Listen to our weekly show !!

Listen to our weekly show !!
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO'S LATEST BROADCAST IS UP AND RUNNING IN THE ARCHIVED FACEBOOK LIVE. We are all about the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports from a fan's perspective! CLICK THE WCHQ LOGO TO HEAR OUR LATEST BROADCAST !! ***DOWNLOAD THE WCHQ APP*** YOU CAN SEND YOUR DONATION TO: CARDINAL COUPLE LLC c/o Paul Sykes PO BOX 91521 LOUISVILLE, KY 40291 ( make checks payable to CARDINAL COUPLE) Thank you for considering!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Louisville women's basketball -- Jared Anderson's report -- WEDNESDAY CARDINALCOUPLE


IS THIS UOFL WBB SQUAD SIMILAR TO THE FINAL FOUR TEAMS? 



I attended the Chili’s Jeff Walz radio show last night.  Unfortunately, Coach Walz seems to have caught the flu from the rest of his family and could not make it.  Instead, Sam Williams  and Adrienne Johnson joined Nick Curran on the mics. Per their discussion I got a few things from attending the event and listening to the discussion among the dozens of fans in attendance.

This team is similar to the Final Four teams of the past. The 2009 squad had Angel McCoughty and Candyce Bingham as the big playmakers. 2013 had Shoni Schimmel and Sara Hammond. This year has Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen. The duo matches up with similar style play of the other pairs.

Like other successful seasons this year’s team has a quite impressive defense. They found ways to shut down opponents, either throughout entire games or in second half adjustments to win games.  Even the loss to Florida State showed solid defensive pressure. They held the Seminoles to just 50 points and kept the game close despite the poor offensive outing.

Coach Williams and AJ discussed recently about how we often view success of players. Many fans look at points scored as a scale of success. They don’t look at other factors in a game such as rebounding, assists, and defense. Dana Evans and Arica Carter have learned to control the ball well and dish out assists all game. MHA and Bionca Dunham haul in boards on both sides of the court. Jaz Jones and Sam Fuehring bring intense energy. "Nite-Nite" lights up the scoring almost every game. Myisha Hines-Allen may be the rest rebounder in women's college basketball and brings offense almost every outing. As a team, everyone plays great defense. Each player brings something to the table. This is a highly successful squad. In many realms. 

Coach Walz is fortunate to have a solid rotation of players. There’s about eight or nine different players he can feel comfortable logging major minutes and still find ways to maintain a lead or expand on it. That goes back to each player being able to contribute something to the game, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Louisville has one of the best fan bases in the country. 10,000+ fans in three straight games is not something you’ll find at most major women’s basketball programs. The large attendance numbers play a key role in recruiting. Having a sold out lower bowl of fans on their feet creating an intimidating atmosphere for opponents and is encouraging as a player to have a fan base behind them. When recruits witness this in person it can help sell Louisville as their choice for college. The question arises -- would you rather play in front of 1,000 or 10,000? Opposing teams come to Louisville and their coaches almost always mention the incredible attendance during their post-game interviews. 

Another topic that came up recently is the lack of interest in women’s basketball as a whole. 

Louisville is one of the better bases for women’s basketball but there’s still a big gap between 21,000+ average for men’s basketball and anywhere from 6,000-12,000 at women’s basketball. Possibly the biggest factor contributing to the lack of interest is the lack of competition.

UConn has dominated the realm of collegiate women’s basketball since Geno first took over as head coach. It’s always been “Everyone vs UConn” with the Huskies almost being guaranteed another undefeated season or national championship and everyone else battling for second place. However, that gap is closing. South Carolina, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, and Louisville have all found their way up there. The Bulldogs upset UConn in the Final Four last year. The Irish took the Huskies to the mid-fourth quarter before struggling down the stretch.

Other teams are getting better. Having more than one team having a good chance at claiming the title will attract interest and having half a dozen teams all battling it out to the death (not literally) will spark interest.

It’s safe to say I got a lot out of the discussion among the fans at Chili's. I doubt I’ll get that much each time I’m in attendance but seeing the turnout and support gives me confidence the Louisville women’s basketball fan base will continue to grow. It also appears that the program is going to continue to improve as the years progress.

On a closing note it has been offered that if Louisville lost one more regular season game but won the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament that the championship would be Coach Walz’s 300th program victory. I did some research and math to test this theory and here’s the results:

* 263 wins through 2016-17 season
* 22 wins in 2017-18 season up to date
* 8 regular season games remaining
* 3 potential games in ACC Tournament as top four seed
* 6 potential games in NCAA Tournament, seeding doesn’t matter

302 potential wins for Jeff Walz if Louisville wins out. So, the theory was incredibly close.


One  regular season loss would give Jeff Walz his 300th in the Final Four. Two regular season losses would make it 300 in the championship if everything else played out. However, there’s the ifs of winning in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments and what-not with a few different scenarios.

 I’ll hit on that more on Friday. The good thing is that we could easily see Jeff Walz’s 300th career win before the year is over. If not, it will happen at the beginning of next season.

Enjoy your Wednesday and Go Cards!


