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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Louisville women's basketball faces Connecticut Tonight -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


#2 VS. #3 


Geno now
The Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team comes to the KFC YUM! Center tonight for a 7 p.m. game against the #3 Louisville Cardinals. The city probably could have used Huskies and any dog sleds they cared to bring yesterday morning after a snow and arctic blast rendered driving difficulties and school cancellations. 

The Huskies, you see, have no problems driving. Or hitting threes, playing defense or scoring points. They, like the WBB Cards, have just one loss on the season -- a stumble at Baylor back on Jan 3rd -- 68-57. Back on Jan. 3rd, Louisville was still undefeated, having turned away North Carolina 73-68.  The Cards only loss would come a week later, at South Bend when Notre Dame upped Louisville 82-68. North Carolina must have learned something from the UofL loss, they knocked off Notre Dame earlier this week  in Chapel Hill. The Irish are the only common opponent the two teams have in common this season, Connecticut going to Notre Dame and winning 82-68. 


Geno back way back when
So, what does all of that tell us? I'm not really sure, except that -- maybe -- try and schedule the tough contests and foes at home. Or avoid playing them. 

Geno knows a thing or two about the Louisville squad. He's 16-1 against them lifetime, his only loss coming back on 3-17-93 to a Bud Childers coached Cardinal squad 74-71 in the NCAA Mideast Regional first round at Iowa City.  Bud left Louisville a few years later to take the head coaching job at James Madison (back then they were a better program than Louisville) and then WInthrop before retiring and becoming a successful franchise owner of several Sports Clips hair cutting franchises. 



Caption this picture if you want...
What have we learned here? A college coaching career can lead to owning several "clip joints"... salon styling and hair cutting franchises? Geno has a full head of hair, his restaurant business and spaghetti sauce. Coach Walz keeps his lettuce high and tight and has never ventured into hair-cutting (except as a patron), restaurants (except to dine) nor making his own spaghetti sauce (that we know of). Walz was offered a maitre d job at one of Geno's four restaurants. I wonder if they'd let him sit in the "wee chair" during slow periods? 

Geno's streak of win against UofL is impressive but consider that he's 24-0 lifetime against West Virginia, 47-2 against Seton Hall, 43-3 vs. Georgetown and 19-0 over Cincinnati. Who has won the most games against Geno? Let's circle back to Notre Dame, where Muffet McGraw has 12 wins and 36 losses against the Huskies. 


"Hey, is that Coach Walz coming to watch us practice?"
Coach Walz loves what he does, probably had a good night's sleep last night, isn't stressed out about tonight at all, knows his players are fired up about tonight and is looking for a high-level performance out of them. He knows how hard Geno's squad plays.

Walz knows the prime time opportunity ahead of him tonight comes down to one main thing. Scoring. Putting the ball in the bucket. Knowing your role and carrying it out.  

Trying to out-coach the legendary Geno. Not getting blown out early, like last year. 

What does Coach Walz think about tonight? Here's his presser from yesterday: 

LINK: WALZ PRESSER 1/30/19   

(WBB SID Nick Evans "calls me out" at the very end about my game and Coach points out to me that. "Shooters, shoot"...Hey, I wasn't called the "Fern Creek Force" for nothing.") 


BUT WHAT ABOUT TONIGHT, PAULIE?

Connecticut is 18-1 and has outscored their opponents by an average of 31.4 points (80.1 to 48.7) in seven ACC games. Overall they hold a +28.5 edge in scoring in their 19 games (81.9 to 53.4). 


Five Huskies are double digit point producers. Katie Lou Samuelson leads the way with 18.8 a night. The senior also tops UConn with 49 made threes on 137 attempts (36%). Napheesa Collier isn't far behind her with 18.6 points per outing and gets to the charity stripe more than any other Husky, (62-89), for 70%. Both Megan Walker and Crystal Dangerfield have been good for 12.9 a contest. Dangerfield is deadly from the free throw line, 31-33 (94%). Freshman Christyn Williams completes the double-digit points providers with 11.1 an event and sees about 34 minutes a game on the court. 



The Huskies starting lineup is basically a five-guard attack with Collier the "big" in the middle at 6'2". All of them are perfectly capable of getting the ball up the court and leading the fast break.  Samuelson is 6'3" but more guard-than-paint-oriented.

Another freshman, Olivia Odoba-Nelson, has seen action in all 19 games and plays an average of 10 minute a game.  After that, the Irish have four "benchers" who come in to do clean-up in blowout games, all five could probably go elsewhere and be starters...Batouly Camara, Kyla Irwin, Molly Bent and Mikayla Coombs.  

Sophomore Lexi Gordon announced last month she was going to transfer and will toil for Texas Tech next season. 

