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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

UofL not interested in WBB Big east tournament?...Mercedes Russell to visit Louisville?


-BIG East says Cards not interested in 2012 Big East WBB Tournament...

-Class of 2013 Oregon hoopster Mercedes Russell to visit UofL?

-Unsportsmanlike conduct?



****THIS UPDATE @ 7 P.M. Tuesday concerning the 2012 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT*****

OK, It isn't like it is breaking news or anything...but it looks like...BIG EAST associate commissioner for women's basketball Danielle Donehaw may have had to do a little tight-rope walking about her statements yesterday about the tourney. Or the Hartford Courant writer who reported the story was busy texting or doing mushrooms while she spoke. Here is the BIG EAST'S
LATEST, new and improved..with more nutrients and vitamins..approved by local moms and dads
BIG EAST associate women's basketball
commissioner Danielle poses with Hartford
 Johnnie? Some backpedalling and
serious monkey-business going on here..
version of THE EMPIRE STRIKES Danielle fires a laser blast back in the direction of

"I didn't mean to send the message that a formal proposal is necessary from institutional venues that are interested in hosting our Women's Basketball Championship. The Louisville administration has consistently expressed interest in hosting the Conference Tournament. With the completion of the YUM CENTER  and Louisville's outstanding attendance, it is obviously a first-class women's basketball setting. The upcoming decisions for 2012 and beyond will be made by our member schools."

Alrighty, then! Looks like the Cards haven't been on double secret probation since the semester began and that UofL's administration has not fumbled on 4th and short (in this case). In fact, UofL's Julie Hermann..who knows a thing or two about administration and UofL women's sports...fired this missive off via Blackberry:

"Danielle has made an error in this (Monday's) communication. It's not true that we have not communicated our interest. Thx u for caring! Believe me if all we had to do to get this is put a BID in we'd had it. We r working on this opportunity! But it is a Herculean project conference wide right now."

After the Blackberry, she gave the raspberry to the dingleberry standing by the smoothie stand..who went bananas...

(We've also got an e-mail out to Julie requesting a explanation on UofL's position and stance on this issue. Let's hope they don't send Rocco, Rico, Brawner or Bronger out to deliver it personally...unless they intend on helping Paul cut the CARDINAL COUPLE lawn tomorrow...)

Here's how we see it...

This thing has been already decided and the teams are headed back to the XL for 2012. The BIG EAST is using all the right weasel words and glittering generalities to make it appear that it's going to be a "Herculean
project" but I'm guessing the XL has already been booked, bagged and reserved for the dates. This does not surprise us. We're guessing. also, that "Johnnie from Hartford" released something that wasn't meant for release. Let's "google" Danielle Donehew this time next year (just for fun) and see where she's working. This thing has about as much chance of ending up in Louisville as the next Space Shuttle.

Why all the fuzz about something so far away? It goes to show the rapidly growing fervor, interest and excitement about women's basketball at the University of Louisville. Jeff Walz and crew have a tiger by the tail right now and are riding the lightning bolt acros the vast women's college baskeball stratsophere. Hang on tight, passengers...

(see you in Hartford for the post season tourney, folks)

And now...back to the show...Bailiff, bring in the next defendant!



Reports are that Hartford has emerged as the leading contender for the 2012 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament. The event has been held at the XL Center in Hartford since 2004. The BIG EAST has also officially ruled out two other potential sites...Mohegan Sun and the KFC YUM Center.

Associate BIG EAST commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference Women's Basketball released the following statement:

The XL Center has hosted the
BIG EAST Women's basketball
tournament since 2004.
"We've had some really good discussions with the XL Center and we're getting closer to making a decision. We're deep into the process and expect a decision in the next few weeks. The XL Center has been tremendous to us over the years and we can't thank them enough for what's happened in the past. Our presidents have talked to Mohegan Sun and there is not support at this time. I'm getting flooded with emails from Louisville's fans telling me how much they would love the tournament to be there but the administration (of the university) hasn't contacted us with a formal proposal."   


WE would like to hear some reasons why UofL isn't interested in the event. Strictly off the record, we're hearing that it might interfere with final regular season home game(s) for the men's team. We've also heard that there may be concerns on how well the event would draw in Louisville in the games that Lady Cards weren't playing in. 

WE realize that Hartford is a lot closer to some of women's basketball programs in the BIG EAST than Louisville is. WE also understand that UConn fans support the event well up there. WE just can't understand why Louisville isn't willing to make an offer and see how it goes. A pretty large basketball arena is still located over at the Fairgrounds...maybe a game or two of the WBB Tournament could be moved over there if a conflict were to arise. The KFC YUM! Center is hosting second and third round men's NCAA Tournament games...but these are scheduled for at least a week after the BIG EAST women's championship game.