Jared

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Has Big City U lost their collective minds? -- David Watson -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


BIG CITY U'S ATTORNEY FIRM HIRES PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO INVESTIGATE BARNEY GOOGLE

(David Watson was one of the original writers here at CARDINAL COUPLE. He chimes occasionally on subjects when he's not out wading through the swamps of Bradenton looking for little white balls or prowling around yard sales collecting eight-tracks. He checks in today with a fictitious saga.) 


Good morning! It is nice to be back on these pages once again. When Paulie checked on my health a few days ago (and it is getting better all the time. Thank you for the calls, comments and e-mails I've received about my bout with pneumonia) he asked if I would fire him a thought or two from the "wacky and unpredictable" mind (as he puts) it of Dave-O. That's me -- for the record. Today's soup du jour is: 

WHAT NOW, BIG CITY U? 



So, here it is. I think Big City U -- or at least the ones in charge of the "Barney Google" issue and episodes -- have lost their minds. 

It was reported yesterday that the "University" has hired a private investigation firm to check into the background of fired impresario "Barney Google" . 

What? They're trying to shovel up dirt, cause innuendo and doubt on the guy who basically rebuilt the campus? And, much worse, they tossed those magic words and the eye-catching phrase "allegations of sexual harassment" into the revelation.

You want attention? Put those four words on any statement or comment. 

"Honey, would you mind stopping by the store and picking up eggs, bread and checking out the allegations of sexual misconduct on the grocery bagger? Thanks! You're a sweetheart!" 

Is Big City U really trying to look stupid or does it just come naturally? Barney Google is one of the last people in the world that would come to mind in regards to the phrase "allegations of sexual misconduct." That's like accusing Bugs Bunny of "discriminatory intentional profiling and occupational taunting" when he says:

"What's Up Doc?" 

You can almost envision Yosemite Sam running in, guns blazing, shouting "Say your prayers, you long-eared galoot!" to complete this ridiculous farce. 

So, you're faced with the very distinct possibility of paying Mr. Google a big amount of money for terminating him. You don't have much to go on. It's fourth down and time to punt. Hey! LET'S TRY THIS, INSTEAD! It's the kind of thinking that traditionally gives the opponent the ball yards away from your goal line. 

Let's face it. The actual firing of Barney Google was another "scratch your head and drop your jaw" move. President Shovel praises the guy eight months ago in a performance review...saying he has been "uniformly positive"...and now you're going through trash cans and putting a "tail" on a guy you've already fired? What is this? A plot line for a new "Dumb and Dumber" movie?

And, in typical chicken-s--t fashion, acting president Shovel at Big City U says that he didn't hire the P.I. and defers this to the law firm who actually hired Sam Spade, Magmum P.I. or whoever is sneaking down dark, shadowy alleys trying to find crumpled pieces of paper with the words "for a good time call 8675309". Interrogating librarians. Conducting interviews with girl scout troops and shot-putters. Getting in touch with the city newspaper. Ordering way too much food at a seedy diner. Choosing too much club on a hole that has water around it. Listening to opera. 

(The "8675309" reference is from a song called "Jenny". She's probably a prime suspect in this madcap, ridiculous witch hunt. Just keeping with Paulie and Jeff's mandate there be a pun or song reference in each article here at CARDINAL COUPLE. I'd hate to be brought up on charges.) 

So...what say you, big shot law firm? The law firm naturally replies that:

"Investigations are a routine part of ongoing or potential litigation." (And I think they said it with a straight face.)


Oh, boy. It's enough to make you slice your seven-iron shot right into Alligator Alley. As if I needed any extra help there. And, I might find a man in sunglasses lurking behind a palm tree, running out to check that badly hit ball and scooping it up -- screaming "circumstantial evidence" before running away. Only to end up in the jaws of ol' Granny Gator.

If this is how they treat you after 20 years of incredibly productive service and loyalty, imagine what they might do to Barney Google if he actually did something wrong! 

"Here's a cigarette (even though you can't smoke on campus) and we'll stop by to line you up and shoot you at sunrise in front of one of the buildings you helped construct. Oh, and have a couple of Rally's coupons, too." 

If you are fishing, Mr. Attorney, Mr. P.I. and Big City U, it's in a dried up mud hole with no bait. The man is about as much a sexual predator as a scarlet begonia. The embarrassment to his wife, his sons and daughters has to be off the charts. The personal attack and smudging of his reputation unforgivable. Litigation? You ain't seen nothing yet! 

Big City U would be best served by just paying "Barney" after some reasonable negotiation. In their case, that would most likely involve waterboarding and body punches in a darkened room. 

Big City U has given sports commentators, play-by-play announcers, talking heads and sideline reporters enough talking points and fill-in material to get them through even the most boring 52-0 shutout in any sport for the next three years. Bad light on an already dimly lit institution.


All the good and positive things that Big City U's athletic teams are trying to accomplish on the field of honor have just been sent back to the dugout on a called third strike. 

Send in the clowns, line up the elephants and keep your eyes skyward for Barney Google to be shot out of a cannon and end up crashing into the daring young private investigator on the flying trapeze. The circus has come to town and they've set up their tents on Big City U's stately front lawn. Again.  

