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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

ACC WBB is as tough as expected -- Wednesday CARDINAL COUPLE


Going into the 2015-16 women's basketball season, Louisville was aware of the tough road that laid ahead when they completed a very challenging non-conference schedule. With 1/4th of the ACC regular season schedule in the books, the Cards sit atop the ACC standings along with Notre Dame at 4-0. The work for Louisville has just begun, though...five ACC schools (Notre Dame, Miami, Florida State, Louisville and Duke) are in the NCAA top 25 and the Cards have yet to meet two of them. 

How is Syracuse not? We'll get into that later...

Six schools have just one loss in conference play so the chance for change and upheaval definitely still exists. The Cards prepare to go on a three game road-swing where they'll face three of those one-loss conference opponents (Virginia, NC State and Syracuse)..a trip that will have Louisville away from the friendly surroundings of the KFC YUM! Center until January 28th. 

Who are the movers and shakers in the Atlantic Coast Conference so far? 


  • 1.Aaliyah Whiteside20.59
  • 2.Azura Stevens17.76
  • 3.Shakayla Thomas17.62

Louisville has faced all three of these point-producers and Whiteside had 24 against the Cards, including 11 free throws. The other two were held to below their season averages. Myishia Hines-Allen is fifth in the conference at 15.4 ppg. 


  • 1.Azura Stevens9.06
  • 2.Milan Quinn8.75
  • 3.Adut Bulgak8.00

Stevens and Bulgat both had more than their averages against the Cards and Louisville hasn't faced Quinn yet. Hines-Allen has 7.7 and Cortnee Walton has 7.4 for Louisville.

(Sidebar...I see Cortnee's named misspelled a lot in various publications and message boards. It is CORTNEE, not Courtnee. Give Mama Lion her due respect...) 

Some other numbers...

The Cards are sixth in the ACC in scoring offense (71.9), 11th in scoring defense (62.3) and ninth in scoring margin (9.6).

Sit down for this next stat....Louisville is 3rd. in the ACC with free throw percentage at 71.4%. You can scratch your head in puzzlement on these next ones...the Cards are last in the league in 3 point field goal percentage defense at 35.4%. Louisville is also last in conference in defensive rebounds per game. 

Louisville's next three opponents have a combined 36-14 record this season. 

ACC...good as advertised and tough as expected. 

Now...the case for the 'Cuse...

Syracuse is a dangerous opponent that waits at the end of the road trip. They are receiving votes in the AP poll but still not being recognized in the top 25. The Orange (12-4) certainly have nothing to be ashamed of in any of their Maryland, Arizona State, Tennessee and North Carolina. Like Louisville, they have had most of those losses early in the schedule...they are currently on a 6-1 run and deserving of a spot in the top 25. 

Only the SEC (7) has more schools in the AP Top 25, than the ACC. The top 25 is dominated by six conferences. The Pac-12 also has five schools represented. The Big 10 adds three and so does the Big 12. The AAC lists two schools in the top 25. These numbers will probably change as the season progresses...but just as football talks of the "Power 5"...women's basketball can point to their "Power 6". 

Any claims that the ACC is a better women's basketball conference than the SEC might have to wait...the ACC is 4-10 in head-to-head matches against SEC schools. 

Fun times ahead for the Cards as they roll through January. It will be good to get back into the KFC YUM! Center...where Louisville is 81-10 since beginning play there in 2010.



  1. Any information as to how we might find a link which will show the video for Thursday's Virginia game?

  2. The game is listed as a premium event (for purchase, I guess) over at the UVA site.

  3. We knew what we were getting into when we joined the conference. In fact is was one of the reasons the the ACC looked so appealing. It is up to us to rise to the occasion and I am certain we wil.l

  4. A great conference brings great players and the cards have those and are facing them. This team is just beginning to jell. Wait until March.

    Curtis Franklin

  5. Walz said this morning on The Howie Show he expects another clunker out of this team. Way to see the glass half full, Coach.

  6. Nothing of the sort was said. Said the team is playing much better, and there will probably be a hiccup down the road (which he hopes doesn't happen) but he's stressing to the team to keep their effort high and keep defending and rebounding so that when those hiccups happen they can find a way to still compete.

    No one would confuse Walz for a ray of sunshine, but let's not misrepresent what he's saying like he doesn't believe in his team

    1. I didn't hear the segment unfortunately...because I do try and catch Howie's show whenever I can (and...of course you can catch me live on there on Tuesday's around 11:45 a.m.) but I would think that we would be running with blinders on if we went with the assumption that there will not be any rough spots for the team the remainder of the season. Yes, the squad is playing quite well right now and is in the top 25...but there are those games when the shots won't fall, the opponent seems to be hitting everything they put up and the refs are atrocious. It's probably the feeling Duke's coach Joanne P. McCauley experienced Sunday. The key is how well they react and do when these happen. Louisville still has yet to play Syracuse, Notre Dame, UNC and Miami. Those are four opponents very capable of giving the Cards a hard time.

      As far as Walz goes, he shoots from the hip. If the team throws in a clunker or has a hiccup, he'll handle it accordingly. Let's not forget how young this team is and also how far they've come since the start of the season.

      None of us want it to happen, obviously...but if and when it does...I'm sure the coaches and players will analyze what went wrong and determine how to fix it.


  7. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the team has a "clunker" or "hiccup" or whatever you want to call it, especially on the road. This is still a young team with everyone learning her role. I don't view that as's realism. Look at what happened to the Kansas men this week. I do think that this will be a team to be reckoned with in March. I expect them to drop a couple games along the way...just hoping they can finish in the top four and grab a double bye in the tournament.


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