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!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cardinal couple returns after summer break...


-The Boys (and Sonja) are back in town

-Fraser Valley will throw a mix at Louisville in Canada

After two weeks, over 2000 miles and one afternoon with the biggest flies and mosquitoes in
the nation, CARDINAL COUPLE is safe and secure back in the jolly ol' Ville...well rested, re-acquainted with family and friends and ready for what looks to be an exciting fall of women's
sports for the University of Louisville. By the numbers:

-7 gas stops...ranging from $3.53 a gallon to an obscene $4.02 a gallon (outside of Chicago).

Buffalo meat loaf !
-41 meals away from home...including an incredible buffalo meat loaf at a small restaurant outside Mt. Rushmore and a very forgettable 10:30 p.m. dinner at a McDonald's where the cashier wanted to charge me 99 cents for a cup of water.  Some great home cooking also from  the Johnson's and Hildebrandt's.

-3 athletic events...watching the Cubbies lose to the Brewers 4-2, seeing the Indiana Fever sneak by the Washington Mystics by two and having a relative completely destroy me in a game of "21". (Never did have an outside jumper...)

Free coffee! (Dine-in only) No Robbie Bartlett or 50/50, though.
 -6 state or national parks...the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, (incredible, incredible)
Lake Itasca, Custer and Devil's Lake.

-Touristy traps like The Corn Palace, Wall Drug, Al's Oasis and the infamous Sturgis, S.D. of biker fame (2 weeks too early and probably a good thing...)

The Badlands of South Dakota. Amazing rock formations.
-Seven Interstates , eight states and six major cities...Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Fargo and DesMoines.

-A trip to my mother's burial site and fond reflection on the years she was with us. Hooking up with relatives and friends that, like us...have aged...but still have great stories to tell and friendship to share.

Seeing where the Mississippi River gets its start and fleeing in panic from flies the size of baby birds and mosquitoes that swarmed by the hundreds. Deep Woods OFF didn't even help...

Nothing like arriving home, though...pulling in the driveway, seeing the flower gardens. Noting the yard that needed mowing...getting to sleep in your own bed after 14 nights and having a cup of coffee brewed just the way you like it. 

Special thanks to David Watson for his articles while we were gone, Donnie Yaste for his contribution and Charlie Springer for confessing he had forgotten how to log in as a writer. And now...on with the show. 


For Abbetsford, Canada residents...a sure sign that the end of summer is near can be found inside the Envision Athletic Center on the University of Fraser Valley campus starting tomorrow. Training camp gets underway for the Cascades' women's basketball team, as they prepare for two tough exhibition tests...Mississippi on August 5th and Louisville on August 14th.

Fraser Valley adds freshmen
and returns depth.
The two exhibition games against quality DI WBB foes will give Cascades WBB head coach Al Tuchscherer a blueprint on how to proceed with a returning team that has six incoming freshmen and a talented returning nucleus that made it to the Canada West playoffs last season and advanced to the Final Four.

"Last year, we did some nice things to turn the program around a bit." Tuchscherer reflected. "There's just an excitement more than anything. When it comes to expectations, it's what we always do and that's to prepare and do the best we can with the talent we have. You want to have those veteran players who will go through the system and learn things and then keep adding pieces."

Tuchscherer became the Cascades head coach in 2002, but got his college degree from Fraser Valley and was an assistant coach there before assuming the head role.

(Parts of this article are from Cam Tucker's column in the Abbotsford, BC Times.)


Mapquest shows the trip from Pendleton, OR. to Abbotsford, BC to be a 400 mile, eight hour journey. How many of the Schimmel fans and family that will make the trip is unknown...but there will no doubt be fans in the stands who remember the Schimmel sisters' exploits from their playing days on the rez and in Portland, OR. A lot of the trip looks like Interstate, maybe our readers on the Umatilla will make the trip and give us a report...

CARDINAL COUPLE has contacted a sports-writer from the Abbotsford Times newspaper and will try to arrange first hand reports on the contest for our readers. Doubtful there will be any TV or radio for this one...the team will have a blog over at about the trip to Canada.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Move the NCAA WBB Tourney back a week?

-NCAA considering a move?

-Don't look now but someone woke up Atlanta

Good Friday morning to Cardinal Couple readers! David Watson here with probably my last column for a few days. Paul and Sonja should be back in the
batting cage with a Sunday column for you. Talked to the "big guy" last night
and even with him in the stands in Milwaukee, the Cubbies couldn't get the deal done, losing to the Brewers 4-2.

Thanks for checking in while they've been gone and it's always a pleasure to write for this site. Hopefully, you've been kept entertained.



Should the NCAA move the women's basketball tournament back a week to gain more exposure and to reduce overlap with the men's tournament? The D-1 women's basketball committee has requested a comprehensive feasibility study.

I asked a former D-1 women's assistant basketball coach his feelings on the subject and here's how that went:

(David) "What would be some of the implications if the NCAA does this?"

(Coach) "You have a lot of things to consider with a proposed move like this. Do you move the entire schedule also? Conference tournaments, when teams can start practice, recruiting calender just to name a few items."

(David) "What are some of the benefits of a move, if it were to happen?"

(Coach) "You avoid running into competing with the men's final, obviously. That's the main one. But, your weekend of going from 16 teams to 4, which is actually my favorite weekend, then goes up against the men's FINAL FOUR in all probability. That's going to take a substantial amount of viewers away. Let's face it, die-hard women's basketball fans are going to watch, attend and follow. But, if the idea is to gain more fans, more ratings and exposure-do you do this?" You've also got TV to think about. ESPN would have to chime in because they've got the contract one more year, I think. Would they go for it again or go after the men's tournament?"

(David) "Are you in favor of such a move?"

