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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Louisville women's basketball -- The quest continues, Pitt next -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WILL 19-0 GET TO 20-0? 

The University of Louisville women's basketball squad has done what very few expected them to do this season. 19-0. Two bona-fide All-American candidates. #2 in the nation. 

Not that Jeff Walz is complaining. In fact, he's stepping up his efforts to get the word out about the program. Appearing on any show that asks. Holding weekly press conferences. Not that the players mind, either. It's a simple philosophy existing on campus and in the Little YUM! Practice facility. 

One game at a time. 

And it's been one win at a time. Some closer than others. Some against traditional national powers, some against challenging mid-majors and some against also-ran 
ACC Conference foes. A few scares along the way. 

Louisville is one of three DI undefeated schools in NCAA women's basketball. They join
UConn and Mississippi State as the undefeated. They play the first of their seven remaining away games n the regular season tonight at Pittsburgh. Let's look at Pitt. 

The Panthers are 9-9 on the season, 1-4 in the ACC. They got their first conference win when Georgia Tech visited on January 14th. A Georgia Tech squad that gave Louisville one of the aforementioned scares earlier in the season in Atlanta, narrowly losing to the Cards 74-71. Since then, the Yellow Jackets have suffered a bit, getting only one win in four attempts. 

Pitt doesn't look like much at first. But, the Cards have a history of playing close games in the the Petersen Event Center and sometimes losing. In 2015, the Cards escaped with a 63-57, six-point win. In 2012, Louisville went to overtime before getting a 71-66 victory. A visit there in 2010 resulted in a 72-69 loss. In Walz first year (2007-08) as the Cardinal skipper, Louisville fell 76-67 in "the Pete". The Cards have fared better against the Panthers in the past two 2016 Louisville took a 84-61 road win. Last year, the Cards visited and left with a 63-48 triumph. 

Mr. Pitt (from Seinfeld) is NOT the
Pittsburgh head coach or A.D. 
Despite the Cards high national ranking, don't expect the Pittsburgh folks to pack the Pete. 463 made it through the doors to see them beat Wake Forest. 812 were witness to the win over Georgia Tech. So it goes in a town where there are Steelers, Penguins, Pirates and, of course...the Fish that saved Pittsburgh...

Promo for the movie "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh"

So, who do the Cards need to worry about? Beside Antonio Brown and Ben Rothlisberger...oops, wrong sport...

1) Yacine Diop. I know, it sounds like a fancy party chip-dip, but the red-shirt junior forward has averaged 20.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in her last four outings. she didn't play against the Cards last year but she's capable of making noise inside. Against "My-Zilla" that's a risky bet...but she'll need watching. 

2) Alayna Gribble. She's been out awhile under concussion syndrome and a broken nose but woke up quite well agains Ga. Tech with seven threes and  29 points. Jazz Jones shut down Arike Ogumbowale pretty well in the Irish game, can she keep up the "jazztastic" defense? 

3) Kalista Walters. She has the leading shooting percentage in the ACC with .659 after eighteen games. She also averages 7.4 grabs a night. 

Pitt has been holding opponents to 56.1 points per game (as of 1/11) and had 111 blocked shots (tops in the ACC) after 16 games (about seven a night). They were also 4th in the ACC with 154 steals (almost 10 a night). 

Do I think that the Panthers will be able to match any of these team numbers against the Cards? 

No, I don't...but i also figured Louisville would roll by Georgia Tech by 20-25 points. The main thing the Cards can do is worry about the Cards and what they can do. I know that sounds overly-simplistic but it is accurate and would bode well to get Louisville to 20-0 if they do the things well that they do (score, play defense, hit free throws and grab rebounds) and cut back to trouble areas (turnovers, fouls). 

The Cards will run into a sister-sister coaching act in Suzie MConnell-Serio and Kathy McConnell Miller. We can only hope that the aren't related to Sen. Mitch McConnell. They did take over a win-less program in 2013 and get them to the NCAA Tournament two years later.  

So, to borrow from our radio show...let's hope it's a "Look What We Can Do, Louisville!" evening tonight.

Hazel Miller sings "Look what we can do Louisville"

Your top song with "20" in the title: 

Eddie Cochran "Twenty Flight Rock" 

Yellow is one of Pitt's main colors.
Conspiracy theorist unite. Is Walz
secretly working for the Panthers?
He likes the Steelers and Heinz decide. 
Louisville has gone this far, are they able to go a little further? Maybe they are, maybe not. Florida State, UConn, Miami, Virginia (twice) and Syracuse all present challenges but, maybe we should just follow their lead. One game at a time. One win at a time. Life seems so much simpler when you take it that way. 

Walz has proven time and time again, it is his and the coaches mantra that if the players listen to them, they will win. So far, the hearing has been excellent on campus. Let's see how well the audio is in Pennsylvania tonight.

ACC Network Extra has the Internet feed for this one. We think you should listen to Nick and A.J. call it on 790 WKRD. Our illustrious "Worldwide" Jeff McAdams will greet you tomorrow morning here at the site (bring pastries) and recap the action. 



  1. "bring pastries"? I thought we were trying to shut down the baked goods shop for good. No turnovers!

  2. Depends on how you read it, I guess. We could "bring pastries"..i.e.force and create opponent turnovers. Or, You could "bring pastries" to the next radio show. Or, it could be "bringing pastries" on the plane to Pittsburgh and creating a bunch of turnovers...which is probably the worst option of the three.

    All in the perception and interpretation of the phrase. Conspiracy theorist, jump in wherever you want. Walz (and Worldwide) want to close the baked goods shop. I think we transfer the ownership to the opponent and let them "bring" the turnovers.

    I will anticipate pastries. I understand Pittsburgh has some fine baked goods shoppes.


    1. Anyone else getting hungry with all this pastry talk?

      Curtis "will eat pastries without urging" Franklin

  3. Pitt doesn't scare me at all. They lost the battle of Pittsburgh when Duquesne beat them by 13 earlier in the season. They've played (1) top 20 school this year (West Virginia) and lost by 21. Fordham beat them.

    Cards take care of business and come home for a FSU showdown.

    Blue Lou

    1. PITT will get up for this game its against the #2 Ranked team in the country @ home. I'm predicting A tight game also a big game from Jazmine Jones.
      Go Cards beat the PANTHERS.

  4. Wise and Harvey-Carr, the two Pitt players that were most effective against Louisville last year are graduated. If I weren't such a huge UofL Cards WBB fan, I'd probably watch Tennessee at Notre Dame tonight on ESPN. Since the Louisville game is on the Internet, I'll probably do both.

    Pitt faces a tough stretch in the next four. UofL, at Syracuse, Notre Dame and Duke.

    On a human interest level, our pal David Watson is home and recovering nicely from the pneumonia that hit him. I talked with him yesterday and he's excited about the contest.

    Currently, it is 46 degrees here in Naples. That probably sounds like a godsend to the readers in Louisville, but we're not used to it being that cool. It's so cold that chickens are running into KFC and begging to use the pressure cooker.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    1. I'll also add that Pitt showed up with almost 3500 last year when the Cards came to town, so don't sell the fan base too short up there. It's so cold that police are tazing themselves.

      Blue Lou


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