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Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Previewing the ACC: North Carolina. WNBA: Dream break Fever




- CHILLIN' 4 CHARITY:  Shoni version

North Carolina is the next school we are looking at as we work our way down the ACC alphabetically.

They go by several names besides North Carolina. UNC, Carolina, Heels and Tarheels are the most common.

Address: Chapel Hill, NC

Mascot: Rameses

Enrollment: 29,127 (2013)

Acceptance rate: 27.6% (2012)

Founded: December 11, 1789

Colors: White, Carolina blue

The Ram is the official UNC mascot. He is known as either Rameses or Jack.

UNC participates in (14) women's sports:

Basketball                                   Rowing
Cross Country                              Soccer
Fencing                                       Softball
Golf                                            Swim & Dive
Lacrosse                                     Volleyball
Track & Field                              Tennis
Gymnastics                                 Field Hockey
Rowing                                       Volleyball

We'll look at four of these today.


Mavunga will be a key for UNC
The TarHeels had an impressive 2013-14 season. On a squad that lost Coach Sylvia Hatchell to leukemia treatments, they went 27-10 and got to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament after knocking off South Carolina. They fell to Stanford to end their season.

A talented compliment of players return, including Stephanie Mavunga, Allsiha Gray and Jessica Washington. They do lose Diamond DeShields via transfer route.


An impressive season for UNC, going 18-6 and reaching the NCAA semifinals before falling to UConn 2-1. They return a strong cast and are expected to battle Duke and Virginia for the conference title.


UNC went 15-5 overall and 5-2 in the tough ACC Conference. They made the NCAA Tournament but fell in the second round to conference rival Virginia.


A rapid start to the season had the Heels at 12-0 before taking their first loss to Duke. They ended 27-5 on the season and 16-4 in conference but was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round by California.


Carolina is a lot like Duke in the fact that they are usually pretty  
good and top 25 ranked in most women's sports they field. They'll challenge the Cards on the hardwood and in the fall sports of field hockey, soccer and volleyball. Basketball, in particular, will be a tough test for Jeff Walz and the Cards...despite DeShields departing, they have an experienced team returning.

Louisville isn't on par with UNC in field hockey or lacrosse yet, but is gaining ground.  Soccer and volleyball appear to be evenly matched.   


 It took Angel McCoughtry more than 25 minutes to get going. Once she did, the Atlanta Dream were on their way to their ninth win in 11 games.

McCoughtry scored 12 of her 20 points in the second half, leading the Dream to a 76-68 win over the Indiana Fever on Sunday night. Her 3-pointer with 2:04 left in the game put the Dream (11-4) up for good.

After taking stock of her game at halftime, she wanted to be more engaged in the second half.

"I was just lazy on my shots," McCoughtry said. "Once I get my focus, I can knock anything down. I hit a 3, made a couple of plays to get us going and found my rhythm."

Atlanta appeared to be on the verge of letting the game get away midway through the fourth quarter. Nursing a 65-61 lead, the Dream committed four straight turnovers -- two by McCoughtry -- that sent Indiana on a 7-0 run for a 68-65 lead with 3:53 left.

Indiana then let its opportunities to grab the win slip away.

Briann January missed a wide-open layup with 3:30 left that would have given Indiana a five-point cushion. Then, with a 68-67 lead and 2:25 on the clock, Karima Christmas missed two free throws that set up McCoughtry for the go-ahead 3-pointer.

With the Dream leading 72-68 with under 43 seconds left, Celine Dumerc blocked Shavonte Zellous' 3-point attempt and then scored in transition, sealing the game for Atlanta.

"Indiana always plays you tough," Dream coach Michael Cooper said. "They gave us all we could handle."

The Fever (6-9) lost their fourth straight game.

Zellous scored 18 points to continue her hot streak for the Fever. She had 33 points against Tulsa on Wednesday and 18 points Friday against Phoenix in narrow defeats.