(Coach) "If I was still coaching I would be. If I was with a team lucky enough to get to the FINAL FOUR, it would mean that we would have ALL the media attention, not just splitting it with the men. As a fan, it would make things easier. Let's say both teams of the school I cheer for makes the tournament. It means I can go watch the men play during their first two games. The next week, I could go watch the ladies play in their first two games and if the men were still alive, maybe even squeeze their games in also. So, I guess you could say I'm in favor of it. I never was a coach on a team that made it past the first round game, though."

How do you feel about the possibility of moving the tournament, the season back a week?  You can use the comments section here or e-mail the site at


Don't look now but the Atlanta Dream have won their last five games in a row and are mid-pack in the Eastern Division of the WNBA. Almost at .500. Looks like they've figured out again that when you get the ball to Angel, good things happen. A healthy Sancho Lyttle will only help in the second half of the season. Allison Bales isn't the answer in the post. Angel getting 20+ a game is.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lady Cards should reach new heights on front line......Xavier, Lindsey Wilson on schedule

*Louisville women's basketball team returns height, experience in the post.

*Two more non-conference games for Lady Cards announced.

*Pictures of Paul and Sonja on the Johnson farm.

Hi, David Watson with you this morning to review the third component of the
University of Louisville women's basketball team for 2011-12. WE look at the front line today.

We'll combine the "4" and "5" spots in this review and we'll look at five young ladies who will compete for playing time at these spots. First, the returnees:

1931 Model A Ford that still runs on the Johnson farm in
North Dakota. They didn't let Paul drive this one...
Asia Taylor goes into her junior year as the Cardinal front liner with the most experience in the Walz system of basketball. Taylor is an aggressive, hard-working forward who crashes the boards with skill and has quick feet on defense. Foul prone at times, Taylor needs work on around the hoop putbacks. She's shown she can score when needed to but with development of a soft putback from under the basket, her game would reach the plateau most expected her to be at when she arrive on campus. To her credit, she's been slowed by injuries during her time her and we haven't seen the "real" Asia yet.

Sherrone Vails saw a lot of court time as a freshman, primarily spelling Keisha Hines in the post. Aggressiveness and shot selection seem to be the two areas where her game could improve. She's a shot-swatter, but there's a lot more to defense than just that and her tendency to "hand-guard" gets her in foul trouble quickly. Whether she'll earn the start in the post this year or back up remains to be seen. She does give the team 100% when she is out there, though and can run the court well.

Shawnta Dyer gets to the court after sitting out last year with a heel fracture. She was spectacular in the Cards pre-season and against Indiana Wesleyan and it gives us hope that she'll be a strong force in the paint for the Cards. Her size makes her a tough one to keep off the boards. If she's developed a mid-range jumper and can rebound effectively remains to be fully seen. If so, she could nail down a starting spot before long.

Cierra Robertson-Warren is available now after sitting out her transfer year. She should be an immediate and strong impact in the post based on
Paul and Sonja with a antique tractor. Rumors that they
are giving up CARDINAL COUPLE and becoming farmers
are NOT true.
a few games she had as a freshman at North Carolina. She follows missed shots well and works hard to get in a position to score. The question here is how well has the knee recovered from minor surgery this spring and will she be in shape to handle 20-25 minutes of post play? If so, she could dominate the BIG EAST.

Sara Hammond draws mention here also even though we discussed her a few days ago. She played in the paint exclusively in high school and has the quick inside game to be effectively if that is where Walz decides to use her. She has a great shooting range and goes to the boards well, in addition to her shot-blocking skills. Her game is all-over-the-court and we can see her being a strength inside if needed.

August is just a few days away and we'll get reports on the majority of the girls we've discussed over the last week and how they do in Canada soon.


According to schedules released by the respective schools, Louisville women's basketball will play Lindsey Wilson and Xavier in the 2011-12 season. They'll face Lindsey Wilson on Sunday, October 30th. No location has been listed for the one yet but you'd have to assume it'll be in the KFC YUM! Center for this exhibition game.

They'll also host Xavier in the YUM on Sunday, November 20th.

Great sidebars on both games. Louisville defeated Xavier to reach the Sweet Sixteen in March and former Cardinal Ashley Rainey and future Card Monny Niamke play for Lindsey Wilson.

Thanks to CARDINAL COUPLE reader Kenny S. for the find!!


1951 Mercury on the Johnson Farm. Still runs great. Even
after Paul drove it.

Speaking of reports, I talked with THE CARDINAL COUPLE (Paul and Sonja) and they are enjoying their time in Fargo, ND and Minnesota. They'll be back with you in a few days. They'll probably be glad to be home I would guess. They've covered eight states so far in their summer road trip, logged over 1500 driving miles, seen friends and relatives in four different cities and (according to Paul) been great Cardinal ambassadors everywhere they've gone.
They sent me the pictures last night that I have included on today's entry.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Lady Cards will be "winging it" just fine this season.

DAVID WATSON LOOKS AT LADY CARD WINGS (hold the dipping sauce)

Hi, again Cardinal Couple!

David Watson here while Paul and Sonja are out tracking the
source of the Mississippi River. They did send me a couple of neat pictures to share with
Sonja (left) prepares to find the Mississippi

We discussed the UofL wealth of back court talent the last time I was on here. Today we will take a look at the "wing" spot or the "3" as it is known. With the way the game goes, you never really know what will consist of a wing player. We looked at last year's majority starting lineup and it seemed that Mo Reid was the "wing" or "3" and Asia Taylor was the "4" or strong forward. So, we'll start with Reid, an upcoming senior who is but one of two Lady Cards on the roster to play in the FINAL FOUR, slotted in as the wing.

And there it is! From Lake Itasca
You've seen Mo play. She isn't particularly known for bombing from the wing but is one of the best in the nation at penetrating the paint and backing down an opponent to score from close inside. Will she be ready to go at full force after the hamstring injury? If not, the job and/or backup time could go to sophomore Antonita Slaughter or even incoming freshman Sara Hammond. We know that Slaughter can drill from outside. We've seen Hammond do the same. Hammond, as well as Slaughter, can play multiple positions and Reid doesn't look shakable from the wing, so unless a hamstring keeps her off the court or Walz experiments with bringing Mo off the bench again (a move we never fully understood) we're putting Reid - who was last year's leading scorer- at the wing.

