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Monday, January 2, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Healthy, revamped #15 Duke a challenge for Cards...MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


(Notes while trying to remember it's 2017 and forget Saturday's football game.)

The first road game for the University of Louisville women's basketball squad in the ACC schedule has the Birds flying into Carolina country and facing a very dangerous Duke Blue Devils squad. The two will tip off at 7 p.m. tonight on ESPNU in a match that pits Louisville against another top-flight pair of guards for the second straight game. After the Christmas break, the action will start coming at you, Cardinal fans, hot and heavy with hoops and today's should be a battle.

With prayers that Grayson Allen won't be in the stands (or near the court) for this one and that the Cameron Crazies will be at home watching bowl we go! 

Rebecca Greenwell is healthy and the rest of the ACC should take notice
and be forewarned. The senior guard has had her ups-and-downs injury-wise
in her career as a Blue Devil...but is red-hot and helping lead the charge for
Joanne P. McCallie's 12-1 group. She leads the Devils with 19.7 ppg, 6.7 rebounds and has also canned a team-high 41 3-pointers this season. 
Cards fans may remember her from her high school days at Owensboro, KY
Catholic high school...where she was a 2013 All-American and made the 
Kentucky All-State first team her final three years.  

Lexie Brown is a first-year transfer for the Blue Devils from Maryland and
her impact has been immediate. She scores 17.6 a contest and is definitely
a guard you want to think twice about fouling, with a 90.9% (50-55) success
rate from the charity stripe. UofL backers will probably remember her role
in knocking the Cards out of the "Great 8" leg of the NCAA Tournament
back in 2013-14 at the YUM! Center with 20 points as a freshman.

Although key rebounder from last year Azuri Stevens left the program at the end of last season to transfer to UConn..the other "mover in the middle" Oderah Chidom returns and is flourishing well in the paint for Duke with 9.4 points a night, 24 blocks on the year and second in rebounding at 6.6. Chidom will make you pay inside if you try and drive on her and she will collect again if you leave her alone with a mid-range jumper.

These Devils with with blue unis on have stumbled but once this year...a bit
of a surprising fall to Vanderbilt in quaint Memorial Gym in Nashville back on
November 20th. December has belonged to the Devil worshipers, though...
with big wins over two common UofL foes in Kentucky and South Carolina. 
Duke is on a eight-game win streak and is unbeaten in Cameron Indoor Arena this year. 

No one said the ACC was going to be easy. 

The 13-2 Cards will counter with the red-hot Asia Durr....who lit up downtown
Louisville pre-New Years Eve with 36 points against Syracuse. Add in Myisha Hines Allen's 18 and 10 and the triple-double Mariya Moore executed 
against the Orange and you have a really great potential three-on-three 
side game that would be fun to watch. 

The Cards downed Duke pretty convincingly last year in the YUM! 65-48 back
on Jan 10th, 2016. Moore and Durr had 15 each in the win and Myisha added 
14 for UofL. Cortnee Walton grabbed 12 boards for the Cards, who forced
the Blue Devils into 22 turnovers. 

Although a lot of the names are the same, this is a vastly different Duke team
this season. Brown adds that extra dimension out front and if one of the Blue Devil top-three are having a off-night, returnees Kyra Lambert and Leanna freshman Kendall Cooper are capable of double-digit all three go to the boards very strong and will give the Cards a handful of players to keep an eye on.

What must the Cards do to get the win tonight? Here's five ideas.

  1. Avoid the "can't shoot straight early" syndrome. Louisville can't afford to have a cold start against a squad that is shooting 49% on the season and averages 81 points a game while just giving up 53. Patient offense and not firing up forced threes. Work the shot clock and get the good look. 
    2. Stay with us #2 . A seat early for Myisha Hines-Allen could spell big                   trouble for the Cards tonight. Careful on the defense with no silly fouls and         playing under control early would be sound advice for the Cardinal star.

    3. Are ya still hot? We hope so! The Cards could definitely use another 
        scorching performance from Asia Durr in this one and feel free to join
        the party early...#25. A.D is averaging almost 23 ppg in her last four and
        Louisville likely will need all those and more tonight.
     4. Score...Moore. This would be a great night to see Mariya break out of                her recent shooting slump from the deep and if Duke tries to get cute
         and "zone up" the Cards...her proven marksmanship will be needed.

     5. All-the-way-BJ! . Louisville would be greatly benefited by another of                 those "stand back and watch me work" games from Briahanna                           Jackson...doing all the sometimes underappreciated things with perfection.
        Steals, assists, rebounds, shut-down defense. It's a lot of hats to wear,               but they fit her so well. 

Another huge test for the Cards tonight... but one that the Cards are perfectly capable of passing if they can control the pace and dictate the tempo. I expect a close one. An exciting one. A winning one. Louisville needs to turn the dial to "11" tonight with their hustle and intensity. 

Who will step up off the bench in this one? It seems it's someone different each time in Louisville's recent games. With the style of ball Duke likes to play, we're hoping Jazmine Jones can take advantage of this great setting to explode and if Sydney Zambrotta can get a few open could be trifecta time in a state that has no horse-racing tracks. 



In case you missed THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR Saturday (which is perfectly understandable with all the different things going on)'s a link to the re-broadcast. We had fun in the studio discussing hoops and football and even made a few New Years resolutions. Worldwide even explains the concept of time to me. Stunning, really....

It's live radio. We get our surprises from time-to-time (like Paulie's chair plummeting a foot or so unexpectedly near the end of the broadcast) but that's part of the allure. 


Monday ,monday....can't trust that day


  1. Cards could be in for a long night if they can't shut down Greenwell and Brown. Plus Duke has a star inside with Chidom. Walton needs to be board-aggressive and the defense really needs to shut down Duke right at the half court line instead of letting them get set and run their offense.

    Curtis "You can't spell Duke without UK...what?" Franklin

  2. Glad this one is at Duke. Means there won't be a Grayson Allen trip. Cards fall on the road. Too much, too early for this team.

    1. I find this interesting when The Cards beat them well last year, have everyone back plus a very talented freshman class. I am not saying that you are necessarily wrong, but an interesting take.

  3. We match up well with Duke. If BJ can step up and play Brown tough, I think that'll be the difference in the game

  4. I like our chances. The last time WBB played in Cameron they got punched in the face. They seemed totally intimidated. I don't think this years club will have that problem...with BJ & MHA's attitudes leading the way.

    Duke is much stronger than I thought they would be after their disaster last year. We'll have to play a strong game but we can take them. A win will be a big positive step. We need one against an unquestionably strong opponent and Duke qualifies as one.

    I don't like Duke. Used to work with a graduate who thought his diploma and just getting out of bed in the morning made him smarter than everyone else. He found out it didn't and hopefully our kids will put the Dookies in their place similarly to how that guy got educated.

  5. Dookies. They're everywhere. I met a Dookie years ago who graduated and took over his parents Mom and Pop country store and tried to turn it into an upscale restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Arrogant and egotistical, the young man tanked what had been a thriving business and now it's another vacant building rotting away.

    This, of course, doesn't mean all Dookies are like that, but he made sure you knew he was a Duke grad a minute into the conversation.


  6. Looks like Kylee is out of the boot tonight.


  7. Statbrodcaster must still be hungover from New Years Eve. shows UofL starting lineup of Carter, Walton, Taylor Johnson, Shook and Brianna Jones. WOW!


  8. To many unforced turn over tonite. The cards beat them selfs.
    BJ was a little out of control.

    1. Cards need a true point guard next year Dana Evans.

    2. Those last positions where crucial down the stretch.
      Point guard needed.


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