Five UConn numbers: 

Biggest win -- 56 ( vs.St. Louis)

Most Points Scored -- 99 (vs. Seton Hall)

Best Quarter -- 1st, where they outscore opponents 446-251

Turnovers  -- The Huskies force 16.1 a night and commit just 11.6 

Games in the 90's -- (5) against Ole Miss (90), DePaul (99), St. Louis (98), Seton Hall (99) and UCF (93) 


SO...WHO WILL WIN? 

Why, the team who scores the most points, that's who!! (One of Walz's favorite answers when he's asked that question). 

Ball control is going to be a key tonight. How do you do when you have it, can you limit turnovers and steals, are you able to work it effectively and get open, not forced, shots?

Are you able to play the shutdown defense and how will you do on second chance opportunities? 

The Cards have nothing to lose tonight. Time to "go for it" on fourth down, swing for the fence, pull the goalie and serve the ace. 

Most pundits and predictors are picking UConn to win. It's not a conference game. It won't affect the ranking or NCAA Tournament seeding that much. Louisville has been shutting down ACC offenses in the last five games, yes, but UConn is a horse of a different color. UofL has arguably the best player in NCAA Division I women's college basketball in "Nite-nite". She'll meet two other contenders for that crown in Samuelson and Collier. 


The Huskies are 93-0 in the AAC since joining the league. 108-0 if your toss in tournament play. They won't face a larger, crazier, louder and enthused fan base on the road the rest of the season than they will tonight. How will they handle it?  



ESPN comes in with their "A" team.  Amin, Lobo, Lawson...with Holly Rowe running the sidelines (dressed in blue, whatcha wanna bet?)   

I hope the Cards come out, shake the nerves and just have some fun in a great Thursday night matchup between two great teams. Two teams who were shocked in the Final Four last year. Two teams bent on returning to that "foursome" this year in Tampa. 


I hope "the AC is 'on'", Asia is "Durrific" and "JJ Airlines" is running on schedule and packed with passengers. I hope Sam is a chairwoman of the boards and Kylee, "B" and Dana are representing their "A" games. What role will "Kasa" play. Does Lindsey get a chance to bomb threes? 

It's four probable WNBA players in Durr, Carter, Samuelson and Collier. It's two of the best coaches in the women's game.

It's gonna be wild. The "intro" should be crazy. Make sure you're there early to catch it. Bring your "outside" voice. 


Let's go 81-79. Cards. In a thriller. That's the pick. Be there, so you can tell your grand-kids and co-workers you were there "that night". Get there early, it could be a crowd of 16,000 plus.  Feel free to leave your prediction in our comments section. 



Probably won't be there tonight...
We'll recap it tomorrow here at Cardinal Couple. Hopefully, a" glowing report on a victory type of article".

Then, again, it's Jared's write up. Who knows what he'll touch on. His spontaneous viewpoints are a favorite here at the Chimp ranch.  

We also invite you to join us Saturday. 11 a.m. for the "not ready for drive time" radio broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. Jeff Walz (well, at least his bobblehead) will be in studio with a selectively picked group of audio talent. WCHQ 100.9 FM and Facebook Live. 

The Cards try to match steps with UConn on the frantic treadmill of women's college basketball tonight. Let's lace 'em up, climb aboard and get with it. Pulse and heart monitors optional. 






paulie
xxxxx


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Spring Season Notes -- Preparation for Thursday -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Spring Season Notes


Preseason All-ACC Softball Roster

Seniors Megan Hensley and Sidney Melton were named to the preseason all-ACC softball team yesterday.  The two were part of the 15-player roster named.

Melton was one of five infielders to make it.  The Columbus native has played left field, shortstop, and third base during her time at Louisville and is expected to start on the left side of the infield this year.

Hensley was the only utility player named.  The Ashland, KY., native has made an impact as the top pitcher and has been an offensive juggernaut in her career.

Reigning NCAA Champion Florida State dominated the roster with five players named.  Syracuse and North Carolina joined Louisville with two players.  Duke, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame each had one.

The Softball Cards begin their season Friday, February 8th when they travel to California to take part in the the Titan Classic. Their first opponent is Idaho State and they'll get in five games in three days on the Cal State Fullerton campus.




Preseason ACC Coaches Poll

The ACC softball coaches have submitted their votes and last year's National Champion Florida State is the heavy favorite to win the conference again.  They received all 11 first-place votes they were eligible seeing as a coach cannot vote for their own team.  Virginia Tech received the other first-place vote although they were voted to finish 10th in the poll.  I think we're all scratching our heads as to why Notre Dame or North Carolina didn't get that.

Louisville is projected to finish fifth overall and third in the Atlantic Division behind the Seminoles and Irish.  North Carolina and Pittsburgh were the top two for the Coastal Division.  Louisville does not play Pitt this season.

