Wednesday, October 3, 2018
ACC WBB Tipoff Review -- McFerran Defensive Player of the Week -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
WALZ "EXCITED TO GET THINGS STARTED" IN WBB.
Yesterday was the pre-season showcase day for women's basketball in the ACC. The head coaches and one of two of their players, respectively, converged on Charlotte, NC and went through the interview rounds. I was able to watch the morning session and a bit of the afternoon talks and got to see seven coaches and their player or players talk to the interviewer. 3 1/2 hours of some excellent pre-season perspectives.
Doing the question-asking was former Emory University women's basketball coach Christy Thomaskutty. A newcomer to the ACC Network. She did OK...maybe putting a few players on the "spot" with some of the questions...but the ACC could have chosen a lot worse to ask the questions. Here's a review of what I saw and gathered:
Head coach Sylvia Hatchell and Paris Kea were present for the TarHeels. We found out that UNC provided a "port in the storm" for the UNC Wilmington WBB program when Hurricane Florence rolled through North and South Carolina and graciously shared their facilities for practicing with the SeaHawks WBB squad after the devastation left their place unusable. Hatchell "has loved" what she's seen in the early North Carolina practices.
Paris Kea related that Coach Hatchell's favorite dance move was the "shag" and when Coach Hatchell and the TarHeels visited the White House after winning the National Championship...Sylvia advised then president Bill Clinton to "go for the win". Hatchell will be excited to have freshman, two-sport star Claudia Dickey join their squad after soccer season is over...Dickey was the North Carolina High School player of the year in 2017 and is currently playing for Heels Women's Soccer. UNC appearance clip segment is below:
UNC ACC TIP OFF
NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Wes Moore had Kaila Ealey and Kiara Leslie with him during their time on camera. Wes is in his sixth year at State and has a wealth of guard talent returning. Kiara Leslie noted that the WolfPack's NCAA Sweet Sixteen run was valuable in helping shape this upcoming team. 6'5" freshman center Elissa Cunane should have an immediate impact on the team but the Pack isn't changing things up much for 2018-19...Wes commenting that "we stick with what we do and that's turn the motors up and go."
Kaila Ealey has the Louisville game circled on her calendar after the Pack rallied from 25 down to barely lose to the Cards in Raleigh last year. There was some good-natured teasing about Wes's "good buddy" Jeff Walz. The players noted one of Moore's favorite sayings..."You can either float down the river in a inner tube or shoot the rapids. We plan on shooting the rapids." (Just as long as Ned Beatty and Jon Voight aren't along, I guess).
Here's clips of the Cards beating NC State in the ACC Tournament semifinals last year and the ACC WBB appearance yesterday :
NC STATE AT ACC WBB TIPOFF
NC STATE AND CARDS ACC TOURNAMENT
Kenny Brooks was with his stars Regan Magarity and Taylor Emery and said that they gained a lot of confidence by advancing to the final game of the WNIT last year. They spent 2017-18 "re-inventing the team" but K.B. has everyone back for 2018-19. Did you know Brooks has two of his daughters (Kendall and Chloe) playing for him at Virginia Tech? VT will continue to emphasize the "three" this upcoming season.
Brooks says Magarity is the most under-rated player in the ACC and the smartest player he has ever coached. Magarity says that the toughest place she thinks they have to go play is at Virginia (because of the in-state rivalry) and toughest player to guard in the league is Notre Dame's Brianna Turner.
VT put together this little, catchy clip surrounding their visit to Charlotte:
V.T. AT ACC WBB TIPOFF
Coach Q was resplendent in his huge glasses and shaved head but dressed "down" for the occasion. He was also a bit more "low key" that normal when he, Gabby Cooper and Tiana Mangakahia discussed Orange basketball. He did say he was impressed with the team chemistry, recruiting class on campus and complimented Tiana and Gabby on their basketball skills. Their goal for 2018-19 is "to go 38-0 and win the National Championship". Gabby Cooper says Louisville is the toughest place to play on the road. Tiana says Notre Dame. Coach Q didn't say where he thought the toughest place to play was...but I still remember his post-game tirade and storming the court at Freedom Hall several years back after a loss to the Cards. Pretty sure that he's glad he doesn't have to negotiate Ring Road or the Hall anymore.
