight to Atlanta was delayed.  Coach Walz made the best of the situation by handing out pizza to fellow passengers during the wait.  The team had been scheduled to have dinner at Asia Durr's family's home, but the flight delay, last I heard, was putting that in doubt.

This will be the first road conference opener since joining the ACC. Leading scorer, Asia Durr, who sat out the Dec 20th game against the Air Force Academy with back spasms is expected to be back in the line up. Arica Carter, out with a foot injury, is also expected to return.

Georgia Tech (11-2) ranks seventh in the nation in points allowed, 52.2, so as Coach Walz's puts it, it will be important to "Value the basketball" and as Paulie puts it "Close the bakery."  The Yellow Jackets' two losses come at the hands of 6th ranked Baylor (80-57) and unranked Georgia (68-55) but remain unbeaten at home this season.  The only opponent UofL and GA Tech have had in common this season is Middle Tennessee State.  The Yellow Jackets beat them (48-45) while the Cardinals dominated them (80-26).

The Jackets' leading scorer is Francesca Pan, a 6'1" sophomore guard, averaging 13.2 ppg.  She is their leading 3 pt shooter and shooting 33%.  Sophomore guard, Chanin Scott, and senior forward, Zaire O'Neil, both average 9.6 ppg.  Red shirt senior, Elo Edeferkoka, leads the team with 6.2 rebounds while adding 8.5 ppg. Cortnee Walton will tell you that they were one of the most physical teams to play, year-in and year out, so expect a little contact tonight. Hopefully, fouls won't become a problem.

This should be a good but very manageable test for the start of ACC play.  A big win is very possible, but playing an away game after a long break can be a challenge.  Let's hope the team kept  up their free throw practice and didn't indulge too much in those wonderful holiday goodies.

Tip-off is at 7 pm with video on the ACC Network (ESPN.com) and radio WKRD 790 am.

Paulie will saunter by later tonight with what he saw, he's on-site and Jeff will provide the recap here on Friday morning.

Julie

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday Cardinal Couple... Jared and Upcoming Games

Jared probably likes grape slushees also...
Happy Wednesday! It’s nice to be back after taking off last week. My girlfriend braved the cold to come in town after finishing her semester finals at Florida State. Thank you to Paulie for covering for me. He should be on the way to Atlanta to see WBB face Georgia Tech on Thursday. You can catch him in Jacksonville for the bowl game before visiting Raleigh for WBB vs NC State on the way back home.

Jeff Walz and his team will have a tough ACC opener against Georgia Tech. The Yellowjackets are 11-2 with their losses coming to Baylor and Georgia. The Baylor loss was a blowout but the loss to the Bulldogs was by only a few points. Keep an eye out for sophomore Francesca Pan. She hits threes nearly as often as Asia does for us and can be an offensive threat if left open. Perhaps Louisville’s stingy defense will be able to shut her and the rest of the team down.

The schedule is completely clear for today- a rare occurrence in UofL athletics, especially since we haven’t seen any teams with games in a few days.

Football came out with news recently about Jaire Alexander and James Hearns electing to miss the bowl game and enter the NFL draft. We at Cardinal Couple wish them both the best.


Next launch pad. Jacksonville
The rest of the team arrived in Orlando yesterday early afternoon. If you were expecting warm weather down in Florida guess again. One of my coworkers is a good friend of Dr. Shea, the team doctor, and spoke with him on the phone about the 40-degree weather and mild winds. To those traveling to the game please plan on a similar temperature Saturday.

If you’re traveling to Lexington on Friday just be prepared for heavy traffic. Between the midday game and the preparation for New Years weekend travel times will not be pleasant. Thankfully that game is indoors so you won’t be suffering from the cold too much.

If you’re like me, you’ll be at work watching both the basketball game and the bowl game on tv. If we can pull off wins in both games, there is not much for me to complain about seeing that the 2017 year will have closed out on a high note.


I wish everyone a safe travel to wherever your destination may be this coming weekend and a safe and happy New Year!

Jared


PAULIE UPDATE



We're not in Crescent Hill anymore, Toto. 
We are in Hot 'Lanta. Well, not really hot..it's mid-40's maybe here in the downtown area. It's said 'getting there' is half the battle and that held true for Wednesday, I Mapquested the trip at about seven hours but it took us over nine. Beside the usual "necessary" stops, we ran into two huge traffic delays...one on I-24 near Chattanooga and one on I-75 north of Atlanta. But...we're here. Conquered the men Interstates of Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia so far. 

