Thursday, December 7, 2023
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Good morning readers and happy hump day!!
It’s that time of year that everything seems to speed up and slow down at the same time. Parents are shopping, students are wrapping up the semester and then there’s the rest of us just trying to maintain the requirements of adulting.
There were no Cardinals games yesterday and none today so we are just taking the time to breathe and get ready for what’s next as a program.
The Cards are scheduled to face off with #3 Creighton at noon on Thursday at 12pm.
This one will be available to watch on ESPN2.
Outside hitter Anna DeBeer was voted East Region Player of the Year by the AVCA. The Cardinals placed six players on the First Team All-East Region: Cara Cresse, Anna DeBeer, Elle Glock, Aiko Jones, Charitie Luper and Elena Scott. Phekran Kong was named to the Honorable Mention All-East Region squad.
And then we have the WBB squad who is preparing for the Battle of the Bluegrass on Sunday afternoon. The Cats are not looking like the nationally ranked squad we’ve seen in recent years as they went on a 5 game losing streak to some questionable opponents. While its not nice to laugh at other’s misfortunes, this is one where we will make an exception. I wont tell Santa Claus if you wont… but I hope the Cards pour in on them and win by 40. No mercy!!
Good luck again to the Cardinals this week, on the courts and in the classroom.
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Louisville is the fourth highest ranked ACC team right now and one of six in the Top 25. NC State continues to be the surprise of the season as the Wolfpack have moved all the way up to #3. Notre Dame moved up a few spots to #14 while Virginia Tech fell all the way to #15 after suffering their second loss of the season. Louisville is #18.
Monday, December 4, 2023
FIVE IN DOUBLE FIGURES IN LOUISVILLE WBB WIN
An enthusiastic crowd of 7618 turned out Sunday at noon for Louisville's non-conference tilt against N.C.A&T. And, the Cards roared out against the Aggies with 29 first quarter points and 54 points on the board at the half...leading the foe by 33 at the break. The win pushed UofL WBB to 8-1 on the season
Starter Nina Rickards left after just three and one half minutes, rested as a precaution the rest of the way after she bumped knees with an Aggie. Coach Walz said that she'd be fine in a couple of days.
UofL jumped out to a 7-2 start in the first two minutes of this one, an openingthree from Kiki Jefferson getting things off to a good start. Merissah Russell and Jayda Curry three's bumped that advantage up to 17-9 at the first quarter mediabreak, and Louisville ended the quarter on a 12-4 run, the Cards knocked down five three-pointers in the first session. The Cards had built a 29-13 lead.
(photo by Michael DeZarn)
The defense got even stingier in he second quarter. An 11-4 Cardinals run in the first three minutes of the second quarter had the Cards coasting along a 40-17 after a LeLe Love layup. An Olivia Cochran jumper made the score 51-18 with 1:30 until halftime...Hennie Van Schaik drilled a jumper to give the Cards a 54-21 lead at the half for a crowd that was very vocal in their encouragement for these flying Birds.
Every Card had scored except the injured Rickards in the first half and Louisville had a 18-0 advantage in second chance points and a 31-6 bench scoring advantage.
The third quarter began a bit slowly, neither team scoring in the first 2-1/2 minutes, but wtth four minutes gone in the third, Louisville had swelled the lead to 60-25. The Cards held N.C. A&T to no baskets and just three points in the final five minutes of the third quarter...Nyla Harris had five of Louisville's 15 points in the quarter and the squads entered the fourth with Louisville comfortably ahead at 69-30.
The fourth quarter gave Walz a chance to give Russell, van Schaik, Istanbulluoglu, Love and Curry some extended minutes and it was another slow start to the scoring...two N.C.A&T free throws broke the ice with three minutes already transpired, Louisville's shooting percentage dropped pretty significantly in the final 10 minutes (4-15 for 26.7%) and the Cards only hit one of the six threes they tried, but the crew gained valuable playing experience time together on the court and Russell's three wrapped up he UofL scoring with 2:24 to go, for the Cards biggest lead at 44 points, the Aggies cored the final four points for the game...a 80-40 Cardinals triumph.
A solid win, expected and expecations met. The in-state rivalry against that school in Lexington is a week away. It should be a thriller in the YUM!
THE FRED REPORT
|(An apt Fred Figglehorn for Kids Day at the arena...)|
REBOUNDING -- 45-23 in favor of the home team, LeLeLove leading the way with 10 for the Cards. N.C. A&T had just five offensive rebounds...A CAPITAL "R" HERE, NO DOUBT!
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- The Cards won the points off turnovers battle 43-8, second chance scoring 25-2 and points-in-the paint 36-22. Committing 17 turnovers is still more than I'd like to see, but 44 bench points shows me everyone was anxious to get out there and show what they could do. A CAPITAL "E" FOR THE 80-POINT EFFORT AND 44% SHOOTING FROM THE FLOOR.
DEFENSE -- Allowing just 40 points is a nice defensive effort, forcing 31 turnover prettty awesome and getting 16 steals makes this a CAPITAL "D" here.
