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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Early season losses aplenty for top ACC WBB teams...WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


ACC PRESEASON TOP-FIVE HAVE ALL LOST IN EARLY CONFERENCE SCHEDULE


One of the terms that you can use about the early ACC WBB Conference play would be parity. A glance at the top four in the league reveals NC State on top at 2-0, Virginia Tech 1-0, Duke 1-0 and Boston College 1-0. None of these four were picked in the top four in the ACC preseason poll. 

Duke was predicted to finish sixth, NC State seventh, Virginia Tech 12th and Boston College 13th. Sometimes, the favorites break slow out of the gate, right?

NC State is the early surprise team in ACC WBB...with wins at Notre Dame and at home against FSU. These two squads were picked to finish first and third in the preseason Coaches and Blue Ribbon Panel polls. These weren't squeakers, either...the Wolfpack downed the Irish 70-62 and the Seminoles 70-61.


A thriller last year! 
Wolfpack Coach Wes Moore is getting it done with several players. Dominque Wilson, a 5'8" red-shirt senior guard had 18 against the Irish and 19 at Florida State. She's in her third season at NC State after transferring from Arkansas. Miah Spencer, a 5'8" senior guard tallied 17 against UND and 12 against the Seminoles. She's been a starter all four years in Raleigh. Inside, the Wolfpack look to Jennifer Mathurian, a 6'1" senior that had 11 points and 10 rebounds against the Irish. She's been on the NC State roster all four years. Chelsea Nelson, a 6'2" junior, went for 17 against FSU.

None of these four made the Preseason All-ACC Team. No Wade Watch List, Naismith Trophy Watch nor Wooden Award candidates among them. NC State has had three losses on the season...like Louisville...their defeats coming to Kansas State and LSU in the Paradise Jam and at Tulane. Miami comes to visit Reynolds Coliseum Thursday. Louisville gets them Thursday, Feb. 2nd in the KFC YUM! Center. Who could forget last year's nail-biting 92-20 Cardinal win in Raleigh last year in the high school gym the 'Pack played in while Reynolds was being renovated? 

Experienced upperclassmen, especially at the guard slots for Mr. and Mrs. Wuf's squad. Louisville has already seen that twice in league play with Syracuse's Peterson and Sykes and Duke's Greenwell and Brown. 


Virginia Tech continues to surprise with a 14-0 record. They're the only team that is undefeated for the season so far in the conference. UNC was their victim in Cassel Coliseum 76-68. Chanette Hicks is the story in Blacksburg...the sophomore guard had been named ACC Player of the Week twice already. The Cards go to Va.Tech Thurs. Feb 9th. to face the Hokies. Louisville won an ugly one against them in the YUM! last year 56-45. 

We know how Duke got their lone ACC win. They head to Georgia Tech Thursday and FSU Sunday. Boston College downed Clemson in what would have been a battle for the cellar last year in the ACC. They stay up north this week with trips to Pitt and Syracuse. 

The top five teams in the preseason rankings...#7 Notre Dame, #6 FSU, #8 Louisville, #14 Miami and #25 Syracuse are 1-1 in conference play. They consist of the middle of the pack in the ACC. Wake Forest still hasn't played a conference game and Clemson, Ga. Tech, UNC, Virginia and Pitt are all 0-1. 

Of course...it is way early in the conference schedule. 230 ACC games yet to be played. Eight teams ranked in the USA Today top 25. 


Thursday's slate has some great match-ups.

Syracuse goes to Clemson and should get a win, although "Q's" bunch had to come from 17 down to beat Virginia last time out.  Duke heads to Atlanta to take on the Ramblin' Wreck and should pick up their second conference win. The Miami-NC State contest in Raleigh should be a thriller...I'll go with the 'Canes coming in and getting the road win. Florida State and UNC should be a good one, too. I like the Seminoles over the TarHeels. Wake Forest opens their conference slate at Notre Dame in what should be an easy Irish victory. Boston College at Pitt is a toss up. I'll take the home Panthers. Louisville at Virginia will be close...the Cards get the "W". 

I was 5-2 last week...Louisville and Florida State were my losses. I'm a so-so 
6-4 on the ACC schedule so far.  

My top five performers from Monday? I'll go with Lexie Brown (Duke), Chanette Hicks (Va. Tech), Dominque Wilson (NC State), Alexis Peterson (Syracuse) and Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame). 


