CARDS WBB NEED WINS OVER GA.TECH AND PITT
At 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, we're not exactly in the homestretch of the season, but, we are halfway through the season. Where did the time go, right? The next two games for Louisville WBB are at home and ones that the Cards desperately need wins in to stay in contention for being a league front-runner.
Currently, there are three ACC teams at 3-0 in conference (Duke, GSU and Notre Dame) and four at 2-1. (Louisville, Virginia, NC State and Clemson). The Cards next two opponents (Georgia Tech and Pitt) are a combined 0-6 in the ACC.
For Louisville to lose either of the two next ones would be a disappointment and maybe a sign that it just isn't Louisville's year to contend for the title.
Overall, the conference is as strong as its ever been, and maybe stronger. The parity is greater than we've seen in a long time, too -- maybe since the Cards entered the league. Every team is at .500 or better, in overall record.. When you look at Duke (13-1 overall), Notre Dame (12-1), FSU (14-2), Virginia (13-1) and NC State and Virginia Tech (12-2), you begin to realize that the Cards will have some very challenging battles in the weeks ahead and some that they may just be "underdogs" in. Louisville has only played one of the current top seven (Duke) and we all know what happened there...
But, it's one game at a time. You can't overlook anyone, and when you've had the bullseye on your back for as long as Louisville has...basically, since they entered the ACC, you are the target whether you're in Charlottesville or Clemson is coming to town. Beating Louisville (in women's basketball) used to make a program's season and it still carries a lot of pride and recognition with it for the schools that do.
Georgia Tech comes to town Thursday night (8 p.m.) and Jared will get you prepared for this one tomorrow. Just a few things about them for today. They got smeared by FSU last time out by 41 points, in Atlanta.
41 points. By FSU. Let that sink in
(I thought it was a misprint when I first saw it. Only five Ramblin' Wreck first quarter points and just 21 for the first half aren't going to win you a lot of game (or impress your fan base) so you can see how a UofL loss to GT tomorrow night could have deleterious effects on the Cardinal and their fan base. After a loss like that, a team can flip one of two ways. A grim determination to never let it happen again, or tossing in the effort and the rest of the season. We'll see which GT squad shows up..
Pitt on Sunday is at the KFC YUM! Center, too and we'll have more on it as the contest gets closer...but the Cards handled them by 24 before Christmas in Pittsburgh, so...one would figure UofL just might be all right there.
Walz is still piecing the parts together and, although the starters looks to be fairly established. there are still questions about consistency, hitting open shots and developing that "killer instinct". Playing the two worst team in the league (currently), back to back should be a chance to boost one's confidence and skills.
The squad misses a Emily Engstler type (someone that shows no fear and backs it up with a confident, protagonist type attitude on the court}. You didn't want any part of EE...but most times, she was going to give it to you and then some more whether you wanted it or not, just for good measure. . In her eyes. I'm guessing it went something like "You are trying to take something from me and I'm not going to give it to you." I used to tell folks, I'd walk down any alley, anywhere, anytime with Myisha Hines-Allen by my side. I added Em to that list last year. I don't see that kind of player on the 2022-23 team yet, but...I hope to.
It's time for Hailey to put on a second half of the season that will be even better than her first half of 2022-23. She's got so much talent and she's one of the best guards in college basketball...I hope she sends the conference a reminder about that in the final 16 regular season games..
You have the fan base, Cardinals women basketball players. Go make them proud of you.
One game at a time. Don't look back or too far ahead.
16 down and 16 to go. It should be interesting.
(VARIOUS PHOTOS BY JARED ANDERSON...MOSTLY)