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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards must avoid "Pitt" fall today -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The Pittsburgh Panthers (10-5, 1-1) visit the KFC YUM! Center today at 4 p.m.
hoping to pull off their biggest win of the 2016-17 season against the Louisville
Cardinals women's basketball squad in what will be the first ACC road game of
the year for Susie McConnell-Serio's squad. 

Pitt got their first conference win Thursday when they downed visiting Boston
College 56-43. The Panthers got a big lift off the bench from sophomore 
Kalista Walters' 19 points to even their ACC record after opening the conference slate in The Peterson Event Center with a 82-56 loss to Miami.

Balanced scoring and "sharing the load" seems to be a good description for
the Pennsylvania school this season. Although Brenna Wise leads the Panthers with 14.1 ppg this season...she and four other players have achieved double- doubles so far in 15 games. Wise has four and Walters, Brandi Harvey-Carr, Kauai Bradley and Jasmine Whitney have one each. Wise, a sophomore, was selected to the ACC All-Freshman squad last year and the 6'0" forward is one of four players on the roster from Pittsburgh...including the coach's daughter Madison Serio. One name missing from the Pitt roster is 6'11" "Bubbles" Anderson who retired from the team because of on-going knee problems. 

Fouling Pitt may not be something the Cards want to do with any frequency.
They lead the the ACC with a 76% free throw accuracy. Five Panthers shoot
80% or better from the charity stripe and they average 11 makes a game. The Panthers are still one of the younger teams in the ACC with 2 grad students, no seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and two freshmen. 

Pitt makes their third road trip of the season today...losing to cross-state rival Penn St. 91-62 in Happy Valley and getting two wins in the Patrick Harrington Tournament in Niceville, FL. I bet that's a nice place...Niceville.

The tournament honors the former Northwest Florida State College head women's basketball coach Patrick Harrington....who died after an automobile accident in 2014. 

There is no correlation that I could find to Pat Harrington, the actor who played "Schneider" on the long-running sitcom "One Day at a Time" . 

The Panthers are 0-4 in lifetime visits to the YUM! Center and 2-12 overall against Louisville. The Cards have won the last eight meetings. Last year UofL beat Pitt 84-61 in Pittsburgh and 65-36 in Louisville. Myisha Hines-Allen ("Myzilla") seems to enjoy playing them...she had a previous career high 29 points in the first meeting and 25 in the second contest in 2015-16.

Pittsburgh's other losses this season, beside Penn St. and Miami, have come to Purdue 67-61, Charlotte 70-63 and cross-town foe Duquesne 63-54. 

If the Cards can put together a consistent effort today and get off to a good start, they shouldn't have a great deal of difficulty in getting the win...but if the "investment-in-themselves" philosophy that Coach Walz is trying to get across to the squad isn't catching could be a challenging afternoon
for Louisville. Miami and Penn State put it to the Panthers pretty well earlier this season and the 8/9 Cards are certainly just as good, if not better, than those two schools.  

Here's hoping that the return to the friendly confines of Denny Crum Court restores the Cards marksmanship. Louisville shot 36.8% at Duke and 38.2% in Virginia. Let's also hope the the "bakery" is closed on Sunday and turnovers aren't being handed out to the visitors from the Keystone state today....the Cards have had 33 in the last two outings. I think the Cards will win, and I hope they do it convincingly. 



Six other ACC games take place today.

- Virginia Tech travels to Clemson and the Hokies should cage the Tigers in that one.

- Boston College visits "Q" and the 'Cuse in the spacious Carrier Dome and "Pistol Pete's" Orange shouldn't have much trouble with the Eagles.

- NC State looks to get back on the winning track at Wake Forest. The Wolf Pack should devour the Demon Deacons.

- Virginia heads south to Chapel Hill and faces a UNC squad needing a conference "W". I'll take those Tar Heels to run over the Cavs. 

- A great match-up in Tallahassee with visiting Duke and the 'Noles. I'll go with Chief Osceola's squaws here over the devils with the blue dresses on.  

- Miami hosts Notre Dame in another top 25 showdown...I expect a close one but will predict Irish eyes will be smiling at the end of this tussle.  

We'll see if I can match Thursday's 7-0 selection success.  So far, in conference play...I'm 13-4, which is 76.4% and gets me a capital "F" in Fred's world. 



On the men's side yesterday, Louisville had all cylinders clicking in the first half down in Atlanta against the Ramblin' Wreck and flew out to a 27-18 halftime edge. The Cards bumped that up to 41-26 in the final half before Georgia Tech decided they might-as-well stay inside where it was warm and play a little basketball.