Found out that the Cards WBB won't be doing any post-game interview stuff after Georgia Tech Thursday night. It's pretty much play and then dash to the airport with a 10:50 p.m. flight back to the 'Ville. Tech a pretty good team from all accounts...just two losses. Baylor and Georgia. 11-2. 

We plan a bit of sight-seeeing today before hoops tonight. McCoughtry's Ice Cream on the agenda and a few other "touristry" things before the game tonight. Day one in the books, at least we're eating well and not still in traffic. That could be interesting, driving to Jacksonville Friday. 

Paulie

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Julie Sullivan Makes Some New Year's (and old year) Predictions -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



NOSTRAJULIEMUS LOOKS INTO HER CRYSTAL BALL


It seems to be a "thing" with our newest writers here at the Couple. They like to go out on the ledge, make predictions and deal with the aftermath later. Who could forget Jared's both prophecy that Field Hockey's Minnie Mink would average two goals a game last fall? Minnie did her best to make Mr. Anderson look like a "stinking genius" and did score 11 times in 22 contests. And, of course, Jared claims he was misquoted and actually said a goal every two games and not two goals every game. Archived audio denies that. 

Our newest writer Julie Sullivan staggers out of the sick bed today to climb in that clown car and fire a few predictions out of the Cardinal Couple cannon. All we can say is that her thoughts do not represent those of the staff and management of Cardinal Couple and that if you've down-range of her salvo....DUCK! Without any further adieu, "JC" takes us into the future...

NEW YEARS PREDICTIONS

This is my last scheduled article before the new year so I thought I would use it to make some predictions. 

1) For better of worse. All those with interim in their titles get the permanent gig. Postel, Tyra and Padgett are here to stay. 

2) Getting the upset. The Men's basketball team upsets UK. Yeah, yeah, yeah technically this is not a 2018 prediction but it is the deciding factor in Padgett getting the nod from my first prediction. 

3) Off to the show. Lamar Jackson enters the draft and is the third quarterback taken. He'll go somewhere in the mid to late first round. 

4) 26-0. The Women's Basketball team, though faced with some tough tests, remains unbeaten into February. Their first loss comes in a hearbreakingly close loss at UConn. 

5) Removal.  The NCAA appeal does not go UofL's way and nthe 2013 National Championship banner comes down. 

6) Replacement.  The empty space where the banner hung  doesn't stay empty for long. The WBB squad avenge the loss to UConn in the Final Four and bring home their first National Championship. 


7) So long Sam. Sam Purcell, associate women's basketball coach, accepts a head coaching job . He is replaced by Beth Burns. 

8) LAX attacks. With a small roster but a new coach and attitude, the Lacrosse team bonds. Much like Volleyball did this fall, Louisville Lacrosse defies expectations with at least 12 wins in the regular season, a good showing in the ACC Tournament and another NCAA bid. 

9) 4-0. Cardinal Athletics goes 4-0 to end the year with a football win over Mississippi St., WBB wins over Georgia Tech and NC State and the MBB squad defeating the Cats. Again, this is a 2017 prediction, but one I think will develop and get me off to a great predicting start. 

10) Pearsall Power.  Louisville Softball finds success in a few of the "new arms" they have in the circle and with a combination of new and old on the field and at the plate...does well in ACC play and makes it to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16. 

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Here's to a wonderful 2018 for all readers and all Cardinal Sports. 

Thoughts? Let me know in the comments section. 

Julie




Monday, December 25, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS! - MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE





FROM ALL OF US AT CARDINAL COUPLE...

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Paulie, Sonya, Jeff, Case, Jared and Julie



CHRISTMAS MORNING THOUGHTS

As I sit in my front room office, looking out my window, we
have snow for Christmas in Louisville, not much, but enough
to say we have a White Christmas. My thoughts go back to
earlier years, when we kids would tumble out of bed and
awaken our parents...energized by the thoughts and hopes of
what would be under the tree. Mom insisting we have breakfast
before the ripping of gift paper, screams of delight and love
and thankfulness that filled the air and the living room. 

