We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Louisville women's basketball headed to Canada...

Lady Cards are busy preparing for a trip to Canada.

-Lady Cards headed to Canada for exhibition games.

-Reimer eying Lady Cards?

That sound of basketballs bouncing in Cardinal Arena isn't intramurals or a couple of guys trying to beat each other in a game of "21"'s the University of Louisville women's basketball full practice...granted 10 extra practice days by the NCAA to prepare for exhibition games in Canada later this summer.

CARDINAL COUPLE has learned that the highly heralded freshmen are on campus and preparing for a preseason trip to our neighbors to the north along with the rest of Jeff Walz's team. Details and schedules haven't been released yet on the excursion...or whether their will be any radio or television coverage of the exhibition games. The coaches have 14 players on campus and preparing for the trip. Redshirt center Cierra Warren recently underwent successful knee surgery..earlier reports had her scheduled to resume full practice in we're not sure what role she'd play on the impending trip..but with Shawnta Dyer, Sherrone Vails, Asia Taylor and Sara Hammond available for front line duty...the Cards won't be lacking in height or skills against their scrimmage opponents...

We'll keep you posted on further developments here at CARDINAL COUPLE as we get them.


Reimer will be a junior this fall and the
college coaches are hot on her trail.
Hamilton Southereastern (IN) junior Taya Reimer recently competed in the FIBA Americas USA U16 team that won the gold medal. She played along side of Ownesboro Catholic's Becca Greenwell and Springfield (OR) star Mercedes Russell...starting all  five games.and averaging 4.8 points and game and five rebounds. The 6'3" forward has been offered scholarships from several high-profile programs....including LOUISVILLE, UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor, Purdue and Michigan State. Her thoughts?

"I'm hoping to narrow down my list after this summer and hopefully make a decision in the next year."

Looks like Coach Walz is in the running for another elite 16 yr. old. Some pretty challenging and tough competition wooing Ms. Reimer for her services...but if we know anything about Walz, he doesn't back down from a challenge....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Springer delivers the goods to UofL...What is a fan?


-Biggest Fan of the Big East gives UofL big check

-The Sportsman's Creed

Steve Springer recently received the honor of being selected "Biggest Fan of The BIG EAST". For his efforts, he got a brand new Volvo S60. Another honor, a check for $10,000 for the University of Louisville.
Steve presents the check to Jeff Walz.
You can read all about it and see pictures of the event over at . Steve is the son of UofL Card Game's owner Charlie Springer. Charlie was basically responsible for getting CARDINAL COUPLE started...suggesting that more attention needed to be paid to UofL Women's Sports. Sonja, who was writing for Charlie at Card Game at the time, pestered Paul into looking into creating a web site. Although Sonja writes very little for the site(s) anymore...preferring to assume a managerial role..she did comment on Springer's achievements:

"What Steve did is more than just getting a nice car and check for UofL. It's a testimony to love and dedication for a passion. There are "Steve Springer's" supporting every D1 program out there. The fan aspect of college athletics doesn't receive the press and popularity that the players and coaches do...but it is still a major part of any sports program at any University. Steve's efforts show us that if you dream it and believe can achieve it." 


A fan is one element of four distinct elements in any athletic event...joining the players, coaches and officials. We give you today the Sportsman's Creed...a short but very true look into the ideals and guidelines that ideally surround the thing we know as collegiate sporting events...


-They live clean and play hard. They play for the love of the game.
-They win without boasting, they lose without excuses. They never quit
-They respect officials and coaches. They accept decisions without question.
They never forget that they represent their school and organization.


-They inspire in their players a love for the game and the desire to compete and win.
-They teach that it is better to lose fairly than to win unfairly.
-They lead by example...showing the players and fans to respect the officials and the game.

-They are the type of people that they want their players to be.

-They know the rules
-They are fair and firm in all decisions. They call them as they see them.
-They treat the players and coaches courteously and demand the same treatment for themselves.
-They know the game is for the players and let them have the spotlight.


Fans support the program. In good or bad times.

-They respect the players, the coaches and the officials.
-They appreciate a good play, no matter who makes it.
-They know that ultimately...the school gets the praise or blame for their conduct.
-They support the good times or bad...and recognize the need for more 'sportsmen' and fewer 'sports'.

Most of you reading this column fall into one of the four categories above. Do you fit the criteria for your category?

One of the hardest things that we have encountered as the co-owners of CARDINAL COUPLE is to look objectively at sporting events as "the fan's voice". It's easy to get caught up in rumors, hearsay, self-perceived issues and negativity. It's tough to adhere to some of the guidelines when a call goes against your team, a player fails to live up to the expected performance or your team is in the midst of a losing streak. Still, it's important to remember that what we discuss and cover here is SPORTS...There are much more serious things going on in our world.  

We invite you to join us in trying to be an objective and rational fan in the upcoming season. Be ready to deliver praise where-ever it is due and slow to heap criticism on the opposing coaches and players. Try to refrain from blaming officials for setbacks. It's a tough thing to do, no doubt...but it's a challenge that can be accomplished if you try. Steve Springer overcame many obstacles and setbacks in his own and family's life to dedicate himself to supporting his team, his fan status. You can be just as productive. Cheer proudly!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lady Cards 2011 Class ranked 7th,... Is anyone worth $5 million a year?


-Spring Class bumps Lady Cards WBB to #7 ranking

-What would you do with $5 million a year?