We'll look at the Lady Cards front line in a couple of days.


AS you've seen in the comments sections here, there might be talks in progress for the Lady Cards to have a scrimmage on the Umatilla Reservation before playing the Canadian teams this August.

Make it so, but make sure those bozos at the NCAA give it a blessing. They've hit the University of Louisville athletic programs with some pretty strange and bizarre stuff over the years. No reason to give them an excuse, better to let them bless the event.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crowded back court could pay big dividends for Lady Cards

Here's hoping things are doing well for our Cardinal Couple readers
as Sonja and I take a few days away from the website and enjoy
summer vacation. This burro was happy to see CARDINAL COUPLE on their road trip and greeted us to Custer State Park in South Dakota. HE got even more excited when Sonja fed him. The badlands of South Dakota are an incredible site to behold.  David Watson weighs in today on your favorite subject...women's basketball...


The first time I actually sat down and took a look at the guards that Jeff Walz has on the UofL roster, my first thoughts were about the incredible talent level and also flexibility he
has at his disposal. Look at this list of guards-that DOES NOT include wing players-and I think you see why the excitement exists.

Shoni Schimmel. She's a returning starter from last year as a freshman and second leading scorer on the team. Comfortable at either the "1" or "2", Schimmel is a dangerous threat to create a play any time the ball reaches her hands. Recall your own favorite Shoni
memory from last season. I'm going with the torching of Xavier in the second half of the NCAA tournament game.

Tia Gibbs. Another one who got the call as a starter last year and logged plenty of minutes as a sophomore transfer from Vanderbilt. Gibbs maybe the best defensive guard returning
for last year and there's no doubt about her ability to shoot the three, create in transition or go to the basket.

Becky Burke. She's enters her senior season as an on again/off again starter for the Lady Cards.  Once known for just her three ball ability, Burke has broadened her game and is now a capable defender, one who can lead the transition game or hurt an opponent with the short jumper. Her court time could take a hit this year with the wealth of talent present but she is still a dangerous threat.

Charmaine Tay. We've seen that she can run an offense from the point and also successfully get to the basket for layups or draw trips to the charity stripe. She's an aggressive player who has a bit of  swagger and strut to her on-court presence and she'll
figure heavily into the rotation if she can manage to stay out of the Walz doghouse during her sophomore year.

Shelby Harper. The blond blur will most likely see the least playing time of the stellar guard crew but she has a ton of experience. Going into her junior year, she can drive the ball down the court quickly, will provide pressure defensively on the opponent's point guard and
she can be successful from three point range despite last year's struggles from there. It'll be interesting to see how Walz uses the diminutive spark plug.

Five impressive returning players that any coach in the nation would drool over. Then, you add the freshmen.

Bria Smith has the ability to be a game changer. One of those guards, like a Skylar Diggins or Sugar Rodgers, who takes over and dominates. She'll go through a freshman adjustment period, like they all do in Walz's system, and early on it could be her willingness and ability to play defense that will determine her playing time. If the press clippings and hype translate into what everyone thinks is possible out of her, though, I don't see how you keep her off the court.

Jude Schimmel. Although a bit shorter than her sister, Jude makes up for it with all-over-the-court intensity and is a leader. She's also a scorer who overwhelms taller opponents with her quickness. She could be the surprise out of all the guards and if Walz goes with a speed-based attacking off transition offense, don't be surprised if Jude sees tons of minutes in that format.

I'm going to borrow a movie title from the sixties to describe these guards. Let's call them the Magnificent Seven and one of the great things about this group is that any of them are capable of taking over a game at anytime.

Monday, July 18, 2011

2012 and 2013 Recruit Update


-Lucaya Williams

-Mercedes Russell

Hello, my name is Donald Yaste and I'm the new contributor as Paul has mentioned, I was indeed able to access the site despite the clever protection I'm sure Paul had his Chimps whip up. I doubt I'll be able to mimic the quirky prose you're used to from Paul, but I'll do my best to match his style as well as add some good information to the site.


Lucaya Williams a 6-4 post from Mt. Juliet, Tenn is considering WKU, Rutgers, UL and Memphis. She is currently ranked 32nd at her position by HoopGurlz. She led her Mount Juliet Senior high school team to a 29-3 record as a junior and she was given TWSW All-State honors.


Mercedes Russell continues to impress with her AAU team, Team Concept of Portland, OR whom she helped lead to the End of the Trial tournament championship. She started every game for the U-16 national team in the FIBA Americas tournament in Mexico.

Russell is leading the way for a great crop of Oregon players, the four best of which all play for Team Concept. Russell is the highest ranked of the three at #4 in the nation while her teammate Kailee Johnson the #5 player in the nation.

Russell says her recruitment is "wide open" but she also says she visited three schools in June. Those three being UL, UK and Tennessee. All of which she says offered while she was on here visit. She added that, "They were all nice schools."

Russell is one to watch on the Cards radar and is clearly another top flight player that coach Walz could reel in.

For more on Russell and here recruitment watch this video:


Schimmel sisters visit Rocky Boy


We've asked a couple of our favorites (Charlie Springer and David Watson) to add articles while we rest up and get ready for a big fall women's sports season. We also look forward to entries from our newest writer Donald Yaste. Let's see if any of the three remember how to access our site.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Eszter Povazsay to swim at World University games


-UofL sophomore to swim in China

-Love it...

University of Louisville sophomore Eszter Povazsay will get a trip to the 2011 World University games in Shenzhan, China this August...taking part in the swimming events
form August 12-23. 

Known for her skills as a sprinter and backstroke specialist, she was named All-BIG EAST
this past season and helped the Cards to a second place finish in the 200 medley relay.

She is from Dunakeszi, Hungary and swam for the Hungarian National Team in the 2007 and 2009 World Championships and 2008 Summer Olympics.

