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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

USA U23 Women's basketball completes the sweep -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Durr's 16 leads USA over Japan 

While most of you were asleep this morning, the USA U23 team "hosted" Japan in their final game of the round-robin event in Tokyo. (While my colleagues have tried to explain to me how USA could host in Japan...I remain unconvinced). A resounding win for USA...103-71 over Japan.

Asia Durr led the Americans in scoring. She tallied 11 first-half points to help USA lead at the break 52-33. She finished with 16 in the contest...the second time in the three game round-robin event she has led the squad in scoring. A look at the stat line shows she was 5-6 on two-point attempts and sank two of her four 3 point attempts in 20:24 minutes of court action. The Japanese squad reportedly did a little media woofing before this one and were a bit chippy...but USA quickly turned that noise off and did work. 

A nice shooting effort from USA...they went 50% from 3 point range (9 for 18) and 53.6% from two-point range (30-56). They wouldn't have been awarded a letter in our regular-season FRED scenario for free throws...going 16-23 from the stripe for 69.6%. The stat line also shows one other interesting stat on the sheet....they list Jeff Walz under the players and he was credited for 3 defensive rebounds. Good hustle, Coach!

Defensively, USA did the job....holding Japan to 25% beyond the arc and 33.6% on two point efforts. 19 turnovers and 49 rebounds for USA -- only 8 turnovers for Japan but just 
35 rebounds. 

Lost in translation? Also in double figures for USA were Kelsey Mitchell (listed as Michelle on the sheet) with 13 points, Jamie Nared (listed as Nard) with 11 points and Kalani Brown (listed as Karani) with 11. 

So...a nice effort for Walz's team over the three-game event. Would you like to see this event enlarged next year? Maybe bring in eight teams instead of four. The Russians would probably jump well as a few of the European nations and China if asked. Should WNBA players under the age of 23 be included? Just a few hypothesis I ran across from others while doing my research for today's write. Personally, I'd love to see the event enlarged but would vote against using WNBA or even college graduates in Euroball play.

I do lament the fact that none of these contest were shown on-line or on cable. I would have settled for even a Japanese broadcast (maybe with subtitles) but it was not to be. You would figure with today's technology....something could have transpired. Thanks to USAB for providing Twitter feeds and the photos here today...they helped me to construct parts of this article...but being a basketball junkie, I probably would have gotten up early than I normally do to watch.

I also wouldn't mind seeing this event come to the United States next year...or down the road. I suppose, if it did, they might choose the USAB training facility in Colorado Springs to host it...but I'll venture that if you brought it to the KFC YUM! Center, Rupp Arena, Knoxville, South Carolina or any of the other hotbeds for women's college basketball...they would be a sizable attendance. I'd go if it was within a reasonable driving about you? 

A special congratulations to Asia Durr for her efforts. Our buddy Howie Lindsey actually got a live interview via phone yesterday in Tokyo with her on his morning show Louisville First. You can hear that HERE It would be my guess that...if they do All-Tournament teams and Most Outstanding Player awards for this round-robin...she would be a prime candidate for each category. I'll continue to monitor social media and see if this develops. 

Asia has stamped her mark as the natural floor leader for Louisville women's basketball this season. Remember the questions, concerns and doubts we had about her as a freshman? Let's not forget, she was injured then...but she's turned into the player we all expected we would get out of high school and as one of the top five in the nation on the women's college basketball scene. 

We now turn our focus on Louisville women's basketball to the season ahead. I had an interesting chat with a huge Louisville WBB fan the other evening and was presented with her possible starting and game ending lineup. I think it's probably way too early for such speculations...but her list is definitely doable. She has Asia and Arica Carter at the guards, Myisha Hines-Allen at the "3" and Sam Fuehring and Bionca Dunham in the paint. 

Time will tell...