The revised ESPN 2011 women's basketball class rankings are out and Louisville's incoming class has jumped from #31 to #7...largely based on Jeff Walz's spring signings. Although Monny Niamke, the French 5'4" point guard who will spend her first season at Lindsey Wilson, was included in the rankings...additions of Bria Smith and Jude Schimmel to go with Sara Hammond caused the Cards to climb the ladder. The top 10:

1) Tennessee
2) Connecticut
3) Rutgers
4) Duke
5) California
6) Stanford
8) USC
9) Texas A&M
10) Texas

Kentucky finished at #12...largely because of Indy's Bria Goss committing to the Cats. What does it all mean? For Louisville, it's their second straight class ranked in the top ten in the nation. Unfortunately, two of their BIG EAST foes are ranked above them. Can't help but notice the West coast presence here...with (3) Pac 10 teams listed.

Over-hype? Maybe...when is the last time that a Pac 10 school won the NCAA Championship? 1992 (Stanford). Who is the only PAC 10 school to make the Final Four in the 21st century? Stanford.

Who will win the Pac 10 title in 2011-12. Oregon State...
Just kidding, it's Stanford's world and the rest of the Pac 10 is just living in it.


You get tired earning $12,000
a day...
John Calipari is going to receive about $5 million a year over the next eight years to be the head coach for the University of Kentucky basketball team. Incredible. $3.4 million of that per year is for broadcasting and endorsements...which has nothing to do with fast breaks, NCAA appearances or recruiting. We, here at CARDINAL COUPLE, would like to apply for the right to get paid for telling you to eat at PANERA, drive a Ford and utter statements like "I thought the kids played good defense tonight." And, we'll work much cheaper than that. $50 a pop and we'll tell you we like Hanes underwear, shopping at Kroger and getting gas at Speedway. 

What would you do for $12000 a day? WE asked CARDINAL COUPLE special correspondent David Watson how he'd spend that 24 hours at roughly $500 per hour:

7 a.m. Wake up and turn on Sportscenter.
7:30 a.m. Wolf down a bowl of oatmeal and a piece of whole wheat toast. Maybe an egg...
8 a.m. Hit the shower, shave and brush the teeth.
9 a.m. Out the door! Maybe stop by Starbucks on the way to the office.
9:30 a.m. Review my e-mails. Check my horoscope and play Farmville.
10:30 a.m. Summon my assistants and see what's going on.
11:15 a.m. Call my investment broker.
11:30 a.m. Lunch time!
1 p.m. Head over to the gym and watch the guys take a few jumpers. Shout at a couple.
2 p.m. Head to the broadcast studios to talk about appliances and my recruiting class
3 p.m. Sauna and massage time!
4 p.m. Review my e-mails
5 p.m. Close up the office and head over to the driving range . My short game is terrible!
6 p.m. Stop by Malone's for a steak and glass of merlot. Overtip the blonde hanging over me.
8 p.m. Finally home! Put on the t-shirt and Dockers and chat with the kids and wife.
9 p.m. A chance to count my loose change on the dresser drawer. $1.78. YES!
9:15 p.m. Pop on Facebook and see what people are saying about me. Adding a few things...
10 p.m. Catch the News at Ten and do the Sudoku puzzle in the Lexington Herald Leader
10:50 p.m. Call Mom and see how she's doing. Call Pitino and hang up after chuckling.
11 p.m Sportscenter mention of me? Harumph, harumph...
11:30 p.m. Kiss the wifey goodnight and turn out the light.

It's good to be King of the Bluegrass. Beats ribs and Beale Street blues.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pervis Ellison becomes head coach...Aja to follow him to Jersey? ...Silver Stars Vs. Dream Final Score: Jia Perkins, Becky Hammon Lead San Antonio To Come From Behind Win Over Atlanta - SB Nation Atlanta


-Dream drop another at home

-Pervis takes head coach job...Aja to follow?

Angel not looking too happy
here. Who can blame her? The
Dream are pretty bad so far this
It's getting to the point where it's getting painful to write about this 2011 version of the Atlanta Dream. They found a different way to lose one yesterday...we'll let someone else tell you about it this morning. Up by seven late and lose by six.. 92-86. Click the link below...

Silver Stars Vs. Dream Final Score: Jia Perkins, Becky Hammon Lead San Antonio To Come From Behind Win Over Atlanta - SB Nation Atlanta

Gotta win the home games and Angel needs some help. She had 19 in the loss but the Dream gave up 32 to rookie Danielle Adams.


Pervis was a steady NBA player and UofL Cardinal
Former UofL men's basketball great has accepted the head coaching job at Life Center Academy High School in Burlington County, NJ. It is considered one of the nation's top boys basketball programs. Ellison had 10 years in the NBA and extensive work as an AAU coach...including working with several Life Center players who have gone on to play for major D1 schools.

WE wonder how the move is going to affect another budding Ellison, though...his daughter Aja. Considered one of the top 100 in the class of 2014, the University of Louisville has already offered the 6'2" center a scholarship. She played her freshman season at Shipley High School in suburban Philadelphia, PA.

Will it mean the end of the tutelage from her high school and AAU coach Sean Costello?

Ellison (center) could be a
game changer by her
senior year.
"Her progress from last summer has been amazing." Costello recently commented on the speedy and powerful Ellison, who averaged 13.7 points and 10.1 rebounds as a freshman.

"My father says I should be more dominating with my height and my speed." Ellison related recently.

One would think there's plenty of time for that...given that she has three more years of high school ahead of her. It's rare to see a freshman with skills this good and they haven't gone unnoticed by others either. Stanford, Tennessee and Connecticut are all showing interest in Aja also.

Ellison is considered one of the best post players in the area and if she goes to play for Life Center, will it mean she'll get the chance to matchup against 6'11" amazon Bubbles Anderson of Rutgers Prep? (If she goes at word yet on where Aja will attend as a sophomore.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gehret ninth in high jump... C'mon Courier...


