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Friday, October 6, 2017

Louisville women's basketball --- Learning the plays, honing the skills plus Jared Anderson -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

EDITOR NOTE: This is 2 for 1 Cardinal Couple articles today. Paulie starts us out and Jared Anderson follows. 


Julie Sullivan with WBB players. Julie will be on the
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Saturday at 11 a.m.
The University of Louisville women's basketball team had their third practice of the week yesterday at the Little YUM! and I was able to stop in and watch the Cards at work. 

I arrived shortly before 1 p.m. and ran into women's basketball assistaant Nick Evans as I got there. After he took care of a little business, he escorted me to the south court and I grabbed a chair to watch the 12 players go through practice. I ran into my buddy Bullitt East head girls coach Chris Stallings there, also attending the practice and later the Cards WBB radio voice Nick Curran stopped by and sat with us for awhile. 

The players were just coming out of a film session and head coach Jeff Walz was able to chat with us briefly before the players started their drills. A lot of fundamental coaching goes on in these early practices and the shrill Jeff Walz whistle punctuated the action several times...Coach stopping play to make a point, create a learning opportunity or just make a remark on what he had just witnessed. There was plenty to see. 

PAIGE (right) and Jenny.(Left) Paige will be on
the CARDINALCOUPLE RADIO HOUR on Saturday also! 
They have a scheduled format that they follow in the practices and we were given a sheet of paper that outlined it. Besides the players, the assistant coaches were present and about ten "practice boys" were on hand also to guard and scrimmage against the girls. After the shooting and warm up drills were completed, the team worked on a three man weave that turned into a 2 on 1 drill going back down the court. This "cone drill" as it's known needs to be run a specific way and Walz stopped it a couple of times to reinforce the correct way to perform it. I saw great hustle by all three of the women playing point guard (Arica Carter, Dana Evans and Jessica Laemmle) in the drill and it was also obvious that Myisha Hines-Allen came to play Thursday afternoon.  

Walz did make a sly, sarcastic but humorous remark to us after one stoppage...saying that none of them have great listening skills and some of them have had the symptom for three or so years. 

After the cone drill they worked on rebounding against the guys and ran a 4 on 3 scramble and triangle to the other end of the court after securing the ball. There were a few turnovers early on in this drill and Walz decreed that for each subsequent miscue the players would have to run a sprint up and down the court. The guards shone again in this drill and Lindsey Duvall and Dana Evans were particularly impressive with their shooting and passing.  I also saw great effort out of Loretta Kakala and Sam Fuehring going to the boards. Kakala has really quick feet. she's a bit slow yet in getting up and down the court, that was obvious in the sprints they had to run after the drill, but that will come. 

Next was the press offense and guard/post splits. Some nice shooting from Jazmine Jones, both driving to the hoop and outside was seen here and Sydney Zambrotta connected on a few long range missiles as well.  With so many different combinations being employed in the drills, it was hard to get a feel for any type of "A" team yet...although the combination of Kylee Shook, Hines-Allen, Asia Durr, Arica Carter and Fuehring looked pretty effective when they were up against the guys. 

The rest of the practice that I saw included situational scenarios. Terms like hook, Spartan, 41, Top, BLOB and Nova probably don't mean much to the casual hoops fans but Louisville went through all these play-sets and Hines-Allen really looked like a force in them. 

Defending ball screens had all the coaches working with the players and showing different scenarios/reactions to on-court action. Once again, it was the three point guards working with the rest of the players in different combos in trying to get the open shot or defend the shooter in the sequences. 

Shortly before 3 p.m. I made my way to the exit, stopping to thank Walz, Nick and Coach Norman for having me out. 

"Anytime you want to stop in... do it."  Coach smiled as I left, so I think I'll be watching some more prep work. Judging players this early on, especially after just watching one practice, is probably a bit unfair and inaccurate, but here's what I saw. I'll go back. With proper advance notification to Nick, of course, that I'm coming. 

Jones, Durr, Fuehring, Carter, Hines-Allen and Duvall would be my top six performers from yesterday's practice. 

- Duvall has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, passes well, is quick on her feet and can nail the mid-range or deeper jumper.

- It looks like Jones has found some control for her out-of-this-world talent from last year, is playing smarter and more effective basketball and is becoming a vocal team leader.

- Fuehring works non-stop hard. She never takes a possession off and has developed a nice putback shot. 

- Carter is very confident out at the point and her shot looks good. She's travelling the court effortlessly and looks to be 100% and ready to go. 

- The court belongs to Myisha. She's the rock in the inside and is helping Kakala a lot with positioning and motivation. She was also taking a few mid-range jumpers, w ith mixed success. 

- Durr is impressive as always. The shot looks good, she has great court awareness and involves her teammates. 

No one really looked awful yesterday. Jess Laemmle fits right in there as a hustling, quick passing point guard.  Bionca Dunham goes to the boards well but wasn't doing a lot of shooting yesterday...concentrating in trying to get her teammates involved. The drills and sequences that I saw them go through involved a lot of game situations. The squad didn't go five-on-five while I was there against each other...maybe that came later...but, just based on a two-hour look -- Louisville looks to be ready for a great season. 



Thank goodness it is Friday. The weekend is nearly here. 

For our footballers it's going to be a long weekend ahead. The Wolkpack of NC State had their teeth sharpened for a Thursday evening game and took a big chunk out of our Cardinals. 

Me and Ms. Wuf had a good defensive game plan and the Louisville defense was with Paulie admiring Ms. Wuf's beauty instead of defending the pass. Louisville's secondary was nowhere to be seen. However, the pride of Charlotte, Jaire Alexander finally saw some snaps for UofL and played mostly solid defense. Cam Newton used to be the pride and joy of the Charlottians (if that's what they go by) until his recent unnecessary comments that set women's sports back decades. 

Seriously, our football team didn't look hot. The defense was a step slow and second late most of the evening. Coach Petrino was too stubborn on offense to let Malik Williams get a fair share of runs and only wanted to see pocket passing. I'll give major credit to the NC State crowd noise and how it affected game play. Time to prepare for homecoming against Boston College. Tear off the rear view mirror and look ahead, players and fans. 

On a lighter note, Allison Whitefield and Brooklyn Rivers led the way in a women's soccer win at Clemson. The 2-1 win was their first conference win of the season. 

Whitfield's score came off a rebounded shot by Mollie Rouse and gave the Card kickers a 1-0 halftime lead. The goal was her fourth of the year. 

After halftime many of the red and black viewers on the ACC Network Extra feed turned their attention to ESPN to see Lamar Jackson and his squad not play so well. Back at historic Riggs Field, Clemson tied things up just five and a half minutes into play. It was one of the few times the UofL defense broke during the match. 

Brooklyn Rivers scored her third goal of the season less than ten minutes following the Clemson goal. She took a nice pass from Whitfield and knocked it into the back of the net. 

Huge props to the Cardinal defense and their effort against the Tigers. They held the home team to just five shots on goal, Gabby Kouzelos getting four saves, She was in rhythm last night and had some big saves, including a huge one late in the game. 

Cards are now 8-5 and go to 2-3 in the ACC. They already have one more win than LAST SEASON. Their performance has definitely improved this year but they still have a long way to go to see any post-season NCAA tournament action.   

One game at a time. 

Jared Anderson


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The Bird Lady10/07/2017 11:25 PM

    Great write ups Jared and Paulie. I am often a day late but still worth going back and catching up.

  3. MHA is going to have her best season yet! She has put in the hard work and is the leader of that team! Looking forward to watching her final season! Let's go Cards!


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