Sancho Lyttle scored 16 points for Atlanta and Erika de Souza added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Natasha Howard and Marissa Coleman each scored 10 for the Fever. Shoni Schimmel had five points in 13 minutes of action.


Chillin' 4 Charity has gone viral. Everyone is getting into the act.
Here's Shoni getting hers:



  1. Paulie, just a note. I find it very hard to read the words when you use dark colors on the red background, but that could just be 69 year old eyes. :)

  2. Yeah, Charlie...been having some color troubles when I go to format articles from different sources in Blogger. Others have mentioned it to me as well. I'm trying, with my limited skill in formatting and editing abilities, to rectify and correct today's post. Hopefully, I'm successful at it...


  3. Yesterday Shoni just could not get into the flow that Angel spoke of. Apparently a number of others had the same problem as Coach Cooper substituted very liberally throughout the game, particularly during the 1st 1/2.

    I primarily saw Rookie types of indecisive moments while playing a bit too hyped / not settled. I have seen her play better this season and think that she will get back on track. Her first opportunity will be this Tuesday when Indiana returns the travel favor and plays at Atlanta.

    Sandy W.

  4. We all love Shoni, but Cooper sits her because she keeps getting beat on defense. I think she'll be a great pro eventually but she's got to work harder to get better on D.

    It looks like she'll be a starter in the WNBA All Star game. I just hope she understands that it's basically a "beauty contest" and she's got miles to go on the defensive side before she's going to be a true top WNBA guard.

    1. Cooper said in a recent interview that Shoni is working hard on improving her defense. I have noticed an improvement since the beginning of the season. Of course she still has a ways to go.

  5. Yeah, Shoni could be a liability on "D" at UofL as well....but she wins games. Cooper needs to wise up and play her. Atlanta beas people with fast break, transition basketball. You need a pretty good assist maker to run an effective transition fast break.

    Cooper meet Shoni. She should be getting 25+ a game. If not, let her go to a team (and a fan base) that she can do that in. Cooper played on several NBA franchises (especially the Lakers) that didn't give a hoot or a hollar about defense. What, he's born again? Does he really think the average WNBA fan shows up to marvel about defense?



    1. I have watched, on internet, all of this year's Atlanta Dream games. Shoni's defense definitely has improved, and it is obvious to those who have followed her history, that she is putting a greater effort into her defense. Unfortunately on Sunday she was getting beat way too often on defense while at the same time making too many mental errors on offense. Also for some reason her 2 and 3 point shots are both sitting in the 30's % range which has to improve.

      Coach Cooper was right to take her out as this game was a closely contested contest until the last minute of play.

      The first quarter showed all Atlanta players liberally moved on and off the floor as defense was just not there. Eventually he settled on those he thought were carrying out what he was asking of them. Shoni has the opportunity this year to learn the guard position ( both offense and defense) from a 7 year professional player from the European leagues. This is a luxury many do not get.

  6. Actually Cooper won the NBA defensive player of the year award in 1987. He was the Lakers defensive stopper during the Showtime era. None other than Larry Bird called Cooper the best defender he faced during his career.

    No one believes more in Shoni than Cooper except possibly the native population and U of L fans. He understands what he has from a marketing and offensive perspective. He also understands that it doesn't matter if Shoni drops 25 a game if her defensive impact allows their competitors to drop 26 and win the game. She's not going to consistently get more minutes until the other teams stop going right at her when she's in the game because they can beat her.

    Cooper has already won a couple WNBA championships with the Sparks. He knows what he's doing. He's giving Shoni tons of rope this year but he's not going to give her so much that it costs the Dream games if he can help it.

    Defense is hard work. Shoni will get there eventually and she's lucky to have a coach that has pretty much done it all and should be able to bring her along.

    Fans marvel about wins and championships. Defense wins championships. That's why Cooper is in Atlanta. Remember they've lost in the championship series three of the past four seasons.


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