-Gehret takes top ten honors in high jump

-Cutbacks at Courier-Journal beginning to show

-We read your mail


Congratulations to UofL senior Rachel Gehret for her 9th place finish in the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Gehret cleared 5'10" to acheive top ten honors.

That was not her best jump in her career..she's cleared 6 foot before...but still a great effort against the nation's best. The Cards had a very strong field compliment on the women's track and field team this past season and Coach Ron Mann will be looking to replace such standouts as Gehret, Chinwe Okoro, and D'Ana McCarty. He's got a deep and talented roster of throwers returning, Khadija Abdullah, Amashi Kendall, Patrice Gates, Jenna Wargo and Hannah Baker.


WE realize that cutbacks at the Courier-Journal have made things a lot tougher down there but gotta wonder which chimp handled the story of former CAL and Murray State women's basketball player Brooke Willoughby transferring to Indiana University Southeast.

According to the Courier-Journal, she was a former UofL guard. No doubt she might have helped out a couple of seasons ago when Walz was short on back court players...but we never remember her playing for the Cards. In fact, has there ever been a UofL women's basketball player named Brooke?

We do remember Bill  "Poodles" Willoughby from the early 80's...who went directly from high school to the NBA...gotta love the nickname! One would think there has to be someone left at the Courier's Sports department who would be able to confirm the basketball players who have performed at UofL since 2008, though.



Jeff K (Louisville) writes:

Cardinal Couple:

Do you remember a basketball player at UofL from the mid 80's named Deborah Philpot? What kind of career did she have? Thanks!

Thanks for writing, Jeff.! Deborah Philpot was a center-forward at UofL from 1982-1985. She had the leading field goal percentage for the Cards in the 1984-85 season going 200-414 from the floor and still holds the second most field goal attempts in a game...firing up 28 attempts against North Carolina her senior year. She also led the Cards in rebounding that year...with 268 grabs... 

Connie (Georgia) asks:

Do you have a UofL women's basketball schedule for 2011-12 yet and will they be playing anyone in the Atlanta area?

We don't have one yet, Connie. We know that Louisville will visit Texas A&M for their second game of the year and are going to Lexington for the annual clash against UK. As far as any Georgia opponents...none we know of yet.

Merle (Shephersdville):

Is Rebecca Greenwell considering UofL?

The Lady Cards are on her list so far...along with dozens of other schools. Way too early to tell what the Owensboro Catholic junior-to-be is listing as favorites...but speculation is that UK, Tenn., Louisville and Notre Dame are schools wanting her services.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dream drop another one...Youman, Juneau BIG EAST All-Academic... Okoro wins shot put



-Dream interrupted by Di & Mercury

-Five from UofL named to BIG EAST awards

-Chinwe Okoro wins Nigerian shot put

-What do you think?

The tough early season sledding continues for Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream. Last night it was our favorite here at CARDINAL COUPLE, Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury putting an "L" on the Atlanta record...with a 92-83 win in Atlanta.

Di is seen here asking George Bush to
give up the presidency and join the WNBA
Di had 20 for Phoenix and Candice Dupree contributed 18 in the Mercury win. Atlanta got Angel McCoughtry to toss in 24 - her second best performance of the season- and Courtney Paris added 13 but it wasn't enough to keep Atlanta from sliding to 2-6 on the season.

The Dream trailed by 20 points in this floater with five minutes left and never had an answer for the Mercury's fast paced tempo. The Dream used to run the ball pretty well too...but never got rolling last night. Atlanta gets San Antonio Sunday.


Two Lady Cardinal student-athletes were selected for BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards. UofL's Nicole Youman (Field Hockey) and Sara Maude Juneau (golf) received the prestigious honors- a total of five Cardinals were Louisville the most student-athletes on the list out of all the BIG EAST schools. Joining Sara and Nicole were Chris Philpott (football), Michael Eaton (cross country) and Austen Childs (tennis).

Youman also had 19
assists her senior year.
Youman was the 2010 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and scored 17 goals her senior year. She was a four year starter for former Cardinal field hockey coach Pam Bustin and hails from Black Mountain, Australia.

Juneau was also named BIG EAST Player of the Year in her it was the second year in a row she captured that honor. She led the BIG EAST with a 73.2 stroke average and was ranked in the nation's top 25 women's collegiate golfers by Golfstat. 

Congratulations to these five Cardinals who have combined successes on the field of play with academic excellence. The award is given to only one student per sport each year and academics, athletics and volunteer service to the community are the judging criteria.


Former UofL track and field star Chinwe Okoro won the Nigerian shot put event, throwing her career best of 16.79m/55-1. Her toss qualified her for the 2011 All-African games. Okoro will also attempt to qualify in the discus today.

Okoro was part of the
Cardinal throwing team.
They were the best in
She was a valuable thrower for the Cardinals program a UofL and finished her senior season with All-American honors in the discus and shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships


Does it matter if college athletes
are gay or lesbian?
All across college campuses, student-athletes are leaving their high schools and hometowns to arrive on college campuses as incoming freshmen and begin classes. Whatever happened to a summer break? Sue Favor takes a look at the issue on her They're Playing Basketball blog. It's an interesting read and you can access her blog over on the infamous left side of our blog. Also, does sexual orientation matter when it comes to athletes? We've posted a poll over on the left side and feel free to leave your comments and opinions on it here in our comments section. ESPN recently did an article on it that you can read on Sue's blog.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lady Cards rule UK in Governor's Cup...We look back at...Churchill Downs to race tonight.