Will there be women running forward to tell their tales of improper attempted trysts with Barney Google? Are there any? Will Magmum P.I. dig back into Barney Google's sordid childhood and discover he cut Mary Jane Plain's pigtail off with a pair of dull scissors and he actually stood up the prom queen on a date because he wanted to sneak down the alley with sexy Sally? Is Perry Mason available for the defense?


Give me the remote. I'm going to give it to my basset hound Frank and have him bury it where even Sam Spade can't find it. I'm going to take a long walk to try and get this off my mind. Followed by two guys in raincoats and hats, of course. By several facilities that Barney Google had the vision and foresight to have erected.  

Paulie's radio show, THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR, ends with a song "Look What We Can Do, Louisville!" I'm closing my eyes. I want to see no more. Big City U, you've lost a viewer. 

Those four words that strike fear into the heart of anyone who can read.

Allegations of sexual harassment. 

Almost as fearful as four more words. 

Get more lawyers involved.


I hope my next visit here to these hallowed pages are of a brighter and happier note and topic. Commenting about seeing Jeff Walz cut down the nets in Columbus after winning the National Championship. Reporting on a dog-pile on a UofL pitcher after a softball shutout in the ACC Championship game. Something, anything that is positive. No more Big City U drama or scuttlebutt. 

If I have my assumption wrong, please fill me in.

So there is a known case of Sexual Harassment where "Gristle" told the witness to be silent and was settled out of court...

...but...

“Someone” hired a PI firm to look into Barney Google and they go to a local media rag and specifically ask about sexual harassment claims?

Do I have that right?



In the meantime, I need to go back and review my pending allegations against Paulie for...well, unspecified reasons and perceived possible circumstances that may or may not include sexual chatter, three-point misses, Worldwide Jeff McAdams puns and/or greek Yogurt, 1999 Ford Taurus power steering problems and oleanders in Annandale. 

I remain (at least until evidence proves otherwise).


Your friend
Dave-O
David Watson.          

Monday, January 29, 2018

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards shake Wake 89-52


DURR'S 26 LEAD CARDS TO 22nd, 37-POINT WIN SUNDAY


Asia Durr got her groove back and the Cardinals used strong starts to each half to down Wake Forest WBB 89-52 in front of 10139 fans in the KFC YUM! Center Sunday afternoon. 

"I was feeling good. My team-mates found me on the court. It was fun. We played hard. Wake Forest is a great team and has a great coach. We just played hard."

 The Douglasville, GA junior kept it short and sweet. About the same way the Cards rolled over the ACC foe. No dramatic comebacks, no fourth quarter collapses. Just solid basketball from the start. A start where Jazmine Jones jumped in the driver seat, stepped on the gas and drove the Cards to an early 6-0 lead in the first two minutes...causing WFU head coach Jen Hoover to call a halt to the action and talk about it. Jaz explained: 

" I was just trying to play aggressive. Just like Coach tells me to play every game. And, it paid off in the first three minutes." 


Add in recently-turned red-head Bionca Dunham into the aggressiveness and the #4 ranked Cards rolled out to a 20-9 lead after eight minutes. This one was pretty much over. There would be no Florida State type comeback. There would be no Myisha Hines-Allen heroics in the last minutes. In fact, it was a game where Walz chose to use her for just 23 minutes...getting Kylee Shook and Dunham some needed game experience for extended minutes. A game where the Cards led by 42 early in the fourth quarter. Dunham, as we covered, really responded. The consensus on media row is that Kylee needs more work but definitely benefited from getting the minutes against an aggressive Wake front line. 

This was a nice change of pace for Louisville women's basketball. A blow-out. Some fun in the post game presser with Coach Walz turning the table (pretty much with no ckoice) over to his youngest daughter Lucy. She was with Coach because the flu bug has hit the Walz household (a statement Lucy disputed in the post game comments)....which reminds me of the classic Joe Pesci line from "My Cousin Vinnie" when he tells the judge that the whole store has the flu. 

Be advised the Pesci clip below has a few blatant obscenities included. Much like Jen Hoover used in her pre-halftime protest. Proceed at your own risk, you've been warned. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrZrpIgutwY

The Lucy Show (2018 version, with no Ricky Ricardo, WIlliam Frawley or Vivian Vance) below: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47ltvC1B8Ws&t=16s


Disappointed about the loss and not getting to sing with Lucy?
Walz was as proud and bemused as a papa can be and Lucy's carefree, continuous singing mirrored the way the Cards just kept rolling effortlessly back and forth, up and down the court. Non-stop and unrelenting. 

Louisville turned 22 Demon Deacon turnovers into 28 points and yesterday it was the guards occasion to "rise and shine" (see Worldwide's Saturday article)...52 points from Arica Carter, Jones and Durr and just five turnovers. 

After a 24-13 first quarter, the Cards went on a 15-2 run that spanned most of the last five minutes of the second session and two Durr free throws had the contest at 47-26 with 1:14 on the clock. 

The end of the second quarter also produced a rant by WFU's Hoover over an (alleged) foul called on Ariel Stephenson during a Durr three-pointer that ended up getting Coach Jen whistled for a technical foul.  The "ball never lies" theory came into effect, though, Durr missing two of the three free throws she eventually ended up shooing. Hoover's outburst was about as dramatic as any I've seen in the past couple years in the KFC YUM! Center. (She later revealed that Walz came over during the post-game hand-shake line and apologized to her for the questionable call.)

