CARDS TO FACE BLUE DEMONS IN WINTRUST ARENA
|(AD and Walz appear to be sharing a light|
moment with Geno a few years back)
In the history and rivalries of Louisville WBB, there are certain teams who have fared pretty well against the Cards over the years. UConn certainly comes to mind, although the Cards have played the Huskies closer in the past few years -- winning two of the last three. You can probably toss NC State into that mix, the Wolfpack have taken the last three contest over the last two years -- on home, away and neutral venues. And, despite winning the last six against them, the Cards are behind in the series against UK 23-34.
One could add DePaul to the list of teams that have played Louisville close over the years. DePaul leads the all-time series 17-16, and the teams are 4-4 in their last eight meetings. Jeff Walz is 7-4 against the Blue Demons since he arrived at Louisville.
The Cards are just 1-3 in Chicago, though, since Walz took over the Louisville WBB program.
|(Stay away from that one, Jeff. She's from Illinois |
and I'm gonna get her)
LAST TIME OUT
UofL did decimate DePaul 116-75 two years ago in the Jimmy V Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena, in Connecticut, the last time the squads played -- and six of the current Cardinals were on that team: Hailey Van Lith, Liz Dixon, Kasa Robinson, Merissah Russell, Norika Konno and Olivia Cochran. Louisville had been on the schedule to play UConn, but COVID had caused the Hukies to back out and DePaul agreed to step in. Louisville scored an all-time high in points in this one.
Going back further, some might remember DePaul knocking Louisville out of the NCAA Tournament, in the KFC YUM! Center, back in March, 2016 A surprise it was, at 72-71.
The two were both members of the Big East and Conference USA together and it's the first UofL trip to play DePaul in Chicago since 2013.
So...what does this group of 2022-23 Blue Devils look like? They re 9-3 on the season and on a five game win streak. They've defeated Pitt, like the Cards did, and knocked off another ACC school in Miami. They also own a win over Maryland (who was #14 in the nation at the time). Texas administered a pretty good beat down of them, though, to start the season... 105-62.
DePaul averages 80 points a game while allowing 67
Aneesha Morrow is the big gun for DePaul. The 6'1" sophomore forward out of Chicago, averages 26.3 points a game and 12 boards, She put up 45 in a win against Northwestern and 42 in an early season loss to Cleveland St.
Darrione Rogers adds 19.3 a game...she's a 5-11" junior who also played her high school ball in Chicago. Rounding out the double figure producers is Kendall Holmes, a 5'11" junior guard from Plainfield, IL who is good for 10.2 a night. It would appear Dougie likes 'em homegrown...seven of his student-athletes are out of Illinois.
So, how does Louisville gain a win in a town and against a foe that hasn't been too kind to them over the years? The Cards have a huge height advantage -- no one on DePaul's squad is over 6-1", so you think the Cards would want to and be able to control the boards. Often, one sees the smaller teams focus on "the run" and getting up and down the court quickly, so Louisville will need to get back quickly on defense and try to prevent the fast break, layups style of hoops. Hitting free throws could be key, too. The Cards are shooting a sparkling 77% from the stripe this season.
Do the Cards have a defensive stopper for Morrow? Normally, I'd say Kasa Robinson, but it appears she might be having lingering effects from the concussion suffered in the loss to MTSU. Since then, she's played sparingly (although she sank eight out of ten free throws against UK).
The Cards have won four in a row since that embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee and three of them have been on the road -- although I have to wonder if playing Bellarmine at Freedom Hall can really be considered a road trip...Louisville had more fans there and I doubt he Cards were on the bus very long, if at all, to get to the grand old structure.
The Cards have been playing better team defense and going to the boards better, too. Probably one of the things it'll come down to is controlling the pace. Walz might go "smaller" and not play Liz or Josie right off, to see how the Cards handle the fast pace of Blue Demon hoops. It's all speculation, though...we'll know for sure when it tips off.
DePaul will be a good test for UofL and, after it, the Cards are off for a week on Christmas vacation.
Here's a pop quiz for you... "Which state has sent the most student-athletes to this year's UofL WBB program"?
A) Kentucky B) Georgia C) Florida D) Tennessee
GUESS WHO ?
Jared will have the write up on this one against Dougie and DePaul...and normally you could expect several selfies in his column, but since this one is in Chicago, I doubt he drives up there after work to attend. Check out his article, tomorrow.
The photo above is him and Louisville Volleyball student-athletes Ceci Rush and PK Kong, who were attending the men's basketball game vs. Lipscomb Tuesday night. (We won't go there, in terms of discussing that one...)
(answer to pop quiz question is "B" -- Georgia. Olivia Cochran and Morgan Jones.