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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Spring Season Notes -- Preparation for Thursday -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Spring Season Notes

Preseason All-ACC Softball Roster

Seniors Megan Hensley and Sidney Melton were named to the preseason all-ACC softball team yesterday.  The two were part of the 15-player roster named.

Melton was one of five infielders to make it.  The Columbus native has played left field, shortstop, and third base during her time at Louisville and is expected to start on the left side of the infield this year.

Hensley was the only utility player named.  The Ashland, KY., native has made an impact as the top pitcher and has been an offensive juggernaut in her career.

Reigning NCAA Champion Florida State dominated the roster with five players named.  Syracuse and North Carolina joined Louisville with two players.  Duke, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame each had one.

The Softball Cards begin their season Friday, February 8th when they travel to California to take part in the the Titan Classic. Their first opponent is Idaho State and they'll get in five games in three days on the Cal State Fullerton campus.

Preseason ACC Coaches Poll

The ACC softball coaches have submitted their votes and last year's National Champion Florida State is the heavy favorite to win the conference again.  They received all 11 first-place votes they were eligible seeing as a coach cannot vote for their own team.  Virginia Tech received the other first-place vote although they were voted to finish 10th in the poll.  I think we're all scratching our heads as to why Notre Dame or North Carolina didn't get that.

Louisville is projected to finish fifth overall and third in the Atlantic Division behind the Seminoles and Irish.  North Carolina and Pittsburgh were the top two for the Coastal Division.  Louisville does not play Pitt this season.

Six Cardinals Selected for USA Field Hockey Teams

Six different Cardinals have been selected as part of three different USA Field Hockey teams.  Taylor Stone, Katie Walsh, Erin McCrudden, Carter Ayers, Katie Schneider, and Meghan Schenider were all named to the different teams.

Stone and Walsh both finished their careers in the fall were picked for the US Women's National Development Squad.  They are joined by 2016 graduate Erin McCrudden.

Ayers and Meghan Schneider were both named to the Under-21 Team and Katie Schneider was named to the Under-19 team.

WBB Prepares for Thursday

Assuming we all still aren't frozen from today's dreadful weather, the KFC Yum! Center should have over 16,000 fans present to cheer on women's basketball against UConn Thursday night.  The #3 Cardinals and #2 Huskies are set to square off at 7:00.

UConn is 18-1 on the year after recently falling to then-#7/8 Baylor.  Baylor has now moved into the top spot in both the AP and Coaches Polls.  The Huskies have Top 25 wins over Notre Dame, Cal, and DePaul.

UConn is averaging a whopping 81.9 points per game and their average scoring margin is +28.5 points.  Typically their games are already over by halftime and the bench players come in for much of the second half (and still lead by more!).

Walz took "the wee chair" on the road with
him last year to Connecticut. 
They are dangerous on the floor, shooting .490.  Unless you find a solid post player you typically won't find players or even a whole team that average making roughly one of every two shot attempts.  They shoot .354 from three-point range while knocking down about eight per game.  Trying to go the route of forcing free throws to slow down their offense doesn't work either, as they shoot a collective .709 from the line.

Geno Auriemma's team is also one of the best in rebounding.  They grab 42 boards per game and are no stranger to winning the rebounding battle.  Their offensive rebounds (230) has been one of their lesser impressive stats on the year, but still a large number nonetheless.

UConn isn't perfect when it comes to efficiency,, as they do turn the ball over 11.6 times per game. Turnovers are something the Louisville defense has had no problem forcing other teams to commit this season.  The Huskies also force 16 turnovers per game, which is slightly lower than expected for the history of this program.  Louisville has struggled with turnovers in the past but UConn doesn't appear that they will do too much damage in that category.

Defensively, UConn has been good, but not great.  They have shown cracks in the once-thought-to-be-unstoppable program.  They steal the ball 7.8 times per game and get a little under four blocks per game.

They're holding opponents to just 53.4 points per game, but they've faced some less-than-stellar opponents at times this year.  They have seven victories where they've held opponents to under 50 points, something we've seen a lot from the Cards lately.  UofL has held six opponents to the sub-50 mark this year and their last five foes have failed to reach "half a hundred".

