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Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Season Rolls On -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Short Rest Only for WBB After Major Test


Following a game against North Carolina in which Louisville saw a 19 point lead evaporate over the third and fourth quarters, the Cards get very little time to lick their wounds. While one North Carolina team flew in to play at the Yum! Center, another awaits in Durham, as the Cards head to Duke on just three days rest to face what may be their biggest challenge of the young season. Given the travel schedule, the Cards likely only had yesterday to recover and get in a light practice before they'll use today to do one more practice and head to Durham. Fortunately, classes haven't yet started at UofL, so they could commit all of their time this weekend for recovery and preparation, but it's a quick turnaround to be sure.

Before looking ahead to Duke, let's see how the numbers shook out against UNC. We've talked about how it was a game of two halves, and that could not be more true. In the first half, Louisville shot 45.5/30.0/100.0 from the field, three, and free throw line, respectively. In the second half, they shot 44.4/20/70. A reduction in all three stats stands out immediately, but it doesn't look like enough to blow a 19 point lead. The real kicker comes from comparing UNC's splits. A first half of 23.3/6.7/80 improved to 44.4/36.4/88.2 in the second. UNC was 15-17 from the free throw line in the second half, which is where most of their deficit was made up. Looking at that, it is clear that the Cardinal defense fell off quite a bit. UNC finished the night 23-27 from the free throw line, which is not a line Jeff Walz would like to give up often. If there's any benefit to the fouling trend potentially continuing, it is that Duke is not a good free throw shooting team at all. They rank 267th in the country, having made 63.7% of their 215 free throw attempts.

Other than the shooting, the half box scores are very similar, showing that the Cards merely laid off on defense. They lost shooters, they were screened more often, and they allowed people to get open on the inside. Part of this also came from a significant drop off in rebounding. Obviously, rebounding is affected, when your opponent begins making more shots, but the Cards overall number was reduced by nearly half, while UNC's stayed level. The Cards did limit the offensive rebounding chances, but again, UNC was making more first time shots. Louisville is tied for 90th in rebounding margin at 4.2 per game and Duke is just behind at 105th with 3.5 per game. Tomorrow's game will be effectively a toss-up as far as boards go, so a bad performance like the one Louisville had against UNC will be punished by Duke.

How about the players? We already know that Arica Carter and Jazmine Jones were insane. They willed the team to victory and Louisville would likely have been sunk without them. However, the two stars that Louisville has needed to lean on were nearly invisible. Asia Durr scored only (lol) 10 points, but she did chip in 6 assists. She was 0-7 on threes and picked up four fouls. She did only have one turnover. Often, people will talk about a star player being gameplanned around by opponents and you see a reduction in production as the season goes on. Asia Durr is too good for that to happen to her. She still got up 7 threes and made none. Durr is an exciting player that can create for herself and her teammates. An off night for her is bad. Fortunately, Louisville was able to persevere. Similarly, Sam Fuehring was a bit quiet. She finished with 8 points and 7 boards, which is pretty good, but her defense did not show up in the stats. She had 0 blocks and 0 steals in 31 minutes. She also coughed the ball up twice. Again, this is a player that Louisville depends on to succeed. Kylee Shook was able to pick up the slack with the double-double, a block, and a steal, but she also picked up 4 fouls which put the Cards in danger. I expect we'll see more fire from Louisville's traditional stars in the next game.

Finally, let's do a quick CASE Report since I missed the last couple of games. 

C-Care: The Cards finished the game with 16 turnovers. Do I really need to continue this segment? That's really not good. North Carolina had only 12 and they force only 16.67 per game. Louisville lost the turnover battle completely. No letter.

A-Assists: Again, the major turnover number is going to hit this pretty hard. The Cards finished with 16 assists on 27 made baskets, which is actually not bad. The 1:1 ATO, though, is certainly less than ideal. Lowercase 'a'.

S-Steals: The Cards finished Thursday with 7 steals. That's fewer than 7.5 steals, which is the benchmark, and it's also fewer than 8 steals, which is how many UNC had. Surprisingly, Louisville had fewer steals in the first half than the second. Either way, they'll need to get more active on defense to stay successful, as that was key for them early in the year. No letter.

E-Efficiency: On the night, the Cards managed just at 45% from the field, while having a particularly poor three point game. Louisville was only 5-20 from beyond the arc, which would put them at 55% from two point land. That's still not a particularly great shooting night inside, but it was enough. Louisville also finished at 82.4% from the free throw line, which is good. However, as we discussed previously, they were outshot by 10 attempts from the free throw line, which is less good. This category is for efficiency, though, and the Cards were sufficiently efficient. Capital 'E'.

That gives the Cards a final report grade of _-a-_-E. Their shooting really pulled them through this game, as the numbers show that they were not particularly good in this matchup. I knew my 15-1 call was ambitious when I made it, but I'm not going to back down. Louisville is a much better team than they showed on Thursday and I believe that they will use tomorrow's game against Duke to show the rest of the conference that the opener was an exception and not the rule. 

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


For the first time in awhile, all four knuckleheads will return to the studio at the same time. Ideally, Paulie will make it in his own car, without the necessity of roadside assistance. We're fully into the swing of basketball season, which means that you know what this week's show will entail. Join us for a full breakdown and preview, and the overall joy and excitement of the University of Louisville women's athletics. The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour airs on WCHQ FM from 11AM - 12PM and is available on 100.9 FM, wchqfm.com, the WCHQ App, or on Facebook Live.

Station link:  www.wchqfm.com

You can access the Facebook Live option there as well as listen live.


 Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-


6 comments:

  1. Great to be back in New Albany (finally) !! The second half UNC adjustments offensively were a key (or Kea) to them getting the Heels back in it. Hatchell mentioned if Kea had been available for more first half minutes, UNC would have won. I don't know about that, but Kea was impressive in the final 20.

    Paulie, you do need to go talk to your buddy Don Russell and let him know it's ARICA Carter and not "Asia" Carter. LOLOL.

    Curtis "Likes players whose first names start with A" Franklin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very good article Case. I can honestly say I'm glad I never had you as a teacher in school, though, because you're a very tough grader!

    Three counrer-arguments:

    1) The Cards trying to dribble through a 2-3 zone caused them a lot of second-half grief, much more than the passing IMHO. Especially with the quick guards UNC had.

    2) Seven steals against UNC is INCREDIBLE when you look at their lineup

    3) Bionca Dunham doesn't get much mention for her game against UNC but she really helped slow down Bailey.

    Nick O.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Kylee Shook puts her inside & outside game together Cards will be unstoppable IMHO!!!!
      Shout out to Bionca Dunham Philly home town girl.
      PS love that young Lady from LA. AC AC AC !!!

      Delete
  3. 10 womens games on cable channels tomortow but Louisville is only streamed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's up with that ???????? A team that #3 in the Country SMH.

      Delete
  4. That's deplorable but, let's face it, no one wants to give Louisville credit or coverage for what they are doing except here in the local media. Fine. No problem. A lot of people are missing a very good squad.

    ReplyDelete

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