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Thursday, February 20, 2020

WBB Travels to GT -- Naismith Watch List -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Travels to Georgia Tech

Louisville women's basketball holds first place in the ACC and they look to stay that way in Atlanta tonight when they face Georgia Tech.  It's an early tip-off with a 6:00 p.m., start time, and will be aired on Fox Sports South.

Georgia Tech comes into the game with a 17-9 record.  Their conference record is a bit over .500 at 8-7.  They have won three of their last four games but had a five game skid before that.  Three of their recent losses were overtime losses, so, theoretically, a 11-4 ACC mark was within their reach.

The Yellow Jackets are in no hurry during games and happily take their time, which is part of the reason the rank near the bottom of the ACC in scoring at 62.8 points per game.  Their defense, however, ranks fourth in the country and top in the ACC at 51.8 points allowed per game.

We doubt they allow the "Ramblin' Wreck"
inside the McCamish Pavilion
First year head coach Nell Fortner has done a good job in coming in and reformulating the Yellow
Jackets, who lost two key players from 2018-19 when Elizabeth Balogun and Liz Dixon left the program via the transfer portal for Louisville. Both are sophomores, Balogun the ACC Freshman of the Year last season and Dixon namedd to the ACC All-Freshman squad.

The few points Georgia Tech scores is spread pretty even with four players scoring in double-figures.  Francesca Pan leads the way at 12.9 points per game.  Her convoy includes Jasmine Carson (11.1 ppg), Kierra Fletcher (10.1 ppg), and Lorela Cubaj (10.1 ppg).  Lotta-Maj Lahtinen follows close behind at 9.1 points per game.  That leaves less than nine points combined by the rest of the team. Pan has had a few contests were she's gotten off to quick starts, so the Louisville game plan will most likely be structured to knowing where she is and that she's not allowed to get off un-guarded attempts from the floor. 6'5" center Nerea Hermosa had a starting role for much of the season for Fortner but now comes in off the bench and gets about 20 minutes a night and adds 6.1 p.p.g. a contest.

Headed back to where it began for them...
Georgia Tech has averaged a +3.5 turnover margin per game, a mark that is best in the conference.  For reference, Louisville has a +2.3 turnover margin per game.

Seven players see a fair amount of playing time with three others picking up scrap minutes at the end of games or in the event of foul trouble. Forward Anne Diouf, a red-shirt freshman from Senegal, draws the start but is primarily used for rebounding and contributes only 1.4 p.p.g.

The Yellow Jackets are smart with their shot selection, shooting nearly 41% from the field.  Their free throw percentage has not been great, however, with a 66% mark.

Louisville is a perfect 6-0 against Georgia Tech all-time, with all six meetings coming in the ACC.  In the most recent match-up, Louisville rolled past Georgia Tech 61-44 at the KFC Yum! Center.

Walz Named to Naismith Coach of the Year Watch List

In an obvious sign of who his favorite Cardinal Couple member is, Jeff Walz made sure to come visit me first before hanging out with Paulie in the usual midweek presser.  Actually, it was just a fluke that Coach and I ran into each other but it was good to have a normal conversation before wishing him and the team safe travels.

Speaking of Walz, he was named one of 15 finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year watch list.  NC State's Wes Moore is the only other ACC coach on the list.

Walz has guided this year's team to a 23-3 record and a 12-2 conference mark with four games to go.  The Cards also sit at #5 currently and took down then-#1 Oregon in early season.  All of this has come despite losing three seniors to the WNBA Draft last year.

In Case You Missed It: 

Walz's weekly presser was back to it's normal time of 12:30 p.m. yesterday. Coach talked at length about Ga. Tech, but also pontificated on Kasa Robinson (mostly at the behest of "pizza girl") and got into the Astros scandal and Pete Rose.

We also learned that they play with a round, not square, ball in Atlanta and the court dimensions and rim height are exactly the same as they are in the KFC YUM! Center. We also learned he's a fan of tin trash cans and that his S.I.D. needs to stand, not sit, at pressers.

You just never know where Coach will go in his comments. He reacts to asked questions in his own unique style and that famous Walz sarcasm is still alive and prospering.

Here's the link to his presser:  Walz Presser

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!



  1. I like the 6 p.m. start for selfish reasons, I can watch the game before I head to work. But, I will turn down the TV sound and listen to the radio call.

    If Pan starts hot, it could be a rough one for the Cards. Maybe Kylee out front on the defensive set?

    Go Cards

    Curtis "Back to work and not overly excited about it" Franklin

  2. Hello Friends!

    Arthur here!

    We are the opening game on the ACCN tonight. At 6:30 p.m. the Clemson Tigers enter Syracuse Dome for two hours of fun and games with Quentin Hillsman.

    I'll be switching back and forth, though, to watch the Cards vs Georgia Tech. We end the regular season hosting that big ol' Buzz and played GT surprisingly good back in early January, losing by just two to them in McCamish 49-47. I remember Pan and Carson had good games against us, but, reserve Shania Meertens had a big night for us. She a 5'8" guard that is super quick, a Dana Evans "light", so to speak.

    Good luck tonight to both of us!

    We've been enjoying Clemson Softball! We're 7-5 currently and won all four of our games in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge here last week. Maryland and Michigan State were the visiting BIG 10 Schools. We actually put up 21 runs against Maryland! Four home runs for us in that one.

    Some of our hoops girls are frequent visitors to watch softball and it's fun to sit and chat with Kendall Spray, Amari Robinson, Kobi Thornton, Destiny Thomas and a couple others.

    I suppose you see a lot of UofL WBBers at Softball, too?

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

    1. We don't have a home softball game until mid-March but we had our fair share of WBB women at softball last year. Jaz was a regular, Kylee, Kasa, Lindsey and others also stop by occasionally.

      Years back, Shoni attended a lot of softball. I once stopped to chat with her on the way to the press box and was "admonished" by an assistant S.I.D. who told me not to have contact with her unless I got approval from this particular asst. S.I.D.

      Yep, that's me. The "fixer" of college softball. Jimmy the Greek and Pete Rose would have been proud of me.


  3. Walz's pressers crack me up. He takes a particular delight in busting up some of you all (like you) Paulie and he says whatever is on his mind.

    who is the dumb a-- who asked about the Astros, though, and what does that have to do with women's college basketball? Tell me it wasn't Cowgill.

    Nick O.

    1. Sun was in my eyes and then I thought I saw Elvis and had to take a second look during that question, so I can't rightly say who asked that question.

      Rumor has it that it was either Justin Verlander or Sam Purcell, though. Or a close friend of the legendary Pete Rose...some guy named Charlie Hustle.


  4. 4256
    Put Rose in the Hall of Fame

  5. Just #playlikelouisville and we should be able to come out with the win.
    Wonder if Elizabeth and Liz get heavily heckled and if it may affect them negatively?
    Looking forward to what should be another challenging game.

    1. I'm not sure that a 1000 people can heavily heckle anyone. They just don't show up for WBB at Ga. Tech.

      Blue Lou


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