-Cardinal women sweep Wildcats in Governor's Cup

-We look back at.....UofL 85- Xavier 75

-Churchill Downs to race this evening

The University of Louisvile and the University of Kentucky's women's sports programs went head to head in nine different sports over the 2010-11 athletic season. The clear winner? Louisville who won seven of the events straight up, split one and lost one. The recaps:

Louisville got 26 points from freshman Shoni Schimmel and 21 from guard Becky Burke in a 78-52 romp over the Cats in the KFC YUM! Center. Victoria Dunlap may have been the best player on the court going into the contest...but the game belonged to the Louisville defense. LOUISVILLE

Cross Country
The women's squads matched up in the NCAA Southeast Regional and it was close...the Cards finishing in 13th. place and UK running to a 14th. place finish.  LOUISVILLE

The Cards blanked UK 2-0 in Cardinal Park on Sept. 9th....getting goals from Angelika Uremovich and Catlin Rehder. Goalie Taylor Vancil had seven saves in the whitewash. LOUISVILLE

Track and Field
The teams met four times during the the Kentucky Invitational, the Rod McCravy Invitational in Lexington and in the NCAA Indoor Championships. Team totals were not kept for the first two events, so we'll go the the NCAA event...where Louisville finished 30th.with six points and UK failed to score. LOUISVILLE. The teams met again later in the season during the outdoor season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and Louisville finished 44th. , UK 60th, LOUISVILLE

The squads met in Lexington in a dual meet and the Cardinal women swimmers splashed their way to a convincing 186-114 victory. Therese Bergstrom won the 100m and 200m breaststroke and Raine Thompson the 100m and 200m butterfly. LOUISVILLE

The Cards blanked the Cats 6-0 at Ulmer Stadium in the first of two meet ups this past season. UK took the second in Lexington, though... a slug fest that ended 14-8 in favor of the Cats. TIE

This one went down to the wire in Lexington...UK defeating the Cards in five sets 14-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-27, 15-10. UofL was on the verge of elimination in the fourth game but forced the fifth match before a rowdy UK crowd of almost 3,000 in quaint Memorial Coliseum. KENTUCKY

The two teams were up against each other in the NCAA East Regional and Louisville finished 12th...28 strokes better than UK, who ended up 20th. LOUISVILLE.

As you can see by the recaps above, there is no doubt about which school had the superior women's athletic program in 2010-11. Congratulations to ALL the hard working Cardinal athletes and go for back-to- back wins in the upcoming season, girls.

(Thanks to LSR for the data)


The mood in the Cintas Center before the UofL vs. Xavier game was a study in two different mindsets. I watched the teams warm up and the Cardinal players were loose, relaxed...joking around and smiling. On the other end of the court, the Lady Musketeers were all business, grimly going through their drills and dead serious. They knew they had a lot to either gain or lose in the upcoming game and... as the favorites...the pressure was on.

The Xavier personnel that were manning the media break rooms and security were a friendly bunch of folks two nights earlier when Louisville defeated Vanderbilt and Xavier rolled by South Dakota State. There was a little more intensity for this one...they were anxious about the upcoming show.

Did someone say "Show"? Yes, there was quite a show that night and it came from the dead-eye shooting of Shoni Schimmel, who chalked up 33 points on the, at times, bewildered Xavier defense. This was not the same Louisville tea that had lost to Xavier by a dozen in November.

The Cards contained twin towers Amber Harris and TaShia Phillips early and zipped out to and early 18-11 lead...Schimmel hitting her first four shots of the game.Xavier wasn't about to see their 25 home game win streak go down without a fight, though...and responded with a 13-0 run to take a 30-23 lead. The twin towers found their touch late in the half and Xavier took at 40-37 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes of action.

The teams battled on and were tied in the second half 42-42 when Xavier three point specialist Katie Rutan got hot and nailed three long range bombers...part of an Xavier run that had them up 67-58. Louisville fans were getting very nervous.

Time for "the Show" again. Louisville went on a 13-4 run and tied the contest at 71-71 on a Schimmel three. Undaunted, she came down court again and nailed a spectacular three in front of me on press row to give Louisville a 74-71 lead. The Cintas Center was filled with screaming Cardinal fans and Xavier never challenged the rest of the way....Louisville getting some clutch play and free throw shooting from freshman guard Charmaine Tay to seal the victory. Final: Louisville 85 - Xavier 75.

Schimmel was modest after the contest about her performance.

"I don't think it was about me. I think it was about our team. All the way, we were like 'OK, we've got this.'"

And the Cards did have it, stunning the #2 seed in the regional and earning the Sweet Sixteen berth. Head Xavier coach Kevin McGuff summed it up this way:

"Shoni Schimmel was amazing tonight. Probably the most impressive thing was the poise she had down the stretch for a freshman. Not just because she made shots, but she kept her team together to execute."

Or as Tia Gibbs said:

'That's why we call her "Show". When it's a big stage and a big crowd, she's going to put on a show just like she did tonight."


Despite storms and tornadoes that damaged five barns on the backside of Churchill Downs Wednesday night, Friday night racing will go on as scheduled. First race is scheduled for 6 p.m. and gates open at 4 p.m. Still shaking my head over the fact that no horses or humans were injured in the blast from Mother Nature. Still a lot of clean up to do back in the barn area.

Our favorite trainer at the track, Paul McGee commented on the wild Wednesday night.

"It's unreal. I got real lucky. It (the tornado) bounced right over the top of my barn."

A large section of the roof from Jinx Fires barn landed in front of McGee's barn. About 100 horses were displaced from the tornado and about 70 remained on the facilities...the other being shipped to stable at Keeneland.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gehret in USA Championships, Moscato playing for Team Canada


-Rachel Gehret goes for the gold in Eugene

-Carmelina Moscato chases Women's World Cup

-Churchill Downs closed today, plans to re-open Friday

We hope that everyone got through the rough storms that pounded the Louisville area last night. Scary stuff and that weird almost glowing pinkish purple sky was freaky...