Later that day, there would be church and then a return to "gift
central". Dad on the couch watching football, nursing an beverage.
Going out into the winter wonderland for sledding, snowball fights
or anticipating the turkey dinner, our senses filled with the wonderful 
smell in the kitchen. Shoveling the driveway so we could bounce a 
basketball on it and throwing prayers at a wooden backboard and 
slightly bent rim with no net. Happy times.  

Please try to remember the tenets of the season as you go through
the remainder of 2017 and head into 2018. Peace. Joy. Goodwill
to all and helping others. Remember, as you attend your holiday
festivities, venture to the Bowl game or just go through the mechanics
of everyday life that hope and joy are powerful things. Tomorrow
is not guaranteed. Enjoy today. Let those around you know you care.

I am thankful for a wonderful and caring wife. Family. A staff that I am  
proud of and encouraged by daily. The readership/listenership that
we do this for and who motivates us. Friends. The anticipation of what
lies ahead in the New Year. Venues that allow us to do what we love.
The joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and Cardinal Athletics.

I miss my parents. Close friends who have passed. I'd like to believe
they smile down upon us. If you never forget them, they're never
really gone.  

Grateful that I am still here and able to laugh, love and dream. To
recognize my wife, hold her and tell her I love her. 

Live your days to their fullest extent. Laugh when you can, cry if 
you need to...and try to be a good person, do the right thing and
make a gentle but remember-able path in this world. We wish you
a hopeful Christmas and a bountiful New Year. 

James Taylor recorded a beautiful song many years ago. Shower
the people you love with love. Good words in these times. Have a 
listen below:

SHOWER THE PEOPLE

Believe in love, peace, and harmony. Don't stop believing.
You can make a difference. Stay beautiful and unique. We
appreciate you. You are Cardinal Couple and we never forget that. 

-Paulie



Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve - Cardinal Couple -- SUNDAY CARINAL COUPLE


What have we been up to? 


Paul, Sonya, and I did help WCHQ get all of it's gear moved from the old studio location to the new yesterday with a crew of about 10-15 various on-air personalities.  In doing so, we got a sense of what the new space will be like for the first time, and as excited as I was about the new studio space when I wrote the article Friday, I am even more excited now.

The facility has extra space in an upper floor that hasn't been finished out yet, and Kathy, Paul, myself, and others were all discussing out the radio station might make use of that space.  The Cardinal Couple suggestion was to use one of the rooms as a recording space unconnected to the broadcast portions of the station to give groups a chance to come in and do pre-recorded shows and not have to worry (as much, at least) with scheduling around on-air activities.  Another room will probably be built out and used as an office space (Kathy's suggestion), which I'm sure will help her, and others involved in the administrative aspects of the station.  That still leaves another area of the upstairs to be decided on.  The possibilities are fantastic, and we can't wait to be a part of it.

Christmas Wishes


As we have already been looking towards next year with the studio update, and today is Christmas Eve, I guess this is the time to write about some Christmas Wishes.

Women's Basketball


My wish for WBB is for the best start in program history.  We're almost there, with just wins over
Georgia Tech and NC State needed to get us to that mark.

Within WBB, a few wishes for some individuals:

Kylee Shook - a wish to learn how to use her size to better advantage.  She's on the cusp of being a great basketball player, and it feels to me like she's just a bit hesitant to really mix it up to step up and be that better player.

Myisha Hines-Allen - this one is easy.  More double-doubles for DOU-BLAY!

Sam Purcell - another easy one.  Clothes.  The man can make anything look good, and I do mean anything.  Take advantage of it.  The more outlandish, the better.  And maybe with a little work on the ice, he could even join the Norwegian Curling team.

Jeff Walz - Wins.  Good defense.  And some family time with Kaeley, Jacob, Lola, and Lucy, and certainly not to be forgotten, Lauren.  Coaches are on the road a lot, be sure to take some time for some self-care Coach.

Attack Yorkies - Mostly Jess and Dana, we love ya, and my wish for you is all the steals and deflections that your heart desires.  Some commentators love offense *cough*Antonelli*cough*, but I'm a defense guy.  Go get em'!

Volleyball


For Volleyball overall, more of the same.  This past season was a overachievement of epic proportions, lets see more of it!

Molly Sauer and Alexis Hamilton - Another DS to step up into that rotation to join the two of you.  GabMolLexis was a potent trio that got the team's offense started, with Gabbie graduating, we need a DS to step up into that other slot to fill out that trio.  Will GabMolLexis become MagMolLexis?  Maybe NatMolLexis?  I'm not sure, but I'd love to see a modified trio emerge that is every bit as effective as what we had this past season.