She is currently the Hungarian National Champion in the 50 and 100 meter backstroke.

Quite a honor for the sophomore, who will also join UofL men's swimming team star Pedro Oliveria in China.


We like to read Eric Crawford's blog...the Courier-Journal sports columnist comes up with some good ones from time to time. When referring to the recent reprimand of Jeff Walz, he quipped that the University had handled the matter internally...making Walz wash his mouth out with soap...Lifebuoy being the chosen disciplinary tool.

This, of course, from the classic movie A Christmas Story and Ralphie.

We also like the idea CARDINAL COUPLE reader Curt B. came up with. He suggested that Coach spend an afternoon of community service over at the Fairdale Furniture Repair and Renovation Shop.

No word on what the folks at Baylor did to Kim "Monkey" Mulkey...but we wouldn't be surprised if the Lone Star State Waconians told her she couldn't have any slaw or pudding with her barbecue at the coaches' cookout.

It's said to be a penalty worse than death in Texas...


Friday, July 15, 2011

Dream lose to Liberty...Let's go to Naptown


-Atlanta gets "liberated" 91-69 by New York

-And just where would we move the BIG EAST WBB Tourney to?

New York is on a roll. Atlanta...not so much roll. More like a thud yesterday
in a 22 point loss to Cappie Pondexter and her New York Liberty teammates.

This one was over pretty early...New York zoomed off on a 11-0 run in the first quarter, led by 17 at the half and by 25 in the third.

Turn out the lights...the party's over.

Kia Vaughn played at Rutgers before the WNBA
Plenty of contributors chipped in to send Atlanta to 3-9 on the season. Nicole Powell with 20, Kia Vaughn 14, Leilani Mitchell 12...six Liberty in all hit double figures. Make it four in a row for NYL now and six out of the last seven.

Atlanta got 17 from Angel. Difference in the game? New York's front line of Vaughn, Powell, Pierson and Hollingsworth had 55 points. The Dream's front line of Angel, Erika de Souza, Alison Bales and Courtney Paris managed 29.

Maybe the Dream could request a schedule change and play Tulsa and Washington the rest of the year...


A lot of people are probably getting the hint that WE'RE not big fans of the BIG EAST returning to Hartford for the Geno Invitational BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament. So...where would we move it if we had that power?

Conseco Fieldhouse is a great place to watch hoops.
Why not Indianapolis? No home court advantage there for anyone. A couple of good places to play there, too. If Conseco Fieldhouse is booked, there's Lucas Oil Stadium.

Even Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse, if all else fails, can hold 10,000 fans.

Worried about attendance? Don't be. Louisville fans would make the 1 1/2 drive. Irish fans would flock in from South Bend. DePaul and Chicago isn't a back-breaking drive to "Naptown"". Toss in a few stragglers from Cincinnati, Marquette and West Virginia and you've got six of the 16 BIG EAST teams and some teams that draw pretty well for women's basketball.

I know this idea will cause blood pressure spikes and bulging temple veins with the good folk in Storrs, Providence, Philadelphia, Piscataway, Washington and South Orange.

I'm leaving Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse and St. John out of this discussion because-combined- they don't draw as many fans to a women's basketball home game than Louisville, Connecticut, Rutgers or Notre Dame does individually.  

Let's say that the Pittsburgh Panthers fans gets really excited about women's basketball this year and want to follow Agnes and the team to the conference tournament.

Pitt to Indy. 360 miles
Pitt to Hartford. 472 miles

I'll also wager that the first six schools I mentioned (Louisville, Notre Dame,
DePaul, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Marquette) have a larger combined total home attendance number than the second six (Connecticut, Providence, Villanova, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Georgetown.) 

I'm betting that you could top the much ballyhooed XL Center numbers if they gave it a try. I'm thinking that area residents would attend also...because Indiana is a big basketball state and they probably get more fans in a high school gym to watch Brownstown play Paoli than Seton Hall draws when Providence comes to town. I'm guessing they might come out to see the best conference in women's basketball battle.

Of course, the idea will never penetrate the impermeable walls of the BIG EAST Women's basketball offices. But, I still like the idea. If the BIG EAST women's basketball conference is this one, big happy family that Danielle "Done-now" suggests...surely a change might be fun and do them good. Time to quit sitting back and limiting the tournament venue search to the state of Connecticut. Take a road trip, D.D. You just might like Indiana....and guess what? There are NO evil casinos in Indianapolis, either.

Let's let the East Coast do a little travelling for a change...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Your comments on the Walz reprimand...the credibility of Facebook and Twitter


-The sequence of events leading to the Walz reprimand.

-Reader comments on the Walz reprimand.

-The questionable nature of electronic following.

WE have received several e-mails concerning the NCAA announcement Wednesday of a public reprimand of University of Louisville head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz for
actions during the NCAA Tournament game against Gonzaga. Just to set a backdrop for the is the sequence of events that are involved.

MARCH 26th., 2011
-4:38 left in the first half. Asia Taylor makes a layup to make the score 27-21 Gonzaga.
-4:29 left in the first half. Asia Taylor is called for a foul. Her first, team third.
-4:29 left in the first half. A technical foul is assessed on the Louisville bench.
-4:29 left in the first half. Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot makes a free throw. Gonzaga retains possession of the ball. 28-21 Gonzaga leads.
-4:08 left in the first half. Gonzaga scores on the possession from a jumper by Janelle Bekking. Gonzaga leads 30-21.

JULY 13th., 2011

-The NCAA announces a public reprimand on University of Louisville head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz and Baylor University head women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey for events that occured during the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

-The technical was assessed after Walz was reported to have used profane and abusive language toward game officials, individuals seated at the scorer's table and on the team bench, as well as kicking the scorer's table. These events occurred after Taylor's foul.

-UofL athletic director Tom Jurich says that the athletic department accepts the NCAA's assessment and that it has addressed the matter internally. He declined to reveal any specifics. He also commented that:

"Anything we do discipline-wise, we keep it internally. Jeff is very aware of the situation. Everyone was very upset with the officiating. There were probably better ways for him to express himself, and he understands it." 