Hungarian FIBA star Dorka Juhasz and family in attendance! 
Maybe Lucy came in and performed a halftime, locker room motivational speech for the team during the midway break, because UofL came out singing and dancing in a third quarter romp which produced 18 points in the first seven minutes and held the visitors to just just two. After three, the Cards were comfortably ahead 72-35 and the only real questions were if they could get to 100 and would Lucy come out and follow her Dad up and down the sidelines.


They didn't get the 100 and  Lucy stayed seated but we did see Syd Zambrotta knock down two threes and Durr got a fourth-quarter rest. Walz only used starters Hines-Allen and Fuerhing for three combined minutes in the fourth (Fuehring fouling out) and Carter got to watch on the sidelines also.  The truth is...Walz could have played Lucy, her older sister Lola and three lucky fans from the stands in the fourth...the fight had gone out of most the Demons and only Elisa Penna seemed interested in trying to carry on the battle, with 11 final period points. 

The Cards had a special visitor in Dorka Juhasz and her family (pictured above) and there was a pre-game scramble to find out who she was. Credit to our illustrious photographer/writer Jared Anderson for getting the pic and info. The Hungarian star is nineteen, checking out hoops in America and we sincerely hope she had a great time. 

It's always a treat to see both Attack Yorkies (Dana Evans and Jess Laemmle) on the court at the same time and although neither scored in the fourth, the Cards played the visitors even in the fourth for the 89-52 win. 

Louisville needed a feel-good, play 'em all, home win like this, especially after the FSU loss (who got ran over by Notre Dame in Tallahassee yesterday) and the scream-fest in Miami. Especially with a tough test ahead in Charlottesville this upcoming Thursday against Virginia and sojourn to Syracuse on Sunday. 


The crowd got what they came for. Ladies and gentlemen, men and women, boys and girls and children of all ages had a blast in the process. 


THE FRED REPORT


Fred Mertz (William Frawley) from "I Love Lucy"
Stunned by the Cards free throw shooting, no doubt
Free Throws -- No complaints here. 20-23 for Louisville. 87% gets a big "OK!" from me. Have a capital F, Cards...

Rebounding -- The Cards came back and won the rebounding battle 37-36. They had trouble with the 6'3" Penna who collected 12 grabs (11 defensive). A lower case "r" for this category. 

Effort/Execution -- Nice to see UofL jump out and not go through a late game setback.  Excellent intensity from Jones, Dunham and Syd. And just 10 turnovers! The capital E was earned yesterday afternoon. 

Defense -- Wake was held to 52 points on 32.1% shooting and the Cards gathered 13 steals and forced 22 turnovers. Their guards were no match for Louisville's. Here's your letter, another capital "D". 

Final Fred Report: F-r-E-D


THEY SAID IT:  

Wake Forest Head WBB Coach Jen Hoover post game comments

JAZZ AND ASIA DISCUSS THE GAME


paulie
xxxxx











Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rise and Shine - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Rise And Shine! 


"Rise and Shine", because the opponent for the men last night, and the women this afternoon is Wake Forest?  See what I did there?  Would it really be a Worldwide Cardinal Couple article without a groaner of pun?

For your obscure Paulie musical item of the day...The Bears (with Adrian Belew) second album was titled Rise and Shine. The opening cut "Aches And Pains" is linked up below. They were a multi-album band that never really hit it huge, but put out ome really interesting music. Would it really be a Cardinal Couple article without some kind of musical reference?

Rise and Shine -- The Bears "Aches and Pains"

Basketball

Jimmy Yu, at graduation, with Syd Zambrotta
Anyway, the men played last night against Wake, and now it's the women's turn.  Let's hope the women see the same success against a bottom quarter Wake Forest team that the men did.  I didn't get to see the men's game, but from the reports I saw, the 2nd half was an improvement of the first half for the Cards.  You might even say they came out a bit lethargic a then woke up at halftime.  (I could riff on this all morning, folks).

The women are coming in to the game after a good-but-not-great showing against a middle of the conference pack Miami team in Miami.  The arena is close to a lower bowl sell-out, so fans are responding as the season progresses.

One return of note for the women's game, beloved former Card Jimmy Yu returns to the KFC Yum! Center.  Jimmy joined the Wake Forest staff after graduating from UofL.  During his time with the Cards, he served as head manager and intern for Jeff Walz.  Another behind-the-scenes personality that I haven't had the opportunity to personally meet, but again, by all accounts, just a genuinely great guy.  I'm sure the staff and players are will be excited to see him again.

Track and Field


Alexis Gibbons won the long jump. The Cardinal Couple
Interview with her was undoubtedly responsible for this.
UofL had a good showing in Champaign Illinois yesterday at the Illini Classic.  After some debate yesterday on the Cardinal Couple Radio Show, a quick bit of research does show that the official address of UIUC is in Champaign, IL, not Urbana.  The campus does, however, seem to straddle the boundary between the two cities.  The Armory building, where indoor track and field is held, is on the Champaign side of the border, so I'm sticking with Champaign.