Six Cardinals Selected for USA Field Hockey Teams


Six different Cardinals have been selected as part of three different USA Field Hockey teams.  Taylor Stone, Katie Walsh, Erin McCrudden, Carter Ayers, Katie Schneider, and Meghan Schenider were all named to the different teams.

Stone and Walsh both finished their careers in the fall were picked for the US Women's National Development Squad.  They are joined by 2016 graduate Erin McCrudden.

Ayers and Meghan Schneider were both named to the Under-21 Team and Katie Schneider was named to the Under-19 team.

WBB Prepares for Thursday

Assuming we all still aren't frozen from today's dreadful weather, the KFC Yum! Center should have over 16,000 fans present to cheer on women's basketball against UConn Thursday night.  The #3 Cardinals and #2 Huskies are set to square off at 7:00.

UConn is 18-1 on the year after recently falling to then-#7/8 Baylor.  Baylor has now moved into the top spot in both the AP and Coaches Polls.  The Huskies have Top 25 wins over Notre Dame, Cal, and DePaul.

UConn is averaging a whopping 81.9 points per game and their average scoring margin is +28.5 points.  Typically their games are already over by halftime and the bench players come in for much of the second half (and still lead by more!).

Walz took "the wee chair" on the road with
him last year to Connecticut. 
They are dangerous on the floor, shooting .490.  Unless you find a solid post player you typically won't find players or even a whole team that average making roughly one of every two shot attempts.  They shoot .354 from three-point range while knocking down about eight per game.  Trying to go the route of forcing free throws to slow down their offense doesn't work either, as they shoot a collective .709 from the line.

Geno Auriemma's team is also one of the best in rebounding.  They grab 42 boards per game and are no stranger to winning the rebounding battle.  Their offensive rebounds (230) has been one of their lesser impressive stats on the year, but still a large number nonetheless.

UConn isn't perfect when it comes to efficiency,, as they do turn the ball over 11.6 times per game. Turnovers are something the Louisville defense has had no problem forcing other teams to commit this season.  The Huskies also force 16 turnovers per game, which is slightly lower than expected for the history of this program.  Louisville has struggled with turnovers in the past but UConn doesn't appear that they will do too much damage in that category.

Defensively, UConn has been good, but not great.  They have shown cracks in the once-thought-to-be-unstoppable program.  They steal the ball 7.8 times per game and get a little under four blocks per game.

They're holding opponents to just 53.4 points per game, but they've faced some less-than-stellar opponents at times this year.  They have seven victories where they've held opponents to under 50 points, something we've seen a lot from the Cards lately.  UofL has held six opponents to the sub-50 mark this year and their last five foes have failed to reach "half a hundred".

Notre Dame put up 71 points on the Huskies, Baylor 68, Cal 66, and both DePaul and Oklahoma 63.  The Cards, who are averaging 80.3 points per game, have a much stronger offense than several of those teams listed, especially when a few players come out hot.

Last time out, UConn hosted UCF and held court quite well with the 93-57 win.


Why wasn't I invited to play Louisville this year? 
I expect to see a fairly close match-up but Geno has had Walz's number for quite some time and I think they pull away near the end to win by a dozen.  Still, we could be surprised and the Cards could show the world that the Notre Dame loss from earlier this year was a fluke.

Paulie will bring the final preparation and thoughts on Thursday's #2 vs. #3 here at the Couple.




FINALLY

We all know how talented our Cardinal student-athletes are on their respective surfaces of competition are. Last night, they got a chance to show off some other performance skills, though,  at the 2019 Student-Athlete Talent Show.

Rowing took the crown. Check out the clip below that highlights the performances. 

LINK: 2019 Student-Athlete Talent Show highlights


Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Louisville Spring Sports Media Day II recap -- #3 for WBB in poll -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

SOFTBALL, LACROSSE, GOLF AND ROWING TAKE THE STAGE


Spring Sports are almost here. 

That may be tough to get your mind around this morning, as another cold, arctic blast descends upon our fair city, but UofL Spring Sports are practicing, in some cases already active, and  ready to roll. 

Yesterday at the Planet Fitness Practice Facility, five different sports were featured in the second of the Spring Sports Media Days. Softball, Rowing, Men's Golf, Women's Golf and Lacrosse all addressed the media. Players and coaches answered questions and the hour-long media opportunity gave us all more knowledge and information on these activities. 

Paulie took part in the festivities and here's some of the things we heard. 

Since we do women's sports here, we'll concentrate on the four women's Cardinal Athletic squads that were there. Dreadfully sorry that the "question asker" volume is so low in the video versions, I've added my audio feed link to these in case you want to hear the questions. 