FINAL FRED REPORT: f-R-E-D
THEY SAID IT:
POST GAME WALZ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIYjRHVWXvA
POST GAME CURRY AND jEFFERSON: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcltLzezzPo
Sunday, December 3, 2023
A Quiet Saturday
Volleyball Host Settled
After Friday's Volleyball win over Western Michigan, you might have noticed that none of the coverage said much about where the Sweet 16 match would be played. That's because we didn't know for sure! There were still 2nd round matches being contested yesterday, and among them was Pitt vs USC (Southern California).
Women's Basketball Gameday
|(The annual "baby race" is today at halftime !)|
We can't take the Aggies completely for granted, they sport a 3-3 record with the sort of results you would expect from this sort of mid-major. They sport a beat-em-down win over Guilford College (114-41), and narrower wins over Wake Forest (56-51) and Liberty (56-47). Loses are to Georgia by a respectable 59-71 margin, Saint Mary's College of California (65-73), and UT Arlington (76-87).
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Saturday, December 2, 2023
Cards Sweep WMU to Advance
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Until next time, Go Cards!
Friday, December 1, 2023
There’s some post season action going on in town this weekend as Louisville plays host to another NCAA Tournament at the KFC Yum! Center. The VolleyCards begin another quest for a national championship. Actually, if you ask the squad I’m sure the quest began when they lost in the finals last season...
So lets hop right on into it!
But first, the hostess with the mostessssss, our Louisville Cardinals.
Final UofL 3 WRI 1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20)
This go around, it was in the Yum! Center with more than 5,000 in attendance.
Cara Cresse lead the attack for Louisville hitting at a .500% 👀 clip with 13 kills and 5 blocks. UofL got alot of support from the middle of the court with Phekran Kong also leading Louisville with 9 kills and 9 blocks. As a team, the Cards had a 15 - 6 block advantage over Wright St.
Senior setter Logan Case leads the charge for WMU. The MAC Player of the Year and Setter of the Year averages 11.87 assists per set, the second-highest mark in the country.
Case has a trio of experienced attackers to choose from offensively. Graduate outside hitter Maggie King paces the team in kills per set (3.69) and points per set (4.10). Keona Salesman and Anna Calcagno aren't too far behind. Salesman averages a robust 3.45 kills per set while Calcagno comes in at 3.00.
Western Michigan (31-2) in the first round
Western Michigan 3, #7 Auburn 0
Logan Case had 44 assists, the Broncos hit a blistering .367, with Calcagno and King pacing the attack with 14 kills apiece. Mary Clare Brusek added nine kills, with Salesman contributing eight to the cause.
Simkins anchored Western Michigan's defense with a match-high 25 digs, while Reeghan Boyer pitched in nine digs and King added seven.
Thursday, November 30, 2023
JEFFERSON LEADS WAY FOR 7-1 WBB WIN 64-58
Louisville WBB used a second half surge to roll past Ole Miss and then hung on for dear life in the ACC vs. SEC contest Wednesdy Evening on the Ole Miss campus. Kiki Jefferson led the Cards in scoring for the second staight game with 16 points and Nina Rick"Cards" added 15.
The late start (9:15 p.m.) was even further exacerbated by "the network" not showing the game until halfway through the first quarter, because of a earlier scheduled event. The Cards held a 12-6 lead when we finally got to see the action on ESPNU, but would shut down after that and end the first quarter trailing the Rebs 16-14. Thank goodness for the UofL radio feed...What I saw was a UofL team having a hard time getting out ofthe gate and not responding well to the UM pressure.
"Back and forth" was pretty much the way the second quarter went. Both teams started very slowly in the second quarter, with no one scoring for the first three minutes. The half featured no thrilling offenses sequences and both teams struggled to get 14 points each on the board This was a heavyweight fight with two sluggers exchangng thumps...Ole Miss held a tenacious 30-28 halftime lead...each team had 11 turnovers already. The Cards major bright spot was the play of Kiki Jefferson, who had 11 first half points.
The Cards finally grabbed the lead early in the third qurter and were able to hold onto it the rest of the way. Ole Miss would cut deeply into it, but the Cards managed to find a way to extend it back out to semi-comfortable margins each time. Louisville held a 50-44 lead after three quarters and Jefferson was getting offensive support from Nina Rickards and Jadya Curry.
The fourth quarter had Louisville leading the entire way, but the Cards got a major scare with two minutes to go. Up 62-54, the Rebs hit a couple of free throws to cut the UofL lead to six. A Cards turnover gave it back to Ole Miss and they scored with a minutes lefft to make it 62-58 Then, the Cards turned it over again, and Ole Miss had the opportunity to cut the Cards lead to 1 or 2, maybe even take the lead... but they missed two shots and two attempts from the free throw line. Finally, Rickards sank two clutch free throws for the Cards and neither team scored the rest of the way...Louisville winning 64-58.
