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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Harper joins USA U23 squad...WSOC around the corner -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Just in the few times I was able to watch Ohio State guard Linnae Harper perform in the USA U23 trials...I thought she had the stuff to be one of the 12 to make the roster. That happened for her South Carolina center A'ja Wilson is now sidelined with a groin strain and Harper gets added to the roster for the practice sessions and upcoming trip to Japan.

We all remember Linnae...right?  She began her career at UK and was instrumental in helping the Cats beat the Cards in her freshman and sophomore years. Things didn't quite work out for her in the Chicago, IL native decided to move north and join the Ohio State Buckeyes after the 2014-15 of the schools that was in her top five consideration list in high school. She took to Buckeye ball quite well in 2016-17 and was named the Big 10 Sixth Player of the Year in the 2016-17 season as a junior after sitting out 2015-16 under NCAA transfer rules. 

She joins Buckeye teammate Kelsey Mitchell on the squad and also brings an extensive USA and international basketball resume to the roster. She was on the 2011, 2012 and 2013 FIBA World Championship teams playing for the U16, U17 and U19 USA teams. She was on the 2015 USA Pan American team and also played on the 2016 FIBA USA 3X3 squad.

Maybe a bit interesting that the committee replaces height (in Wilson) with guard play (Harper)...but certainly the experience factor Harper has in International play should be beneficial for the team. Erin Boley, at 6'2" impressed me during the medal round games and she can also step out and hit the three. Naturally, I would have loved to see Myisha Hines-Allen get the call...but I'll trust the deciders' judgement here.

With the addition of Harper, three teams now have two players on the roster....UCLA (Monique Billings and Jordin Canada) and Tennessee (Jamie Nared and Mercedes Russell) and Ohio State. Louisville's Asia Durr is also on the squad that includes ACC and Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale, Ariel Atkins, Kalani Brown, Sabrina Ionescu and Brittany McPhee. 

USA U23 continues their practice sessions under Jeff Walz in preparation for their August 12th. opener in Tokyo. 


We get to see some actual competition in women's fall sports this week...with Louisville women's soccer starting the action off tomorrow with an exhibition game at Ohio State and then returning home to face DePaul on Saturday in another exhibition contest. The DePaul game is part of a double-header at Lynn Stadium...the girls will go first with a 5 p.m. start and the #9 ranked men's team takes on Lipscomb around 7:30 p.m. 

We'll get our first look at some very talented freshmen that have joined Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes roster...including a couple with International backgrounds in Nadage L'Esperance (Canada) and Mollie Rouse (England). There's also some local flair on the roster...with Emina Ekic DuPont Manual) and transfer Kennadi Carbin (2015 Kentucky Player of the Year).

The Kickin' Cards return a wealth of experience on the attack with standouts from last year. Nine of the Cards top 10 scorers return and Ferguson-Dayes will have plenty of options in Shelby Cohen, Daryl Bell, Brooklyn Rivers, Gabby Vincent, Sarah Feola, Alison Price, Kaela Dickerman, Allison Whitfield, Niahm Nelson and Callie McKinney.

Senior Inger Katrine Bjerke returns to lead a defense that allowed just 1.11 goals last season. She'll get help from Arianna Ferraro and Bailey Florek in front of the goal. With the graduation of goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin...we've heard the competition between Gabrielle Kouzelos, Tori Gabor and Lana Batson has been intense for the net-keeping spot.  

Admission is free for the exhibition games at Lynn and season tickets get you into both men's and women's why not grab a few for the family and enjoy the action on the pitch? 



  1. Good point on Boley Paulie. Was it Walz's decision or the selection committees? Thanks for reminding us Harper helped UK beat the Cards twice. Ugh.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    1. Sorry if I ruined your morning Joe. On Harper, my guess is that the committee came up with a couple of alternates for the team just in case something like this happened and maybe Harper was top of the list. Just speculation on my part, of course. I've got a feeler out to someone who would definitely know

    2. Might be that Boley has to sit a year?

  2. I hope I can say this without bias as a Cardinal fan, but I have watched Mercedes Russell and Myisha Hines-Allen play for a few years and if I had the choice, I would take Allen every time.

    1. No disagreement here on that Charlie. Still disconcerting that UT got two on the team. We whipped them soundly last year. Still, the tryouts are a chance to shine and maybe she had a good camp. I didn't see much in the gold medals games out of her...but she's tall and with A'ja Wilson now out....the height consists of Brown 6'7", Russell 6'6", Billings 6'4" and Nared 6'2.


  3. A bit of sad news to report...the Cardinal family has lost a huge fan and great guy in Jim Winstead (Farmer JBB). With his signature straw hat and friendly demeanor, Jim was a fixture at both home and away Louisville WBB games.

    I chatted at length with him at the UT Martin game last year and he was a site reader/and occasional poster here and at Cardinal Authority. We never got to go fish the farm ponds he was always talking about in the Hodgenville area. Our thoughts are with the family at this time. I saw him and spoke with him at length at the UT Martin game and also at the ACC Tournament and he was greatly loved by the players and staff at UofL. Gone too soon.

    Farmer JBB...I'll miss your smile and wealth of knowledge about Cardinal WBB and friendship. May God shine down with his everlasting mercy on those that remain. I know you'll be looking down from that big arena in the sky and watching out for your girls on the court.


    1. Sorry to hear about Farmer Jim. I would talk with him after games sometimes at the YUM! A wonderful man and huge WBB fan.

      Curtis "I will miss you Jim" Franklin


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