-Walz says the stress of the NCAA Tournament was ratcheted up because of Monique Reid's
injury. The team's leading scorer played only five minutes because of a groin injury she suffered in warm ups.

"I've had conversations with the administration. I'm quite aware of things that I'm planning on working on for next season. Unfortunately, it was a very stressful game having lost Monique. I'm really excited about this season. We're planning on moving forward." Walz commented about the incident.

NCAA Bylaw states that:

"Penalty for misconduct." One of these penalties is a public or private reprimand of the individual." (Even if it takes four months...)

Sorry, but we call "shenanigans" on this could have and should have been a private option available in the by-law.


So, what are you saying about this incident four months after the fact?

Kerry W. (Louisville) writes:

"This is total and utter bullshit!  Hasn't the NCAA got anything better to do than to slam dunk one of the best coaches in women's college basketball?  What's next, they
reprimand players for chest-bumping after baskets? They're already calling technicals on Kyle Kuric for spectacular dunks. Grow up, NCAA! "

(Anonymous) comments:

"I am a referee. I will take a certain amount of criticism from a coach but if profanities or obscenities are directed at me personally, I call a technical. I'll listen to observations and comments on how I handled a particular play or action on the court and I tolerate a lot of things. Cursing, though, is one aspect I have no tolerance for."

Connie G. (Radcliff) says:

"What Walz did is minor compared to what guys like Bobby Knight or Bobby Huggins have done. They called the technical and they should have just left it at that. To drag it through the mud now is ridiculous. Maybe the NCAA should review that game film and reprimand the officials, They were awful!"

Charlie D. (Spokane, WA) relates:

"I was at that game. I am a big Gonzaga fan and attend all the men's and women's Zags basketball games. Walz was out of control. The punishment fits the crime. You got a good coach in Jeff Walz but he needs to take some anger management classes. There were bad calls in that game against both teams but you didn't see (Gonzaga head coach) Kelly Graves fly off the handle."

So, with this...we here at CARDINAL COUPLE are going to close the book on "Walz-gate". We much prefer to look toward the future and the potential that exists in this upcoming flock of Cardinals. The season should be an exciting one, the fan base is chomping at the bit to get things going and as coach says..."Let's move forward." 


We get e-mails each day about things surrounding the women's sports programs at UofL.  The overwhelming majority of them concern the women's basketball team. An area that seems to be a favorite with a lot of our readers is relaying comments made by athletes on popular venues like Twitter and Facebook.  More than once, we've followed up on the "he said that she said" scenario with our campus contacts and trusted sources but have found no credible proof that these comments hold any water. Occasionally, they do...but if we were to go with every item that we receive without fully investigating the claim...we'd be putting a bunch of horse manure out there. (Some say we do that, anyway...)

We don't follow anyone on Twitter. Maybe we're behind the times...but as a sports information director once told us..."if it's important, we'll send out a press release."

Facebook is a social network we are a part of. We like to relay, at times, what is being covered at CARDINAL COUPLE to our Facebook firends. We also like to follow our friends and their comments on Facebook. We don't have a large "friends" list on Facebook...don't see the need for it...but we'll usually "friend up" with someone if they send a request and we have a general idea of who they are. We don't go "soliciting" random friends, but we've been known to send friend requests to people we know.

Sometimes, it gets into the issue of plausible deniability or accuracy. As a free access site, we don't restrict who can read CARDINAL COUPLE...and we don't berate aggregates out there who re-post our articles. We do try to exercise caution, though...on dubious social network comments, claims and and controversies. It's called responsibility.

Sometimes, we goof up and ask the wrong question at the wrong time. We've been reprimanded for going to sources or other sources of information by those sources in attempts to verify or get guidance on how to handle an possible issue or situation. Nobody's perfect. Some lines shouldn't be crossed. We've learned some tough lessons concerning this. We've...unfortunately...burned or damaged some bridges because of this. We can only try to do better and gain knowledge from errors. Even Derek Jeter strikes out occasionally...

Where does all this fall, terms of administrative policies and monitoring or guidelines on what an athlete might comment or say on one these networking venues?  Should a university suggest or impose restrictions on what a student/athlete can or cannot say on one of these social networking sites?  Are there guidelines in place at some institutions about the "do's and don'ts" of social networking? Do you believe every "tweet" or Facebook post you read?

Information has come a long way from the days where certain newspaper reporters would tape quarters to pieces of paper and slide them under players' dorm room doors with their phone numbers attached. The question is...where are we headed? Freedom of speech is one thing. The best interests of an organization or program is another. Where do you paint the caution line?

For a lot of fans, it's all about the information. As soon as possible and as much as possible. It's the information age and there are plenty of ways to get it. What should and should not be released, though...and when?

That's a question for greater minds than ours. (And there are plenty of those out there...)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Danielle does some dancing...Softball skills camp moved to Weds.-Thurs.


-BIG EAST commish Danielle Donehew taps around

-UofL Softball Skills camp moved to Weds.-Thurs.

-Pasqualichio at field hockey Junior National camp

-Walz gets a slap on the wrist

They've trained her well. The art of explaining an issue without really providing a concrete or
helpful answer is one of the guidelines to being successful in any administrative situation.
Call it gobbledy-gook, dancing around the issues, much ado about nothing...Danielle Donehew, associate commissioner for BIG EAST women's basketball has been taking classes. 

Here are some classic answers from her on the questions surrounding the return to Hartford for BIG EAST women's hoops. 

Q: How was the decision made?
A: The decision is made by a vote of the conference athletic director's. And we thought Mo, Becky and Asia got together with a few players from the 15 other teams and slugged it out. (Watch out for the Georgetown girls...they trip people.) And, a Gibbs-slap to the back of the head for the 'Captain Obvious' answer.