Coach Walz sent out a couple of tweets after the contest:

Always fun coaching Been an awesome 2 weeks with  

What a great experience these past two weeks have been! Thank you to these 12 wonderful young women and

USA head coach Jeff Walz (Louisville)
On the game:I thought that was the best we have played in our three games. The kids came out and did exactly what we asked them to do. We knew that Japan was very disciplined on defense, and we tried to attack early, which we did. We shared the ball extremely well and made open shots. It was the best we have shot the ball as well, but a big part of that was because of how well we shared it.
What has this experience been like overall?It’s been awesome, having the opportunity to work with the best of the best in our college game. I told the team after the game, as impressive as they were on the floor playing, was half as impressive as they were off the court. They are great young women. They are great ambassadors for our game, and I’m excited to watch not just my team play this coming season, but these young ladies’ teams, because college basketball is in good hands with this group.
Asia Durr (Louisville/Douglasville, Georgia)
On the game:We started off fast. We pushed the ball, and we played as a team, which was key. We knew that they were aggressive, and they played hard and they played fast. We figured if we could jump on them soon, then we could take them down quick.

So, a brief lapse in basketball action for us. We'll still be watching to see how Asia Taylor and the Mystics are faring in the WNBA and we'll be resuming the "Catching Up" series with former UofL women's basketball players in a couple of weeks...but, for now, we'll plunge headlong into fall women's Case lined out in his article Monday. We'd added a full listing of the women's Soccer, Field Hockey and Volleyball schedules on "The Right Side of The Site" you can keep up with the where, when, what and who. 



  1. The Walz effort! It is actually listed Jeff Walz/team on the sheet but I was tickled when I first saw that, too. I can't go with the suggestion of bringing in professionals for this event and I'd like to see in grow and be played here in the USA also. Any idea on how it drew in fan attendance over there?

    Also, although it is way too early to formulate a UofL starting line up, I go would with Hines-Allen, Durr, Evans, Fuehring and Carter.

    Nice job on the Howie show this morning Paulie. I download the app last week and listened to you while sipping coffee on the beach this morning.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    1. Thanks for listening, Joe. You obviously have no life. (grinning)


  2. go USA! Durr is really poised to have another great season for the Cards. I'd start Evans, Durr, Myisha, Syd and Kakala.

    Curtis "wanting to hear 'Three Z !' a lot this year" Franklin

  3. What happened to Myisha Mondays?

  4. It could be that there is a new assistant SID for Louisville women's basketball (Nick Evans) and he hasn't had time to do it while catching up...or they dropped the segment. Just a guess...


    1. Walz goes through the assistant SID's doesn't he. What is this his third or fourth?

  5. My projected lineup - Durr, Hines-Allen, Shook, X and Y.

    Shook's gotta be on the floor. She's the one returning player who will present a matchup problem to any team on the schedule.

    1. Gotta agree Mike. It'll be hard to keep Shook out of the starting lineup and, most importantly, during crunch time in those final minutes of a close game.


  6. I am not so sure that Shook is an inside player in terms of her physicality yet. She is great around the stripe and out but I think you have to have two bangers inside and that would be Fuehring and Myisha. Maybe Shook on a wing with Durr and a point guard? Maybe Kakala? It should be interesting.

    I have missed basketball discussion. Let's go!

    The Deb Factor

  7. Hey Paulie. They are talking about Cardinal Couple over t Cardinal Authority about this:

    Over on Cardinal Couple, several frequent, knowledgeable posters have proposed starting lineups that don't include Shook.

    My proposed lineup is Durr, Hines-Allen, Shook, X and Y, with "X" and "Y" to be determined. As I said over there, I think Shook has to play big minutes. She will present a matchup problem for any team on the schedule.

    Am I that far off base on this?

    1. Yeah, they do that sometimes from what I hear. There are several "cross-readers" who frequent both sites. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld..."Not that there's anything wrong with that." We promote the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here and anyone, anywhere that wants to jump in and do the same...well, we're in favor of that. I've heard sometimes the mods over there delete such stuff if it refers to us. I honestly couldn't tell ya, I don't go over there but Sonja does occasionally.

      We join Howie each Tuesday morning on his radio show and he is Rivals-based. Daryl Foust has been kind enough to have us on her show with Maria Taustine "Kentucky Women Talk Sports". We have relationships with several other sites and programs on the internet and on-air.

      It's about promoting the product and the more the merrier is the way I see it.


  8. How do you keep Kylee out of the lineup? You don't. But I'd venture that there will be no set guaranteed starters, except for Asia and Myesha. Carter or Evans? J.J. or Kylee or Sam? Dunham or Kakala? I'm just glad there will be so many combos to choose from!


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