Wake Forest Hosts the Cards
In this nearly-every-other-day game schedule that the Cards have been maintaining for much of the season, the game days roll on. Today, it's Wake Forest in Winston-Salem at 2 p.m, part of a nice double-header on the ACC Network with Clemson hosting Syracuse at noon. And, for the Cards WBB pursuits, radio always an option on Cards Radio 790 WKRD AM with Nick and AJ.
Wake Forest is currently sitting just about in the middle of the ACC standings, 7th out of the 15 total teams. I'll claim the exact middle based on Duke and Virginia having bowed out of playing for the year.
There is an argument to be made that the Demon Deacons are about to start sliding down the standings a bit, though. When you look at their schedule played so far...well, it's not bad, including a win over a then-24th-ranked Missouri State though of course that doesn't impact conference standings, a split of two very closely contested games against UNC, wins of Miami, Boston College, and Virginia Tech. With the losses coming to the aforementioned squeaker against UNC, NC State, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech.
The Deacs have started a pretty brutal part of their schedule, however. That GT game basically started it off, they follow that up with the game today against us, the #1 team in the country, then Florida State, Clemson, Syracuse, and the 2nd game against Georgia Tech. Clemson will be the easiest opponent in that slate, and they're no cakewalk. Wake also has 2nd games against NC State and Florida State to come.
So who should we be watching on the court? The sharp shooter most efficient shooter on the squad is Christina Morra shooting at 56.6% from the field. She is not the biggest scorer, however, with Ivana Raca and Gina Conti taking the one and two spots of that ranking. A big part of the difference between total points and shooting percentages is the three pointers. Morra has not taken a three point shot all year.
Your Becky Burke-esque three point bombers are Jewel Spear and Alexandria Scruggs, each taking about 2/3 of their shots from beyond the arc.
|Wake Forest head WBB coach Jen Hoover is 0-6 against 'the Cards|
including last year's 75-61 loss in Louisville. She wasn't thrilled.
Watch out for Conti in the guard role as well, her steals and turn-overs stats are almost identical to Dana Evans for the season.
There's probably not too much need to be wary of shot blocking. The team leader for blocks is 6'2" Raca with eight on the season. For comparison's sake, 6'1" Elizabeth Balogun has 24.
The only other stat I see that piques my particular interest is assists. Conti is the team leader with 42, compared to Dana Evans 60, on the year, but particularly of note is that Wake trails their opponents in assists 117-169. That suggests that the Cards could make an extra effort to help each other on defense and worry less about the Wake players dishing the ball off to others.
Overall, you never want to take a game for granted, particularly in the ACC, but as long as the Cards come out, play their game the way we know they can play it, then we should come away with a win today.
The unprecedented spring part of the NCAA volleyball season has begun, though the Cards won't play until February 27th, at least based on currently scheduled games. There could be some non-conference games that might get scheduled, but I'm not holding my breath for them.
Beyond the college courts, however, the Athletes Unlimited Pro league is getting together for practice with play slated to begin also on February 27th.
AU Volleyball is going to be...interesting. There aren't set teams, with players drafted each week. There's a whole scoring scheme that rewards individual players for their individual efforts as well as their current team's success. You can check out the scoring system at https://auprosports.com/volleyball/how-we-play-volleyball/.
There are several players with more or less direct UofL connections involved in AU Volleyball.
First and foremost, UofL alum Erin Fairs will be playing.
Next, Taylor Morgan, who was filling the UofL Volunteer Assistant Coach role in the fall. Morgan graduated a year ago from Minnesota, and as a middle blocker was part of the team that eliminated UofL from the NCAA tournament the game after UofL's big win over Texas.
Prime UofL rival for the past 4 years Leah Edmond from UK will be in the league, and finally a big sis, Deja McClendon, who played her college ball at Penn State is the older sister to Maya McClendon who played a couple of years for UofL before transferring to Arizona State. The McClendons are Louisvillians, with both Deja and Maya playing their high school ball at duPont Manual High School.
So you've got a few Louisville rooting interests in this one.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Back mostly to basketball, the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast, unsurprisingly, largely focused on basketball with recaps of previous games and some discussion about this upcoming Wake Forest game as well. We did touch base on the announced volleyball schedule, and we got more good day job news from much of the crew. Lastly, did we get an answer? Do seals have ears? or is it sea lions that do?
Check out the fun below, as always.