University of Louisville track and field athlete Rachel Gehret has had her highs and lows in four years on the campus...after all, she's a high jumper...but her biggest high could be in store this week in Eugene, she competes in the 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Gehret finished first in the
BIG EAST Championships
Gehret will be one of nineteen competitors Friday in the high jump event. She had a successful senior year at Louisville...garnering first team All-America honors and finishing fifth at the NCAA Outdoor track and Field Championships. She also won the high jump at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships.

ESPN 2 will show highlights from Friday's action from 11 1 a.m. Friday night.

Good luck Rachel and "stay away from the bar!"


Former UofL women's soccer assistant coach Carmelina Moscato has been selected to participate on the Team Canada soccer team at the FIFA Women's World Cup. Moscato coached with the Cards until the end of the 2008 season when she left the program to pursue a career playing soccer. She had a successful collegiate career at Penn State from 2002-2005, leading the Nittany Lions to the Final Four her senior year.

A midfielder, Moscato and her teammates will open play against Germany in Berlin on Sunday, June 26th. They'll compete in Group A competition and hope to advance to the title game July 17th. in Frankfurt.

Current UofL head soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes had this to say about Moscato:

"We certainly want to wish Carm good luck as the Women's World Cup is quickly approaching. She was a tremendous coach who was very dedicated to the players' development and passionate about coaching and teaching. Her goal after leaving here was to make the Canadian National Team and play in the World Cup and we're thrilled that her dream has come true. Although we were sad to see her leave her program, we were excited for her as she fully dedicated herself to becoming a pro and making the Team Canada roster. I'm extremely proud of her and we'll certainly be watching and cheering her on."


Racing at Churchill Downs has been cancelled for Thursday because of the storms that damaged nine backside barns and forced the relocation of around 200 horses stabled at Churchill. As track sportsman John Asher commented:

"It's one hell of a mess back here. Fortunately, no two legged or four legged beings were damaged in the storm."

A decision has been made about Friday night's scheduled Downs After Dark racing and it will go on as scheduled. There was no live racing Wednesday when the storms rolled through the area around 8 p.m. but a poker tournament and simulcasting being held inside the facility was suspended when power was lost.

(Thanks to Gretchen for the picture...)

CARDINAL COUPLE Co-Owner Paul Sykes was in the area when the storms hit and watched in amazement as utility and telephone poles "just tumbled to the ground like they were pins getting knocked over by bowling balls." A confirmed tornado touched down at the corner of Central and Floyd, damaging Levee Lift Equipment Supply.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scary storms, tornado rock Papa John's Cardinal Stadium


-Tornado touches down near Churchill Downs, PJCS

   Scary moments for CARDINAL COUPLE Co-Owner Paul Wednesday night while down at Churchill Downs and the Parrish House area. A violent storm ripped through the area, knocking the roof off a barn on the backside of the track at Churchill, damaging four other barns and demolishing Levee Lift Equipment Supply building at the corner of Floyd and Central Street.

Paul took this photo from Floyd Street, facing south toward Central Avenue...outside the Parrish House. At least a dozen power and utility poles were knocked down. Papa John's Cardinal Stadium was not damaged nor was the Parrish House. Businesses south of Central on Floyd Street took the brunt of the damage.

Damaged barn at Churchill.  Thanks to Gretchen for the photo.
  Paul spoke to LG&E employees at the scene who estimated it would take more than a couple of days to reset and restore the telephone and utility poles knocked down and damaged. Paul spoke to me via phone and sent the pictures ...

Rain at Churchill Downs
 "Pretty scary stuff...I saw this thing touch looked like one of the barns exploded back on the back side and then it looked like it was headed toward Papa John's and the Parrish House. Stuff, debris flying everywhere...I backtracked over to the Parrish House by car and things are OK there but I'm driving on Bradley Street right now and there are trees down, power is out and debris everywhere here. Sirens going off everywhere. "

Niamke to Lindsey Wilson...Rainey receives honor...Mercedes reportedly seen on campus


-Lady Cards Recruit to go NAIA route

-Ashley Rainey receives honor

-Mercedes sighting

-We think it over

According to Jeff Walz, speaking on the radio show Cardinal Insider, French point guard Esther Monny Niamke did not qualify academically and would be attending a NAIA school in Kentucky and would not be with the Lady Cards next season but will be the season after that. WE have learned that Monny will attend Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY. If Monny enrolls for the 2011-12 season, she would be a sophomore at UofL in the 2012-13 season. We're not sure if she would have to sit out a season after transferring to UofL after playing a season of NAIA basketball..we know players don't have to if they transfer from an NCAA school to NAIA...but going the other direction...little help here? Thanks to CARDINAL COUPLE reader Kenny S. for the scoop!

This relieves a little of the congestion that the Lady Cards back court was facing in 2011-12...and probably means that Walz won't have to bring in campus traffic control personnel for practices this fall. Ever seen those guys and gals direct traffic after a home football game? Ever watched a Three Stooges movie? We're
hoping Monny has a great NAIA season and comes to Louisville ready to roll.


Speaking of Lindsey Wilson, a former Lady Card had a banner season there last year as a sophomore and has had her jersey put on display in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Ring of Honor in Knoxville, TN.

Ashley Rainey joins an elite group of over 100 players' jerseys that will hang in the ring. There are high school and college All-Americans displayed from the 2001-11 season.

The Ring of Honor has become one of the most popular exhibits at the Hall of Fame. Fans can recognize the acheivements of young basketball players in the sport there.

Rainey led the Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders last season with 21.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game and was named a NAIA All-American First Team member. She left UofL midway through her freshman season in 2009-10.

It also leads to the question of whether Rainey will re-test the waters of the NCAA DI ranks again in the future. One thing is for certain, Lindsey Wilson's WBB team is going to be a tough opponent for anyone in the upcoming season if both Rainey and Niamke are out there ballin' .


