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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Early Season Assessment of WBB -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

The Way Too Early Assessment of WBB

Jared Anderson Looks At the WBB squad after three games

We're only three games into the season but all eyes appear to be on women's basketball.  Men's soccer's season came to a close last week and football is a bust.  Field hockey ended a couple weeks ago, as did the season for women's soccer.  Volleyball's season is nearing the end.

After three games, UofL WBB is 3-0.  All three wins have come on the road- Western Kentucky, Chattanooga, and Boise State.  Two of those opponents were in the NCAA Tournament last year.

But... is the 3-0 as good as it seems?  Well, it could be better.  The first half of each game has kept fans on the edge of their seats. Some shaky starts and nervous moments.

Louisville led WKU 54-43 at halftime following an even second quarter and a first quarter where the Cards struggled to get defense.  Ultimately, a huge third quarter broke the game open.  Against Chattanooga, UofL held a 28-21 halftime lead following an 11-11 first quarter and a quiet second quarter.  Again, the the third quarter proved to be the difference maker.  Boise State was no different as Louisville lead 31-28 at halftime and actually lost the first quarter.

Wait for it... the third quarter was where the Cards started to pull away against the Broncos.

First halves have not been Louisville's strong suit.  Offensively, the Cards struggle to get going unless Asia Durr or Arica Carter are firing on all cylinders.  Defensively, they're sluggish and a step behind.

The second half, especially the third quarter, is quite different. Walz's halftime speech must get into his players' heads as they come out with more energy and fire in their eyes.  Plus Walz and his coaches make some solid halftime adjustments to make sure Louisville gets better, just one of their several great qualities.

Looking at certain statistics Louisville looks just fine.

At 92-177, Louisville's .520 field goal percentage is one of the best in the nation.  They're 34-69 from downtown (.493).  Averaging almost one of every two three-point attempts is something promising in the event the Cards find themselves in a shootout down the road.  Their 33-39 from the free throw line for .846 is comforting.  Sometimes, free throws are what will help you pull through in a close game.  Four players are perfect at the line, two have missed just one, and one is 5-9 (it's a forward).

Louisville has out-rebounded opponents 112-90.  This is one aspect of the game Walz showed concern for in the off-season following the graduation of Myisha Hines-Allen.  I expect Louisville to improve on rebounding as the season progresses.

Defense has been more of a concern.  Walz runs a complex system, especially in his full-court press.  With two true freshmen, a red-shirt freshman, and a graduate transfer all making their first appearance this year...they are still learning.  As the season progresses the defense will turn into a shutdown defense and Louisville's speed and athleticism will make them scary.

Turnovers has been bad so far.  They have 57 in three games, averaging nearly 20 per game.  Opponents have 52 at this point.  The 57 turnovers is also two more than total assists. As Jeff Walz reminds us:

"We have a much better chance of scoring when he pass the ball to our players instead of the opponent."

Being without Jazmine Jones for at least the next couple of weeks because of the deep bone bruise on her right hip means that then "next person up" philosophy will get another test. The talent is there. Who will step up and say: "I want to be that person."???

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article we are only three games in and the season is young.  As
we see every year the team just gets better and by March they're rolling and are nearly unbeatable.  So don't worry about the close first halves or the turnover issues as we know those will be addressed.

The Cards went straight from Boise State to Vegas.  They have a game on Black Friday against Arizona State at 5:30 p.m.  They'll then take on Hartford on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.  The Sun Devils were a 7-seed in last year's tournament and fell in the second round to Texas.

Louisville's first home game is only a few days away.  They'll host Miami (OH) on Monday, Nov. 26.

Donation Month

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Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -


  1. Cards are learning and when you learn, sometimes you learn from mistakes. I remember Walz saying, in words similar to this, "I don't mind mistakes as long as you learn from them and don't make the same mistake over and over. Make a new mistake".

    Look at it like this. We mostly all learned how to ride bikes as kids. I had training wheels before I went two wheels. Some had a parent or a brother holding on to the back of the bike until we were comfortable to go it on our own. That's what stage the Cards are in currently. Learning to ride the 2018-19 bike, There will be crashes, bumps and failures but they will eventually get it. It's all about positive learning and experiences.

    Curtis "Still rides a bike now and then (no training wheels)" Franklin

    1. Love the bike reference, Curtis! Mine was my Dad putting training wheels on my bike and then going from there. The good thing is that there are a lot of experienced "cyclists" on this team.


  2. (Note. Coming out of MY pocket, not the Cardinal Couple account).


  3. Nice early season assessment, but that's just it, it's still early.
    Hate that Jaz went down, but better now than later. Gives someone a chance to step up. Wanna say Diop, but she looks really lost to me. She may eventually step up, but I'm thinking this will be a HUGE opportunity for Lindsey to make some noise.
    One other thing I think we're going to need Sam AND one of the other bigs, Kylee or Bianca, on the floor together for the most part. Especially during conference play, but imo now is the time to get them on the same page.
    Still like this team all in all, we'll definitely get better as the season goes.

  4. Definitely room to grow. AZ State that first test.

  5. Go card's i wish jaz a speedy recovery ,so glad we have diop.I agree with the comment about the other bigs,they have to step up(kylee or bionca).


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