Piper Roe - a starting role.  Your time has come.  You've learned from some amazing middles for a couple of years, watch Tess Clark, and Maggie DeJong dominate in the role, and cheering as Jasmine Bennett has become a force of her own with her amazing float time and length.  Now is your time to shine.  My Christmas wish for you is for you to become as great of a middle hitter and blocker as you are a person.

Megan Sloan - a swing set?  No wait, I'm reading my list wrong.  Swings...all the swings you want.  We still have some outside hitting to fill in, and my hope is that you can step up and fill that role.  With you, Melanie McHenry, and Amanda Green patrolling the pins, we've got height, power, and smart play there to take this team to the next level.

Incoming Freshmen - to the six new Cardinals joining this team next year, I wish you as much fun and success as so many had on this team this year.  Claire, Emily, Aiko, Mia, Maggie, and Anaya, you're joining a wonderful group of young women, and my wish for you all is a wonderful year to learn from them, get to know them, come to love them as teammates, and accept the love they will show for you.  You all are the future of this program, and I, for one, can't wait to meet you all and cheer you on in the stands of Cardinal Arena.

Field Hockey


Wow, what a year you all had.  Much like Volleyball, my wish is for more of the same in the year to come.  This is an easy list to put together...an ACC Championship, a deep NCAA tournament run and continued health and happiness.

Justine Sowry - Your enthusiasm and kindness is infectious, my wish is that you get as much as you give in this.  You got the win over your mentor and friend Pam Bustin, so that's one wish crossed off my list.  You clearly love to travel, and I'm sure you will make that happen in the coming year, and I wish safe travels to you.  Find some great potential Cardinals out there and show them what you and Louisville has to offer.

Ayeisha McFerran - Your senior year is coming, that goal is yours to own...not that you haven't already really done that.  I don't know what Irish National Team opportunities await you in the coming your, but I have no doubt there will be some, again, nothing you haven't already tackled.  I wish you all the success you could hope for both at UofL wearing the Cardinal logo, but also in representing Ireland.  A wish for clean slates all around.

Minout Mink - My wish for you is to ignore the ridiculous standards that the likes of Jared Anderson place on you.  You score goals.  It's what you do, and you do a great job of it.  You're also pretty fun to do a post-game interview with.  My Christmas wish for you is that we get to do more of those interviews because that means you're scoring, and I know how happy that makes you...and Coach Sowry.

Sam Minrath - You're one of the few Field Hockey players, and the only incoming freshman, I have had the opportunity to meet in person.  As an incoming freshman GK next year, you'll have the opportunity to learn from a couple of the best in the business - Coach Sowry, and Ayeisha McFerran.  My wish is that you grab hold of it and soak in as much of it you can.  Your time to shine between the pipes at Trager will come quickly, make the best of the opportunity to sit back and learn in the meantime.

Erica, Caitlin, MacKenzie, Taylor, and Camryn - the rest of the incoming freshmen class.  I haven't had the opportunity to meet you all as I have Sam, but if Coach Sowry and crew recruited you, that speaks well of you as Field Hockey players and as young women.  Welcome to Louisville (OK, you're not here, yet, I know, but it won't be long).  Much like my wishes to the incoming freshmen for Volleyball, my wish is that you embrace this team that you're joining as well.  Some of you may be called on to contribute significantly in the fall, some may take some time to develop, my wish is that you grab hold of whatever role you may be in and do your best at it.  A few of your are from Louisville, so you know how wonderful it is here, for the rest, I hope you come to love this city as much as I do.

Cardinal Fans


My wish is that all fan of the Louisville Cardinals, if they haven't already discovered the joy and excitement of UofL sports beyond Basketball and Football, is to do that.  I keep telling people how much fun it is to watch the game of Lacrosse, and everyone that has taken me up on the suggestion of coming out to watch has commented about how right I was.

Volleyball is, of course, one of my great joys, and my wish is that more discover this hidden gem on campus at UofL

In general, I wish for the Cardinals fanbase to discover some of the 21 other sports at UofL that don't get so much attention beyond Men's Basketball and Football.  Come out and cheer and get a greater understanding of what it means to be playing the game purely for the love of the game.  As the NCAA says, most of these young men and women will be going pro is something other than sports.  They're doing it because they love doing it.