WE'VE received several unconfirmed e-mails that Mercedes Russell did, in fact, pay a unofficial visit to the UofL campus earlier this week. Unofficial = parents paid for it...No official word out of the UofL camp about this and no statement we've been able to find from Mercedes on how it went.

Mexico to Louisville and then back to interesting way to spend your summer vacation from high school. Beats mom and dad driving you to summer camp or Aunt Jenny's farm for a week.

Also, a special thanks to CARDINAL COUPLE reader Jenny O. for her thoughts and news on the Mercedes sighting. You can read Jenny's thoughts in the comments section below...


One of the things we run into when we get reports on UofL women's sports activity via anonymous e-mails is the accuracy and veracity of the reports. We try to get official acknowledgement or verification from either the athlete, program or University but some times that doesn't happen. We understand that. Sometimes, the University cannot comment on these items. Sometimes, they're way too busy to take time to offer an explanation to a website. We have a tough time in the decision making process on whether to report the activities or news. If we receive multiple reports on something and if these reports include comments from a trusted source, we'll go with the story

Sometimes, stories that are out there never make it to these pages out of deference to situations, respect and courtesy.

We're not trying to become a gossip site or take a National Enquirer path here at CARDINAL COUPLE. You, the readers, have told us innumerable times that you want information of UofL women's sports. We try to do this from a fan's viewpoint and we figure that as fans, the news of future, present or past Cardinal women's athletes is of interest. We always welcome corrections to stories we offer here and have received such over the months...including official clarifications, requests and reports out of UofL coaches and staff.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

McGraw talks about Hall of fame...We discuss UofL rumors...


-We look at Mufett McGraw

-What's the buzz? UofL WBB rumors...

-David Watson checks in

Muffet McGraw was recently inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. The BIG EAST now has four coaches that hold that distinction. Anne Donovan ( 1999), C.Vivian Stringer (2001) and Geno Auriemma (2006).

Muffet ha been at Notre Dame for 24 years...a head coach for 29 years and ha a lifetime winning percentage of (.719) 644-252. She's won one NCAA Championship title (2001) and made it to the finals last year. The Fighting Irish have been to the Sweet Sixteen nine times in the past 15 years.

McGraw was humble about her induction:

Muffet in her famous squat on the sidelines.
"Basketball and coaching are my passions and there have been so many wonderful memories that I've collected in my time at Notre Dame and in my earlier years at Lehigh and St. Joseph's. All of those have been due to the hard work of so many incredible student-athletes and assistant coaches through the years. I'm especially grateful to those players and coaches - without them and the tremendous support of our Notre Dame administration, this wouldn't have been possible."

McGraw is one of the more likable coaches in BIG EAST Women's Basketball and is one of only seven head coaches currently active that have reached the Hall of Fame on the basis of her success on the sidelines. Beside the aforementioned Stringer and Auriemma, the others are Pat Summitt (1999-Tennessee), Tara VanDerveer (2002-Standford), Sylvia Hatchell (2004-North Carolina), and Andy Landers (2007-Georgia).


WE hear all kinds of rumors about the University of Louisville women's basketball team and although we have to laugh at the idiot nature of some of them...we like that fact that UofL women's basketball has become that popular where people are talking about it all year now.

What we've heard...Mercedes Russell (6'5" high school player from Oregon) visited the UofL campus Monday and Tuesday, after visiting Tennessee Sunday.

What we know. Nothing. No official announcement nor sighting of her. She played in the finals of the FIBA Americas U 16 Tournament in Merida, Mexico Saturday it is unlikely she made the trips...after a week in Mexico, most people are ready to go home...

What we've heard...Becca Greenwell, who was the co-MVP of that tournament in Mexico is interested in (take your pick) Louisville, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Tennessee...

Becca Greenwell will be a junior at
Owensboro Catholic.
What we know. She hasn't committed to any of them yet. She has attended basketball camps in Knoxville for several years, her coach in high school is a former Louisville St.Xavier graduate and big UofL fan, her Dad is a UK fan and she goes to Owensboro Catholic high school...which might seem to give Notre Dame a shot at her. She's getting ready to go into her junior year of high school. Doubtful she'll verbal anywhere soon, in our opinion.

What we've heard...There could be several UofL women's basketball players red-shirting this season. Most popular names that keep popping up are Esther Monny Niamke and Jude Schimmel. 

What we know. Nothing. No word out of UofL announcing any red-shirt seasons. We do know that Cierra Warren underwent successful knee surgery and should be full strength for fall ball. That Shawnta Dyer is fully recovered from her fractured heel. We'll believe the red shirt scenario when we get it straight from Walz or the sports information director. Right now it's 15 players and 15 scholarships....but there are persistant rumors about Niamke going the NAIA route a year because of academics and this is being confirmed by a source we respect highly. We'll let you know on this one.

Speculation and prognostication can be fun and intriguing at times...but rule #1 is always a good one to follow. That rule ain't official until Walz sez so...


David Watson is a special contributing writer to CARDINAL COUPLE. He weighs in today with some thoughts on the BIG EAST. 

So, just how strong a conference is the BIG EAST? TCU is joining, you know- and Fort Worth, hey, it's one of my favorite east coast cities to visit. I hear that the folks at Houston, East Carolina, Memphis, Central Florida and Lazy Dave's Haircut and Tanning Salon wouldn't mind joining as well. Maybe time for a name change-how does the BIG ALL OVER THE PLACE sound? But, I digress.

How strong is the BIG EAST? Let's look at (6) sports. Rugby, lacrosse, bowling, darts, skipping stones and gator wrestling. Seriously, we'll go with football, basketball and baseball on the men's ledger and basketball, softball and volleyball with the ladies. 

