Thursday, November 30, 2017
Louisville women's basketball heads to IU -- Butler GBB wins opener -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDS FACE BUSS, PENN AND 4-2 HOOSIERS THURS. NIGHT
The University of Louisville women's basketball team returns to the court after six days off to face the Indiana Hoosiers in Thursday 8 p.m. action at Assembly Hall.
IU is rolling out all the stops to fill the historic facility with $1 tickets and free IU knit beanies to the first 500 fans arriving. The Hoosiers will also need to roll out their best efforts from senior guard Tyra Buss...who was recently named to the Wade Trophy and Naismith watch lists...talented freshman guard Jaelynn Penn (from Louisville Butler) and senior forward Amanda Cahill...who has 34 career double-doubles.
The Hoosiers (4-2) have had an up-and-down campaign so far...with season-starting wins over Arkansas State, Southern and Western Kentucky in Assembly Hall. IU lost on the home court to Chattanooga by three before taking off to the west coast for Thanksgiving and the Hilton Concord Classic in Moraga, CA. Indiana defeated UAB by seven before falling to host St. Mary's 88-82
For the Cards, playing their second Big 10 of the season, the key is to continue to improve. Jeff Walz expressed that the team had a chance to work on their game, instead of preparing for opponents over the last several days and he's pleased with the progress they are making...while stressing that they'll need to get better and better as the season progresses if they want to return to Columbus, OH for the NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four.
KEYS TO A WIN
I'll look at five things the Cards will need to do well to secure the victory in Bloomington.
1) Win the guard play. The Hoosiers may have the one of the best guard combos that the Cards have faced so far in Buss and Penn. Both were named to the Hilton Classic All-Tournament team and are averaging 32.7 p.p.g. a game as a duo. Defense will be a priority for the Cards contingent of Durr, Carter, Jones, Evans and Zambrotta.
2) Interior passing. Getting the ball inside for close-in and open looks definitely can improve your shooting percentage and with Hines-Allen, Fuehring, Shook and Dunham all performing well inside the paint...an interior presence will not only give the Cards points but also open up the mid-range and outside game for the Cards. Passing well, between the bigs, when inside is an area where Walz has seen improvement also.
3) Doo-blay! A rare non-double-double from senior forward Myisha Hines-Allen in the Murray State win last Friday, but win just 14 minutes on the court...it's understandable. Expect to see "Doo-blay" gather considerably more minutes on the wood tonight and a return to double-double form could be essential if the Cards hope to leave Bloomington with a "W".
4) Durr-ability. Asia Durr saw just 20 minutes against the Racers and one would think she, also, will see more minutes against IU. A return to her three-point prowess and team play could be a key factor if the Cards are going to improve to 7-0 on the season.
5) Handling the environment. It'll be a noisy, rowdy environment tonight in Assembly Hall...maybe not as crazy as it was in West Lafayette for the men's BB team Tuesday night, the packed arena last night when the Duke and IU men faced off in Assembly Hall, nor what the Cards WBB squad faced in Columbus against Ohio State...but still a home crowd that could catch on fire and spur IU to do great things. They did bring in 3000 for WKU and most expect double that in the seats for the Cards A nice early season test for UofL in a hostile environment. Let's see how they handle it.
SPEAKING OF CARDINALS...
It was announced Wednesday that Hines-Allen and Durr were named to the list of 50 women's college basketball players to watch for the Citizen National Naismith Player of the Year trophy.
Another feather in the caps of the dynamic duo, who are also on the John Wooden Preseason To 30, espnW Top 25, WNIT All-Torunament Team and preseason All-ACC together.
Hines-Allen is ninth all-time at Louisville in scoring with 1563 points. She is just 14 behind Sharon Bellamy for eighth.
Durr has 115 points through six games this season and has hit 183 threes in her career which is good for seventh on Louisville's all time list.
BEARETTS WIN SEASON OPENER AGAINST JOHN HARDIN
The Louisville Butler Bearettes are considered one of the teams that will give defending Girls' State Champion Mercer County a run for the title this season in Kentucky Girls High School hoops. The Shively school got the 2017-18 campaign off to a good start on the road with a 56-34 win over E'Town's John Hardin squad.
The Bearettes outscored the Lady Bulldogs 19-8 in the third quarter to break wide open a 2 point Butler lead at the half and went on to comfortably take the 22 point win.
Louisville commit Molly Lockhart, hampered by an injured finger, had just four points for Butler.
Of particular note, Bearette freshman guard Dynastee White began her high school career quite impressively, coming off the bench for three points, two steals, one block, one rebound and five assists. For a freshman, reports are she did a quite effective job running the point for Butler. Keep an eye on this girl as the season progresses.
The Bearettes will be tough to beat in the Sixth Region this season and John Hardin is one of the favorites to win the Fifth region...so these two could be seeing each other again down the road come Tournament time in March.
This is the final day of November and our final day of Donation Month. Thank you for your support of CARDINAL COUPLE. Although we fell short of our goal, we had a record month for donations. We are very grateful and thank you for what we received.
It is also the 3000th post we have made here at the site. It's been a long journey and a fun journey. Thanks for coming along on the ride as we discuss the joy and excitement of UofL Athletics and women's sports!