SOFTBALL


Softball kicked things off and new Cardinal coach Holly Aprile was joined at the microphones by Sidney Melton (Food Mart) and Megan Hensley. They will begin the season in California, taking part in the Cal-State Fullerton's Titan Classic that will take place Feb 8-10. Six schools in all out there (Buffalo, Cal State Fullerton, Idaho State, Northwestern, Utah State and UofL). 

Softball opens the home slate of action with the Cardinal Classic (March 1-3), Visiting the "ville" are IUPUI, Missouri and Indiana State. 

We look forward to great things in Holly's first season! 

LINK: VIDEO LOUISVILLE SOFTBALL MEDIA DAY

LINK: AUDIO ONLY LINK


ROWING

The Rowing Cards look to improve on their fifth place finish in the ACC last year and have Freshman of the Year Violette Legrand as one of many talented rowers returning. Derek Copeland is the head coach of the Louisville rowing squad and this team was ranked at #20 in the final US Rowing/CRCA coaches poll. 

Copeland was joined by coxswain Perie Howard, the "race car driver" of the boat, in his terms and she discussed what her role is in the scheme of things. 

Rowing has several student/athletes that are potential 202 and 2024 Olympic candidates and we see the "girls atop the water" having a huge season! 

We're "still searching" for a video feed of the rowing segment and will add it when/if we find it. In the meantime, the audio is linked up below

LINK: LOUISVILLE ROWING WITH DEREK COPELAND AND PERIE HOWARD


WOMENS GOLF


The "chip and putt" Cards are #28 in the nation, according to GolfStat rankings, and head coach Courtney Trimble has a veteran team and a very talented freshman in Mairead Martin returning. Those two and Lauren Hartlage discussed the season, their time at Louisville and ACC competition. 

Martin, from Kanturk, County Cork Ireland talked about what brought her to Louisville and her game. Coach Trimble is retiring after this year and spent time talking about her replacement, Whitney Wade Young. 

The Cards take on Kentucky Feb. 10th in the Battle of the Bluegrass in Birmingham, AL. We'll be watching and keeping you up on their pursuits.  

LINK: VIDEO FEED FOR SPRING SPORTS : WOMENS GOLF

LINK: WOMEN'S GOLF AUDIO WITH COACH TRIMBLE, LAUREN HARTLAGE AND MAIREAD MARTIN (audio feed). 


LACROSSE

Lacrosse was the final Spring Sport featured on this Media Day and head coach Scott Teeter brought student/athletes "Sweet" Caroline Blalock and Tessa Chad with him to discuss the Lacrosse schedule and review last season. Blalock was a Division I Region team selections as a freshman, plus the team's leading scorer. 

Chad followed Teeter to Louisville from Canisius and was an integral part of Teeter's first season on the attack. 

The Lax Girls are working hard in preparation for the season opener at Northwestern on February 8th. and we love to cover their home events, so we'll be keeping you abreast and appraised of their pursuits this season. 

LINK: AUDIO FOR LACROSSE AT SPRING SPORTS MEDIA DAY

LINK: LOUISVILLE LACROSSE SPRING SPORTS MEDIA DAY VIDEO



WBB MOVES TO #3 IN AP POLL


In the latest AP WBB poll, the Cards were placed at #3, behind Baylor and UConn. The fall of the Irish dropped them to #5. 

Louisville brings in Connecticut Thursday night for an epic matchup that we'll get you ready for here at Cardinal Coupe beginning tomorrow. 14,000 seats already gone for this one but there are ticket still available. 

With ESPN coming in, and grabbing six media seats, Sonya and I will be pre-empted from our usual seats and, honestly, that was expected. Why ESPN needs six seats for three talking heads and maybe one "tech" is anyone's guess.  You can play "Where's Waldo?" game day and see if you can spot where we end up. 

I might just opt for the bourbon bar for this one....

Have a terrific Tuesday and tell someone you love them today. 



paulie
xxxxx 









Monday, January 28, 2019

Louisville women's basketball puts away Pitt 70-42 -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


HUGE FIRST HALF KEYS CARDINAL WBB WIN



On a Sunday afternoon in front of over 10,000 in the KFC YUM! Center, the Louisville women's basketball team pressured Pitt to just 12 first half (not quarter...half) points and pounced on the Panthers for 41 first half points to build up a 29-point lead 20 minutes and win easily 70-42. 

To sum it up, Walz played 'em all, the Cards used another first half blitz to sack another ACC for and move to 18-1. Coach also introduced a new "Walzism" concerning "shooting math" when he was closing his post-game presser. 0-8  shooter vs. 8-8 shooter. Who do you throw ball to? 


