TOP 10 MATCH-UP IN TALLAHASSEE TONIGHT
|JAZMINE JONES RETURNS HOME TONIGHT|
#7 FSU (15-2, 3-1) comes into the contest on a two-game win streak...taking out UNC and Duke most recently. They opened the conference slate with a win over Miami before stumbling to visiting NC State 70-61.
When you look at the Seminoles...there is a lot to digest.
Leticia Romero, a senior guard from Spain via Kansas St., leads the 'Noles in scoring with 14.5 ppg. She's played in 15 of FSU's 17 contests...sitting out early with a hamstring injury. She began her career at Kansas State and was "Ms Everything" for the Wildcats...landing on the Big 12 All-Freshman team and Big 12 All-Conference second team. She's one of three transfers that sees considerable action for Sue Semrau. Deadly from behind the arc (32-57 for 56%) and hits the pull-up jumper with accuracy.
|We wouldn't mind seeing Thomas grabbing some bench tonight|
Imani Wright is in her first season at FSU after transferring from Kim Mulkey's Baylor program. She's good for 11.9 a game, one of four double figure scorers for the 'Noles and is the top 3-point maker on the squad with 36 trifectas and a 40% accuracy rate. The 5'9" guard sat out last season, due to transfer rules, but has returned with a vengeance...averaging 11.9 a outing.
Ivey Slaughter, it seems, has been at FSU forever. The 6'1" senior forward puts in 10.7 a contest and is the Seminoles leading rebounder. She's probably their best defender in the paint and is no stranger to the Cardinals...getting nine points and nine rebounds as a freshman and 17 points as a sophomore against the 'Ville. She was limited to three points in 27 minutes last year because of foul trouble. Louisville probably wouldn't mind seeing her take an extended seat tonight...
Brittany Brown is the fifth starter for FSU and averages 8.8 a night. A senior guard, she's the assist leader for the 'Noles and is adept at perimeter defense and steals. She had nine points and seven assists against UofL last year. Brown is also one of the best offensive rebounding guards in the conference. It'll be interesting to see who Sue Semrau assigns her to defensively if the 'Noles play man-to-man against the Cards.
|One that Myshia might have trouble sending to the floor...|
FSU doesn't go very deeply into their bench after White. We expect to see guards Maria Conde and Nicole Ekhomu plus center Kai James get a little action for the home team.
The 'Noles can come at you a lot of different ways, as you might have surmised after reading the above. How do the Cards stop them and get a win tonight? I'll offer five things the Cards need to do well in order to take leave of Tallahassee with a "W" in the luggage.
1) Score, baby..score. The Cards will need to put out a much better effort offensively than Duke did against FSU. The Ble Devils shot just 25% and had a mere 15 first half points. Creating the open looks, recognizing who is hot and make crisp passes and cutting back on dribbling are all keys to get the offense working. I'm sure both teams have looked at the fast start Louisville got last year (19-6 after one) and if Louisville can find a way to duplicate that on the road...all the better. Taking and making good shots adds up the points.
2) Let's have a threesome! The trio of Mariya Moore, Myisha Hines-Allen and Asia Durr need to have a big night tonight. The Cards can usually get a good performance out of two of the three...but against these talented Seminoles..it is imperative that the trilogy takes off in unison. Moore posted 20 against them last year and sank four 3's. Hines-Allen added 13 and Durr got nine in just 11 minutes. Tonight...Hines-Allen needs to be on the court instead of watching with foul trouble, Moore must continue her recent hot streak and Durr's long-range bombing has to be accurate.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST YEARS 79-69 UofL WIN
3) Hit the boards! Despite last year's win, the Cards were out-rebounded 41-30. Tonight, we would like to see Cortnee establish herself as a miss-grabber on both ends of the court and Myisha get at least double figures in rebounding. Any other efforts on tracking down misses from Moore, Briahanna Jackson and the reserves need to be positive ones.
