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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards enlist Air Force as next foe -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A flock of high-flying Cardinals have landed at the Air Force Academy and have received clearance to head to Clune Arena on the AFA campus to have an aerial battle today at 1:05 PM (13:05 military time) M.S.T. (that's 3:05 or 15:05) E.S.T. with the Falcons. The Cards look to extend "the streak" to 14-0 against a foe that has yet to win a game this season. 

Louisville actually arrived in Colorado Springs, CO Monday and have spent the last couple of days checking out the U.S. Olympic Training facility and the Air Force Academy...getting in a couple of practices and seeing the sights. Pictures of Arica Carter wearing a boot surfaced from out there and created a minor panic state with some of our readers, but, all is allegedly well with the red-shirt junior -- according to our sources and she was wearing it for preventative purposes and to give her leg some rest. She did not...

"break her foot kicking Kentucky's a$$ Sunday"  -- as one of our readers jokingly e-mailed to me yesterday. 

Our esteemed writing columnist here at Cardinal Couple "Worldwide" Jeff McAdams tells us that they'll put a protective cast or boot on a player these days if they sneeze too hard, so we'll assume that A.C. is healthy and available if Walz needs her today. 

Maybe today's regularly-scheduled writer...Mr. Anderson in a cast today and that's why you're stuck with me on these pages for a Wednesday

So ...what can we expect from this "bird battle" today? We know that AFA is the third game of the season for the Cards against winged mascots (the UT-Martin SkyHawks and Oregon Ducks are the other two) and fourth opponent with a bit of military reference...the Toledo Rockets, Vandy Commodores and MTSU Blue Raiders have also attempted the capture of a win against UofL and failed. 

AFA is 0-10 on the season. They've been close several times in getting a "W'"...losing five games by three points or less. No one has really drilled them too early season 76-40 loss at SIUE at Edwardsville, IL. and their last contest against Colorado -- a 68-40 defeat are the only two games they haven't been closely competitive in. 

The two squads have played no common opponents this season...but AFA did face ex-UofL assistant Bethann Ord's Weber State squad in Ogden, UT 12 days ago and lost 62-52. 

It is a chance for UofL to play in front of sophomore Kylee Shook's family and friends...she did her high school work in Colorado Springs. She's continued to work hard on the other side of the Mississippi...averaging 6.6 ppg this season and recently dropping 21 points on Murray State. 

Obviously, we expect Shook to get the start and she's got a better-than-average chance to reach double-figure scoring for the fourth time this season if all goes well. 

It is the "furthest from Louisville" away game the Cards have played this season in five road contests. 1091 miles in all...and 183 miles more than the trip to Brookings, SD that the Cards took 18 days ago. The Cards, of course, flew to Colorado Springs. I've made that drive on I-64 and I-70 en route to Denver and did it in a day and a half. If I had left around 6 a.m. yesterday morning and driven straight through I could have been there probably by midnight yesterday. 

Thanks, but no thanks... 

Kaelin Immel is the lone double digit point producer per game for the Falcons at 12.4 a contest. She's a 5'9" freshman guard out of Beaverton, OR and also leads AFA with 19 made threes. A look at the roster indicates a youth movement is going on in head coach Chris Gobrecht's third year. Nine freshmen and three sophomores are listed on the Falcons 16-player roster. 

Expect the Cards to equalized the minutes as much as possible today. Hopefully, Syd will get a chance to launch a few missiles of her own at today's target and Jess will see some prolonged court time. Maybe Bionca can avoid the whistles and get some significant minutes, too.  Ten players. 200 minutes available. Maybe five double-doubles? 

The thing is, no one has put up more than 76 points on the Falcons this season, so Gobrecht is obviously teaching defensive skills to this cadre of floor runners. Gobrecht is a interesting, journeyman-type coach with 37 years as a head skipper under her belt and previous stops at Yale, Southern California, Washington and Cal-State Fullerton. She's the winning-est coach of all time in WBB at UW and Yale. She's won five games in three years at Air Force. 

Do I think the Cards will have a hard time today in their inaugural meeting with Air Force.

No, I don't.

Happy Birthday Kate! Are you leading a sing-along here? 
You can never really take any game for granted, though, and I'm sure the UofL coaching staff has instilled the need to work hard and stay productive in today's Rocky Mountain Way performance.

If Louisville loses this one, though, I'll give up sports-writing, start a family farm in Fordsville, change the name of this site to Sonya's Succulents and start informing folks about botany, cactus, jade and aloe vera plants. 

There's a broadcast being offered on-line for this one.

Mountain West Conference stuff. Although it might be interesting to hear someone else's assesment of #3 Louisville...I'll watch while listening to Nick and A.J. describe the action on WKRD 790 AM. 



  1. Nice prep for today's game. Cards in a laugh er (I hope).

  2. As I mentioned in a FB post, as an Air Force Best, I wish the Falcons well. As an alumna of UofL and a Cardinals fan, I don't think this game is close.

  3. AFA's tallest player is 6'2" and never gets off the bench. It might be a good afternoon to work on the inside game...


    1. Aka, a good afternoon for Kylee Shook to show off in front of the hometown crowd.

      Lookin' for a double-double in points and blocks.

  4. Air Force junior guard Venessanna Itugbu and Louisville sophomore Kylee Shook were high school teammates at Mesa Ridge High School in Colorado Springs. The two were part of the undefeated 28-0 Colorado Class 4A State Champion team in 2014, the school’s first-ever state championship in any sport.

    Wasn't there another player from Colorado a few years back on the Cards roster?

    Blue Lou

    1. Katie Olson (2003-07) is the only one who comes to mind. She was out of Wheat Ridge...maybe near Mesa Ridge?


  5. Walz just said neither Carter nor Durr (back spasms) will play today. This just got a lot more interesting.

    Curtis "Off we go" Franklin

  6. Wow what a game from Air Force really challenged the Cards just burn the video lol.PS What a Difference with out AD or AC.

    1. To be honest the cards didn't play that bad, there three point shots didn't fall. This game could of been a blow out easily.

    2. Oops Go Cards!!!!

  7. The Bird Lady12/20/2017 6:58 PM

    A lot of what AC does doesn't show up in a stat line. She makes everyone around her better. That was evident in her absence today. Dana is great, but a point needs to be more than good.
    They need to know the system and their teammates. Dana just needs time to develop that. (Not a knock, that is a freshman job - to learn) Obviously, Asia brings so much to the table. Anytime she is out it will be a big hit.

    This was a good reality check for players that think they deserve playing time. They now know they need to work a lot harder. Hopefully they will come back from Christmas ready to work.


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