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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Where are they now?


-We catch up on six former Cardinal foes.

With the WNBA in full swing now, we were looking at some highlights from games over the past few days and the questions arose about some of the foes that used to play against Louisville over the last few years and if they were in the WNBA.

We started our search with an easy one. Former Connecticut star Tiffany Hayes is playing on Angel's team...the Atlanta Dream. We saw some clips of the Dream's loss to the Fever on Sunday and Hayes appears to have lost none of the swagger and bravado that she had with the Huskies. She and Stefanie Dolson didn't have the best games in the KFC YUM! Center when they visited during the winter...but it was a UConn win. Dolson's going to miss Hayes when the 2012-13 version of the Huskies take the court.

Next on our magical player discovery tour was April Sykes. Besides sharing our last name, we watched her career at Rutgers over her four years with interest and saw her turn into a very good player after some rough earlier years. Still remember her uncalled for "enforcer" tactics in the KFC YUM! as a junior at the end of Rutgers' loss to the Cards. Friends of ours who follow the Rutgers program tell us she gained a lot more maturity and level-headedness as a senior. She's switched coasts...playing for the LA Sparks now. 

We followed the career of Natalie Novosel early on...starting with her days of high school ball at Lexington Catholic. Novosel was a key component at Notre Dame all four years that she toiled for Muffett McGraw. Her final appearance in the KFC YUM! Center was less than spectacular...Notre Dame won but a post game press conference revealed "Double N" was suffering from flu-like symptoms and allergy problems. Natalie is in our nation's capitol now...pounding the hardwood for the Washington Mystics. Skylar Diggins is going to miss the punch that Novosel and Devereaux Peters provided with Irish with last year...

Keisha Hampton had a fantastic collegiate career with Doug Bruno and the DePaul Blue Demons until injury cut her senior year short. She had a way of dominating the Lady Cards inside and was part of the injury train that went off the tracks for Bruno's ballers last season...leaving him with just seven bodies for the BIG EAST schedule. 

She was drafted 23rd in the WNBA draft by Seattle but didn't make the final roster cut. 

We also checked out a couple of players who made things rough for the Lady Cards from a couple of seasons ago. Although Hampton isn't going sleepless in Seattle, Victoria Dunlap is. 

She was the undersized center that over-performed during her years at UK. Hated it when she played the Lady Cards, but we did like watching her go up against SEC opponents for the Cats. She's on a Seattle Storm roster that looks awfully strong this season and teamed up with former Vol Shennika Strickland and powerhouse Lauren Jackson. 

We also wondered where Cardinal-killer Courtney Vandersloot ended up. We'll remember for a long time the whipping she and her Gonzaga teammates put on the Cards early in the regional match-up a couple of years ago...and the furious rally that Louisville mustered to get back in the game. Vandersloot has left the Pacific Northwest and taken her game to the Chicago Sky roster. 

Which Cardinals will we be tracking several years from now in the WNBA? We're confident Angel will still be wrecking havoc on opponents. We'd like to see Monique Reid get the chance to test her inside-scoring proficiency against some of the front-liners on the next level. Can "Sho-time" Schimmel take her magic act to the WNBA and have success with it? Will Becky Burke have success in the European leagues and maybe catch the eye of a WNBA team that needs a long-range specialist? 

Who do you think might be introduced as a ex-Cardinal and current WNBA player down the road?  

Maybe we can get Walz to lobby for a Louisville WNBA franchise, trade for Angel, add C.B. and staff the rest of the team with Lady Cards. It'd liven up the summer months around here...and we have no doubt that filling the lower bowl in the KFC YUM! would be no problem with (what to call our imaginary team?)...

The Louisville Lasers?
The Kentucky Fillies?

Nice mind-wandering on a rainy Tuesday morning...have a great day everybody!

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