Q: Is a majority vote the deciding factor in decisions like this?
A: I am not going to get into those things. Those are internal conference conversations. When we make a decision we are all behind it...whether it was unanimous or not.  (So...the final vote is 16-0 regardless of what the count was?
Sounds like voting in Kentucky counties back in the 1930's...when a jug of moonshine or plow mule dropped off on various porches or front yards got county judges re-elected.)

Q: Can dissenting votes block a decision?

Danielle Donehew is
the associate commish
 A: I don't want to get into the specifics of why we move forward or don't move forward. I appreciate your (the media) understanding that when we make a decision we make it as a united group. (In other words, you don't go against the 'family' or you end up taking a ride with Syl or Paulie. Somehow, I have a hard time seeing Tom Jurich or Julie Hermann goose-stepping past the grandstand...)

It gets better...

Q: Were other venues, like the Mohegan Sun Arena discussed?
A: We discussed multiple venues. We came to the decision that the XL Center was where we wanted to be. (And the gang from South Florida and Louisville led the acceptance parade, right?)

Alfred E.Newman, of MAD
magazine fame...
Q: On trying to find a neutral site for those coaches who favor that?
A: Women's basketball tournaments began on college campuses. As the game has progressed, we've seen some move off campus. some move to professional venues and cities that embrace events. But others are still on campuses. It's based on the desire of the membership and what seems to fit best. And in two years, we will conduct another process and make another decision. We have some coaches in our league that are committed to the conference and direction we need to head. Some have their own opinions, which is fine. But the key is to discuss as a family what's best and all come together and support the decision that is made. The XL Center has proven a great host. We've had better attendance than any other conference in the country. It's hard to argue with that truth. Coming back here was a good move for the conference. (And in this family, Connecticut is the stern father of 15 kids who can't talk back.)

One of the happy children in the BIG EAST family.
For example, consider this statement by one of the oldest daughters in Family BIG EAST, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw:

"We would really like to get out of Hartford. A neutral site would be great."

Yep, nothing but solidarity and unity in this family...

It's pretty clear to us that some elements in the BIG EAST would prefer that the fan base in the conference know nothing about the process. And, why should we? After all, all we fans do is attend the games, cheer for the players and bumble along like sheep being led to the shearer's table. We don't need to understand, right?....because this big family has all our best interests in mind and all we need to do is just hand over money, keep our mouths shut and fall in-step with the parade. We would love to hear from the other 15 schools in the BIG EAST besides Connecticut and see how they feel about this "family" concept...but, you see, that isn't necessary...because the family has spoken and it is final. So fans are red-headed step-children? Maybe...

The Walton's? Probably not. The Sopranos? There you go...

The family that plays together stays together, right? No matter how dysfunctional it is...and what game is being played. In this case, it's a rip-roaring game of Family Feud.

Here's a little quiz for your Wednesday morning. Where was the last place (besides Hartford) that the BIG EAST women's tournament was held?

A) Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY
B) Madison Square Garden, N.Y., N.Y.
C) Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, NJ.
D) The Palestra, Philadelphia, PA

C is the correct answer. The RAC...for two straight 2002, 2003. And how many years did host Rutgers win it while there? 


This thing isn't about how great the XL Center is. They were holding the tournament in tiny Gampel Pavillion for most of the 1990's and 2000 and 2001. It's a Connecticut love affair.

Our choice for Santa at the BIG EAST
women's basketball Christmas party...'s good to know that UofL women's basketball is part of such a big family. I wonder what they'll get for Christmas? And, which family member will play Santa Claus at the family Christmas party? We're voting for Quentin Hillsman...Syracuse head coach. (see right)

One big, happy family...that lives in sixteen different cities but always manages to return to Hartford and re-unite in the XL Center once a year for a family reunion. Time to change the venue...maybe by 2020? (If there's a BIG EAST around by then...) 

See you at Vito's By The Park in March.


The water main break on the University of Louisville campus Monday night has forced the University of Louisville Softball Skills camp to begin Wednesday instead of the originally planned Tuesday start. Same hours, same excellent tutelage. Based on the way things looked on Floyd Street on Monday night, the rowing team could have had a skills camp on campus.


The University of Louisville's Dominique Pasqualichio is attending the Junior National Camp at Old Dominion University and Cardinal head coach Justine Sowry is coaching at the camp, which serves as a tryout for the 2012 U21, U19 and U17 junior national squads.

Pasqualichio,  a defender from Plymouth, PA. red shirted as a freshman at UofL last season.

Louisville will have 18 games and one scrimmage this year in field hockey and the season gets underway August 19th. at Iowa. The Cards have nine home games scheduled at Trager Field for the 2011 season.


And, in the "it took them this long to decide on this?" category...

Coach can almost clear scorer's
tables with his vertical in addition
to be able to deliver kicks to them.
Louisville head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz has been reprimanded by the NCAA for violating tournament policy during this year's women's basketball championship against Gonzaga.

NCAA officials (google "village idiots" for a description) say that Walz used profane and abusive language toward game officials, people seated at the scorer's table and on the team bench. (Which bench they didn't make clear...) 

He's also accused of kicking the scorer's table during the contest.

(They dropped the charges of plotting to advance to the Great Eight, conduct unbecoming the best coach in college basketball and conspiracy to defeat Gonzaga on their home court in an NCAA game.) 

And, it's disco night at the Waco
Bar and Grill...
They nailed Baylor coach Kim "Monkey" Mulkey with a reprimand also. She wanted to suit up and play in the second half. Seems the NCAA was upset about her remarks concerning the bracketing process for the 2011 Tournament, which had them matching up against Texas A&M for the 4th time during the season.  

The NCAA says that the behavior of both coaches discredits them and tarnishes the says Marilyn McNeil, who is the chair of Division I women basketball and also vice president and director of athletics at Monmouth University.