A 12-0 Tech run cut the Cards lead to 41-38...but 3's from Jaylen Johnson and Donovan Mitchell restored UofL's lead to 49-42 and the Cards got out of the Peach State (we hope, I hear the weather was nasty by Southern standards down there) with their first ACC win 65-50. 

A tip of the cap to Mitchell, who totaled 20 for the 'Ville.

Also, hopes that all will be OK with Deng Adel, who took a powerful elbow to the head in a rebound battle with Ga. Tech's Ben Lammers, hit the floor and was motionless for awhile before being assisted off the court and not returning. Concussions and Cardinals are an undesired combo this year for the men's team...Deng is the third player to suffer one this season for the guys. 

A scary moment, indeed, for the likable Cardinal with the always-present smile...and the fans watching. 



If you missed Saturday's broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR...there's no need to take to the streets and lament. We have the re-broadcast for you at the link below. 

Paulie, Worldwide and Case rambled about all sorts of stuff...including basketball, swimming, and we featured audio from Coach Walz and Virginia WBB head coach Joanne Boyle and a couple of her players. 

Our planned curling match didn't happen...they wouldn't let us ice down the sidewalk on Frankfort Ave. in front of the studio but we did get into a discussion about the sport. It's tougher than it looks. 

It's live, unrehearsed air time...(and it shows). 


see ya Sunday! 


  1. Paulie, I feel the same as you do about this one. Cards should win easily but shooting percentage and turnovers need to improve. Hopefully Durr emerges from her mini-slump.

    Here's my report from last week's road trip.

    I really enjoyed getting to see Cameron Indoor Stadium. The lower level (12 or so rows)is wooden bleacher seats with cushions, and the upper level is blue chairs. The audio was terrible. They do have a video board overhanging mid-court but they use it for individual player stats and only a few replays. Otherwise just a few high-school-like time/score boards in the corners. No team stats anywhere that we saw. The band was in the end zone next to us. No cheerleaders, dance team or mascot. The crowd was announced at 3300 in the 9300 seat venue. The demographic mirrored what you see at the Yum!. No visible student section - the Cameron Crazies took the night off. The crowd was pretty much devoid of energy until the last few minutes. A non-souvenir Coke and a small popcorn cost $10.

    John Paul Jones Arena was built in 2006 and it is a really nice venue. Capacity is 14,593 although the upper level was curtained off for the women's game. It has a nice mid-court video board that shows the live action like at Yum! and there are video boards in the corners next to visitor's bench that show lots of team stats (including points in paint, fast break points, points off turnovers, offensive/defensive rebounds, etc.). We didn't see any individual player stats but I'll bet they were there somewhere. Here again, the audio was terrible for some reason. The band was in the end zone next to us and there were cheerleaders and the Cavalier mascot. Crowd was reported at 2409. The theme that night was Disney so there were some kids in costume. A woman used every time out for Disney-themed trivia on the video board. As with Duke, the crowd was pretty quiet. We 10-12 Louisville fans could definitely be heard when the team made its run in the second half. And a non-souvenir Pepsi (boo!) and a small popcorn was $8. But the popcorn was stale and borderline inedible.

    Would have liked two wins, of course, but we enjoyed the trip and might do it again.

    1. This is a great write-up, Mike! My thoughts on Cameron pretty much mirror yours, except my seats weren't as good. I saw the Duke men play NC State there several years ago when I was on a trip there visiting relatives in the area. The "crazies" were in full force. My other time in there was in the summer when no one was present. I got down on the court, saw a ball in the corner and with Sonja was taking jumpers when a custodian approached us. He was pretty cool, talked to us a long time about the facility and the program and took us on a brief tour of the locker rooms and offices. He was an older guy and had heard of my uncle...who was a realtor in the area. As we were leaving, Coach K was coming in and we briefly chatted...I was decked out in my Cardinal gear and he spoke highly of Rick and the men's program. He didn't remember Sonja, who he had met on a plane several years earlier but remembered sending me the picture of him that was signed "Go Cards!" -- Mike Krzyzewski -- she had suggested.

      I've never been JPJ in Charlottesville. Been to the campus twice...once for field hockey and once for football.

      It sounds like an excellent trip! Concessions seem to be always inflated at places and of inferior quality...except at the Greensboro Coliseum...where they fed the media quite well last year at the ACC Tournament and had a great snack bar set up for us as well that even had Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. I hope the Conway, SC site this year can match that.

