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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday Cardinal Couple - New Years Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions and More

Last week we talked about gifts for teams and individuals (yes, NCAA, metaphorical only).  This week I want to talk about resolutions.  But first, a touch of basketball...

Basketball Governor's Cup

You might have heard that there was a basketball game in the Commonwealth yesterday.  Yeah, the men's rendition of UK vs UofL happened yesterday, and the Cats took the win, 71-58.

While many of us had hoped for a closer game, Kentucky showed that, after a season start that left a lot of question marks, they're putting a solid team together.  They've still got some issues to work out, but overall they're starting to play, nearly, up to the expectations of pre-season assessments.

Louisville showed that they are able to compete fairly well with a very good team.  The UofL season
this year is brutally loaded, and this was just one example of Louisville sharpening their tools on some very good opponents.  A lot of people of people are down in the dumps over a 13 point loss, but I think this UofL team showed some real sparks of good play.  There's a lot still to put together, yes, but there was certainly talent and some good play in there.

We'll leave the in-depth analysis of a men's basketball game to the oh-so-many other Louisville sports sites that focus more on that.  Here?  I'll just say, I like this team, they're probably not going to win a national championship, but I think great things are ahead with The Mack.

Resolution Time

New Years...when lots of people make resolutions for what they want to accomplish in the coming year.  We had "gifts" last week, what we would hope teams and individuals would receive, now let's talk resolutions, what we hope teams and individuals will do to improve their own lot in competition.

Goals are good. Achieving them takes work.


You knew I would start here, and partly because the resolution here is readily stated by the coaching
staff and team.  The team goal this past year, that they didn't quite reach, was to get to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.  They spoke of getting a "black banner" to hang in Cardinal Arena, where red banners get hung for conference championships, and black banners for reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 or better.  The theme for the team the past year was the color black, even the intro video for team introductions heavily featured the theme.

They didn't reach that level this year, so I believe it will be the same basic resolution and goal for next year.  Reach the Sweet 16 or better.  The theme around it may get built differently, but the central idea will largely be the same.


I don't know how ambitious Holly Aprile is for the team's success this year.  As a first year's coach, she's coming in to a new team with new players that she perhaps didn't recruit, new facilities, new fans, new everything.

Personally, if this team can repeat or improve upon their results of last year, I'll be happy.  It's a time to build a foundation for the future.  As a reminder, UofL Softball finished 33-20 last year, 10-12 in conference and advanced to the 2nd round of the ACC tournament.  They didn't make an NCAA appearance.  I would resolve for this team to achieve a winning record in conference, and enough improvements to make an NCAA appearance.  That will be enough, in my mind, for a first year under a new coach and given past performance, to make a successful season.  Of course, I'm not a Div. 1 sports coach...they tend to be a bit more ambitious than I am, so it wouldn't surprise me if Aprile is thinking bigger.


Lacrosse finished the season 6-11, 0-8 in conference last year.  That was with a new coach (hired late in the off-season), a very thin roster, and in the super high level of play ACC conference.

This is rebuilding.  My resolution for the Lacrosse team is a .500 season, across the board.  Now keep in mind, a 4-4 record in ACC play is a very high level of play, so this is a pretty ambitious resolution.  9 out of the 24 players on the roster this year are freshmen, and 11 are sophomores.  This is a very young team still, and a .500 season will be impressive if they can pull it off.  Teeter and his staff have recruited very successfully and a strong group of freshmen are on campus and ready to get on the field and prove their worth.

I believe they can.


Again, I speak without knowing what the coaches have in their plans, but for Swimming I would like to see more National Championships from individuals, a goal that I don't think is all that much of a stretch given some of the personnel on the team.

As a team I'd like to see them reach into the Top 5 in the overall rankings at some point this season, and I'd like to see them better their 5th place finish at the NCAA's last year.  Both goals will continue to push this team into the rarefied air of the top programs in the nation.

I think Mallory Comerford has the chance to qualify for the Olympics in 2020, so let's add that on to the list of resolutions for this sport.

What say you?  I didn't even touch on WBB as I think everyone knows that a National Championship
is the thing there. With the perfect start, the Cards are #3 in the nation but face, yet again, another strong ACC slate and competition.

What do you think should be goals and resolutions for these squads this year?  I didn't get into individuals much either (except for Comerford), but goals and resolutions for individuals are fair game as well.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

As for the CCRH, I think the resolution will be an easy one to keep bringing you the best commentary, news, and analysis on the radio about UofL Women's Sports.  We don't have a lot of competition, and for knuckleheads like us, that's a good thing.

Our latest offering in this effort can be found, as usual, on Facebook at:

After nearly a month of doing things like getting married, buying a house and taking a cruise, Case returned, and the discussion was fun and I think rather interesting.  Check it out!



  1. I'm not much for making resolutions but, as a fan of UofL sports, especially the women's sports, I would hope that everyone would resolve to be better fans. These are 18 to 23 year old women and men. They don't deliberately miss a free throw or hit their serve into the net. They are young men and women. I have heard some brutal criticism of individuals, coaches and teams that seems way out of line. I appreciate that Cardinal Couple keeps to positive criticism and continual support of the University of Louisville women's sports programs, players, coaches and alums.

  2. Our objective here has been, and always will be, as Viv pointed out -- to promote the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics. It does, of course, extend over to men's athletics as well, when we choose to feature them on these pages.

    Becoming a better fan begins within. It's just like a player resolving to becoming a better free throw shooter. Are you willing to make the commitment to do so?

    Reading some of the comments on Twitter and at some other sites this morning show me that we have some fans out there who need to step up their games in good fandom.

    I remember a conversation not too long ago with a former UofL women's sports student athlete about handling fan criticism. Her response was excellent. She spoke in terms of working to improve her game, carrying out her coach's plan and striving to always "get better". Fans, for the most part, have no idea about the extensive work effort of the student-athlete. Fans want to "see the meal" and don't care about the hours put in to "preparing the meal". And, if the fans don't "like the meal" some of them can be quick to blame individuals.
    And that is wrong. You win as a team and you lose as a team.

    Let's not be that "bad fan".


  3. Another "dirty bird" loss by Louisville to my Cats. Too bad, so sad.

    Matthew Mitchell for Governor

  4. Greetings from Charleston, SC -- a stop on the 'Curtis Franklin Live' tour -- this town went nuts last night over Clemson's decisive bowl win to advance to the championship game. My brother-in-law here, a huge South Carolina fan (who got trampled on by Virginia yesterday) is still convinced Clemson cheats all the time. LOLOL.

    On fandom, I think that the players on the field need to show a lot more restraints, less chippiness and play the game as competitors, not street fight participants. This can affect a fan's behavior. If a player is taunting, shoving after a play or such -- what message does that send to the fans?

    Hope all is well in Kentuckiana. Going to spend time with my sis and family today here in Charleston and then to Savannah for New Year's Eve Day and New Years.

    Curtis "Traveling Road Show" Franklin


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