Chuck sang it best...Run, run Rudolph.  Hear it hear: RUN, RUN RUDOLPH

-- 
JMcA

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Butler Bearettes Off to Torrid Start -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Molly Lockhart's Squad Dispatching Most Opponents with Ease


Lockhart fighting for a rebound
(photo from CJ)
Last week I mailed Saturday's article in. Today, though, refreshed as I begin a short staycation from work, coffee in hand, I decided to tackle something I hadn't done before. I graduated from Butler Traditional High School in 2012. I'm sorry if that makes anyone feel old. Six years after I graduated, some 350 odd seniors from Butler will walk across the stage in late May or early June, most likely at Freedom Hall. One of those graduates will be Molly Lockhart, a signee in Jeff Walz class for next season.

Molly is the 6'-1" center at my alma mater, and will step into an important forward position for the Cards next year. She was listed as the 21st best player at her position by ESPN with a prospect rank of 90. That's pretty good. If she can be the kind of leader that another Bearette turned Cardinal was (you might remember Tia Gibbs), then Lockhart could have a huge impact on teams loaded with talent in the years to come.

I bring up Butler because, in addition to having an important future Louisville baller on the team, they're off to a great start to their season. The Bearettes are off to a 9-0 start according to scoreboard.12dt.com, which I'm pretty sure is the official scoreboard site of the KHSAA. At least, that's the one I remember using for high school soccer. I'm also going to stick with the scoreboard site for my information because Max Preps has Butler listed at 4-0. I'm going to assume that's incorrect. The two can't even agree on when matchups were or are to be played.

Lockhart playing hard defense in last year's
game against Manual
Butler has two close wins this season, both by five. One came against Male earlier this month and the other came over Graves County Thursday night. The Bearettes followed up Thursday night's scare with a 63-20 drubbing of Livingston County last night. Every other win this season has been by at least 16 points, with the most lopsided victory coming on December 12th, when they defeated hapless Western by a final score of 76-1. It was the second of three games this season where the Warriors have been held to six or fewer points and allowed 75 or more.



Yikes.


Butler is currently on break for Christmas before heading down to Orlando next week for The Rock Holiday Classic. They are sure to take on stiffer competition in such an event and it will be good for them to test their mettle against other top teams.

Butler is seeking their 6th state championship this season, which would give them the most all time. They are currently tied for that honor with Laurel County. Louisville won the first girl's sweet sixteen in 1975, and have won two of the last four in 2014 and 2016, meaning Molly already has one state championship ring. The stats haven't been updated for the last two games, but through the first seven, Molly was averaging 11.7 points per game, just edging out junior guard Jaida Wiggins for the team lead. She also averaged 8.6 rebounds per game, which is what you'd expect your star center to do for you. Lockhart has attempted no three point baskets but shot 65% (37-57) through the first seven games. She's unfortunately a rough 11-18 from the free throw line so far this season, the last two games excluded.

Being only 6'-1", Jeff Walz is likely to move Lockhart out of the center position, which means she'll need to work on her shooting ability all over the floor, especially at the stripe, in order to see much playing time early on. Her rebounding ability will definitely help put the R in FRED, though.

Junior guard Jasmine Elder is another proven scorer for the Bearettes and freshman guard Dynastee White give head coach Larry Just a lot of possibilities. Whether Butler can challenge #1 Mercer County and Louisville signee Seygan Robins for this year's state championship title remains to be seen, but


There are a lot of games remaining in Lockhart's senior season. She has plenty of time to work on honing her craft, and playing for a good team can afford her the opportunities to open up her game a bit, provided coach Just will allow her to do so.


She was also troubled with an injured finger to begin the season.

 I'm sure, as a signee, that Jeff Walz has already been in contact with Molly and her coach about some of the things he'd like to see her improve on this season. I'm excited to be cheering on a fellow alum from Suda E. Butler at Louisville, and I wish the Bearettes the best in their championship quest this season.

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


It's Saturday, so you'll surely expect to see something about the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour in today's article. If you are expecting it, you haven't read Jeff's wonderful article from yesterday, so be sure to do that! There will be no Cardinal Couple Radio Hour today nor next week due to a combination of our studio home relocating and the holidays tying everyone's time up. If you need a CCRH fix, you can go to WCHQ.com and browse through the archived shows. Find one from this summer. With all of the Louisville women's teams on winter break, today's show would have effectively the same message as a dead period show anyway. I'm looking forward to being back in the studio on January 6th and hope you'll all join us then!
Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

PS: Please note that I took a ridiculous amount of time looking through old Facebook pictures for fun ones from Butler before ultimately striking out. I hope you enjoy the random Butler photos I found on Google instead.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Summertime? -- Changes ahead -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

One could be excused for thinking it's summertime for the moment.