The NCAA also withheld both coaches per diem allowance for the tournament. Neither coach will probably have to worry about filing Chapter 11...if it gets too bad for Coach Walz, we can lend him a $20. We've lent considerably more to people we like less and haven't seen a penny of it back. Maybe we should frequent 12 Mile Island more often. Or contact some close family friends...And...just how much is a per diem? And what does per diem have to do with tarnish? Maybe the NCAA should have just made Coach Walz listen to Ozzy Osbourne's Flying High Again on Diary of a Madman CD.

OK, then...

Funny, but neither Gary Blair or Muffet McGraw complained of any tarnish and they were the coaches in the championship game. Somehow, I doubt the viewers watching the NCAA 2011 women's basketball championship game were filled with fear and trepidation...wary that Mulkey might get a hold of a microphone or Walz would pop out of the stands and kick a table while cursing.

Walz is out on the road watching future college stars currently and we didn't want to disturb him with a comment on something so trivial and inane. Cardinals football coach Charlie Strong is impressed with Walz's leg, though...and is considering offering him a walk-on role as the Cards place-kicking specialist.

Mulkey is probably out on the road right now. We're not sure why complaining about having to play the same team four times is "tarnishing." Her that's worth chipping in for a little extra per diem...just to get her out of Floyd the Barber's chair...

We did talk to William Frawley, Walmart this afternoon (who has no idea who either are) and he commented...

"What they really ought to do is take a look at their own vague, nebulous and ridiculous policies and spend a little time doing that instead of busting up a couple of coaches four months after the fact. For pete's sake...if it took me that long to make a decision in my business...I'd be out of business and selling bottled water on Central Avenue during Derby Week."

We went back and watched parts of the replay of the Gonzaga/Louisville game. (as painful as that was to do).

Yup. Coach was a bit disturbed.. The Cards also came back from a 20 point deficit to cut it to three with three minutes left. Without their leading scorer. Guessing it just might be worth a slap on the wrist...and a bit of tarnish. Hold the relish.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No surprise here, XL Center to get BIG EAST WBB Tourney for multi-year deal.


-XL Center gets the BIG EAST Women's Tournament

-UofL under water.

-UofL adds another Cardinal Caravan

The BIG EAST will announce Tuesday around 1 p.m. or so that the XL Center in Hartford, CT. will host the 2012 BIG EAST Women's basketball tournament in 2012 and beyond. A multi-year deal has been reached.

BIG EAST returns to the XL Center
for 2012 and beyond.

And this surprises you?

It's been there since 2004, after all. The parties involved were anxious to make a multi-year deal with someone, somewhere after the current contract expired. A venue that came up beside the XL Center were Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino, also in Connecticut. That one was shot down by a few university presidents...allegedly because of "philosophical reasons". Never mind that Mohegan Sun offered to supply their arena (where the WNBA's Connecticut Sun play) at no charge and also has thousands of free parking spots...unlike the gougers around the XL Center.

You can also rest assured that the XL didn't offer their facility "on the house" to BIG EAST officials. We must not allow BIG EAST Tournament attendees and fans the option of rolling a few dice or playing blackjack after watching 12 hours of basketball, after all.

Another idea, obviously popular amongst Louisville fans, was to hold the tournament at the KFC YUM! Center in downtown Louisville. That one had about as much chance making it past the folks in Providence, Villanova and Seton Hall as a Ford Escort has winning a NASCAR event. And, the fans just might find their way to Turfway Park or Churchill Downs simulcasting facility after the games...or the Horseshoe Casino in New Albany. But, to borrow a line from Judge Smells in the movie CADDYSHACK..."there is no gambling at Bushwood, sir". Or the BIG EAST Tournament either, apparantly. I wonder if Kentucky State Senator and gubernatorial candidate David Williams is behind this, somehow?

Someday they may move the tournament to another location.

(When pigs fly, monkeys jump out of my ears and John and George join Ringo and Paul on stage for a Beatles reunion.)

The Geno Invitational breathes again. UConn has a top women's basketball program year in and year out. Do they really need the BIG EAST Tournament in their back yard every year? I hear that there are pretty nice facilities and St. Louis, Detroit and Boston where people can play basketball. Isn't it time to try a neutral court?


CARDINAL COUPLE reader Danny Smythe likes to ride his bicycle from Schnitzelburg to the UofL Belknap Campus each evening after work. He was greeted with a major surprise Monday evening when a huge water-main break flooded a large portion of the campus. As he describes it:

A major water-main break had this UofL parking lot
on Floyd submerged.
"Floyd and Warnock...down by the McDonalds a lake. I thought the Ralph Wright Natorium had sprung a leak at first. That area near the softball stadium on Floyd...same deal."

The pipe burst around 6:30 p.m. Monday evening, according to Metropolitan Sewer District workers, and has affected a wide swath of businesses in the area...even stretching to the downtown area of Louisville, where 100's of businesses had little or no water pressure.

A boil-water alert is in effect for Louisville Water Company customers in the areas west of Bardstown and Baxter roads, west to Ninth Street, north to the Ohio River and south to the Watterson Expressway.

Greg Heitzman, president of Louisville Water Company, said the break happened at a "T" section of two 48 inch pipes near Eastern Parkway. Officials were able to find the break minutes after it occurred and began shutting off the valves feeding the break. The last of three large valves was closed shortly after 9 p.m., but officials said it would take six to twelve more hours to turn off smaller valves feeding the break.

"It's a heck of a thing, reminds me of when the river flooded back in the spring of 1997 and River Road and Adams Street were underwater." Smythe recalled. "Took forever to clean that mess up and it'll be the same with this."

The University of Louisville will have one additional CARDINAL be held at Captain's River Rd....on Thursday, Aug 18th.

No word on start time yet or which coaches or players will attend the event.

The venue has been a popular spot for the CARDINAL CARAVANS each year and a good turnout shows up each year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Traffic troubles for gearheads?...Johnson OK for Summer Showcase?


-Kentucky NASCAR event causes major Interstate snafu

-Johnson's ankle could slow TEAM CONCEPT in Chicago.

-Questions we've been getting...