The combined men's and women's team picked up 11 total wins in the meet, and the men and women both won the overall meet for their respective genders.

Among those victories, Teague Peck and Carlos Coleman crossed the line first in the 400m and 600m events, Javen Reeves and Christian Buckley won in the high jump and shot put in the field events, Brooke Raglin won the 60m in the sprint events, while Dorcas Wasike picked up two wins in the 800m and the mile (really, you switch to imperial units at that point?  Come on T&F, you can do better!).  Cardinal Couple favorite Emmonnie Henderson picked up a win for the 3rd straight week in shot put, and an up and comer, Makenli Forrest picked up her first collegiate win in the weight throw.

We're not done, yet...

Gabriela Leon topped the pack in the pole vault, and Alexis Gibbons took first in the long jump.

A great weekend for the Track and Field Cards.

Tennis


 Women's Tennis will be in action this morning against in-state Western Kentucky.  That one is an 11 a.m. start.  The best way I've found to keep up with the action if you're not able to attend is to follow them on Twitter or at gocards.com. And, of course...here at CARDINAL COUPLE


JMcA

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Future Cards Face Off, Updates From Yesterday, and More -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Seygan Robins and Molly Lockhart Meet in LIT


While the Boys' version of the Louisville Invitational Tournament wrapped up (after being postponed) a couple of weeks ago, the Girls' LIT is coming to a close this weekend. In a quarterfinal matchup that may have been better served as a semifinal or final game, Mercer County and Butler squared off for a chance to make it to the final day. This is interesting for Cardinal fans, as two Louisville signees that you probably know about, are the stars for these two teams.

Seygan Robins' Mercer County Lady Titans came into the game ranked second in the state. They've won 26 straight games against in-state competition. Molly Lockhart's Butler Bearettes were ranked eleventh. They were seeking their fifth straight appearance in an LIT title game. The game was a rematch from last season, when the two teams met as the top two in the state. In that game, number two Butler dominated number one Mercer County to the tune of a 25 point victory. It was an event that Mercer County would clearly seek revenge for, and they got that revenge yesterday.

Butler put up a fight early, scoring the first five points of the game, but Seygan Robins came to play. Robins reached double figures in the first six minutes of the game, showing that Butler would not once again stretch out a large opening lead. The game was tight throughout, with the Bearettes hanging close through the third quarter. Butler took a 39-36 lead late in the third quarter, but Mercer County regained the lead with two and a half minutes left in the third and would not relinquish it for the remainder of the game.

Seygan Robins scored 11 points in the final six minutes of the game to put Butler away for good, and scored 24 overall, though she was not the leading scorer in the game. That honor belonged to Jasmine Elder of Butler, who scored 26. Butler also finished with the game high rebounder and shot blocker; Lockhart with 11 and 3. However, it was more consistent team scoring that did the Bearettes in, as Mercer County had 4 players with at least nine points while Butler had only 3 players score at least 8. That scoring discrepancy made the difference, and Mercer County won 61-51.

Paulie was at last night's game, almost specifically to watch the two future Cardinals face off. You've heard him gush before about Seygan Robins, and it was no different. "Seygan [is the] best player in the state [in] high school," Paulie wrote last night. It is good to see her performing at a high level in high level competition. He also spoke specifically about Molly Lockhart, saying "[She is] a rebounding machine but still needs work at finishing around the basket." Fortunately for the Cards, Louisville has a current player that fits the bill of rebounding machine, and that same player has developed into a post scorer quite well. You know her as a 1,000 point, 1,000 rebound player. We know her as DOOBLAY. I'm not saying definitively that Molly Lockhart can develop into quite the player that Myisha Hines-Allen as become, but if she can, look out college basketball. 

The two players are both members of the upcoming class, so they'll join a talented young team with experienced and talented veterans. That's a pretty great combination, and we'll see how Jeff Walz can work some crazy magic on such a team.

Swimming and Tennis Yesterday


Louisville women's tennis enjoys those double header days, as they hosted another one yesterday. UTEP and Northern Kentucky came into town yesterday, only to both be sent packing with only 0-7 losses to show for their trip. Louisville has started their season with four straight sweeping victories, and they'll look to continue their hot start when they take on Western Kentucky tomorrow.

The Louisville Swimming and Diving team hosted their Senior Day yesterday when Indiana came to town. It was the Cards' final home two-way match, hence the early Senior Day festivities. The Cards honored seven seniors, including Paige Ezell, Rachel Grooms, Lauren James, and Hannah Magnuson from the women's side. Unfortunately, they came up against a strong Indiana team ranked 7th and 3rd. Louisville posted good swimming times overall, but they were defeated on both sides by the Hoosiers. They'll take a break until hosting the Louisville Invitational in mid-February.

A Personal Note and Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


As you may have noticed (or maybe you didn't, who knows), I did not write up Monday's article as normal, and I never had a day during the week to replace it. I've decided I needed to take a small step back from Cardinal Couple due to some changes in my daily life. I've changed positions at work, leading to increased responsibility (and therefore increased time and stress), and I've recently begun studying for my engineering licensure exams. I still intend to write an article a week (on Saturdays most likely) and appear on the radio show as often as time allows. I just wanted to give you all an update. My love for the Cards has not waned and I still very much enjoy my contributions to the site, I just needed it to take a little less of my time. 

