Sunday, April 7, 2013
SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE -- Cards vs. Cal
LOUISVILLE LOOKS TO BEAT BEARS
I spent over an hour this morning formatting an article on today's game in New Orleans. Also included softball's double-header win over St. John's and a Lacrosse preview.
I posted it, but I was actually on my personal web blog instead of here. First turnover of the morning. You can read all about it at:
Too much caffeine or not enough...hard to say. Go over there and read it.
So, I'll offer a second attempt here at the CARDINAL COUPLE site. And, since we are a Louisville Womens' Sports fan website, I am going to give a shout-out to you to begin. The fans. The ones that come here every day to read, to comment or just the casual fan who stops by every now and then to view.
You are the reason we do this. When we got CARDINAL COUPLE off the ground in January 2010, we had no idea how it would go. Would anyone bother to check it out or care what we had to say? It was a "shot-in-the-dark", a guess that it might be something readable and relevant.
Today is April 7th, 2013. WE now have nine writers, an average of 2700 "hits" a day and have spawned a weekly radio show to take the joy and excitement of Cardinal Womens' Athletics to a different, exciting level. We remain shocked, pleased and humbled on how this infant has grown into a strapping teenager...full of energy and optimism.
You are the reason for that.
In the early days, it was just Sonja and I. Then, David Watson jumped on board. Then Donny, Jenny, Mark, Sandy, Jeff and Quentin. The two-seater became a passenger van and all that they have done for the site over the past three years plus has been irreplaceable and unmeasurable in terms of what it means to us and the site.
I owe them so much, it can never be properly or fully repaid.
And the readers...what can I say about you? You shared in the triumphs here and commiserated in the losses. You've agreed, disagreed, reflected, opinionated and make every day an exciting adventure for me to wake up and see what you are thinking. Friendships have been formed from this site, avenues and opportunities opened and the span ranges from Oregon to Florida, from California to Maine. In Europe, Russia and Asia. I look at the "came from" tallies on our stat-tracker...where you are reading from...and it still amazes me and makes me smile.
From the "rez" to the Department of Homeland Security, from barbershops to boardrooms. From college campuses to comfy livingrooms...you've read, responded and we thank you. We're just starting, y'all. This site is getting noticed. We haven't heard no bell. Hang in there with us.
Now, to the task ahead.
Louisville will undertake another leg in the journey tonight in the 2013 WBB season. A journey that has been so much fun to be a part of. A journey that has surprised so many, including us, and that has stunned the basketball nation and the "talking heads" who cover it in the media.
They'll go up against a California team that is 32-3 and #2 seed from the Spokane Region. Layshia Clarendon, the 5'9" senior guard and leading scorer (16.4 ppg) who sports the eye-catching blonde mohawk. 6'3" center Talia Caldwell, who averages 9.1 points and 7.3 grabs a game.
Lindsay Gottlieb, the second-year Cal coach who is faced with designing a defense to stop a team that has posted 80+ points against the #1 team in the country and a #2 ranked Tennessee team that gives up points as sparingly as the freebies offered at a minimalist convention. What say you, Lindsay?
"We care about what they're running and how their getting those open looks. And, yeah, sure, I'm cognizant of the fact that they're hot. And why are they hot? And what do we need to do to cool them down? We talk to our players about that, but it becomes more about specifics of how we want to defense them or what they've been doing well and not."
Jeff Walz has had 96 hours to come up with a game plan to advance to Tuesday night. His game plans in the previous four NCAA Tournament games should be offered as a "for credit" course at all universities that offer sports administration, theory and/or management as a major.
If he'd been born sixty years earlier and been on Hilter's planning staff, we'd all be speaking German today. The man is a mastermind of design and shrugs it off with the nonchalance of a man going for a stroll in the park on a sunny day.
I do believe Louisville will win tonight and await the foe from the fourth meeting of Connecticut and Notre Dame. I do believe that the Cards are a much different team than the one that lost twice to the Irish and once to the Huskies earlier this year. I had Louisville going out of the Tournament against Baylor and 99% of you probably did as well.
Somebody forgot to tell the Cards they were supposed to be back on campus now studying for exams and watching tonight's semifinals on television. No pressure, no worries and no problem. Play like it doesn't matter, like no one believes in you and for love of game and competition. Play for the little kids that flock to you after games for autographs and pictures. Play for the hobbled old ladies who creep into their seats at the YUM! Center and scream like 21 yr. olds during games. Play for a bunch of unassuming and dedicated sports-writers here at a website who has followed every step of this journey this season.
Play for yourself and enjoy every minute. Times to shine like this are few and far between and the long hours of practice, the debates and lectures with coaches about why and how you do this or that have gotten you this far.
Enjoy the rest of the ride and know that you, too...can be and have been shining stars to a city and fan base that has been there every step of the way.
We'll be back later tonight with the report ON THE WIN.
Fill up the comments section with your thoughts and to see the well-laid out and original report I did for today's column, please go to www.paulsykes.com
Here's Saturday presser in New Orleans. Thanks, Kenny!
Final four press interview -- New Orleans