The Cards broke away after a close three opening minutes that had UofL with a 5-4 advantage. Over the next five minutes, Louisville went on a 12-0 run and with Kylee Shook, Sam Fuehring and Dana Evans combining for 16 points to hold a 23-6 edge at the end of the quarter. The defense was getting it done -- Pitt went 1-12 for the quarter (8%), making their first shot of the game after a minute of play and then being able to add only four free throws in the final nine minutes. 

The Cards did it all sans the services of All-American Asia Durr. We'll get into that later, Coach Walz deciding to rest her, and commenting in post-game media obligations that she had a sore knee. That remark led to a comical, inane round of "twenty questions" about her anatomy. 



If you liked the first quarter, you got more of the same in the second session. Once again, Pitt produced a mere six points (all of them on two Kauia Bradley threes). Louisville tripled that number with Arica Carter matching the total production of Pitt's point-total and Jazmine Jones grabbing three rebounds and creating two assists. The 41-12 halftime advantage featured nine of the 11 Cards players scoring and a 12-2 advantage in points in the paint, 11-0 edge in points off turnovers, plus a 12-0 whitewash in 2nd chance points for the home squad. 


The Cards reached their largest lead of the game (33 points) at the 4:04 mark of the game (41-9) when Carter connected on a jumper from a Duvall pass. 

Walz had already used quite a few different players combinations in the first half and that continued in the final 20 minutes. To their credit, Pitt didn't toss in the towel and head to the bus after the half. They came out on a 7-0 run to begin second half action and ended up winning the third session 15-14. Evans produced six of her game-high 16 points in the third quarter and Lindsey Duvall nailed a three-pointer for the Cards, who played reserves 20 of the possible 50 minutes of player on-court time. It was 55-27 in favor of "the Ville" with ten minutes to go.


Walz distributed the playing time pretty evenly in the fourth, at times going with wholesale "five-for five" substitutions, Seygan Robins showed her skills with five points in the final session (a nice three and incredible up-and-under move for 'two'. Sam added five points in four minutes of action, including a "take-that" three, halfway through the fourth...after getting pounded mercilessly on the other end of the court and getting no whistle relief. Shook added the final two of her 12 points with 20 seconds to go and the Cards improved to 18-1 with a win over a Pitt squad that they'll face again in Pittsburgh on March 3rd. to close the ACC and regular season slate. 

Another less-than-50 points performance from a Cardinal opponent (the fifth in a row). Eleven threes made from five different players (including 4-8 from Evans). A feel-good afternoon down by the river and another notch in the "win" belt for Louisville WBB. 


THE FRED REPORT


Fred Gwynne "Herman Munster" with
the "What, no Asia?" stare
Free Throws -- The Cards took 18 of them and sank 13 for a (72.2%). By Paulie standards, anything over 70% gets a capital "F". My esteemed colleague "Worldwide Jeff" prefers the 80% success rate. But, since it is my write today and he's headed to Australia and New Zealand for camel, kangaroo and koala bear research and to encounter Asia Taylor in a three-point contest, my rules hold. 

Rebounding -- A solid 48-31 triumph from the "reborn" Cards on the glass. Which led to a question to Coach Walz about the recent success on the boards from me in the post-game. Coach patiently explained to me and assured me that they practice them every practice and then went off on other things (check out the link to the post-game presser) That's worth a capital "R" in my book.  

Effort/Execution -- The turnover margin is still higher than most would like to see, with 18 "in the oven" against the Panthers. But, second chance points and points off turnovers were solidly in the Cards favor. Given the team-wide equal distribution of minutes (no one had more than 26 or less than 10) and number of combinations, I was pleased overall with the execution and effort... but, I suppose, I wanted to see a continued blow out in the second half. We'll roll out a lowercase "e" here. 

Defense -- Another game, another less than 50-point performance from the foe. The Cards absconded with 10 steals and forced 18 turnovers. Pitt shot 28.3% from the floor (15-53 and 4-21 (19%) from the deep. Say it with me...a capital "D". 

FRED TOTALS:  F-R-e-D


NO "DUR-RES" JUST "DURR-REST"  


Miss Kentucky GBB 2017 and 2018 share
a happy moment. 
Coach Walz discussed the possibility of keeping Asia out of this one and the fans were questioning why, as witnessed on my Twitter account after the starting lineups were introduced. She was available for action, warmed up before the game, but was not needed. I got all kinds of questions on this...was she hurt? why was she out? was it a disciplinary move? and on and on. No, no, and no. Asia had been seeing a lot of minutes lately, the ACC is a brutal stretch of then season and Walz wants her fully rested for UConn and the rest of the schedule. 

Coach mentioned there was some Durr knee pain in the post-game presser and that led to a silly round of "knee, knee, which knee and why" from a couple of media that was almost comical. That, combined with the dogged pursuit of nonsensical UConn questions led to a presser that was riddled with redundancy. 

