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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Cards pick up 24th. win...Louisville 60 - Tempe 50


- Shoni's 21, Asia's double-double lead Cards to win

It was a win.

And that might be one of the most positive and encouraging things I can say about Louisville WBB's 60-50 defeat of the Temple Owls Wednesday night in the KFC YUM! Center.

It wasn't a game to school young hoopsters on the mechanics for successful free throw shooting, as Coach Jeff Walz mentioned in the post-game presser.

Louisville was 12-26. Temple 1-9. The Owls didn't successfully put one through the hoop from the charity stripe until 6:43 remained in the game.

And, the Owls wouldn't go away quietly. It was 46-41 Louisville after that lone made Temple free throw. A 6-0 UofL run over the next three minutes...capped by a Sara Hammond layup with 3:45 left...gave the Cards a buffer zone at 52-41.

Temple still wasn't getting the message.

A three by Rateska Brown set the score at 55-48 with 34 ticks remaining. Give Shoni credit...she hit three of four free throws the rest of the way and a Monny Niamke buzzer-beater layup gave the Cards the ten point win. A win that had some Cards fans shaking their heads as they piled out of the arena.

I even had one comment to me as I headed to the post-game presser..."Should we put lipstick on this one?" And, times it was a pig. At times it was ugly.

Sometimes you win that way. It's not the most fun to sit through. I was actually checking out the stands in the second half to see if people I know were in their seats. Give 'em credit, they all were.

Shoni gets the lipstick award, I guess. Without her pointage, it's a "L". I was surprised when I saw she had 21 points. Maybe I was just watching the missed shots. 7-21 for her.

Shoni's 21 included only one trifecta and 6-10 shooting from the free throw line. Asia Taylor had another solid 32 least when she was moving...going 6-8 from the floor and grabbing 12 boards. She took almost as many free throws as the entire Temple squad and out-shot them by one...going 2-8.

In practice, the Cards have to take 50 free throws for each missed charity atempt they've had in the prior game. Asia may need to pack a lunch, bring a cot and cancel any weekend plans.

Louisville led 27-19 at halftime, overcoming a 12-11 Temple lead at the 10:46 mark.

Walz summed it up pretty well when he mentioned he was proud of the Cards defensive effort Wednesday night and not-so-pleased with the offensive output.

Nevertheless, it's one that goes on the left side of the ledger.


-Temple outrebounded Louisville 41-40. Starting a four guard line-up. Granted...Erica Colville is a 6'1" guard and had 10 of those for the Owls...but it's the third out of the last four games that Louisville has played where the opposition has had more grabs.

-Nita Slaughter had three of the four threes Louisville made. Louisville was 4-17...Tia Gibbs having a rough bombing experience at 0-4 and Shoni going only 1-7 from the deep.

-Sara Hammond saw just 26 minutes tonight but contributed seven points and nine grabs.

-Walz mentioned that Monny Niamke saw just two minutes because of a slight groin injury. She was used primarily as a defensive stopper late, replacing Nita...but did get the breakaway layup to end the game.

-Bria Smith is expected back for the Memphis contest and Walz indicated she'd come off the bench. She's expected to practice Friday and Saturday.



We'll play the interviews on our Saturday morning radio show. You can catch it, or listen to our archived broadcasts at:  

The station has applied for and received an FM broadcasting permit. Pretty soon, the voices of Jenny, Jeff and Paulie will be heard from St. Matthews to Jeffersonville and Northfield to the Highlands.

If that's not enough to make you buy an IPOD and scrap radio listening, we don't know what else it takes...

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Finally (and thanks to our anonymous poster) we can see how Jeff Walz would do as a sportscaster on the nightly news. Ron Burgundy he isn't...but if this coaching thing doesn't work out...he's got options. Link below:


Maybe I'll test him Friday with some off-the-cuff radio commentary on a random subject. No, we dont have a teleprompter...shoot, we barely have microphones.



  1. Good thing we weren't playing UConn tonight....or Duke, or Stanford, or Baylor, or ND, or about 100 other teams.

  2. Not for sure if anyone else posted a link to Coach Walz in his appearance as a WHAS celebrity broadcaster. Check it out. Coach did a great job!

  3. I'll say it again and at the risk of getting ridiculed and shouted down. Louisville needs a 6'4" or taller space blocker, rebounder and scorer. Sara wants to be a wing and Asia is a great power forward. They need a Dolson, Stallworth or Williams.

