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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Lacrosse takes Big East Awards...More on Shoni...A'ja Wilson decides


- Boltja, McNamara sweep BIG EAST Player awards

- Nice read on Shoni

- 2014 #1 recruit A'ja Wilson decides

Two Cards have taken the weekly BIG EAST Lacrosse awards

BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week
Nikki Boltja, Louisville, Sr., A
Boltja led the offensive effort for the Cardinals, who outscored their opponents 31-15 in a 2-0 weekend. The senior registered four goals on six shots and an assist against Temple on Friday afternoon before exploding for a six-goal, two-assist showing against Villanova in Sunday’s weekend finale. The senior entered the week ranked third nationally in goals per game and jumped to No. 2 following her 10-goal week for a 4.0 goals per game average. Boltja’s eight points against the Wildcats is third-most in Louisville single-game history and is tied for the 2014 BIG EAST single-game high.

BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week
Stephanie McNamara, Louisville, Fr., D
McNamara was tasked with marking two of the top offensive threats in the BIG EAST last week in Temple’s Jaymie Tabor and Villanova’s Chelsey Henderson, holding both without a point. The freshman held Tabor scoreless for the first time this season and Henderson just the second time in 2014 and first since Feb. 26 against nationally ranked Navy. Without goals from two of their main contributors, McNamara and the Louisville defense held Villanova and Temple below their season scoring averages in a pair of Cardinal wins last weekend.

Lacrosse plays the first of three at home today with a 4 p.m. start against UConn. The Huskies are in second place in the BIG EAST standings behind Louisville.

StandingsConferencePct.GFGAOverallPct.GFGAHomeAwayNeutralLast 10Streak
Louisville 4-01.000683010-3.7691961123-07-30-08-2W 6
Connecticut 3-1.75048418-5.6151421314-33-21-07-3W 1
Georgetown 3-1.75051396-7.4621501462-44-20-14-6W 3
Villanova 2-2.50045467-6.5381321274-33-30-05-5L 1
Temple 2-2.50046435-8.3851221445-40-40-04-6W 1
Rutgers 1-3.25044477-7.5001111385-42-30-04-6L 1
Marquette 1-3.25035415-8.3851131503-12-70-04-6L 3
Cincinnati 0-4.00018686-8.4291191753-23-60-05-5L 5

Get out to the Louisville Lacrosse field today to support your LAX Cards. Admission is free.

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If you're like us here at CARDINAL COUPLE, you can never get enough news and articles about Shoni Schimmel. The link below has a nice take on Shoni and her future in the WNBA.

The buzz since Monday night has been about Shoni teaming up with Angel and also about Nita and Asia getting selected
for the WNBA.

Here's a couple of things you may have not known about the WNBA:

1) All rookies that make teams get $52,000 a year. That's not guaranteed, either. You get paid weekly. If you get cut or dropped by a team during the season...your paycheck stops also. Just because you get drafted doesn't mean you are guaranteed to make the team either.

2) WNBA teams will be allowed to have 12 players on the roster this season, but there is a salary cap in place if a team has several high-salaried stars...they may only carry 9 or 10 players to stay under the cap.

3) A player can not play in the WNBA until they have been out of high school for four years. No "one and dones" in this league. I like it. It stresses the importance of getting the four years of college and a degree.

We wish Shoni, Nita and Asia all the best in "the league" and hope they are around for a long time. Long enough to million dollars!

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The #1 ranked player in the class of 2014 high school basket ball seniors has made her mind up on where she's attending college to play ball and....surprise, surprise!!!'s NOT CONNECTICUT.

A'ja Wilson will stay at home and attend South Carolina. A nice "get" for Dawn Staley...the 6'5" Wilson is a game changer and will make an immediate impact for the Gamecocks and in the SEC....if Staley uses her wisely and doesn't let her languish on the bench like Holly Warlick did with Mercedes Russell this year.

Congratulations, Ms.Wilson! We're glad you didn't fall for all the UConn hype and arrogance and we're also glad you're in the SEC...(we like it when teams there make acquisitions that will help them beat Kentucky.) The only thing better would be having you at Louisville in the ACC.





  1. Regarding yesterday's comments concerning growing the game of women's basketball: There were a number of good comments including Paulie's reference to The Val Ackerman report. Here is a link where the 52 page report is summarized.

    We also need a reminder that there are many locations where D1 men's basketball has pretty low attendance. There are also some with a even larger attendance than those I am referencing such as Notre Dame's men who play in same location as their women - which is a very nice facility but with a seating capacity that rivals the UL women's average attendance.

    This is not to say that because of the low attendance elsewhere that UL fans should ignore opportunities to increase our fan base. I just was observing that attendance issues is not only limited to women's sports.

    Sandy W.

    1. There are certainly some men's programs that have trouble drawing crowds. The big drivers of revenue in all of college sports are football and men's basketball due primarily to the huge TV contracts in the big conferences. That and the fact that alumni are more likely to donate to schools with visible & strong football / men's basketball programs. WCBB is by far the most popular women's college sport which is what makes it's limited popularity such a problem for women's collegiate sports generally.