It needs to be pursued. Certainly Louisville, Cincinnati, TCU, DePaul, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, WVU and South Florida wouldn't object to a shorter trip, would they? Once again, the east coast clique rules...let's not upset Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Georgetown  Syracuse or the mighty UConn...shall we?

Give it a shot, Mr.Jurich. If not this upcoming year, then maybe for 2013. After all, the rear view mirror may be cleaner than the windshield...but the view is strictly limited to the past. IS there an official response coming from UofL's administration?


Mercedes Russell is 6'5" and may not be
finished growing yet...
Is sophomore sensation Mercedes Russell headed to Louisville for a look-see? Considered one of the best players in the girls 2013 class, the 6'5" post from Springfield, Oregon has been drawing considerable attention for the last couple of years. Rumors out on the vast world of the Internet that claim she'll may be on campus June 20-21st. This would be a dead period for college coaches recruiting players off campus but the NCAA Rules are a bit vague on whether a coach can talk or visit to a player who comes onto campus. We know the coaches can't officially comment on her or any other recruit until a
letter of intent is received.

We expect she'd have a lot to see here even if Walz and crew weren't allowed to have any direct or phone contact with her. We're guessing maybe some sort of host system is in place for this and she and her parents or whoever accompanies her on this rumored visit could check out Cardinal Arena, the KFC YUM Center and other campus and local attractions. Maybe she go one-on-one in a game of hoops against Cierra Warren or try and block a rapid-fire Becky Burke three.

We've had no official word on whether the amazon Oregonian is officially coming or not...but if anyone sees a 6'5" girl getting out of a car with Oregon plates at McDonald's or White Castle near campus...let us know. Is it just Internet chatter or another possible intrigue factor for the 2013 class?

(THANKS to CARDINAL COUPLE READER JENNY..whose e-mails prompted the ideas for today's top two articles.)

Ulmer Stadium is where the Louisville softball team plays
their home games. High school softball uses the place, too.
WE like J-Bone (Jared Stillman) over at the University of Louisville. He does a lot of good things for Cardinal Women's Sports...including public address announcer duties for Cardinal softball. He's also the
"man in the stands" at UofL women's and men's games doing interviews and contests.

WE can't understand the recent slams and pounding he's been getting at another Cardinal Sports site.

The esteemed and knowledgeable Howie Lindsey of Cardinal Sports comments on the critical treatment of J-Bone's "in the stands' segments:

"He is a good kid. Unless it was somebody famous already, people would hate whoever handles that microphone."

And Lindsey would know...having handled numerous Cardinal Athletic function public address duties. Our CARDINAL COUPLE'S Paul was friends with a couple of deceased but great P.A. announcers at UofL....John Tong and Jack Tennant. One thing Jack told Paul years ago still rings true. "Be yourself when you're relaying information." We're pretty sure that's what Jared is trying to do and that takes a lot of courage and guts to do.

Cut the J-Bone some slack, readers and commenters over at Rutherford's site.  (As if you could do any better?)

We'll admit it, we like to do parodies and have fun here at CARDINAL COUPLE and will always continue to do so. These attacks over at CARD CHRONICLE on the "J-Bone" in the comments section seem a little too mean-spirited, to us...though.


  1. As a sophmore, Russell was the Oregon 5A (second largest division) POY. Only one other sophmore has won that award. At the time this other sophmore won it, she played for Hermiston High School in eastern Oregon. The next year, she came off the rez, but she still wears the same number she wore at Hermiston - #23.
    --PDX Phil

  2. Word is that Russell also possesses a smooth outside shot, unlike the player she is already being compard to...Brittany Griner. Candace Parker skills as a high school junior? This should be quite the recruiting battle...


  3. Russell was a guard until her freshman year in high school. She grew 6 inches or so the summer between 8th grade and high school. She apparently still has fabulous ball handling skills. Combine this with her rapidly growing(body) and her inside game and this kid is the next Brittany Griner, only better! I sure hope Russell includes us in the battle for her, I am sure Coach Walz and Co. are up for the challenge!

    I am hot about the Big East Tournament. I do not know how often they renew the contract to host the tournament, though something tells me it is NOT every year. With a busting at the seams fan base, a new arena, and top recruiting classes, how can you afford to miss out on this opportunity? Think of the potential recruits coming to the Big East Tournament in our Arena. That alone should make the recruiting job easier for our coaches. Kids seeing first hand an incredible arena along with a great fan base. I can see it now, young women deciding they can see themselves on Denny Crum Court, in the YUM! Center, with all the fans rooting for them.
    It is an absolute no-brainer in my mind. Then again, I am an avid fan of the game and want the respect for my hometown team that this program so rightfully deserves. Get the spotlight off of Connecticut, and shine it elsewhere for a while, folks.
    Jenny O

  4. It is time for the DI football playing schools in the BIG EAST to make a break and start their own conference. Add ECU and forget about Nova.


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