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Monday, January 8, 2018

Cards Handle Hokies -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Durr's 21 Lead Cards over Virginia Tech 67-56


Louisville took down Virginia Tech yesterday in what is almost becoming normal fashion for the team. The Cards came out of the gates on fire, winning the first quarter 29-9. They proceeded to ride that large lead to victory despite going almost even in the second quarter and losing the second half by a pretty comfortable margin. As I said on the radio show on Saturday, that this team is winning games is really all that matters. The wins may not be pretty, and they may make you want to bang your head on your coffee table while you watch, but at the end of the day, you put a mark in the W column instead of the L. 

The game started in the best way possible for the Cards. They won the tip, drained the shot clock, and Asia Durr knocked down a three to open the scoring. Virginia Tech would draw back to within one on a pair of free throws after a Durr foul a minute into the game. Those would be the only points for Virginia Tech for the next five minutes, a period in which Louisville scored 18, stretching their lead to 21-2. Over that period, Virginia Tech missed five shots and committed seven turnovers. It is safe to say that Louisville's defense is suffocating to begin games.

The opening quarter would be the only truly impressive quarter of the game for the Cards as the
Hokies won the final three quarters of the game. Their game plan of getting to the free throw line and converting continued to work, as they shot 82% from the line on 22 attempts. Fortunately, Louisville was able to limit Chanette Hicks to only 6 points and Kendyl Brooks to only 1-3 from the floor with 3 points. Unfortunately, Louisville let every Hokie player with significant minutes score including three with double digits. 

The Cards answered with three double digit scorers of their own, led by Asia Durr's 21. Joining her in double figures were Sam Fuehring and Kylee Shook. Myisha Hines-Allen was unable to secure the double-double but finished with 8 points to go along with 15 (!!) boards, 12 defensive. Every Card saw at least 10 minutes, except Jessica Laemmle, who did not register on the box score. The non-starting lineups playing later in the game may have had something to do with the poor shooting (33% in the second half) and the Virginia Tech resurgence. That may be acceptable on a deep team where some of the players getting minutes late are the 6th and 7th players off the bench, but Louisville only has 10 players. The Cards may be forced to call on unlikely players in some situations this season, and it would be nice to see some more consistency from the second unit.

To Louisville's credit, the final quarter scores are deceptive about how close the game was. After losing the third quarter, Louisville was able to stretch their lead to 22 with only six and a half minutes remaining in the game. They would go on to only score one more basket, allowing Virginia Tech to close the final deficit. There was never any real threat to their lead, as we have seen in recent games. I wasn't able to catch this one, as I was out shopping intermittently throughout the day, so all of my analysis came from statistics. You may have more insight based on the eye test, and I encourage you to contribute to the conversation in the comments section.

18-0. Notre Dame Thursday. BE there. 

The C-A-S-E Report


I've been informed that the CASE report could be a bit more harsh. I like the benchmarks I've set, though, so I'll add a bit of subjectivity to the letter assignments, as we'll see later in this one. Let's see how the Cards stacked up yesterday.

C-Care: Louisville finished yesterday's game with 18 turnovers. That's more than their season average, and it's frankly not a good number at all. Virginia Tech is nearly a top 50 team in turnovers forced this season, forcing 19.27 per game, but we want Louisville to show that they're significantly better than the opponent. We're aiming for 60% of the opponent's average, and Louisville committed 93.4% of the Virginia Tech season average. They also committed more turnovers than Virginia Tech in yesterday's game. No letter.

A-Assists: To go along with 18 turnovers, Louisville had only 15 assists. We're going for an assist to turnover ratio of 2.0, and yesterday's game produced an ATO of less than 1. Woof. Louisville did assist on 15 of 29 shots, which is good for 51.7%, but upon further inspection, that number seems too small. I'm going to push the assist ratio requirement to 66%, which means the goal wasn't met. No letter.

S-Steals: Louisville finished the game with 8 steals, which is greater than the 7.5 benchmark. However, Virginia Tech took the Cards lunch 11 times. Since Louisville beat the goal, but Virginia Tech won the battle, the Cards will earn a lowercase 's'.

E-Efficiency: In the efficiency category, Louisville was Jekyll and Hyde in yesterday's game. The Cards finished with 48.3% overall from the floor, but only 42.9% from the free throw line. Before, that would have been worth half a letter based on surpassing the 45% FG% benchmark. However, Louisville used a 60+% first half to drive that number up. The Cards shot only 9-27 in the second half and were 0-4 from the free throw line. They finished only 3-7 on the night. That kind of second half isn't going to win any awards from me. No letter.