4) Control the pace. Louisville probably doesn't want to get in a track meet with FSU...the 'Noles are atop the conference in scoring offense with 82.8 points a game in 17 contests. The Cards are fifth in the ACC with 78.3 ppg. Controlling the pace, avoiding the run-outs and solid defense are essential if Louisville is going to go 4-1 in conference play. The Cards could throw a variety of defenses at Florida State tonight to keep them guessing...but avoiding unforced turnovers while running the offense effectively and not putting up hurried shots are things that are self-controllable and prime factors in tonight's battle.
It should be a fun one to watch (or listen to) tonight. The ACC Network Extra will have the feed...Tom Block and Melissa Bruner, who are both associated with the FSU program as sports announcer and director of basketball operations have the call. I'm sure it will be completely unbiased, neutral and objective...right?
I've been going to our radio feed with Nick and A.J. more and more lately. They do a fantastic job with "the accounts and descriptions" of the action and, despite the time lapse between TV and radio in action...I will most likely stay on that course tonight.
The last time I visited Tallahassee, I spent a wonderful day on the Wakulla River...just south of the city. Here's to that great time "down by the River" at the link below...courtesy of The Dave Matthews Band and Warren Haynes.
LINK: DOWN BY THE RIVER
Good luck Louisville tonight! We'll recap it here tomorrow...
LOUISVILLE MBB HOLDS ON AGAINST PITT
Rick Pitino's Cards saw their 59-35 lead halfway through the second half plummet but held on at the end to hold off the Pitt Panthers 85-80 in the KFC YUM! Center last night. The Cards are now 14-3 on the season and 2-2 in ACC play.
Quentin Snider put in 22 for UofL. He was joined in double figures by Deng Adel (15), Donovan Mitchell (15) and Ray Spalding. Nice job by "Q", Deng, Mitch and "ding".
The "missing layups" disease has spread, unfortunately, from the WBB squad to the guys. Just dunk the ball. Be the mean dog. Flush the orb.
Our Case Hoskins was at the event and will join us via phone Saturday on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR for a Duke preview. I do know he's still not enamored with the "Yell Leaders" and promised a rant on them for Saturday radio. We have suggested Case try to "dress out" and join the team for warmups. Yeah, that'll happen...
I got a nice start to the Weds-Thurs picks when I picked Miami and they held home-court advantage and knocked off previously undefeated Virginia Tech last night 82-75. This one was close for three quarters...eight ties and 13 lead changes before the Canes put together a 25-17 fourth-quarter to get the "W". Hicks and Hill combined for 43 points for the Gobblers.
Here's how I see tonight's games:
Boston College hosts Georgia Tech and I think the Eagles will eke out a narrow win over the visiting Ramblin' Wreck. B.C. will need to shut down Ga.Tech's two-time Freshman of the Week Francesca Pan.
Duke brings in UNC in The battle of Tobacco Road. Greenwell and Brown should rebound from their loss to FSU. I see the Blue Devils sticiking it to the TarHeels.
Pitt has the misfortune of travelling to Notre Dame. The Irish should cage these Panthers pretty easily...if they're not looking too much in advance to a battle at Tennessee on Monday.
NC State goes to Syracuse in what I see as the toughest outcome to predict tonight. Which Syracuse squad will show up? I'm going with the Wolfpack here eating the Orange but N.C. State probably won't win this one by much.
Clemson at Wake Forest. This is the *meh* game of the night. Neither has won an ACC contest yet. When in doubt...go with the home squad theorem works here for me...so we'll say Demon Deacons over the Tigers. Maybe. Toss a coin.
Louisville vs. Florida State. If I could take a "pass" here, I surely would. I just don't have a good feeling, though, about the Cards chances in Tallahassee tonight. I sincerely hope I'm wrong...but I'll call it 'Noles over Cards. Let the hate e-mails begin...
Whistling in the dark and headed for a haircut...have a thankful Thursday and take a minute today to tell someone how much you appreciate them. You never know when you might get that opportunity again to do so...
happy birthday, Sarge. I miss ya, buddy...