According to the players and "Q"...keep an eye on "KeKe". (That's 6'2" freshman guard Kadiatou Sissoko from Paris, France).
Questions with Q and Crew below:
SYRACUSE AT ACC WBB TIP OFF
Sue Semrau, Nausia Woolfolk and Kiah Gillespie were the FSU contingent present yesterday in Charlotte and although the Noles have lost a lot of starters, Sue sees a new era for FSU women's hoops and a chance for new talent to rise up and grow. Gillespie sat out because of injury last season and sees her role this year as trying to make everyone better around her. Woolfolk realizes she needs to become a team leader and more vocal on the hardwood. The 'Noles have no seniors on the squad. They are "hungry..a versatile team and have inter-changeable roles".
Keep an eye out for freshman Courtney Weber. Did you know that Nausia Woolfolk was a quarterback on her high school's football team, plus a wide receiver and running back? Shades of Melanie McHenry there (UofL Volleyball player.). FSU segment below:
FSU AT ACC WBB TIPOFF
The Panthers WBB squad has a new coach in Lance White. Lance, a long-time FSU assistant, wants to build a "Steeler mentality" around Pitt WBB. Players making plays, seeing what they can do and then doing it. Playing fast and hard. Rebounding. Learning by doing, watching and listening. He's brought ex-Marquette coach Terri Mitchell on board as an assistant.
Ayshia Bugg was with him in Charlotte and is excited to be playing for him, calling his hire a "needed change". She says one of White's favorite sayings is "What are you willing to do?" Their clip below:
PITT IN CHARLOTTE
Louisville ended the morning portion of Media Days and Coach Walz and Asia Durr represented Cardinal women's basketball.
Some highlights to listen for:
Walz: "We are excited to get things started. We will miss Myisha."
Asia: "My role hasn't changed." She looks to help the freshman transition as well.
Walz: Looks for the returning players to fill roles and is working in transfer Yacine Diop now that she is back in the states.
Walz: He'd like to see the NCAA adopt the FIBA Timeout rule.
Asia: She's focusing on getting stronger, quicker and going to the hoop.
Walz: Says that Asia has put her "time in" and she's a difference maker. Proud she's working on her overall, complete game.
Asia: (on the KFC YUM Center) She's playing in front of the best fans in college basketball. There's excitement in there. It's like being a kid at Christmas. Loves the screaming and dedicated fans.
They also review the "nite-nite" origin. Asia says that two of Walz's favorite sayings are:
"I don't mind you making mistakes, just make some new ones". And, "You can't coach stupidity." The UofL clip below:
WALZ AND DURR TALK UOFL WBB
A great morning of learning about the Cards and some of their foes. Although I missed the afternoon sessions, you can watch them at the link site where the ones I've posted are.
It's getting closer. That time where the best squad on the UofL campus holds court.
MCFERRAN ACC FIELD HOCKEY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK.
The best Field Hockey goalkeeper in the world got another honor when the ACC named her Defensive Players of the Week yesterday. The Cards shut out Virginia Saturday 2-0 in Charlottesville, their second shutout in a row.
It's the second time this season Ayeshia has been awarded the B.D.P. and fifth time over-all since she's been at Louisville.
The "Stick Girls" are in action today with a game in Muncie against Ball State. A 3:30 p.m. game and available for viewing at the link below:
CARDS VS CARDS IN FIELD HOCKEY
These "northern cardinals" are 1-9 on the year, with a win over Appalachian State. A bird-battle today, gotta think the Louisville red-feathers will prevail pretty easily.