In addition to the mid to upper 50s temperature...ok, that's not quite summertime temps, but still pretty warm for December...and a bit of a lull in athletic activity happening at UofL, we have a bit of a reprise of the summertime lull.

WCHQ new home (by day) 
Let's talk a little bit about WCHQ, our wonderful hosts for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on Saturday mornings.  As we've mentioned before, we won't be the air this Saturday or next because WCHQ is in the process of moving their studio facilities.  WCHQ will no longer be "A Basement on a Hill", in fact, it will no longer be in a basement at all.  The station manager, Kathy, who we refer to as Monk on the show, has purchased a building at the corner of Mellwood and Stevenson Ave...perhaps dangerously close to Apocalypse BrewWorks.  Much of the "disassembly" process of the gear at the Frankfort Avenue location has already been in progress.  The streaming systems have already been relocated to the new facility which already has new Internet access setup and running.

The new facility will have a whole new control board setup...one created from day "1" to be used to manage a radio station, rather than cobbled together tour gig equipment patched together to get the job done (Kathy's description).  The current/previous location of the studio, and it's proximity to some other residences and businesses, really limited what could be done in studio for live performances.  They needed to heavily restrict drum sets and amplification in-studio in order to try to be good neighbors to the restaurant upstairs as well as some residences in close proximity.  Load in and load out of equipment will be much easier at the new facility because it will be on the ground floor and there will be fewer, and more easily negotiated steps.  Not being in a basement and having challenging steps will also just generally make the studio more easily accessible for mobility challenged folk...people with bum knees, for example.

The new studio space is freshly renovated and painted, making for a nicer atmosphere overall, it also will have some amenities that the previous one did not, such as a green room.


WCHQ new home (by night).
Much of the work to move equipment will be done this weekend, Paulie, Sonya and I will all be there to help out as much as we can, and the new studio is anticipated to be up and running by January 2nd so you can look for the return of the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on January 6th.  We're excited for the new digs and are proud of our association with this up and coming resource for local music, activity, and news.  We have our niche in covering UofL women's athletics, and I don't think we could have a better radio host and partner than WCHQ in town.

Paulie's side show, Handicapping Heroes, a look at handicapping/horse-racing, will also emanate from there when the ponies return to Keeneland this spring.

With all of that said, that means that there will not be a Cardinal Couple Radio Hour broadcast this Saturday nor next Saturday.  We had toyed with the idea of pre-recording something to send in and get on the playlist, but the stars did not align correctly for that (and frankly, I've been busy doing last minute Christmas shopping).

Looking forward to settling in to a new seat "to the left" of Paulie.

--
Jeff

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Without Durr, Carter...Cards get by Air Force -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



HINES ALLEN 16 POINTS, SHOOK 13 REBOUNDS PACE CARDS


The University of Louisville women's basketball team is off for the Holidays now and maybe that's a good thing. A 62-50 win over Air Force Academy was less than convincing Wednesday afternoon in Colorado Springs. 

Without Asia Durr (back spasms) and Arica Carter (foot injury) Louisville put just eight active players on the court to tangle with the win-less Falcons. A starting lineup for the Cards that surprisingly didn't include home-town sophomore Kylee Shook. Walz sent out Sydney Zambrotta, Dana Evans, Myisha Hines-Allen, Jazmine Jones and Sam Fuehring to face the Falcons but substituted liberally throughout the game...and everyone saw at least 14 minutes. Syd totaled 34 in a game that saw some pluses but some glaring negatives. 

Air Force accomplish what Kentucky was unable to do in the Cards last game. Take a lead on the Cards.  After "DOOO-BLAY" (Hines-Allen)  scored the first four points of the game, the home-standers came back and led Louisville 5-4 a couple of minutes into the action. The Cards did respond with a 14-0 run that....nearly...finished the first half before AFA's Kaelin Immal sank a buzzer-beating three to set the tally at 18-8 after 10 minutes. 