While we're talking about the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, that's a thing that is happening today. We'll be on live, as nearly every Saturday, from 11AM-12PM, despite what Paulie writes in his Facebook or Twitter posts. WCHQ is the station handle, and you can find the show at 100.9FM, wchqfm.com, or the WCHQ App. Join us as we talk basketball and bring you exclusive audio from the Louisville Spring Sports Media Day.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Portions of this article were inspired by information gathered from Courier Journal.

Friday, January 26, 2018

WBB wins at Miami...A Look Into Louisville Softball... FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



PAULIE REPORT: CARDS CONQUER CANES



Myisha joins in with the screaming.
The University of Louisville Women's Basketball team did what the guys couldn't do in Miami...beat the Hurricanes, in a game that had way too many whistles and a cadre of screaming grade school kids.

A little less than 2800 were in attendance for this one. I'm pretty sure 2700 of them were from the 22 schools represented and most of them hoarse this morning. 

The Cards got a big effort from senior Myisha Hines-Allen with 26 points on 11-13 shooting. She also climbed to second on the all-time Louisville rebounding list, her 1009 is only eclipsed by Angel McCoughtry's 1261. 

Louisville led this one for 39:28 of the 40 minutes but has some first half troubles...going through a five-minute scoreless stretch...and seeing a 26-19 lead shrink to 28-27 before DOOO-BLAY connected on back-to-back jumpers. The Cards held a 37-30 halftime advantage. 

With 67% shooting in the second half, UofL started to increase the lead as the game went on...despite UofM's Emese Hof putting up 20 points off the bench.  Sam Fuehring also performed well for Jeff Walz's squad with 17 points. The front line contingent of Sam, Myisha, Kylee and Bionca combined for 18-24 shooting (75%).

The whistles in this one were...well...ridiculous. 56 of them, resulting in three players fouling out and four players gathering four each. Asia's off-night was understandable...she was double-teamed all day and got off just seven shots in 31 minutes. Her lone make was a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half. 

Louisville returns home to face Wake Forest on Sunday.  A 1 p.m. start. 


FRED REPORT


The "fred" an indicator of our
economic data. 
F- Free Throws.  With 35 attempts from the line, it must have seemed like a foul-line drill at practice. The Cards made 25 of them, which falls at the 71% mark and does not earn a letter. 56 fouls in the contest. I think they were shooting them on the plane home..

R- Rebounding.  The Cards won the boards battle 37-25, mostly because of Hines-Allen's 11. Nine of hers were on the defensive glass. We'll give out the capital "R" here for out-grabbing the taller Canes. 

E- Effort/Execution.  18 turnovers and nine Miami steals aren't stats to brag about. At times, the Cards just didn't value the possession and make things happen. I did like the way Louisville finished the second half and increased the lead...but I can only award a small case "e" here...Miami won the second chance battle 13-9, a key hustle stat. 

D-Defense.  The Canes shot 40% and Louisville sent them to the line with an uncharacteristic 30 fouls. They had no answer for Hof inside or Davenport on the boards. It's tight between no letter here or a smallcase, but I'll go with a smallcase "d" because it was a win and won the second half 47-44. 

Fred Total:  _-R-e-d

   Paulie
xxxxx


JARED ANDERSON LOOKS AT SOFTBALL.

Happy Friday! You’ve just about survived another week. What’s next? You prepare for another exciting episode of the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour tomorrow morning. All four of the regulars will be there.

I am not Worldwide- he had something come up- but I am filling in for him today.

For those who know me or follow any of us from Cardinal Couple on Twitter you know I am actively involved as a fan at softball games. With media day behind us and the regular season in sight I thought we could look at some softball today.

Key Returners

-Nicole Pufahl is a red-shirt senior on the team. Puf has spent her career with Louisville directing the outfield. The California native has shown speed in center field as well as proven to have the arm to gun down runners headed home. On the offensive end she is no stranger to the home run ball.

-Megan Hensley takes over the role as the ace. With Becker gone it’s up to Hensley to corral a fleet of young pitchers into having a top-notch bullpen. Her fastball blows right by batters but it’s what she will be able to do with off speed pitches this year is what we’re looking for. Despite having a slump part of last season Meg typically has a hot bat.

-Jenna Jordan steps into the catcher position for the second straight year after transferring in from Northern Colorado. Alison ‘Mike’ Sydlowski decided she prefers playing infield and will stay there this season leaving JJ with the catcher duties. Her knowledge of the game is impressive, and she will help captain a defense with many new faces.

-Sidney Melton returns after a season-ending injury early last season. She red-shirted last season which should make her a red-shirt junior this season, but the roster lists her as a normal senior. Another member of Team Sid/Syd, she moved in from the outfield to her original position at shortstop. Her quick hands and speed have also helped her on the base path, so we should see her as one of the runners we can get to scoring position.

