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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

USA U18 Draws Group A -- Other News -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Jeff Walz, USA U18  National Team Draw Group A

In addition to his Cardinal duties, Jeff Walz is coaching the USA Women's Basketball U18 National Team.  This year's host is Mexico City.  It was recently announced that they will be in Group A along with Argentina, Chile, and Puerto Rico.  Group B will feature Canada, Mexico, Colombia, and El Salvador.

Practice begins on July 20th. out in Colorado Springs, CO at the USA Olympic Training Center and the UofL coach has an impressive assistant coaching staff to assist him in Cori Close (UCLA) and Natasha Adair (Delaware).

United States holds a roster of 12 active players: Aijha Blackwell, Jenna Brown, Desiree Caldwell, Maori Davenport, Nazahrah Hillmon-Baker, Rhyne Howard, Ashley Joens, Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Anaya Peoples, Sedona Prince, NaLyssa Smith, and Christyn Williams.  Ten of the 12 have named colleges and Universities for their student/athlete careers. Blackwell and Davenport are still uncommitted. None are currently headed to Louisville.

Walz and the Cards are basically guaranteed to see two of them in NCAA competition down the road, with Rhyne Howard headed to UK and Anaya Peoples naming Notre Dame as her choice. Two Connecticut-bound players in Olivia Nelson Ododa and Christyn Williams are on the roster.

Group Play will be played August 1-3, facing each opponent once.  Based off the results the teams will be seeded.  Quarterfinals will be August 5, semifinals on August 6, and the finals on August 7.  The USA is looking for a ninth-straight gold medal and should be the favorite to take the crown.  The top four teams will automatically qualify for next year's FIBA U19 World Cup 2019.

Historically, the USA U18 teams have been a dynasty, going 53-2 and claiming the gold every World Cup since 2000.  The event is held every other year.

Following the conclusion of the World Cup and the return back home I expect we'll be graced with an interview between Paulie and Coach Walz.  Hopefully, Coach will offer his insights into the upcoming UofL women's basketball season while also telling us about the good and bad food he ate while in Mexico City. We doubt we get him in a sombrero...

Other News and Notes


Our wonderful host, WCHQ, is a major sponsor in the Poorcastle festival.  Unlike the better-known Forecastle, Poorcastle features local artists and is affordable at just $5 per day or $10 for the full three-day pass.

I stopped by for a while late Sunday afternoon to see how things were going and to snag a few pictures.  Let me tell you, this city has some incredibly talented musicians.  You can most likely find any of the artists from the lineup on air with WCHQ at some time or another.

We are grateful that WCHQ continues to host Cardinal Couple Radio every week.  Here are a few of the pictures from the weekend event:

Louisville to Add a New Division 1 Team?

UofL ice hockey club team
It has been quite some time since the University of Louisville has added a Division 1 team, but we might be seeing an addition sooner than later.  The unfortunate part for us at Cardinal Couple is that it is not a women's team.

The UofL men's club ice hockey team has grown in success and popularity over recent years.  Currently, their home is Iceland Sports Complex where they pay to use the facility.  They have risen from Top 25 when I first started as a student to back-to-back Top 10 finishes, including consistently being one of the top two teams in their division.

Questions are already circulating and here are my answers to those:

Louisville RiverFrogs ice hockey
Q: Will this create an issue with Title IX?
A: No.  UofL is ahead of the curve when it comes to Title IX in terms of women's players, scholarships, and funding.  They have room to spare when it comes to a men's team.

Q: Does UofL have the funding for it?
A: Probably not, but they won't admit it if that's the case.  With budget cuts all over the university it would not surprise me if athletics has had to cut back on expenses too.  Building an entire program is not cheap.

Q: Where will they play?
A: Temporary locations could include the KFC Yum! Center (highly unlikely), Freedom Hall, or Broadbent Arena.  All three are big enough to hold an ice hockey arena and have seating for fans.  From 1995-1998 Broadbent Arena hosted the Louisville RiverFrogs, Louisville's semi-pro team.  That team eventually relocated to Florida and is now in Ohio known as the Cincinnati Cyclones.  In the long run UofL would most likely have to build an arena.

Q: How quickly could we see the addition of a new sport?
A: I'd say it would be a good 3-4 years minimum.  Funding, location, scholarships, coaches, staff, and NCAA approval are the big factors that come into play.  The university is in no shape to invest time and money into all of that at this point in time, but with a new president, a new athletic director, and hopefully some new board members at some point things seem to be looking upward.

What Day Is It?

Take a picture of your dog, cat, or whatever animal friend is living in your home because it's Pet Photo Day!  Enjoy lots of food and drink with slurpees, blueberry muffins, rainier cherries, and mojitos all having a holiday dedicated to them.  It is a good day for Coach Albiero and his aquatic friends at the Natatorium seeing that it is National Swimming Pool Day.  Enjoy a belly flop for me!

How do you think Coach Walz and Team USA will do?  Will they make it a 10th straight gold medal?  What are your thoughts towards a new Division 1 team at UofL?  Does ice hockey deserve it or should we see another sport first?  Please leave your comments down below.  As always, please respect the comments of others in the thread.

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -


  1. Ice Hockey wouldn't be my first choice for a new UofL sport, gotta be honest here. Equestrian would. This is horse country. I would imagine donations/fundraising would also be more likely and available with all the horse industry businesses that are in this area. Just my opinion.

    Walz is everywhere. Almost like there is a "bat-signal" for him and when it's shown in the sky, he shows up.

    Curtis "Ice is for drinks, not athletics" Franklin

  2. Synchronized swimming is fun to =watch= and UofL already has a facility for that. I do think that more sports, though, just further deplete an already-watered down athletic budget and decreased donations. Adding anything at this time is not the best idea out there.

    And, wouldn't ice hockey season conflict with WBB and MBB season?

    Thumbs down.

    Nick O.

  3. I'll start by saying that, our of the five "major" sports (baseball, basketball, football, soccer and hockey) is the one I watch least. Also, ice hockey is not an official ACC sport.

    Lastly, would ice hockey be offered for both men and women? There are schools that have both.

    I'd have to say "No" at this time and just keep it at a club level. Maybe polo or equestrian down the road. After all, as mentioned, this is "horse country"...but let's wait and see how these proposed budget cuts and spending affect UofL athletics.


  4. The University of Louisville's College of Business offers the only equine degree in the world in an AACSB accredited college of business. It makes perfect sense to go with some sort of horse-related sport instead of ice hockey.

    Stay after those recruits, Walz and associates. All accounts point to the Cards being on a lot of 2019 and 2020 top 100 recruits "considering" lists.

    Maybe the equine program give Paulie a professorship or speaking invite to address the equine students on "Handicapping the Horses 101".

    Happy Wednesday, Cardinal Couple readers. A chance of rain for the next seven days in the Bradenton area and temps in the high eighties, low nineties. No 'hit and mutter' walks down the fairway for ol' Dave-O it appears.


    1. Professor Paulie? I like it! I wonder how much of a "student fee" I could get from students in the class? All to be used for practical and live on-site research of class principles and philosophy, of course.

      Meet at the clubhouse inter-track wagering section with $200 bucks per student, kiddos...

      WOO HOO!


  5. On one hand, the ice hockey program has put in the time and diligence to be in a position to be added. On the other hand, the costs are certainly an issue. What other sports are being played at the club level that could be "promoted" to "new sport" level? Men's lacrosse? IMHO needs to be a sport that keeps score and it not simply judged.

    1. FWIW, UofL does have a Men's Lacrosse club team. They are doing fairly well from what I understand.


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