Asia is fine. Turn off the air-raid sirens, take down the amber alert and wait for the probable Wednesday presser for a further exploration of the Cards vs. Dogs on Thursday. 

This is why we can't have nice things...


AN ACTIVE ACC SUNDAY


A major upset and a few close calls in a crazy Sunday ACC slate.

-- Paris Key went off for 30 points and North Carolina pulled off the upset of #1 Notre Dame in Chapel Hill with a 78-73 win. The Tar Heels saw a 10-point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter after a 12-0 Irish run, but UNC bounced back to get the win. 

-- Miami got all they wanted from visiting Boston College before putting together a 21-14 fourth quarter to hold on 76-73. The Canes got 21 from Mykea Gray to preserve their one-less record in the ACC. 

-- Duke led Syracuse 26-21 at the half before Quentin Hillsman's Orange erupted in the third quarter in Durham to spur a 64-55 win. The 'Cuse improves to 6-1 and Duke goes to 1-6 in the ACC. 

-- Florida State trailed the entire way versus home-standing Virginia Tech before getting two free throws with 22 seconds left to take a 56-54 lead and win. The Hokies missed their final three shots and two free throws late to remain 0 for ACC. 

-- Wake Forest got their first ACC win on the road at Charlottesville against Virginia 52-42. Ivana Raca led the Demon Deacons with 21 points.  The Cavs never led in the contest and are now 2-5 in the ACC. 

Plus...#15 UK fell at Texas A&M 72-71. Former Cardinal Ciera Johnson had 21 points for the #24 Aggies. Morris and Howard combined for 43 points for UK, who has lost three of their last six games. 

Hey, a former Card getting a win over UK is almost as good as the current Cards conquering the Cats, right?




THEY SAID IT

Your post game remarks:

JEFF WALZ

DANA EVNAS AND KYLEE SHOOK

PITT HEAD COACH LANCE WHITE (AUDIO ONLY)



CAPTION THIS



Here we go again with another of those "What is Coach trying to get across here?" photos. Sometimes, we think  he's worth the price of admission alone for the fans. Fire away in the comments on Mr. Jared Anderson's shot of Coach at work. Jared sends dozens of pictures each home game to choose from and it's hard to narrow it down to just a "couple/few" for the articles. We feature his work again today. 


paulie
xxxxx







-- 



Sunday, January 27, 2019

GAMEDAY -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

WBB Gameday!


Well, it's a Sunday in January, that means it must be game day for the Women's Basketball Team.  OK, it's not that regular, but it's a pretty common occurrence, to be sure.

Today they take on the Pitt Panthers at home in the KFC Yum! Center.  The men dispatched Pitt yesterday on the home hardwood after a bit of a slow start, let's hope the same slow start affliction doesn't stifle early game statistics for the women.

Many of our normal assumptions about good teams and bad in the ACC are being put the test this year, but...well...Pitt, bless their hearts, are just not a great team this year.  They haven't yet found victory in the ACC, yet, and only chalked up a thoroughly mediocre 9-5 non-conference record.  Some of those losses are to some pretty unimpressive teams, like Youngstown St. and Georgetown (this one by almost 30 points!).  WVU took the win over the Panthers by more than 30, though Pitt did keep it close with UCF.  The best wins on their schedule would be Cincinnati and Arkansas.

Maybe the biggest challenge for the Cardinals today will be to not look past this team to the big
matchup on Thursday against UConn.  Otherwise, Pitt doesn't look to be much of a real threat, looking up from the bottom of the league.

The Cards need to show up, play their game, and be present in the moment.  Play the game plan, and then, only once this game is over, start thinking about UConn.  Let's hope they continue to work on solid rebounding, which has been something of a bugaboo for this team of late, because they will absolutely need it in future games, or get risked being run off the court.

I suspect this will be an opportunity for continued development of some of the players we don't see on the court as often.  What may have even more impact on team development would be to see some more extended time for Kylee Shook, and Mykasa Robinson. The two of them have been seeing significant playing time, and you've been able to see them develop and improve, let's hope that they get extended time on the court again today to hone their craft in real-game situations, that will only help the Cards' depth heading into the later stages of the season.


Tip off today is at 2 p.m., with video available for you out-of-towners on the ACC Network Extra.

Tennis


The men's tennis team were in action in Florida against William and Mary, though as of the time of this writing, I haven't seen any results.


The women open serve at 3pm against Cincinnati here in Louisville at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. The women's team is 4-0 in their season so far, starting off with a bang. Let's see how well they can maintain this as the season moves on.

Vacation


On a personal note, I'll be absent from these pages for a couple of weeks as I'm heading off on a two-week vacation down under. Unfortunately, I've been saying I'll be somewhere over the Pacific Ocean during the UConn game, but if I'm doing my timezone conversions correctly, we'll be on the ground in Sydney by that point (though it will already be Feb. 1st for me).