    Curtis Franklin

    1. Curtis, I won't ridicule you or shout you down. Of course they need a big....but they need one that can play, not just take up space. So do all but about 10 other WBB teams. Every time I see Mercedes Russell on TV I think "what if"....even though I know that, realistically, Walz had no chance of getting her. (If you'll recall, when she announced for UT she said that the Vols had been her dream school since she was a little girl.)

    2. Stallworth and Williams are both 6'3". From what I've seen so far, I'm not convinced that Russell would have been the answer either.

    3. Nora Kiesler (Assumption) is in Walz's backyard. Does anyone know if he is actively recruiting her? She big, trainable and plays hard. Ask Coach that one, Paulie.

    4. I'm pretty sure Coach can't talk about specific potential prospects but I might see if he and the staff watch and are aware of local girls high players. Either that or we could talk about curling Or Curlin. Now, that was one fine racehorse...


    5. Of course the coaching staff is aware of local high school players. And of course Jeff would love to have more height, under the correct circumstances. The key would be if they fit into our running, pressing forward motion style of play. Otherwise we could have a number of very tall players sitting on the bench as not being athletic enough to be on the floor. Mercedes Russell would appear to be one of those as the TN games I have seen this year make be happy that she went with the team of her child hood dreams. Need to look at more than a players height when considering recruitment. Athleticism, versatility, game IQ and integrity where our successful recruits do not play tiresome and energy sapping games with our staff only later to tell that there was never any interest anywhere except TN anyway.

      I wonder if she has yet realized that the TN of today does not appear to be the TN that she always dreamed of playing for. That team is gone and no one can put humpty dumpty together again.

  4. I have a question for Coach Walz. Why hasn't someone been working with Sara on shooting with her right hand when she takes layups or shots in the paint on the right side of the basket? If they have been working with her, why is she still shooting those shots with her left hand? Shooting those shots with her left hand puts a horrible angle on her shot.

    1. I have absolutely no doubt that Coach Walz has given much attention to the use of opposite hands use under the basket by all players. The better question might be why many of the times they do they not use the appropriate hand but fact is, he cannot go onto the court and force one hand or the other to be used.

      I think we need to step back a second and give Coach Walz some credit for being a student of the game basics.

    2. I give him all the credit in the world but seems to me like shooting bunnies with your right hand on the right side of the basket and with your left hand on the left side is pretty darn basic. It's not like she just started playing.

    3. This is a true statement. It's called Basic Basketball and they teach it in like third grade coed intramurals. Everybody loves Sara but seriously...she's an All American candidate according to the Cards website... Its a head scratcher.

  5. Painful to watch. It felt like a high school game. The positive perspective is that we're playing down to the level of our competition and we'll come around in the tourney. The negative perspective is that in spite of our great team depth we're sitting here five games from the end of the season and haven't yet locked down on a dependable second and third option scoring threat from the perimeter. Streaky is the very best way to describe all of our perimeter scorers including Shoni. Hopefully that will be enough come tourney time.

    Most concerning to me is we just seem out of synch. Maybe Temple just plays amazing defense but based on their record I'm doubting it.

    Did not in any way look like the third best basketball club in the country.

  6. That monkey picture is perfect.

  7. I think more than anything we are missing Bria.She is very much KEY to our teams sucess.Bria attracts the defense,freeing up entire team for easier shots.We are missiing her strenght,quickness,rebounding etc. on both ends of the court.When she comes back we will be fine.

  8. It was just a bad night. Be it karma, biorhythms, astrological alignment, statistical coincidence or whatever, things went badly, particularly the shooting. Tia was 0 for 5 from the floor, Asia was 2 for 8 on free throws and Shoni was 1 for 8 from beyond the arc. Missing free throws by good free throw shooters is a good indicator that this was just an off or bad night, not a systemic problem with the team or the game plan. The shots were clanging so badly that nobody wanted to shoot, so they passed it around until they threw it away or dropped it out of bounds. There are going to be nights like that. These things often happen after a big game, usually after a big win.

    It is really difficult to play well every night in a game that requires such an enormous amount of effort, synchrony, exquisite hand-eye coordination, quick thinking and quick reflexes. Instead of beating the team down for its poor performance, this is a time for empathy and encouragement. Jeff seemed to realize that and took it easy on the players, trying to emphasize the positives. The great part of this experience for Louisville is that it happened and they still gutted out a win against a pretty good team that has played pretty well at times this year. The other great thing about this experience is that Jeff should not have any trouble convincing them that they need to take all of their opponents in coming games very seriously and try to do be ready to play in all of those games. If Temple could have made free throws and got a break here or there, they could have walked away with a win. Gary W.


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