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Friday, May 27, 2016

Louisville WBB faces early test in Maryland -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Jeff Walz and the Louisville Cardinals women's basketball squad will get an early test when they face Maryland in the KFC YUM! Center for the BIG 10/ACC challenge on Thursday, Dec 1st. 

Few of us will forget the last time these two hooked up...the 2014 Elite Eight in The YUM!...when Louisville staged a furious comeback to just fall short to the Terps 76-73, which ended the Cards season. 

This will be the first time the two have met in the regular season...Maryland holding a 2-1 advantage in the post-season match-ups. It was Maryland's departure from the ACC that paved the way for the Cards to join the conference. Louisville and Maryland also hold the first two legs of horse racing's triple crown...The Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. These, of course, are not held on campus...but the Louisville campus boarders Churchill Downs and UM's campus is a mere 40 minutes from Pimlico.

Walz spent 2002-2007 as an assistant and associate coach on Maryland head coach Brenda Frese's staff before accepting the Louisville head coaching position. The Cards ran over the Turtles 77-60 during Walz's second season at The 'Ville in an Elite Eight game. Frese turned the tables in 2012...knocking the Cardinals out of the dance in the second round of the tournament. 

Back for the Terps are talented seniors Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (19.5/6.0) and Brionna Jones (15.2/9.8) from a squad that went 31-4 and won the Big 10 title for the second year in a row before falling to Washington in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It also opens the door for an announcer's nightmare match-up of Brionna Jones guarding Brianna Jones.

SWK will make you pay...
The Terps have height...six players that are over 6'2"...that will give Louisville's inside game a stiff challenge. Frese has had some recent coaching staff changes...none of her assistant have been with her more than 3 years...and both squads are making noise in the way-too-early ESPN pre-season rankings that have Louisville second and Maryland seventh. 

Maryland is also bringing in one of the best recruiting classes for 2016 in Frese's history...with 5'7" Destiny Slocum, 6'2" Stephanie Jones, 5'11" Kaila Charles, 6'6" Jenna Staiti, 5'10" Sarah Myers and 6'0" Blair Watson...all ESPN top 50 ranked. The class is ranked #1 for 2016 by ESPN. Louisville's 2016 class is ranked #5. 

6'6" JENNA STAITI will test Cards front line. 
14 games will be played over two days in the Challenge. Some other interesting match-ups include Notre Dame going to Iowa, Florida State visiting Minnesota, Duke heading to Rutgers and Syracuse hosting Michigan State. 

Fireworks early for the Cards...who used a ACC/BIG 10 Challenge game last season at Michigan State to get a win over the then top 20 Spartans to turnaround a slow start to the Louisville season. 



  1. Maryland will pose a great early-season test. They lost only four games last season (a 10-point loss to UConn in NYC, two single-digit conference losses to Ohio State, and a second-round home NCAA loss to Final Four-bound Washington. As Paulie pointed out, they return their top two scorers and have the top-ranked recruiting class coming in. This is a game I'm really looking forward to.

    1. Great fireworks early on and I'm glad this one is at the KFC YUM Center and not in College Park!


  2. And I love that we seem to be the marquee matchup out of all of the others. Prime time television for sure!

  3. I don't think there is a lot of love lost between Jeff Walz and Frese. It should be a very interesting non-conference game. Go Cards.

  4. Louisville card women will give maryland A run for there money.GO CARD....


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