So, since making the CASE Report tougher, I've pushed the Cards to a _-_-s-_. Certainly not a world beating performance on the CASE Report, but it wasn't a world beating performance in the game. Yesterday was the last tune-up before Louisville faces a huge test later this week. Notre Dame will come to town for a top three matchup on Thursday night. If you've got the opportunity, get out to the Yum! Center. If not, watch it on the main ESPN channel. Cards vs Irish at 7 PM Thursday night. Book it.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-


PAULIE REPORT

29-9 and that pretty much summed it up. Another magnificent, shake you head in disbelief, thump your buddy on the back start for these mercurial Cards. 

It may be that this is the mode we can come to expect out of the WBB squad. Louisville hasn't won a fourth quarter since Tennessee Tech back on 12/12/17. But, they've won every game since then. 

A famous NFL coach once responded to a question about "letting up" on a weaker foe in a win. He made a point of asking the questioner. "Did you watch the first half?" The reply was "Yes". He continued, "Did you happen to see the scoreboard?" Once again, the answer was "Yes".  He finished by saying "This is the NFL. I'm pretty sure that every guy on every roster deserves to be here. 42-7 doesn't translate out to 84-14 at the end. These guys have pride. It's the top of the pinnacle. It's a "W" and we move on". 


And so it is in this ACC Conference. There is pride. There are other games. There are scholarship players on each and every team that are competing for playing time and school pride. 29-9 (as Coach Walz made a point of making) isn't going to turn into 58-18.

And, we don't expect it to. 

The end result is very simple. Just win. Does it matter how? "W's" equate into job security, fan recognition and player confidence. Accept the steak the waiter serves you, don't complain about how long it took to get to your table, the portion size of the mashed potatoes or the half-empty water glass. Eat, Cards. Just keep eating. 

One feel good scene from after the game. We walk off the court by the players' signing autographs. Usually DOO-BLAY, Jess and Bionca in the corner we exit by. A excited mother, with her maybe two-yr-old in tow insisted that Bionca pick up and hold her child for a photo. Bionca smilingly obliged. After the photo, the little girl raised a hand in the air and shouted "Go Cards!" Winning hearts and minds. And, it was hard to tell who was smiling more broadly...the little girl, Bionca or the mom.  Nice job, Philly.  If that doesn't stir a little emotion in your heart and soul...I don't know what else can. 

Paulie
xxxxx

THEY SAID IT...

11 comments:

  1. Wow 18-0 Go Card's - the cards playing real gooood..... Defense.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seems to me in spite of the late game lack of focus this club really has great tourney potential. Everyone also needs to remember that the ACC is by far the toughest conference ULWBB has ever played in. Every win, no matter how ugly is a great thing.

    Really looking forward to ND and UConn...will be a good benchmark.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The ACC is a tough Conference there's no cupcakes in this league you have to bring it every game.
    A Shout out to Sammi Jean really playing at a high level.
    New Jersey Burger girl.
    Also to my home town girl Bionca Dunham show that philly toughness.
    Myisha & sam reminds me of Milt Wagner & Bill Thompson New Jersey products.
    MLW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those Jersey girls are the spine of this team. Hope "Philly" can become one next year. Sam's gonna need a running mate. Her or Kylee appear to be the candidates-in-waiting

      Paulie

      Delete
  4. I think there are 4 cupcakes in the ACC right now.
    Clemson, BC, Pitt and North Carolina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're called treats that hurt your stomach lol.
      MLW

      Delete
    2. Clemson Lady Tiger WBB missing top scorer Nelly Perry turns out that she's from New Jersey
      MLW

      Delete
  5. North Carolina losses are to Hampton, South Alabama, Mercer, (all at home) Boston College and Fl State on the road. NC beat Pitt by 1 at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are planning to be in Chapel Hill for the NC game. Didn't realize they were that weak.

      Delete
  6. Yes, it's true. Our Clemson Tigers WBB squad isn't quite the caliber of THE MEN'S TEAM THAT JUST BEAT YOU !! (Sorry, I had to get that dig in.) but I'll still hop in the Lincoln Town Car and drive to Littlejohn Arena Weds Feb 7th to witness the slaughter.

    18-0. Nice work Walz!

    (Wish we were playing for the National Championship tonight.)

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Arthur
    Greer, SC

    ReplyDelete
  7. So...if the Duke SID for basketball handed out MousePads in the Louisville media room before the game (incredibly "ballsy" don't you think?) should I be diappointed that the VT SID didn't vring live Gobblers to turn loose in the media room and create a panic state?

    Just checking.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete

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