JUST ADDED: PAULIE REPORT FROM THURSDAY PRACTICE AND PRESSERS
CARDS FACE ROBERT MORRIS FRIDAY AT NOON
Good morning Cardinal fans!
David Watson with you this morning, per Paulie request, to give you a little bit of a preview of the Louisville women's basketball squad's first game in the NCAA Tournament. Writing this article is a nice change of pace from my frantic opening NCAA Tournament weekend marathon party plans and preparation.
Louisville begins their quest to travel to Tampa and the Final Four tomorrow against the Robert Morris Colonials in the KFC YUM! Center. It's the first matchup against the Colonials, out of the Northeastern Conference in Louisville women's basketball history.
So, what do we need to know about the Colonials? Here a dossier.
Robert Morris went 22-10 during the regular and conference tournament slate. They were 16-2 in the NEC and won the tournament as a #1 seed taking down Mt. St. Mary 69-65 and Saint Francis 69-54.
Robert Morris and Louisville had no common opponents in the 2018-19 season. This will be the furthest south the Colonials have traveled in games this year.
It was a rough start to the season for the Colonials. They began 1-7, but began to get it together as the schedule morphed into conference play and finished 8-1. As they go into the NCAA as a #16 seed, this is their sixth overall appearance in the NCAA and third in the last four years.
Their mascot is the patriotic, slightly neurotic looking Romo. Not to be confused with ex-Dallas QB and TV analyst Tony Romo.
The Colonials prefer a slower pace, averaging about 63 points a game while allowing just 55. They are top 25 ranked in creating opponent turnovers and getting steals. The only real bad "beat" I can find on them was the 92-63 loss at Iowa.
Nneka Ezeigbo, a 6'2" post player, is the main offensive and rebounding weapon for RMU. She's a junior, from Ewing N.J. and averages 12.6 points per game and 7.8 rebounds.
Honoka Ikematsu, from Japan, she is the leading three-point shooter for the Colonials and puts up about five a game (162 on the season). She's made 53 on the year. I wonder if she knows Norika Konno, a recent Louisville signer from the land of the rising sun?
Freshman guard Isabella Posset has been named to the All-NEC Rookie team and leads RMU in assists and steals.
Louisville should win this one fairly easy if they come out and play Louisville basketball.
With Walz not on the bench, Coach Norman and staff will most likely try to regulate minutes to the starters, play Carter and Fuehring sparingly, as they come off injuries and apply that scary good Louisville defense.
I know, it's tournament time and anything can happen, but, I see the Cards advancing to Sunday pretty easily.
CARDINAL COUPLE TOURNAMENT CHALLENGE
Paulie wanted me to remind you that Cardinal Couple is holding a NCAA Women's tournament pick 'em challenge.
With that now done, pick wisely, with your head and not heart and good luck. You can put your entry in the comments section or e-mail Paulie at firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions, or to submit a bracket, go to tournament director Jared Anderson. His e-mail is email@example.com
Have a fun weekend and thanks again to Paulie for giving me a chance to grace these majestic pages once again !!
Paulie From Media/Practice Day at the KFC YUM! Center
Sonya and I joined TCZs and Cardinal Couple Radio regular Daryl Foust to attend the Thursday presser for Louisville head coach Jeff Walz and players Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring and Arica Carter. Here are the audios from each:
LINK: Jeff Walz Thursday presser
Coach seemed to be in a good mood and engaged in playful banter with Paulie near the end of the presser.
LINK: Arica, Asia and Sam at 3/21/19 presser
All three seemed ready to go and discussed the upcoming game, their status and their preparation for the game against Robert Morris Friday.
Practice was light but spirited with the Cards encouraging each other a lot and hitting a ton of shots. A good sign...Arica worked out, while we were there with trainer Kaitlynn Jones and a stretch rope.
PHOTOS FROM THURSDAY
|Arica warming up|
|Team Drills I|
|Team Drills II|
|Coach Walz with Beth Mowins|
|Sonya and Daryl|