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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Sydney Zambrotta joins George Washington WBB -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Sydney Zambrotta has decided where she will continue her collegiate basketball pursuits and the rising junior will take her game to our nation's capitol...Washington, D.C. and join the George Washington Colonials squad for her final two years of eligibility. 

Per NCAA transfer rules, she'll sit out the 2018-19 season and have two years to play for GW head WBB coach Jennifer Rizotti. Rizotti spoke yesterday about the addition. 

"I'm excited about the versatility Syd can offer at the guard position. Although she's known as a tremendous shooter, she has the basketball I.Q. of a point guard, which wil allow her to both facilitate and score in our offense. I look forward to getting her on campus, so she can begin the next chapter of her career". 

Syd also spoke about the move from Louisville to Washington and seemed excited about what lies ahead for her: 

"I chose GW because of the superior academics, incredible teammates and unparalleled coaching staff. They are a community that I feel privileged to be a part of. They are a family that is allowing me in. What a honor! Raise High"! 

The Colonials are part of the Atlantic 10 Conference and won the A-10 Basketball Tournament back in March with wins over LaSalle, George Mason, Dayton and St. Joseph's. They drew Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament but fell to the Buckeyes 87-45 in Columbus. Overall, GW went 19-14 and 10-6 in A-10 play. 

GW is in the midst of a bit of rebuilding, it would seem. Three freshman join the 10 player roster that has just two seniors. Zambrotta is one of three transfers on the squad. Sarah Overcash comes in from Illinois, Olivia Gumbs previously played at Lafayette. 

Rizotti begins her third season as the head Colonial. A former protege of UConn's Geno Auriemma, she is also President of the Women's College Basketball Association and a USA National Team assistant coach under Dawn Staley. Previously, she spent 17 years as the head coach of the Hartford Hawks and had quite the successful student-athlete term playing for the head Husky in Storrs. Highly respected by her peers.

The "Jen will succeed Geno" rumor mill has been active for several years. Unless Geno pulls a "Pearsall" and hits the sporting community with a surprise retirement announcement, looks like she'll continue to be "the woman in waiting". 

For Syd, a second start. 

At UofL, she came in highly regarded and had gained the reputation as a three-point specialist. Joining a mix of talented guards as a freshman, she served as a reserve for two seasons that Louisville head coach Jeff Walz would employ to bust zones and bring defensive pressure on occasion. As a freshman, she got court time in 29 games during the Cards march to the Sweet Sixteen.  She averaged 3.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in the 2017-18 season and saw action in 33 games for UofL. 

She could nail the three. 46% from beyond the arc in two seasons for Louisville. A fan favorite, the majority of her action came in games where the contest had long since been decided. Louisville P.A. announcer would emphasize her trifecta successes with the elongated "THREEEEEEE ZZZZZZZZ !!" proclamation. 

The Louisville guard contingent grew stronger each year that Syd was on campus and when Seygan Robins and Mykasa Robinson joined the Cardinal fold with commitments, one can hardly blame her for looking at options where she might get more playing time. 

I last saw Syd at one of the Louisville Lacrosse games this spring. Rushing to get to the press box to cover a game that had already started, I nearly strode past her without recognizing her sitting in the metal bleachers, front row...watching the contest. This was a few days after she announced her transfer intent and did not know her destination. We exchanged a few cordial words, I wished her the best of luck wherever she ended up and I headed to the press box. Later, I mentioned her presence to our columnist Jared Anderson and he wondered if she'd be up for a couple of pictures. By the time he got back down to field level, she had already departed.

All of us as CARDINAL COUPLE wish Syd the best at GW. In Rizotti, she'll have a great teacher and quite knowledgeable student of the game. One of the best point-guards in UConn history. Eight seasons in the WNBA.

Jeff Walz is 0-2 in "Syd retention" at UofL. Syd Brackemyre also spent a couple of years as a Card but with knee injuries...she never got the chance to perform much for the red and black. Her student-athlete college time did find a happy ending when she transferred to U of Indy. She became the scorer and shooter we all saw in high school. We hope the same sequence follows for "Z". 

Light 'em up, Z. Go earn that playing time in the 2019-20 season. And, hopefully, the P.A. announcer for Colonials' games will have tons of opportunities to perform the joyous annunciation.....

"Threeeee ZZZZZ!!!!!"  


Speculation comes to decision. 

The Louisville baseball community was a-buzz with the possible departure of Cardinal baseball skipper Dan McDonnell to Mississippi State recently.  Sound the "all-clear". Dan is staying at Louisville. 

He did speak with the powers that be in Starkville. Not enough there to pull him out of the Jim Patterson Stadium and Cardinal Community. He believes in the Cardinal leadership of Neeli Bendaputi and Vince Tyra. Has an unfinished agenda at the corner of Central Avenue and 2nd Street. 

Another notch on the gunbelt for the Cardinal Athletic Director. An affirmation of the promising new leadership that Neeli is bringing to the University. 

Dan says it best: 

" I had a chance to learn about the Mississippi State program and what they've accomplished. It's a great program but ultimately we have done great things here at Louisville and we have great things left to do". 

No confirmation on whether M.S.U. A.D. John Cohen made an offer to McDonnell. 

It's pretty clear and obvious to me when it comes to weighing options and it appears it was for Dan as well. Starkville or Louisville?  I think you go with the town that has the greatest two minutes in sports instead of the city which has The Cobb Museum of Archaeology

This final just in: 

ACC 1 - SEC 0 

And, the Cards finally got a win over M.S.U. in something. 

(Grateful acknowledgment to for information used in today's article)  



  1. I was never worried about Dan and I'm happy for Syd. I hope she torches the A 10 for two years.

    Curtis Franklin

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    1. Been busy there haven't you Curtis?

      On Syd, I wish her the best. I hope Rizotti gives her the "green light" when she's finally available and that Syd spends the off-year working the shot and getting quicker.

      On Dan, I never believed either that he'd leave UofL. I'm not sure if this IS an affirmation of Tyra, but you have to approve of getting Mack, Teeter and the keeping of Lolla and Ferguson-Dayes under his watch.

      I am worried about this delay in Walz re-upping, though. Maybe I worry too much. I want a done deal.

      -- The Real Joe Hill --

    2. Walz ain't going anywhere. At least until he wins one or two HERE!!!

    3. LOL. That Curtis.

      I would not worry about Vince and Jeff, Joe. It'll happen.


  2. Very happy for Syd, hope she does well there.
    Still gonna miss seeing her in a Card uniform, though.

  3. Happy for Z. She’ll be a good fit there. I expect her to be a star in the A-10!

    Glad Coach Mac decided to stay. Baseball would’ve taken a huge hit if he left.


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