      Pepsi vs. Coke. I was a Coke guy back when I was drinking soft drinks. That or (when I could find it) Double Cola...which was and probably is still sold down in central and southern Kentucky. Ale One 8 was a favorite also.


  2. So, Paulie and friends...I need some investment advice. Three of us have Final Four tickets for Dallas. Should we sell or hold?

    Just kidding...we're not selling. But I'd like your thoughts on whether this team can get there.

    Here are my thoughts. If this team gets there it will need to do it by (a) continuing to play great defense, (b) limiting turnovers to about 12 per game (c) winning or at least battling to a draw on the boards and (d)getting consistent outside shooting from both Moore and Durr. Absent all four of those things, I'm afraid that this team will probably come up a bit short of Final Four material.

    1. The advice here is retain but the Cards are going to have a struggle to get there. An early projection we posted on here a few days ago showed us in UConn's region. Out of the current top four, and things will probably change by tournament would hope we might end up in Mississipi State's region. We don't want UConn, avoiding Baylor would be nice and not sure about Maryland on their court.

      Louisville can get to the regional final, in my opinion, but they are going to have to be a force on defense...continue getting yeoman efforts out of Hines-Allen and solve the point-guard issue. I will say that if you could get the M&M girls, Asia, Cortnee and BJ (or Taylor) all playing to the best of their skill sets on the same night and get 3-4 off the bench to be consistent...the sky is the limit.


  3. If BJ TAYLOR & CORTNEE became makers meaning hit there open shots the answer is yes . In my opinion.

  4. I was at Butler vs Mercer County last night. I saw Walz there. Mercer County looked horrible against Butler. 80-55 loss. Cards commit Seygen Robins never could get going. Jaylenn Penn, headed to IU, looked good for Butler and so did Lockhart. Anyone know where she's headed? Butler clamped down on the defense early and Mercer County couldn't move the ball against it. iT WAS OVER AT HALFTIME.

    1. Points off turnovers. These need to improve. Cards lost that battle at Duke and barely won it against Virginia. Cutting back on turnovers, as Paulie mentioned in the article, helps. So does creating opposition turnovers, which Louisville didn't do enough of against these last two teams and then doing something with the turnover productively.

      Case and Worldwide mentioned it on your radio show, even though it was directed toward the men's team. Defense creates offense. I think Louisville WBB has only three, maybe four good defenders. You want to make a tournament run? Get better defensively. I'll be watching on the laptop today. A shame this one has to conflict with NFL but I guess there is always something else going on.

      -- The Real Joe Hill --

    2. Didn't get there. Had thoughts of it but kept nodding off watching the men's game, fell asleep after it didn't wake up until 7. Coach Souder will get them rolling by tournament time.


    3. Just who do you have as good defenders? My count is a bit higher.I got BJ, Mariya, Cortnee, Taylor, Kylee and Jaz.

    4. I don't think any of UofL's freshmen can be consider good defenders yet. Kylee is getting close. I have Jackson, Taylor Johnson and Cortnee. I think Myisha is OK defensively but foul prone.

      -- The Real Joe Hill --

    5. Joe, you make a lot of good points but I've got to disagree with one thing you said. I guess you can never create "enough" turnovers but Cards sure created them with the second-half press against UVA. They lose that game otherwise. Taylor Johnson deserves a lot of credit. Durr did some good work on the press also. I wouldn't call Durr a great defender, but she is smart and makes more plays than people sometimes give her credit for.

    6. Yes I agree durr Is Crafty on defensive, Taylor, BJ & Cortnee digs in, Mariya & Myisha are gamers.

  5. MHA she is truly strong second time she ripped the ball out of the opponent's hands.Oh buddy!

  6. Good to see ciera & Kylee get playing time in ACC competition. Developing post players is essential for this teams future. After all Cortnee a senior.

    1. Glad she is a Sr... she does not have an aggressive mentality aside from offensive rebounds but she misses too many open shots... She needs to be getting at least 7 points per game too many times she has a goose egg ... We need more out of her offensively if this team has a chance to get pass the sweet sixteen...

    2. Courtier is an asset to this team. She does a lot besides score points, and as far as not scoring off her offensive rebounds, she gets a lot and passes back out instead of forcing up a bad shot.

    3. Stupid spell check, of course I meant Courtnee.

    4. She misses shots she could make period its a problem....


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