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Friday, January 6, 2012

Watson column...BIG EAST stats


-Watson wonders...

-BIG EAST WBB rolls on

-Bria Smith article

(David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE. He takes time today to send us these musing. Enjoy!)

These two drive the
Notre Dame train
I guess I have to wonder just how huge the Saturday WBB game between UConn and Notre Dame can be this early in the BIG EAST schedule. This is a game that needs to be played in the last week of BIG EAST regular season scheduling. It's obvious these two are going to be atop the BIG EAST schedule (at least to me) when March 2nd. rolls around and the teams convene in Hartford for the Geno Auriemma Invitational (aka the BIG EAST tournament). Who's going to knock either off besides each other? DePaul? Not likely. Louisville? Only if Tia and Monique return (once again, not likely) and Walz finds a two game eligibility clause to play Angel and Candyce against them.

Rutgers? Well, difficult but not impossible. And, C.Viv. has both visiting the RAC this year. The problem is that the games are back to back. Would the Scarlet Knights have anything left for UConn if they should pull the upset against N.D.?

Oh, wait. They DO face up again Feb. 27th. in the XL to end the regular season. Never mind.

(David Watson)
Those who pooh-pooh BIG EAST football need to sit down and shut up. Bowl games this year? Louisville has the only loss. Rutgers 27 - Iowa State 13. Cincinnati 31 - Vanderbilt 24. West Virginia (still scoring) - Clemson (on the plane and headed back to South Carolina. Coach class.) Pitt can make it a 4-1 BIG EAST advantage with a win over SMU Saturday. And you thought BIG EAST football was dead.

So is Notre Dame better than UConn this year in BIG EAST WBB? I asked five followers of the league. All agree. All also live within a hour's drive of South Bend. Hey, no one said it was an objective poll. They're #2 and #3 in the nation. The Saturday game is on CBS at 4 p.m. At least we won't have to sit through Brent Musburger or Doris Burke on the audio. 

Just how good is Sugar Rodgers of Georgetown? She had three pretty incredible games as of late. 34 points against Vermont and 36 against Dartmouth. I know, not exactly great competition, but she had 28 points in a 59-50 loss to DePaul Tuesday night. Oh, the things Jeff Walz could do with her in the red and black.

Finally, I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I caught a dinger of a cold on December 24th. and kept the Kleenex and NyQuil people in business for about 10 days. Just beginning to feel better. My New Year's Eve was spent sipping chicken soup and ginger ale. Yeah, that David - a real party animal.

(If we know David Watson, that ginger ale probably probably had a dose or two of "Kentucky's finest" mixed in with it...) 


As the BIG EAST WBB teams take a few days off before returning back to action tomorrow with seven conference games and Louisville on Sunday, let's get caught up on where the league is at. There are still seven teams undefeated in conference play...UConn, Notre Dame, Louisville, DePaul, Villanova, West Virginia and USF. Georgetown and St. John's are 1-1 and Syracuse, Cincinnati, Marquette, Pitt, Providence and Seton Hall have yet to win. The Irish and Huskies looked impressive with wins this week against Seton Hall and West Virginia and Villanova continues to surprise with conference wins over Providence and Pitt on Tuesday night. Rutgers is rolling along, appearing in the top Ten and looking awfully hard to beat.

The Villanova Wildcats are 11-3 on the season, falling only to Princeton, Delaware and Monmouth.

Player of the Week awards for the first seven weeks have gone to Sugar Rodgers three times (including the Jan. 2nd naming) Natalie Novosel, Skylar Diggins, Jasmine Crew (Seton Hall) and Laura Sweeney (Villanova) once each.

Freshman of the Week has been dominated by UConn's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (the first four weeks) and Brittany Hrynko (DePaul), Brianna Kiesel (Pitt) and Markisha Wright (Notre Dame.)

Your leaders through Dec 31st. in offensive and defensive categories:


1. Notre Dame  85.9
2. Connecticut  80.7
3. DePaul        79.3
4. Louisville     75.0


1. Connecticut  +39.2
2. Notre DAME  +36.0
3. W. Virginia   +26.7
4. Syracuse      +16.5
( 5.Louisville    +15.6)


1. Connecticut  .487
2. Notre Dame  .485
3. Marquette    .452
4. DePaul         .440
4. (tie Louisville).440


1. Connecticut  41.4
2. W. Virginia   45.0
3. Georgetown  49.6
4. Notre Dame  49.9
(12. Louisville   59.4)


1. Syracuse      .749
2. DePaul         .744
3. Villanova     .739
4. Notre Dame  .735
(7. Louisville    .700)


1. DePaul         .364
2. Connecticut  .362
3. Cincinnati     .339
4. Notre Dame  .330
(7. Louisville     .312)

Attendance in the BIG EAST for home games:

Cincinnati 7 games average 594
Connecticut 9 games average 8167
DePaul 8 games average 2644
Georgetown 6 games average 569
LOUISVILLE 5 games average 10297
Marquette 8 games average 1620
Notre Dame 8 games average 8618
Pitt 10 games average 1989
Providence 7 games average 369
Rutgers 7 games average 2541
Seton Hall 8 games average 888
St. John's 8 games average 733
Syracuse 8 games average 708
USF 4 games average 524
Villanova 3 games average 922
W.Virginia 9 games average 1758

Schedule more non-conference games at home, Jeff. And, wouldn't it be a "suitcase always packed" situation if you played for Villanova or USF?

Louisville has a few players ranked in the top ten in various individual statistics. Becky Burke is tied for fifth in the league in made 3-point field goals with 32. Shoni Schimmel is fourth in assists per game with 4.9. Shoni and Bria Smith are tied for fourth in steals per game at 2.7.  Burke is tenth in 3-point FG percentage at .368


Regular CARDINAL COUPLE reader Mark S. has found this revealing and uplifting article on Cardinal freshman guard Bria Smith.

We shudder to think where the Lady Cards might be this season if Smith wasn't a part of the Lady Cards lineup. It almost didn't happen. Smith was verballed to Virginia out of high school. A coaching change there made her consider and she changed her choice to Louisville. Reason enough to change the name of a street on campus in her honor.

Smith has shown incredible abilities as a freshman in the Walz system and she'll be an integral part of the Cards offensive plans as Louisville goes through the demanding BIG EAST schedule.



  1. Seems the Bria Article link is not working from the site because it is incomplete. Here is the corrected link:

    The revised link should work--may need to copy and paste--

    Mark S.

  2. At least UL is leading the league in attendance! The figure that amazes me most is the 8 teams who are not even averaging 1000 people. Really thought women's college ball was catching on around the nation.
    Big East gonna be a rough ride this year, thought we could have hung with the likes of UConn and ND with Mo and Tia, but alas, looks like another maybe next year type of year, they are clearly the class of the league again. At least we get both at home late in the season, who knows, may even be able to give them a run for the money by then, and Depaul, G'town, and Rutgers as well. I'm an eternal optimist!
    Definitely gonna have to switch between the UL/ND men's game and the UConn/ND women's game tomorrow!

  3. Data entry error by the Big Guy. It has been corrected and should work now.


  4. Don't forget that once Bria re-opened her recruitment it was between Louisville and Tennessee. I, too, shudder to think what this year would be like had Bria not chosen Louisville.

    I am one of her biggest fans! I am excited for her to take to the court at home in a college uniform. A Louisville uniform. Have a great trip home Bria! I will be watching and rooting for you.

  5. Great article on Bria. If anyone sees her parents at a home game be sure and tell them how happy we are that she came to Louisville.


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