Newbies

There are 11 new faces on the team this year. The current roster has 22 active players. It is extremely rare to see 50% of a team being brand new, but coach was determined this off-season to make some changes. Of those 11 new faces:

-Nine are true freshmen, two are junior transfers (Butler CC and Mississippi State)

-Two are from Kentucky (Ballard and Bullitt East), one is from California, one is from Texas, one is from North Carolina, one is from Louisiana, one is from Illinois, and four are from Indiana (a pair of twins from Borden and a pair of high school teammates from Osceola).

-Five are pitchers (three also play other positions)

The Schedule

"We got next!" 
Coach Pearsall knows how to find some tough competition out there. However, with so many games to play she is wise enough to find lesser teams as well. The season starts with a five-game tournament at Disney World, followed by a four game ACC/Big Ten challenge in Raleigh, and another five-game tournament in Orlando before the Cards ever return home.

The Cards will play 14 straight games at home. You might just want to get a tent and hang out at Ulmer for a few weeks with that one. The remainder of the season will trade off back and forth away and home with Senior Weekend being against Boston College, despite a single game against Marshall being the true final home game.

Louisville’s two toughest ACC opponents are Notre Dame and Florida State. The Irish visit Ulmer Stadium in mid-March. The Seminoles get to host UofL down in Tallahassee. I will be there for the first two games of that series. Rival Kentucky is on the road for their single meeting this year.

My Prediction
Louisville will be better than last year. The added talent and speed will help tremendously. With it being hard not to finish top four in the conference I will go out on a limb and say the Cards will finish second in the ACC.

Overall, I think the Cards will win between 35-38 of their 53 listed games. Weather has been known to affect scheduling in the past, so it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a handful of games rained out, affecting my prediction.

Louisville’s weaknesses last season included infield defense, knocking baserunners in, and a lack of depth in pitching. The pitching issue has been resolved from the looks of things and I don’t expect Coach Pearsall to allow the defensive problems to continue. My main concern is if the correction to scoring runs has been made.

As we venture closer to the start of the season I will dive into softball a little more.

Until then, enjoy your weekend and a Sunday afternoon game of WBB vs Wake Forest! Go Cards!


Jared

Thursday, January 25, 2018

From Teeter to Pearsall -- The sights and sounds of Louisville Spring Sports Media Day -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


HOPE, OPTIMISM AND HARD WORK FOR THE SPRING SPORTS SQUADS



One of my favorite events to cover each year concerning  Louisville Athletics is the Media Days for Fall and Spring Sports. On Wednesday afternoon, it was time for the spring sports stars to meet and greet the media and catch us up on preparations for the seasons ahead and also reveal some early results. 

With JC "Julie Sullivan" alongside me,  we spoke with coaches and players from five different programs in the "Little Yum" Practice facility and got some great glimpses into and thoughts about the programs. A special thanks to JC for the pictures you see here...except for Bassy the Ibus...who wasn't at the Spring Sports Day but most likely will be in Coral Gables Thursday for UofL WBB, which we'll get to later in the column.  

(a note...the interviews from Wednesday are on the SOUNDCLOUD platform. It's free to download at www.soundcloud.com and we put a lot of interviews throughout the year on there. It don't cost nothing and there is a lot of great things to listen to on Soundcloud. Give it a try. ) 

LOUISVILLE LACROSSE

We started with Louisville Lacrosse. Under the direction of first-year coach Scott Teeter, we asked Coach and senior players Emily Howell and Casey Madura a variety of questions about the preparations for the ACC and also threw in a few typical, off-subject Paulie questions. 

Scott has fully moved to Louisville from Canisius, his previous coaching spot, to "the Ville". His family will follow after the school year. He's quite busy getting the players acclimated to his style of lacrosse. 

"Baby steps at first, then we crawl, learn to walk and eventually sprint" is the mode in which Scott's preparing the squad for play. Emily and Casey are impressed with how he's built unity and togetherness. The two seniors were active in "keeping things together and creating strong bonds" in the transition of coaches and their attitudes and thoughts on the program indicate that Louisville will be a squad that will not give up, play with heart and passion...in the toughest Lacrosse conference in D1. 



We also got some insights into Emily and Casey's hometowns and favorite dining spots. We actually spent more time with the LAX crew than any of the interviews we did and came away impressed with the grit and determination that we hope will equate into a successful season. 

The goal here is to get better as the season progresses. We have no doubt they'll do so. 

We also got confirmation that Louisville Lacrosse great Kay Morissette will be joining the staff as an assistant once visa issues are cleared...the Canadian is arguably the best Lacrosse player in the history of Louisville Lacrosse and will be a great benefit to the team. She's in town, taking classes and...hopefully still remembers her draw control skills. A great selection, Scott!  

HEAR THEM HERE -- LOUISVILLE LACROSSE


LOUISVILLE ROWING

Our next interview was with Louisville Rowing head coach Derek Copeland. His spring season kicks off on March 17th in Oak Ridge, TN at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational. This technically serves as Louisville's "home water" and Coach Copeland is excited about the event, based on how well the Cards competed in fall rowing at the Rivanna Romp and Head of the Hooch events. 

Kirsti Harrison returns as one of Louisville best rowers and also as team captain this year. Copeland is also impressed with a lot of the new oar-handlers on campus, including French freshman Violette LeGrand, who had a spectacular fall and is in line to be the quarterback of one of the boats...and a prime candidate for ACC Freshman of the year. 

