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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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.


  1. While I realize this is not an "official " confirmation or press release by any means, Coach Sam did tweet last evening:
    "special player on campus today".

    Couple that with the rumor mill and speculation that Mercedes Russell was making an unofficial visit to U of L this past Monday and Tuesday, and one can naturally assume it was her.

    I can imagine any college choice for Ms. Russell is a long way off, she has a lot of time ahead of her, more high school ball, and I am sure a lot of college visits to make. I can only imagine how much her stock has improved since her exposure at the U16 games.

    All of that being said, I am thrilled that U of L is enough in the mix that her family is willing to make an unofficial visit, i.e. all out of pocket expenses. I am hopeful when all of the college visits are over, and it is time to make a decision that Mercedes decides Louisville is a great fit for her, and a great place to call home for at least 4 years.

    Best of luck to her in the process, and best of luck to my hometown girls, the Lady Cards, as they enter the fight for this top recruit!

  2. I'm hoping Ashley Rainey stays at Lindsey Wilson, which is one of my alma maters. She seems to be comfortable there and I would hate to see her transfer to still another school.

  3. The ultimate typo, misspelling my own name. :) Paul, can you clean that up?

  4. Norman Stillwell6/22/2011 11:34 PM

    Thank you for being here. I have been frustrated with the lack of news from the UofLSports site and the Courier-Journal. Your news about Niamke and Ashley Rainey is great. Of course, U of L could not say why Ashley left. Do you know why?

  5. She was having some personal issues and requestred some time off from the team to et them straightened out and went home. She eventually decided to transfer. Paul

  6. LOL, Charlie. If you don't know how to spell your own name by now...I'm not sure that I'd be much help. We'll sit down and work on the alphabet next week when I have some time...

  7. Rainey was not academically eligible until Jan 2012 for Lindsey Wilson. I don't understand why players will not work hard to stay eligible.

    Niamke will never make it at UL she isn't even in the middle of the pack in the Mid South
    Conference. Save your offer for a real point guard.


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