THE FRED REPORT
|(We bring favorite Fred G. Sanford back for today's Fred.).|
"Turn off the TV Lamont..these Cards are raising my blood pressure!".
FREE THROWS -- The normally good crew of Joe Vasiliy and Puhlani Spurlock must have decided to accept commision pay for this contest, 50 fouls were called. Coach "Yo" for Miss. got so incensed by one, she looked like she was doing a remake of THE EXORCIST movie and drew a technical. The shooting of the free ones was abysmal...The Cards were 25-36 for 69.4% and Ole Miss went 13-28. NO LETTER AWARDED HERE.
REBOUNDS -- Louisville narrowly lost the boards battle 36-33. Louisville only managed to graab nine on the offensive end. You lose the rebounding battle...you GET NO LETTER.
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- 18 TURNOVERS a bit high for this Cardinals bunch and oly eight assists on 18 made baskets not gret thing wither. Louisville did hit 3-6 from three-point range and took the second chance battle 12-4. It's a win, the Cards didn't look great in getting it, but this wasn't meant to be a beauty pagents, it was a back alley, bare knuckled fist fight. I'll give a sm
DEFENSE -- 43% hooting by the foe isn't a great defensive performance, neither is the 28-22 advantage to Ole Miss in points-in-the-paint. Louisville did enough to win, and I would imagine there are a lot of teachable moments that'll come out of this game film. Ole Miss did go 1-11 from three=point range, I'll attribute that to stellar UofL defense and not poor Ole Miss shooting and shot selection. It's a "W", I'll hand out a small case "d".
FINAL FRED REPORT: -_-_e-d
JARED'S NCAA VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT PICKS
yOU KNOW hpw Jared is around ANY torunament time and, lo and behold, he has done a selection bracket for the NCAA Volleyball Tpournament. Think ypu can beat him? Here are his picks below,,,
Sorry about the quality here, had to pull it off an antiquated (my) cell phone...
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
WALZ PRESSER 11/28/23
I was a bit under the weather Tuesday (and not feeling much better today) and did not get a chance to attend the weekly Walz presser. It is below, though, for those who want to hear Coach's thoughts and reaction to a variety of questions. He is never boring, that's for sure, and loves it when the local TV station cameras are on him.
And, before you ask...no, this is NOT Sam Purcell's new team (that's Miss State) that UofL faces tonight in women's basketball.. Ole Miss is in Oxford (northern Mississippi) and not the one that is noted for the cowbell ringing.
OK, now that we got that out of the way...onto the presser an the game preview.
CARDS WBB TO TRAVEL TO OLE MISS
Louisville stays out of conference Wednesday night when they take on the Ole Miss Rebels. Ths one will be a 9:15 start (yeah, I know...too late. TV wins again) contest and it'll be shown either on ESPN or ESPNU. Maybe both? Both outlets have been listed in different articles I checked at and promos about the contest...my advice is tune in around 9:10 p.m. and figure it out.
The Rebs are 6-1 on the season (like Louisville) and are coming off winning the Battle 4 Atlantis, in the Bahamas...knocking off Michigan in the title game. The Ole Miss WBB head coach is Yolette McPhee-McCuin. They play their conference hoops in the SEC and they love to call their head coach "Coach Yo". She and the Rebs knocked of #1 Stanford last year in the NCAA Tournament to reach the Sweet Sixteen... where UofL sent them home by 10 points. And, as you may recall, In 2022, they got bumped in the first round of the tournament by South Dakota.
Their only loss this year has been to Oklahoma...where Peyton Verhulst ended up...80-70. Verhulst only had six points against the Rebs. Wins for the Rebs have been over Michigan, Little Rock, Arizona, Howard, Temple and Queens (NC).
So, this year's Ole Miss squad is led by Marquesha Davis (11.7 ppg) and Madison Scott (10.9 ppg) Davis is a senior transfer guard from Arkansas and is in her second season with Mississippi. Scott is a former SEC Freshman of the year and a senior now. They also get offensive firepower from Snudda Collins and Kirsten Deans but Deans is out for the season, injuring a knee in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Miss. averages 69 poins a game and allows 54.6. They shoot 41% from the floor and have made 26 threes on the season, averaging 25% on those.
It should be a challenging game for Louisville, as Walz continues to put together the puzzle that is the 2023-24 Louisville women's basketball squad. It was good to see Olivia Cochran bust loose against Gonzaga, and she'll be a key component in the Cards rest of the season, along with Nyla Harris...if the Cards are going to have any inside impct on the rest of the opponents they play this season.
The good thing about the roster is there is a wealth of experience on it and we continue to see Elif Istanbuluoglu get more comfortable with the American game each time she hits the floor. The Cards will need her and others to make a successful ACC run and acquire a good bid for the NCAA Tournament.
We see one or two of the players who transfered this season usually step up with big games. and, if I were to guess...Nina Rickards might have a big game tonight, she saw a lot of Mississippi when she was at Florida...and Syd Taylor can rack up a dozen or so pretty quickly if she's "on" from three-point range.