Copeland spent time with us explaining how athletes that might be interested in pursuing rowing in college could get into condition if their high school has no rowing program and also discussed the Cards state-of-the-art G. Garvin Brown Rowing Facility on the Ohio River. 

DEREK COPELAND REVIEWS ROWING WITH US


SOFTBALL


Head Coach Sandy Pearsall and redshirt senior Nicole Pufahl were next on the interview stops and it's always a fun and informative time when I get the chance to talk with Coach P. Over the years I've found that interviews with Pufahl are also ones I enjoy quite a bit and her sparkling personality and quick wit were on display yesterday as well. Having spoke with them at the softball Saturday night, I switched it up a bit and queried a bit into Pufahl's life outside of softball. Did you know, for example, she once tried to learn guitar but broke a string and eventually sat down the six-string? She's also a fan of singing but didn't belt anything out at the showcase. I was asked about my own singing but quickly deferred the flow of the conversation to her teaming up with JC for an impromptu duet possibility. Coach Pearsall made no promise of making this a trio and I've been asked to refrain from public singing appearances in the foreseeable future. 

Softball is faster, has more pitchers and a wealth of youth on the roster this season. Not many of them have met Pearsall's gigantic Leonburger's yet, but the possibility of working the huge dogs into a workout at practice with the freshmen was mulled over and, although no specific decision (much like the NCAA and decisions) was come to, it wouldn't shock me to see one of the canines chasing a newcomer down the first base line during sprint drills or accompanying on a squeeze play at the plate.

Starters Pufahl, Megan Hensley, Jenna Jordan (and more) return for Louisville and  Pearsall reports that practices are going well and they are anxious for the season to begin. It starts in Orlando and I'm researching ways to be included as a "honorary" bat-boy or special consultee for 2-2 count, two-out situations...

When you talk with "Poof" her Dad is eventually going to surface in the conversation. He attends every game possible that she plays in and the big debate yesterday was whether he'd attend her sister's graduation from high school or be in attendance to see Nicole send opposing outfielders scurrying to track down blasts from the Moorpark, CA slugger's bat. 

I'm waiting to see what he looks like in "mouse ears" when the team goes to Orlando for the opening of the season on Feb. 9th. 

POOF AND P TALK WITH JULIE AND ME


WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD


Sophomore Alexis Gibbons is a long jumper for the University of Louisville's Track and Field squad. We were quite impressed with her easiness to talk to, her delightful attitude toward her sport and her successes in the long jump. First off, she won the 3A Kentucky title three years in a row while at Louisville Butler High School. As a freshman at UofL she set a Cardinal indoor record in the long jump (6.26 meters). She finished first at the UK Invitational and IU Relays and recently finished second at the Notre Dame Invitational...which the UofL women finished first in. What have you done for me lately, right? She's well on the track to becoming one of the premier long jumpers in the nation. 

Her humbleness is the first thing you notice about her. She gives credit for her successes to her coach Joe Walker, Jr. She also praised the efforts of jumpers Jerin Allen (New Albany) and Javen Reeves...two Cardinal seniors that consistently "put points in the book" for UofL with their efforts "on the jumping strip". Martice Moore was also present -- he's qualified for the NCAA in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles...as well as gathered All-ACC First team honors in the events. 

I may be in love with her. She digs ice cream bars, Strawberry Shortcake, "Brookies" (Brownie Cookies) and dining at Sapporo...all among my top favorites. You can hear her at the link below: 

Alexis Gibbons Gives Us The Scoop


WOMEN'S TENNIS


I want a shirt exactly like this. I will not tire or falter
until I have one. Oh, yes...it will be mine. 
I always enjoy my chats with UofL women's tennis coach Mark Beckham and yesterday was no different. He has the luxury of a veteran squad this season and spoke highly of returnees Abbie Pahz and Mariana Humberg...as well as transfer Raven Neely. 

The "Baseline Cards" are 2-0 on the season with wins over Wright State and Dayton and play UTEP, MKU and WKU this weekend at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Facility just off I-65. The Friday matches are at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Sunday's tilt against the Hilltoppers starts at 11 a.m. 


If you've never made it to a Louisville tennis match, you absolutely have to go check out the Bass-Rudd. It is one of the finest facilities in the nation. 

MARK BECKHAM INTERVIEW

A great day that went all-too-quickly in our interviews. We did not get to catch up with Swimming's Arthur Albiero nor Mallory Comerford....time restraints. Rex Ecarma was another one that we didn't get to, but his men's tennis team is 3-0 already...in the indoor season.

Best of luck to all Spring Sports squads and a huge thank you to the coaches, players, sport SID's and staff that make this such a fun and informative event each late January.


HOOPS FOR BRUNCH? 


Louisville WBB gets an early start on things today when they face "the U" Miami for an 11 a.m. tipoff in Coral Gables. 

The ACC Network Extra will have the video. We suggest you listen to Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson give the audio on 790 WKRD. Download the app and listen from anywhere. 

"Worldwide" Jeff McAdams will provide the recap in Friday's edition of CARDINAL COUPLE. 

Paulie
xxxxx