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CARDS MBB TRAVELS TO NOTRE DAME TONITE


Rick Pitino takes the men's squad to South Bend tonight to face the Irish in
a 9 p.m. match-up in the Purcell Pavilion. (We didn't know Sam Purcell had a pavilion...that guy is everywhere!) The Cards enter at 12-2 and are ranked #9 nationally.

We'll see how the new starting lineup of "Q", Ray, Donovan, Deng and Anas does in their second outing against the the 12-2 #23 Irish. It looked pretty good against IU. Having Jaylen and Mangok coming off the bench could provide the spark the Cards need to gather their first win in South Bend since 1994. 

This one will be televised on the ACC Network...WHAS TV locally. Case will have the write-up on it Thursday. 

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"HAPPY TO BE HERE" ASIA TAYLOR FLOURISHING IN AUSTRALIA

If you've followed us for a awhile...it should come as no surprise that Asia Taylor has been a Cardinal Couple favorite for a long time...especially with our ops manager Sonja. The former Cardinal from Columbus, OH has found success and happiness in the land down under...playing for the Sydney Flames. 

Since graduation, A-Tayy has remained active in the women's hoops professional ranks with a couple of WNBA teams and abroad. The 25 yr. old is arguably playing the best basketball of her life these days and we couldn't be more pleased for her. Good to see "Tigger" healthy and pain-free! 

Reader Sandy W...a big A-Tayy fan as well...sends us this nice link detailing her impressive 2016-17 season. Post 'em up and take it to the hoop! 

LINK: A-TAYY ON THE PROWL OVERSEAS


have a Wonderful Wednesday! 
paulie

xxxxx

8 comments:

  1. I'm thinking that NC State just may be the real deal this year and will hang around the top of the conference standing a long time. It will be interesting to see how they do against a physical Miami team.

    Great story on Asia Taylor. She had so much difficulty with injuries early on at Louisville. I'm glad she is killing it.
    The Deb Factor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Even in her toughest stretch at UofL, she never lost that smile and great personality. I'm pretty sure I still owe her a few ham and pineapple pizzas...but she's going to have to come to town and claim them...

      Walz warned us last year that this NC State team was going to be a force to reckon with in 2016-17. As usual, Coach was right.

      Paulie

      Delete
  2. Happy for Asia Taylor playing peek performing basketball.
    NC State was a tough out last year for the cards.
    The Acc........no cup cakes on the schedule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NC State not getting in the NCAA Tournament last year was a prime motivator for them going into this season as well. Imagine...getting the team together for the Selection Show, you're 20-11, 10-6 in ACC and tied for fifth with Miami in the regular season standings and get left at the alter.

      Paulie

      Delete
  3. As long as we're talking about Alumni I see Jude Schimmel just signed her first pro WBB contract with Cadi La Seu in Spain. I have no idea what league that is or when their season runs but it just came up in my feed.

    So...Good for Her! I'm sure she'll be a great rep for ULWBB overseas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jude joins Cadi La Seu with 13 games left in the second half of their season, as they try to make the playoffs in the Spanish Women's Basketball league. They're currently tied for sixth place in the 14 team league with a 6-7 record. They next play on Jan. 7th.

      Courtney Williams, who Cards fans may remember from her time at South Florida and Candice Warthen (Arizona) are the other two USA players on the team.

      Paulie

      Delete
  4. Paulie what can the Cards expect from Virginia tonight?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's what I see. The Wahoos are tough defensively. They rank #55 in the nation in scoring defense, #11 in field goal defense and #24 in three-point FG defense in the nation. I watched part of their game at Syracuse and turnovers (27) and giving up 26 offensive rebounds really hurt them. They started the game great (14-0) and led 29-18 at the half but the Orange caught and passed them in the fourth quarter and went on to win 54-49.

      They're 11-3 on the year...also losing to St. John's and Northwestern. Key wins would probably be 66-43 at Georgia, 73-51 over Nebraska on a neutral court and 62-54 against Rutgers in Charlottesville.

      They outscore opponents 65.6 - 50.4. Scoring leaders are Lauren Moses (11.7) a junior forward and Jocelyn Willoughby (10.0) a freshman guard. They do have one of the tallest players in college WBB in 6'9" Felicia Aiyeotan...a freshman from Nigeria...but she doesn't start, she sees just six minutes a game and averages about six points a contest.

      Cards will need to control the tempo in this one, go to the boards strong and get productive guard play. Moses is tough inside so our UofL's outside shooting will need to be on par and if the Cards can force them into the number of turnovers that the "Cude did...Louisville should prevail.

      Paulie

      Delete

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