Everyone else is chipping in their two cents worth about it and it's a real slow sports
let's talk about the gridlock that surrounded Kentucky's big NASCAR event Saturday, the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in megaplex city Sparta, KY.

In the words of Ricky Bobby...I wanna go fast!
What do you expect when you try to cram 100,000 people on 1-71, trying to get off at the Sparta/Warsaw exit? This isn't RING ROAD, the much maligned circle around the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center...where 5 hour 15 minute delays trying to leave from two or three exits used to be common in the days of Louisville basketball at Freedom Hall. It isn't the jam-up on I-64 25 minutes before a Louisville game at the KFC YUM Center. It isn't even the gridlock on Woodlawn Avenue outside of the Churchill Downs parking lot during Derby week. 

What was it? 100,000 people who should have known better.

Did anybody really think they could roll up on open parking an hour before the race and leisurely stroll to their seats? Did anybody think that traffic would actually run smoothly at
a first time ever event? Or that Kentucky State Police would be efficient and handle things correctly? If you did, shame on you. You fail.

The event organizers would have been well served to maybe chat with the folks in Indianapolis..who handle a lot more cars a lot more successfully at the Indy 500. Maybe a few texts to the planners who get 100,000 plus out of Ohio State football games. And, maybe they did. They probably looked at all kinds of ways to handle traffic. None seemed to work, though.
Motorist wait to arrive at full parking lots
Or, maybe the attendees could have planned to just make a day out of it and arrive 8 hours early...grill out, throw a little bean bag and pitch a tent. Heck, they even could have called Lexington and talked to the Commonwealth Stadium advisers who seem to handle 60,000-70,000 patrons successfully 6-7 times each fall for Wildcat football. I'm not suggesting that they consult the folks who organize traffic patterns at UofL football games. They still haven't figured that one out...going on 14 years. Even in the final Kragthorpe years, it was still a mess.

Once bitten, twice shy. They probably won't have the mess next year that they did this year.
People will arrive earlier, a shuttle system will probably be effected and additional parking will be secured. The attendees may actually even listen next time to the warnings well a week in advance that things were going to be crowded. Don't look for any major changes on I-71 or the exit ramps. Not for a once a year event.

Shawn Wilson of Louisville had the right idea.

"We got church in on Saturday night, then got up early Sunday morning and were on the road by 7:30 a.m. We got there in plenty of time, set up the chairs, the gazebo and grill and we had a great afternoon. The ones I feel for are the motorists that were travelling I-71 like on a vacation or something and got caught in the mess with no intention of attending the race. "

All that to see a bunch of cars turning left at speeds well over 100 m.p.h. As my buddy Bob has told me..."Some people get NASCAR, some don't."

I guess I'm in the "don't" category. 5 hours to go 5 miles. Sounds like the Cards offense in the Kragthorpe years...


Power forward Kailee Johnson of Portland, Oregon - ranked #5 in the 2013 class by ESPN HoopGurlz - suffered a right-ankle sprain during one of Team Concept's opening day victories at the End of the Trail Tournament. 

Johnson's ankle
a question mark this week?
"It didn't seem like a big thing at the time," Team Concept coach Michael Abraham said. "But it's pretty swollen now." 

The injury caused changes in the team's rotation, according to Abraham:

"It really hurt us. She and Mercedes (Russell) were really playing well off each other. Now, teams can double team Mercedes and we don't have a weak side rebounder."

Despite a hobbled Johnson, Team Concept won the tournament. It'll be much tougher this week for the Oregon team in the NIKE Summer Showcase if Johnson can't go at full strength.  Well over 250 college coaches are expected to attend the Summer Showcase event.

We appreciate the e-mails received here at CARDINAL COUPLE. A lot of you ask us questions and we try to reply with timely and accurate e-mail answers to you. A lot of your questions concern UofL women's basketball. Here are some recent ones:

How did Cierra Warren's surgery go?

She is up and walking around without any limp. Did a little bit of practice during June. Is expected to accompany the team to Canada in August. She is optimistic and positive about the knee procedure and should be a major force inside for UofL this upcoming season.

Is it true that Charmaine Tay won't go to Canada with the team?

It has been reported that Charmaine will be attending classes on campus in August and last we've heard has her doing this instead of making the trip. All things subject to change, we realize...but - so far - that is all we know.

What is the current women's roster?

Asia Taylor is returning for her junior year.
She is Sonja's favorite player.
As of last report, 14 Lady Cards on board. They are...Becky Burke, Monique Reid, Asia Taylor, Tia Gibbs, Shelby Harper, Cierra Warren, Shoni Schimmel, Antonita Slaughter, Shawnta Dyer, Sherrone Vails, Charmaine Tay, Sara Hammond, Jude Schimmel and Bria Smith. 

Who will start for UofL this upcoming season?

We have no idea. One would assume Shoni, Mo and Asia would return to the starting lineup from last year...but we've seen nothing to indicate or presume that Coach Walz and his staff have made a starting lineup determination as of yet. Besides, it isn't so much about who starts as it is about who is in there in "crunch time".    

When will the full schedule be released for UofL women's basketball?

Normally its early September and its not just to do with the BIG EAST.  Many of the BE teams play in pro arenas, therefore you don't just wait on the league office but also for the NBA, NHL to also get their ducks in a row (basically, it's a lot of hands).  Usually, its  been between Sept 5-11 for the entire schedule release. (however, schools already have their non-conference slates - but some release and others do not.)

How will the Lady Cards do in the BIG EAST?

Pure speculation here...but we see a top 4 finish for them in regular season play. UConn loses Maya Moore but is loaded again, Notre Dame comes back strong and Rutgers returns significant talent and brings in a strong recruiting class. Louisville fits in here somewhere. Syracuse, St. John's, Georgetown and DePaul all have the talent and ability to unseat any the four mentioned, though. In's going to be another war in the best conference in college women's basketball. As the season gets closer, we'll break the BIG EAST teams down and offer a preseason prediction. We may need a crystal ball and psychic advisor....