      Title IX has been great for women's collegiate sports from a participation standpoint but it is also the driver of the overhead in WCBB. Page 27 of Ackermans white paper references a 2011 Bloomberg News article that indicated that the WCBB programs at 53 public schools in the six largest conferences posted an average operating deficit of $2.07 million dollars in 2010. Ackerman notes that an official at one of those schools confirmed to her that losses of that magnitude are unsustainable. No doubt.

      There are no easy answers. Title IX will continue to guarantee that the overhead associated with WCBB will be comparable to the men's programs in order to try to comply with the law. It's been noted in other publications that the WCBB head coach salary at the big schools is normally the third highest of all of sports at a given school after football & men's basketball. Since there is almost never significant offsetting revenue for that salary it guarantees a financial quagmire.

      These high expense levels are magnified by the generally poor attendance in WCBB and generally lower ticket prices that can be charged.

      It may be cold comfort but it isn't just WCBB. WNBA attendance in 2012 & 2013 was the second and third lowest in the history of the league. I think the fact that Ackerman has such an intimate knowledge of the W due to her early stewardship of the league lends some credence to her white paper. If anyone should understand the women's game it should be her.

    2. We should not forget that many men's sports ran a significant deficit in the past and some do currently as well. Again, we tend to think that all men's football and basketball programs make money. Unfortunately this is not true and there also are many non- revenue sports of both men and women who run in the red.

      In the past UL football - for many years - ran in the red to the tune of millions of dollars. During the 70's they would beg students to come to the football games and for free and at one time considered shutting it down. Fortunately this did not occur as athletics exist for many reasons beyond the specific benefits to the players.

      I am not trying to put down any of the the men's programs. I am just reminding folks that it takes time to build a profitable program and the women's teams really are just in their early stages. They should be afforded the same opportunities to succeed as men's programs were given as the schools were always able to find the money to operate the guys teams, even when year after year they operated in the red.

    3. One of the most knowledgeable people out there on the economics of college sports is an attorney by the name of Kristi Dosh. She is also ESPN's lead sports business reporter. She recently wrote a book titled "Saturday Millionaires" which discusses how money and college athletics really work. She also has a comprehensive knowledge of Title IX and it's impacts on the money side of college sports and as a woman it's difficult for her to be accused of being part of the NCAA "old boys club". Although the title is a bit offputting and the book reads a bit like a college text it is by far the best study I've ever read on the subject. It can be picked up on Amazon for a few bucks and is highly recommended.

      We probably won't agree on whether forty years is long enough to establish women's intercollegiate sports or not. To me the real issue is that due to Title IX the overhead of women's sports is comparable to men's with basically no income. The interview section of Ackerman's paper also touches on this issue.

      I didn't realize until today that Dosh is also a big Tom Jurich fan. Attached is a video of her discussing the new Adidas deal the Cards just signed. Pretty impressive.`

    4. That link didn't work for some reason. This should.

  2. Since we're still talking about WNBA draft day still here is something that looks like very good news:

    Viewership for the draft was the second highest recorded in the thirteen years that ESPN has been broadcasting the event. It was also 9% higher than last year. This is particularly impressive given the huge push that Griner / Delle Donne / Diggins received from all media last year leading up to the draft.

    While I don't necessarily think the Cards or Shoni should be taking too much of the credit I thought that the top metered markets they called out as being overachievers was pretty interesting:

    - Hartford-New Haven - No surprise - UConn
    - Lexington - No surprise - Assume we are included in that market
    - Las Vegas - Surprise to me - significant Native American population in NV
    - Nashville - No surprise - Lady Vols
    - Alburquerque - Surprise to me - significant Native American population in NM

    I could be wrong but it looks like the Natives came out big time for Shoni. Good news for Louisville WBB and the WNBA. Who would have thought that viewership would be almost ten percent higher than the "Big Three" from last year?

  3. Paulie, my take on Russell (based on what I saw on two TV games and in the Vols' loss to MD at the Yum!) is that she is not very mobile on offense or defense and is, quite frankly, slow getting up and down the court. She couldn't crack the UT starting lineup this year and, based on what the Vols have coming back, she may not start next year. Do I wish she had chosen Louisville.....sure I do. But I'm not so sure that she will be the star that everyone thought she would be.

  4. Ironic congratulating a player for not succumbing to the "hype" and "arrogance" of UConn who waited until the last second to go where everyone knew she was going for more than a year, and making a spectacle out of it in the process.

    BTW, Wilson wasn't even the consensus best player in her class. She #1 in two of the five majors recruiting publications.

  5. Seattle Storm made a big mistake not picking Shoni, their only sold out game will be when Shoni comes to town, her home the North West. btw Shoni's jersey is out of stock at the moment! SOLD OUT!


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