In any case, I'll be doing my best to keep up with all Cardinals Athletics while I'm gone, and I'll be looking to the pages of Cardinal Couple and it's daily update to do that.


Think about this, however. By the time I return (Feb. 14th), the Softball and Lacrosse seasons will already be underway, that's how close Spring sports are getting.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour: Part I


"He's doing what, Edith? Awww, jeez."
Also because of vacation, yesterday was my last CCRH for a few weeks. We're hopeful that the Monk can return to fill in engineering duties while I'm gone, or perhaps someone else that has been trained on the systems at WCHQ. Just promise me, all of you all, that you won't let Paulie at the knobs, dials, and sliders.


In any case, we had a fun morning in the studio, with Mike Gilpatrick of River City Cards joining us for the hour. Case and Jared were both consumed with job duties. We had some great discussion and analysis of the play of the Women's Basketball Team, and you can learn about a couple of the contributions to science of Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (he's the guy that figured out the formulas that explain why you have low tire pressure in the winter months, even without any leaks in your tires).


In any case, if you missed it, you can check it out on Facebook at:


I'll see you in late February!


--
JMcA

(Thanks to Paulie for catching the truncated article and fixing it up a bit...here's the bit he added for the CCRH.  He picked a different digression than I did to highlight, proving, perhaps, that I need to stay more on topic)


THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR: PART II


Linked up below is THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR from yesterday. We had River City Cards editor-in-chief Mike Gilpatrick in studio with us and covered a lot of women's basketball and threw out a query on how camels got to Australia.

We came up with Clemson as our "surprise" ACC WBB squad this year, Virginia Tech as our "not ready for prime time" squad and Notre Dame as the probable ACC regular season champ. Got a take? Let us know in the comments.

Have a listen

LINK: THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 1/26/19

JMcA


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Women's Tennis Serves Up Two Wins -- The WBB in ACC -- RADIO -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


( NORMALLY, YOU WOULD FIND CASE HOSKINS' SATURDAY COLUMN GREETING YOU HERE AT THE SITE ON THE DAY BEFORE SUNDAY. HE, HOWEVER, IS DEALING WITH A HUGE WORK PROJECT AND INDICATED HE'D BE LIVING IN HIS OFFICE, SLEEPING IN HIS DESK CHAIR AND ORDERING TAKE OUT THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. SO, PAULIE CLIMBS OUT OF THE DUGOUT, GRABS HIS FAVORITE BAT AND LUMBERS INTO THE BATTER'S BOX. JUST WANT TO MAKE CONTACT, IF IT LANDS ON THE DOG WALK BERM, THAT'S OK, TOO. PLAY BALL!) 


WOMEN'S TENNIS FINDING NET SUCCESS

Hola and Ole', Ola ! 
We don't normally have Louisville women's tennis as our lead story here at "The Couple", but when a squad keeps winning and does it convincingly -- it's good enough for us. 

That's what Mark Beckham's squad has done and did yesterday. One of those "two opponents in one day" scenarios, and the "Serve and Score" Cards started the day with a convincing 6-1 win over another group of Cardinals -- the Ball State variety -- over at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. 

Ola "Grandma" Mally took honors as the #1 seed (or racquet, in this case?) and produced a two set 6-2, 6-2 win over her Muncie counterpart. Five of the six singles matches went the Cards way and they took two of the three doubles contest to compile the six points. 

Dina does it.
Of note, recent campus arrival Dina Chaika saw her second-time action as a Cardinal and won as the #6 seed in singles, plus a winning part of the #2 seed in doubles with teammate Nikolina Jovic. Dina is from Lemontov, Russia and had been a part of the Russian National team. 

Coach Beckham reviews the win with post-match comments:  HERE

In the afternoon/early evening session, the Cards faced Northern Kentucky and continued the voluminous volleying success by blanking the Norse 7-0. Louisville won all six singles matches and the three doubles contests. 

Huge efforts by UofL #2 seed Raven Neely and her 6-0, 6-1 win and #4 seed Diana Wong, who covered her match with a 6-0, 6-2 set performance. 

Raven and her racquet
Coach Beckham also reviewed this one and previewed the next match:  HERE

At 4-0, the Cards return to action on Sunday at the "Rudd" when they bring in a talented Cincinnati contingent.

Best of luck to the "Beckham base-liners" in the rivalry match. 


WHAT SAY YOU, ACC WBB? 