1) Men's basketball. The best conference in the NCAA. You'll  get arguments from the ACC, Big 12 and BIG 10 folks, but, look at the number of teams that get into the Big Dance each year and the talent level at the schools. No matter what Calipari or Tim Fuller say. 

2) Football. Maybe 6th best. Adding TCU will help. Getting a full time commitment from Notre Dame wouldn't hurt. But, football belongs to the SEC, Big 12, PAC 10, ACC, Big 10 and then the BIG EAST. Name the last BIG EAST school that played for the national championship. Go ahead and Google it. 

Best in the nation. Men and women.
3) Baseball. Getting better but still doesn't crack the top five or six. Tough weather up north and tradition hurt here. The mid west, south and west coast schools will always rule here.

4) Women's basketball. Again, the best in the NCAA. Argue all you want, ACC and Big 12, but the legendary programs of Connecticut, Rutgers, Notre Dame and DePaul stack up well against any other conference out there. And, there are some pretty good things happening at Louisville, Syracuse and St. John's as of late, in case you haven't noticed.

5) Volleyball. Top five but not on the par of the Big 10, ACC, Big 12 or PAC 10 yet.
Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Louisville are all recognized as top 20 programs but they ain't no Penn State, Southern Cal or Florida yet. 

6) Softball. The old rough spring weather and lack of tradition factor come into play again and the SEC, PAC 10 and Big 12 rule here.  DePaul, Notre Dame, Louisville and Syracuse have strong, viable programs and South Florida rolls out good teams occasionally...but put any of these schools in the above conferences and they aren't getting above .500 in conference play.

(David Watson is a special contributing writer for CARDINAL COUPLE and recently washed his car.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Getting to know...Esther Monny Niamke....Dream fall to Lynx.

Monday, MONDAY, MONDAY...(at Cardinal Couple)

-Esther Monny Niamke

-Dream stumble at home against Lynx

Esther Monny Niamke will compete
for a guard spot with the Lady Cards.
One of the University of Louisville's women's basketball newcomers for 2011-12 will be Esther Monny Niamke. We're going with this version of her name (we've seen it several ways) until UofL comes up with the official 2011-12 roster and then we'll see how it's listed there. No matter what you call her, she's been an impact player in France for several years and will compete for a guard position this fall for the Lady Cards.

We found this article about her on and wanted to share it with our readers:

(On pregame rituals)

"I do not have things I can describe as ritual because I do not often do in the same order and I hate routine! But there are still a lot of things I do before a game: sleep, shower, music, getting taped up, prayer and then...voila!

(How would your teammates describe you?)

"They tell me I am the funniest girl they know. Whatever I do, I like to say that 'I kill!'. They also tell me I'm crazy and I set the mood. 

(Do you remember your first French Euro game?)

"It was in Bourges...two years ago. I hit a three pointer right off."

(Hobbies outside of basketball)

"While I love cooking, watching films and TV series (when I have the time), dancing, cycling, listening to information and messing with my teammates! I love spending my time on U.S. sites on-line and listening to U.S. radio stations. I'm always in search of the latest U.S. sounds (re-mixes, mix tapes and freestyles). Love reading U.S. books, too."

(What players with whom would you love to play against or with?)

"I would have liked to play with Lisa Leslie and Dawn Staley. Also Cappie Poindexter, Sylvia Fowles and Tamika Catchings. And, of future UofL teammates!" 

Looks like the Lady Cards have a very well-spoken, experienced and lively one coming aboard in Ms. Niamke.


Seems like the Atlanta Dream can't catch a break lately. They started a five game home-stand Sunday in Philips Arena...but the opener was against Atlanta hometown girl Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx.

It was a joyous return for the former Collins Hill High School star...the Lynx dispatched of the Dream fairly easily...77-64. Moore had twelve points and eight boards in the win.

"It was just really exciting to be back in Georgia where I have so many good basketball memories. Last November I was in town to play Georgia Tech with Connecticut but it's a different feeling as a pro. It's a different group as far as the fans that come out, so hopefully the people who haven't gotten to watch me, my team or the WNBA will want to come back."

Moore celebrates the Minnesota (5-1) win
over the Atlanta Dream (1-5).
Angel McCoughtry had 10 points in the loss for Atlanta. Angel drew the assignment on Moore defensively, not the first time the two have gone up against each other. They were both in a Las Vegas training camp in mid-May for the U.S. National team and Moore and McCoughtry battled in the BIG EAST for a couple of years.

The Dream started poorly and trailed by 23 at one point in the first half before trimming the margin to 10 shortly before halftime.

Courtney Paris, who was signed to a Dream temporary contract when Sancho Lyttle left to play for the Spain team in Euroball Womens 2011, scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds in her debut. Head Atlanta coach Marynell Meadows commented on Paris:

"There's two ways to look at it when you bring in a player like Paris. She could come in here and beat somebody out...or other teams are going to have an opportunity to look at her. She's got a chance to get back in the league again."

The same could be said about the Dream. They've got a chance to get back in the league, as far as win-loss ratio goes with four more at home...but even if they sweep the remaining puts them at .500 for the season. Lindsay Harding seems to be getting a little more comfortable in the Atlanta offense...with a Dream game high 14 points Sunday...but the talented point guard needs to "up" the learning curve in a hurry if the Dream are to contend for back-to-back Eastern Division titles...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Greenwell Co-MVP as USA wins FIBA Americans U 16 Championship...Lyttle to miis six games


-USA routs Brazil 73-40 to take the Gold

-Atlanta's Sancho Lyttle out for six games.

USA wins in Merida and will move on to the World
Championships next.