This wasn't pretty basketball in many aspects for the 14-0 Cards. Zero three pointers converted (out of eight attempts) Yes UofL was without the two players that made nine out of the ten against Kentucky, but Zambrotta going 0-5 is either a tribute to the pressuring AFA defense or just a rough night behind the stripe for "Z". 

You decide. Most of her looks were fairly open. 

The Cards were able to go on a 12-4 run in the second session to lead 30-12 with four minutes until half, but...just when you thought the Cards might be ready to go on one of their patented runs...the Falcons retaliated with a quarter-closing 8-4 run. 34-20 at the half. 

Air Force played like a team with nothing to lose and everything to gain, and, basically that was the scenario and how it played out. At 0-10, they didn't come in thinking they  were going to dominate the #3 team in the country...but wanted to make a good showing.

They did that. 

They weren't particularly efficient on offense...shooting 29.3% for the game...but kept hanging around the 12-14 point range and forced (or watched) Louisville commit a season-high 22 turnovers. 

No sir, not pretty at all. Evidence of how important Durr and Carter are to this squad. 


All you really need to know about the final twenty minutes is that Air Force won the session 30-28. They beat the Cards 14-9 in the 4th quarter, Louisville aiding that by making just one of their final nine shot attempts. 

But, a win is a win and the women produced theirs slightly more convincingly then the men did Wednesday night. 

I did listen to Coach Walz on the post-game show. Suffice to say, he wasn't particularly thrilled with the Cards effort in Colorado. He left the players with a few things to think about over the next seven days before they reconvene in Atlanta to face Georgia Tech. 

THE FRED REPORT


Fred McMurray of My Three Sons. The Cards
could have used a couple of them Wednesday. 
F- Free throws. Nothing to complain about here. 22-25 is 88% is way above the standard of 70% my guidelines are here. CAPITAL "F". 

R- Rebounding. Led by Kylee's 13, the Cards did manage a 45-31 advantage over the smaller Falcons. Myisha grabbed eight. We'll award a CAPITAL "R" here also.

E- Effort/Execution. With a season-high in turnovers and allowing 12 steals, this was not UofL's finest hour. In fact, it well have been the Cards poorest performance of the year. Whether it's against a conference contender or also-ran, you have to bring your best each night. Louisville did far from that. No letter here. Maybe they were tired.

D - Defense. Holding a foe to less than 30% shooting and just 50 points is not a bad night, especially with two of your top three players watching from the bench. Still, swatches of inconsistency and letting Immel and Bennett go for almost 30...I have to limit this category to a small-case "d". 

FINAL FRED TALLY:  F-R-_-d



SO...



Maybe some of the players were mentally at the airport or on the way home. Maybe UofL underestimated a team that had nothing to lose and played pretty decent defense. Maybe the altitude of over 7,000 feet had something to do with it. Maybe a lot more than we realize. 14-0 looks good, though, even if it was a lack-luster, less-than-average effort that got UofL there. 

Whatever the circumstances, fates and situations were that led to the events of the afternoon, hopefully a lesson was learned. There may be situations later in the year where foul trouble or other issues have 2-3 starting Cards riding the pine. Louisville won't be playing a win-less opponent in these and we hope that the experiences of the trip to the Rockies gave Louisville a reminder that nothing is given and nothing is guaranteed. 

Let's also not forget that the Cards were coming off an emotion-filled win at their in-state rivals place and that can be draining. The "highs" experienced in that huge win weren't going to be emulated against a 0-10 foe that is possibly the fourth worst team in DI basketball, according to the RPI's. The Cards showed up, did enough to win and were never seriously challenged for 35 minutes.

Can they afford to do that the rest of the way? Of course not, that spells "L" in the win/loss column. But, they won. Walz is going to have to display discontentment. That's all part of coaching. 

Everyone throws in a clunker now and then. The Cards delivered theirs with the accuracy of a Brandon McKay fastball. Get it out of your system and move on. Credit your opponent for a hard-fought battle, tear off the rear view mirror and keep driving toward the goal. The Final Four.

Kylee Shook returns home and shows her posse she can still rebound. Myisha does what she does, dominate and leads her teammates to victory. Other than that, it might be a road trip to forget and a game film not worth watching. The lowest scoring effort of the season for Louisville. Better have some Pepto-Bismol in the viewing room if they decide to re-live the 40 minutes of less-than-satisfying video. 

14-0.

paulie
xxxxx