CARDS WBB WAS SCHOOLED SUNDAY,WILL THEY LEARN FROM IT?
In Louisville WBB's loss Sunday afternoon in Hartford, there were times I wanted to turn the progressive pull-away by the Huskies off If you were watching the debacle unfold, you may have had the same thoughts. But, since I write about UofL women's sports and this was touted to be a good event, i stayed with it until the bitter end . When watching the Cards lose the final two quarters by ten points each, it became abundantly clear to me that UConn had used their week of preparation well, and knew the Cards weaknesses. And Louisville had a lot of work to do yet.
How did the Cards lose this one and lose it so badly? I'll make four observations
1) The Huskies were shooting the orb quite well..(better than 50% in the second half), and the Cards had forgotten how to put the ball in the bucket...(7 for 29 in those 20 minutes and that is less than 25%).
2) Kiki Jefferson was the key Cardinals player in the first half. UConn focused on shutting her down and they did it well, only four points for her in the second half...
3) When Walz drew his technical with 8:07 left in the third quarter, the Cards trailed by six points, if the "t" was designed to fire his team up, it had the opposite effect, the Cards never got that close again the rest of the game and found themselves down by 14 after three quarters.
4) For as much as I was complaining about the officiating during the game, it was a veteran crew calling the contest and the foul differential in this one (Cards 21-U Conn 16) didn't decide this one. The Cards let UConn outscore them by 10 in the paint and 14 on fast breaks. There's your difference makers
Walz lamented in his post-game remarks that his team failed to follow the scout for the game. And, they did allow Griffith to drive to the hoop the entire game, and she loves to do that. Bueckers also found a lot of free, wide open looks and she's pretty good about sinking those.
Walz had a lot of fun in the post game with his mock shock that Geno still had a job after three losses this season. It was an interesting move for the coach to make after such a drubbing from a team that has regularly drubbed Walz coached teams since his time at UofL. Maybe he realizes that it was a non-conference game that has zero implications on how well the Cards will do in ACC play or the rest of the season. I haven't figured Walz logic out in 17 years, I'm glad I'm not taking it for credits in a college course.
Will the Cards create opportunity out of this defeat? And will the coaches use the game film as a huge teaching opporunity to show the squad what happens when a scout isn't followed the entire game. Good game plans are a fine creature to have, but if they are not followed, what's the point? Sometime, an in-game alteration of a game plan is needed...but, I feel that the Cards coaches stressed the important aspect of battling UConn on the boards and keeping them from running on them. Louisville failed to do either of these effectly on Sunday, especially in the second half. Will the Cards learn from this defeat and use it as a teaching tool to improve and be a better squad the rest of the season? One can only hope so, and hope it doesn't have the opposite effect.
There are still 19 games to go and an ACC Tourmanent left in this season. No one expeced Louisville to go through the regular season 30-1. Let's hope the squad got the message Sunday...they still have a long way to go, especially on the defensive end of the game.