Owensboro's Becca Greenwell was named co-MVP of the FIBA Americas U16 Tournament that the USA won convincingly in Merida, Mexico yesterday by 33 points over Brazil. She shared the honor with Brazil's Izabella Fredrico Sangali. USA came out strong in the final game and aided by a record setting seven steals by guard Jannah Tucker...was never seriously challenged. Four USA players hit double figures in the win...Lianne Harper led the way with 12 points and Tucker added eleven. Mercedes Russell (10 points, 12 grabs) and Greenwell (10 points, 3 assists) did the most damage for Team USA, who led 40-18 at halftime and 63-27 after the third quarter.

"I thought it was a great game." Mercedes Russell spoke after the contest. "We let them have a little run at the end of the second quarter and then we came back after halftime and picked it up and finished it."  


Atlanta Dream's Sancho Lyttle will miss the next six games to compete for Spain in the EuroBasket Women 2011. She will not play today against the Minnesota Lynx and won't be back in a Dream uniform until July 9th...when the Dream play Chicago.

Lyttle is currently the Dream's second leading scorer and rebounder...averaging 12.5 a game and 7.8 rebounds.

Sometimes, when it pours.

Atlanta is 1-4 so far this season.

Lyttle is a native of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines but obtained Spanish citizenship in 2010. She played her college ball at Houston.

The Dream has signed former Oklahoma front liner Courtney Paris to replace her while she's gone.

We leave you today with three great father's day quotes:

"A new father quickly realizes that his child invariably comes to the bathroom at precisely the times he is in there, as if he needed company. The only way for this father to be certain of bathroom privacy is to shave at the gas station."  -Bill Cosby.

"Every mother knows that the man her daughter marries will be better than the father of this daughter but insists that the wife her son takes won't match up to his mother's status." -Cal Rieger

"I realized after my daughter turned 16 that the terms DAD and ATM Machine were interchangeable."  -Mark Thompson.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Greenwell leads Team USA again...


We've turned the Saturday Edition of C.C. over to chimps.

-Lala writes: I wish I could play hoops like Becca Greenwell

-Co Co tells us: Atlanta Dream falls to Lynx 96-85

Gearing up for another Cardinal Couple
weekend. Keep 'em coming, boyz!
-Jojo sends us pictures from Downs After Dark.

It's almost getting to be predictable news. Another Team USA game, another 30-40 point romp and Becca Greenwell leading the team again in scoring. Happened again last night in Mexico. 99-51 destruction of the Puerto Ricans and onto the Saturday title game against Brazil...who topped Canada yesterday.

Greenwell had 20 points, 6 boards in the USA win. She offers:

"Now that we are all in a groove and we've played a couple of games, I think we all have the confidence to share the ball and knock down shots."

(Hopefully basketball shots and not the house tequila from the hotel

The USA squad benefited from a 23-0 run in the second half. In Brazil tonight, they face a team that actually gave them a brief challenge for a half earlier in the week. Bring the gold home, ladies.


Angel is back but her teammates aren't
on the bus yet...
The Atlanta Dream fell to 1-4 last night, losing to the Minnesota Lynx 96-85 in Minneapolis. Angel is definitely back on her game...scoring 27 in the loss...but the Dream couldn't contain Rebekkah Brunson (18 points, 14 grabs), Lindsay Whalen (16 points, eight assists) and Maya Moore (13 points).

The Dream hung close for a half, but a 13-0 Minnesota run early in the third quarter put the Lynx up 54-43. The Lynx pushed that out to 78-64 and Atlanta could get no closer that six points the rest of the way.

Erika de Souza scored 18 for the Dream and Izianne Castro Marquez ended with 12.

Nobody expected this poor of a start for the defending Eastern Division champs from 2010 and one has to wonder where the magic and cohesion that took the Dream to the finals went. With only one major lineup change...bringing Lindsey Harding in at point's the same Dream attack.

A long season to go still. We'll just look at it as a work-in-progress.


The paddock area at Churchill around 11 p.m. or so...
Raindrops didn't dampen the spirits of the Downs After Dark crowd at Churchill Downs last night. A large turnout for the event...which featured eleven races and live music. The crowd was still going strong when this guy left after midnight...dancing to the sounds of DMC down in the paddock area.

Greta Kuntzweiler doesn't get a lot of riding opportunities at Churchill Downs, so to see her in five races yesterday was a bit intriguing. She's Sonja's favorite jockey, so I dutifully put $2 across the board on her horses. She didn't disappoint..winning the 2nd race at 7-1 and the third race at 15-1. Must have worn the poor girl out...she didn't hit the board in any of her final three rides...but the $30 invested turned into $73. Yes, I gave Sonja the winnings. She was last reported being seen at a local area nurseries' plant sale...

Paul unofficial axioms of racing at Churchill have been:

1) You must include Freddy Lenclud in your wagering
2) Gotta use Manny Cruz. Doesn't like to lose.
3) Those in the know choose Julian Leparoux

We add another one:
4) You better "betta" Greta.

In the background watching Peb paint is CARDINAL
COUPLE Director of Wagering and nonsense Tommy Boy
who is waiting for a chance to do some painting. His
request was denied.
If you've been to the Downs, you may have seen the murals on the 2nd floor clubhouse wall near the food court. Wonderfully character-painted stars of horse racing from yesterday to current. Last night, I got the opportunity to watch the creator of these murals at work. PEB BULLOCQ is pictured at work here adding the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom...H. Graham Motion... to the mural.

Peb is lively and talkative artist and cheerfully answered questions while he added Motion to the mural (center right). He chuckled when I mentioned that the caricature looked like Donny Osmond. Unfortunately, it looks like the mural is out of room to add any more offerings. Here's hoping that the Churchill guys give him a blank canvas to create a new montage of personalities...