We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hooping it up in Louisville this weekend -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

THE CLASSIC One Of The Major Showcase Events This Weekend 

The Classic, sponsored by National Exposure Basketball, comes to the Kentucky Expo Center (formerly known as the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center) starting today and almost 400 teams of U12 through U17 high school girls basketball prospects will be in town for three days of hoops. 

28 courts. A four-game guarantee. Over 300 college coaches. Organized mayhem form three days, driven by the steady beat of balls bouncing, shoes slapping the court and the yells and comments of the players and coaches. A symphony of sound. 

On the first "live" weekend of recruiting this spring, high school basketball comes to Louisville's door. And the Cardinals coaching staff will be in attendance for many of the contests. 

On Thunder Weekend in Louisville, expect a bunch of "thunder" as well out on Phillips Lane by the airport on the hardwood -- instead of the River. 

Here are a few of the participants the Cards will be watching: 

Rickea Jackson --  A 6'2" wing in the Class of 2019 from Detroit, MI...she plays for the Sports City U squad. She's very explosive on the perimeter, attacks the hoop well, active on the glass and can attack in transition. She's the #2 ranked wing by Prospects Nation and Hoop Gurlz has her at #9 overall. She has not come up with a college declaration yet. 

Jordan Horston -- This 6'1" guard out of Columbus, OH is also in the Class of 2019...she also plays for Sports City U.  Athleticism, quick leaper, plays outside or around the rim and impressive mid-range shot. She's #3 ranked by Prospects Nation and Hoop Gurlz has her at #6 overall. Undeclared at last glance, plenty of school have an interest. 

Zia Cooke -- She's a 5'9" point guard out of Toledo and is the #1 ranked point guard current at Hoop Gurlz and #7 overall inn the class of 2019. She has a scorer's mentality, fast off-the-dribble, can take defenders to the hoop easily or beat them from mid-range or deep. Has great body control and finishes plays in traffic. Also undeclared at this writing. Another Sports City U baller. 

Kierstan Bell -- This 6'1" guard can manufacture, deliver off-the-dribble, a defensive nightmare for opponents, passes well and can play excellent defense. From Canton, OH. She comes in at #2 by Prospects Nation at her guard spot and Hoop Gurlz lists her as the #4 prospect overall for the 2019 class. In Ohio, they call her "SheBron" and the Canton faithful ring bells at home games whenever she scores. 
She does her club ball for 77 South Elite All-Stars. Remember the name. 

LINK: A nice read on Bell:  QUEEN KIERSTAN

Gabby Hutcherson --  Out of the 2020 class, this 6'2" "stretch 4" can create inside or out and plays solid defense. From Columbus, OH...Hoop Gurlz has her at #7 in her position and #24 overall. She is undeclared as well and Ohio State and Maryland have been listed as possibles. 

So, plenty of top flight talent in town for a major test. We haven't seen a whole lot about posts yet in the Cardinals radar and, admittedly, I'm not the greatest on recruiting news...but based on this partial list, Louisville has some major talent in town and ready to roll. 

It's a Treasure Hunt! Wouldn't it be great if'
she wore a parrot on her shoulder?  Arrgghh! 
I also read that a prospect from the class of 2021...Tatiana Pope...who will be in attendance, might be worth watching. She's already 6'5" and can shoot the three with accuracy. Hoop Gurlz doesn't list her in their top 25 yet and Prospects Nation doesn't list a top 25 for 2021...but there's plenty of time to evaluate this young women. 

My favorite (name wise) has to be Treasure Hunt, a 2020 prospect and 6'1" wing out of Chattanooga, TN. She's the #2 wing in the class according to Prospect's Nation. 

An early spring chance to make a name for yourself or catch a coach's attention this weekend out at the KEC. Hundreds of athletics in the venue, all a bit nervous...hoping to do well and catch a few eyes, in addition to helping their squad win. All looking at the men and women in the polo shirts and seeing if there is a logo or school name up in the left or right corner of the shirt. 

Club ball. A totally different creature than high school ball. Kentucky Premier, one of the most recognized and successful club programs, will have 11 teams at the three-day event. Score More Athletic Club, the second largest of the hoops clubs with representation in four different cities in the Midwest and East, brings in 15 squad. 

For some of the girls...the  "veteran performer" status applies, having played in tournaments like this for the past 4-5 years. We're not sure where Nyah Green is playing this weekend, but we'll assume that that there will be a Cardinals coach in the venue wherever it is to watch the 2019 Louisville signee and best of the class. We're also unsure where Ramani Parker, a 6'4" paint dweller from the 2019 Class and headed to Louisville out of California will be showcasing her skills this weekend. Fill us in if you know? 

Yes, the coaches will be watching and evaluating. A coach, who requested anonymity, told me this about events like this: 

"You need to go in with a game plan. You make sure your staff knows who to watch, you, as head coach will be keying in on your main recruits, and some of the court-sides can get pretty crowded with coaches. You're thinking of your future needs for the program and trying to watch the players in that kind of situation. Who passes well? Who had good mid-range skills? Is she a talker? Does she go to the hoop or hang around the perimeter?  You fraternize a lot, too. With other coaches, club coaches, parents and talent scouts." 

I won't be attending any of the KEC events, unfortunately...Cardinal Couple coverage on other things and (what appears to be) the bare minimum in the studio Saturday -- so far -- with just me and Jeff for The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, plus a phone call from the travelling Jared will have me quite busy, plus writing for Case on Saturday as he goes into the serious testing part of trying to become an engineer. 

(We hope he gets a nice, new shiny train!) 

I've also got Handicapping Heroes in full swing now and the horse racing venue also keeps me hopping. So much for that "slow season" I used to experience at the end of women's college basketball.  

We'll get a little more into the weekend's events tomorrow and it's a busy one for softball, lacrosse and the other spring UofL women's sports.  



  1. I think when Case returns to the studio, hopefully with PE cert in-hand, his walk-up music has to get switched to AC/DC's Crazy Train.

  2. We could even play Ozzy Osbourne's version (probably more known) or the ol' Grateful Dead classic "Casey Jones" . Anyone else got musical selections choices? Aerosmith's "Train Kept Rollin'?"


    1. Ozzy was the version I was thinking of, actually. I blame lack of coffee.

  3. Anyone know how to watch any of the 3 X 3 games?

  4. will have viewing options for the 3x3


  5. It would be wonderful if the Cards and Bell can create some mutual interest in each other. She's a powerhouse. The kind of players that can change a program. Who is "on her trail?"

    Curtis "I'd ring that bell" Franklin

    1. This is from early February. Things may have changed.

      Bell's list (partial)

      6-1 G, Canton McKinley HS (OH-2019), aiming to commit after spring AAU season, planning officials to UCLA, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rutgers, and South Carolina.

      I don’t really want to rush it,” she said. “I want to wait until after I’ve done my visits. I haven’t really visited anywhere other than Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame.


    2. Thought I saw the Gym Rats (who she may still be playing for) are out at the Boo Williams this weekend in Virginia but can't confirm.


Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...