As the ACC women's basketball schedule approaches the halfway mark, let's take a look at what we know, what we think might happen and who the hot teams are. Everyone has played at least six games (the Cards, Miami and Clemson seven) and there are still two schools who haven't lost an ACC match yet: Notre Dame and N.C. State. Those two head to a potential ACC #1 vs. #2 showdown on Feb. 18th. (Monday 7 p.m.) in Raleigh. N.C. State will be tested prior to that game, with FSU and Syracuse to face...both on the road.

Jeff Walz's bunch are tied in conference play with Miami at 6-1. The Canes fell to Clemson in ACC play 67-76 and have four season losses (Iowa St., Purdue and Central Michigan). Emese Hof, Laura Cornelius and Mykea Gray lead the way for Katie Meyer's Ibus flock and they'll leave sunny south Florida to take on Louisville on Sunday, Feb 17th. 

Rounding out the top half of the standings, and squads that are .500 or better are Clemson (5-2), FSU (4-2), Syracuse (4-2) and Ga. Tech (3-3). Louisville has wins over two of the four (Ga. Tech and FSU) and will bring the other two into the YUM! (Syracuse and Clemson) for action in early February. 

Everyone else has work to do. 

BIGGEST SURPRISE TEAM SO FAR: I think most would agree that it is Clemson. They gave N.C.State all they wanted in Raleigh on Thursday and have grown leaps and bounds from the one-win conference record in 2017-18. Head coach Amanda Butler has installed a "never say die" attitude in these Tigers and players Simone Westbrook, Danielle Edwards, Kobi Thornton and Aliyah Collier could start or see significant minutes on any ACC squad. They get a week to prepare for visiting Notre Dame  (Thursday,Jan 31st.) with no other games in between and that one is one that will be a true test for them. 

If you were looking for N.C. State in this category, they ran a close second. We'll do this analysis again in a few weeks and see where Ms. Wuf's pack stands. 

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT TEAM SO FAR: What in the world is going on at Virginia Tech? 
They are "0 for ACC" at 0-6, they do have a 13-6 overall record, but Hokie fans are "raising cain" (and not in a good way nor chicken-finger related) about head coach Kenny Brooks.

They've had two overtime losses (at NC State and hosting Syracuse), got bombarded by Notre Dame, lost close ones against Miami and Virginia...but the 12 point win by North Carolina over them (in Blacksburg) last time out was unexpected. 

The talent is there. Regan Magarity is one of the ACC's best. Emery Taylor averages almost 19 points a game. Dara Mabrey is a top flight freshman (and she's the younger sister of Notre Dame's Marina Mabrey). They can grab significant half-time leads (see Virginia and North Carolina) but fail to finish. Here's hoping the remainder of their season is a good one (except for the Louisville game, of course). They are better than they are showing.


SO, WHAT IS THE PAULIE PREDICTION FOR REGULAR SEASON CHAMP? 

OK. Out-on-a-limb time.

I do not think N.C. State will remain undefeated. I think Wes Moore has done a wonderful job, but with Notre Dame, Louisville, FSU and Syracuse still to play on the Wolfpack's schedule, I can see some dents on the fender. Nope, I'm not picking them. 

The Cards "grew up a lot" in the win at Tallahassee last time out. If the rebounding woes are finally solved, they'll be dangerous. They're going to need some help, though, since Notre Dame did beat them earlier. Honestly, it's hard to see another Louisville loss on the remainder of the regular season conference schedule...except, maybe...to NC State. And, that one is in Louisville. Is it Louisville as my choice? Hurts me to say it, but, nope. 

Notre Dame will, I predict, assume the sole possession of the top spot in the conference after packing up the Wolfpack and they may well roll through the rest of the conference regular season undefeated.

That last sentence was hard to type, and hurts like all "@$#%" to say it...but they are my pick as the regular season champ. I hope I'm wrong. But, unless UConn is suddenly added to the ACC from the AAC...the Irish seem to have the best shot. 


THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR


We will gather at the magnificent media mansion on Mellwood this morning at 11 a.m. to communicate over frequency modulation devices and provide Facebook viewing for those who have an interest. Yes, it's THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR, and joining Jeff and I in-studio is River City Cards Mike Gilpatrick. He's the editor-in-chief over there and senior women's basketball correspondent. 

Guess what we'll be talking about? 

Mike is a senior finance major at UofL and was the captain of the swim team at Shelby County High School. He was also on the rifle squad, which brings the unique dual, potential sequence of his ability to shoot something and then either swim away from the scene or jump in and swim out to retrieve what he shot. We like to joke about his "five first names" and he can put away a prodigious amount of Italian sausages if presented with the opportunity. 

Should be fun! Join us, won't you? We're at WCHQ 100.9 FM. Facebook LIVE. Your link below:


Have a Super Saturday, stay warm and cheer on UofL athletics this weekend. We hope to see you at the Louisville WBB vs. Pitt game Sunday at the Arena by the River!

paulie
xxxxx