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Sunday, January 14, 2024

Basketball at Center Stage - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Basketball vs Wake Forest

I was about to write that Basketball continues its trek through the mid-pack of the ACC, but with the last outing being against Pitt, and today's vs Wake Forest...yeah, they're not the mid-pack.  It gets a bit better with Clemson upcoming, but alas if you're breaking the conference into thirds, which is how I tend to think about it, Clemson is still in the bottom chunk.  It won't be until the UNC match that we get back to the mid-pack.

In any case, we do have a game against Wake Forest today.  The Demon Deacons are tied for last in the conference with Virginia and Pitt all at 0-4, with Wake having the worst out-of-conference schedule of the three boasting only four wins in 16 outings.  So who did those wins come against?  Wofford (75-65), Saint Louis (94-66), Norfolk State (51-46), and Marshall (66-59).  Safe to say that they haven't been building much of an NCAA tournament resume there.

They're rolling into the KFC Yum! Center on a four game losing streak, all in-conference, and to be fair, they have mostly faced the absolute best of the best in the ACC so far, so let's give them some grace and consider that they may be better than their 0-4 record would suggest, and it'll improve as they start meeting up with mid and bottom pack ACC teams.  But so far, their losses have been to Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Syracuse, numbers 1, 3, and 5 in the conference.  And a Miami team (10th) that may also be better than their record gives them credit for if their play against us is any guide.

The Deacs have a trio of player scoring roughly 10 pts/game.  Kaia Harrison is the points leader on the team, 161, at a 10.1 per game clip.  Elise Williams scores a slightly higher rate, 10.3, but missed a game, leaving her total just a touch short of Harrison's, 154.  Malaya Cowles is the third of the trio, also with a total of 154, but spread out over all 16 games, drops her rate to 9.6 points per game.

So let's call this meeting another chance for the Cards to tune up, and work on some of the smaller things that are still tripping them up on occasion.  I think mostly it will be a test to see if they can keep their level of play together when facing a lesser skilled opponent.  We've seen that this Cardinals team has trouble putting together a full 40 minutes of solid, high intensity play, and to be fair, it's hard to maintain that level and edge against a team that's just not competing well, but it's something that this team still needs to learn to do.

2 o'clock is the start time, ACC Network linear is the TV coverage (Jenn Hildreth and Helen Williams will be on the call), and of course, the wonderful Cortnee Walton and Nick Curran have the radio call on 93.9FM in the Louisville area, and I presume that's streamable somewhere.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

AN "OLDIE" with Sonja and no Daryl

Case, Daryl, and I had a fun chat on the CCRHP yesterday.  I'm not sure how we managed to spend an hour or so talking about a single basketball game, but we mostly did.  OK, there were some tangents and early off-topic chatter, so probably more like 40 minutes, but still, it was a good discussion and fun time.

Check it out at:


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