Notre Dame put up 71 points on the Huskies, Baylor 68, Cal 66, and both DePaul and Oklahoma 63.  The Cards, who are averaging 80.3 points per game, have a much stronger offense than several of those teams listed, especially when a few players come out hot.

Last time out, UConn hosted UCF and held court quite well with the 93-57 win.

Why wasn't I invited to play Louisville this year? 
I expect to see a fairly close match-up but Geno has had Walz's number for quite some time and I think they pull away near the end to win by a dozen.  Still, we could be surprised and the Cards could show the world that the Notre Dame loss from earlier this year was a fluke.

Paulie will bring the final preparation and thoughts on Thursday's #2 vs. #3 here at the Couple.


We all know how talented our Cardinal student-athletes are on their respective surfaces of competition are. Last night, they got a chance to show off some other performance skills, though,  at the 2019 Student-Athlete Talent Show.

Rowing took the crown. Check out the clip below that highlights the performances. 

LINK: 2019 Student-Athlete Talent Show highlights

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -


  1. Two words. Stay in.

    I had to help unload a semi last night and it was brutal. It's even colder today.

    Stay in.

    Nice honors for softball and field hockey. I hope Melton has been working on her fielding. She's had some difficulties in the past with that.

    On Geno and the Huskies here's what I see. UConn’s bench isn’t overly experienced and has lacked significant production. They rarely go deeper than six in close contests. They don't look like an out-of-shape group, though, if they have to go more than 30 minutes.

    I hope refs don't micro-manage this one like they did when Cards played Notre Dame. And, I hope that knucklehead Dillard who threatened ex-Mayor Jerry is in Alabama or somewhere far away from
    downtown Louisville.

    Curtis "let them play, OK?" Franklin

    1. I think Joe Vazsily and Maj are two of the refs tonight. They're among the top in WBB officials, so we'll, hopefully get a decent "call" session out of them. Not sure who is the third, but, 99% sure it isn't "TV Dee".


  2. Hope everyone is warm and OK up there. We're only getting up to the mid 60's today in Naples.

    Poor Joe, right?

    Hoping Louisville can take care of business against the Huskies and get a win but I don't think they can expect to hold UConn under 50.

    Durr the key. As she goes, the Cards will go.

    The Real Joe Hill

    1. Durr was on local TV today. Nice to see her with her "hair down".

      Duur will be a key, no doubt, but all out there for UofL will have to be on "A" game.

      Just finished cleaning off the cars. Sonya working today and I'm headed down to campus for a 12:45 Walz presser.

      It's a cold windy day. The things I do to bring you the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports...


    2. Hello Cardinal Fans and Friends!

      Arthur here!

      Paulie, it's 36 down here in Greer, SC. We're driving over to Clemson early this afternoon and going to have a bite to eat, check into our hotel, visit with some WBB fans/friends of ours tonight and spend tomorrow at Fort Hill, also known as the John C. Calhoun Mansion and Library. It is a National Historic Landmark on the Clemson University campus and we know a couple that volunteers there. Then, we hit Littlejohn for the Notre Dame game.

      We'll do our best and I hope it is a huge crowd that attends.

      We hope Notre Dame's players fingers are still frozen.

      Wishing you Cardinals the best of everything and come on down here with a win over UConn before we meet you Saturday.

      Your friend
      #1 Clemson Fan
      Greer, SC

  3. Arica Carter selected in new ESPN WNBA mock draft.

    1. Remember that 2014 class
      Myisha #34
      Mariya #42
      Arica #77
      Syd #37

      Tremendous class. Syd and Ariana had knee issues which shortened their careers.

    2. Syd ended up playing for University of Indianapolis and had a good career there. She'd come down to watch her old teammates play from time to time, thinking I saw her in the stands last year.

    3. She's earned that !

  4. Last Uconn game was on Feb 12, 2018, Uconn 69, Louisville 58.

    1. That was a terrible game because Lville was totally intimidated in the first quarter and didn't know what hit them on national TV. Long term though it was a positive game because the Lville players gained a lot of confidence by playing UConn competitively in the final 3 quarters. It set them up to make their big run to the final four.

    2. Cards won the final three quarters 52-45. THAT DISASTROUS START took them out of it though.

  5. I think it's our time to take that next step and beat them.
    I know we're entirely capable, proven the last 3 quarters the last game. Gonna see a little history made tomorrow 😉
    GO CARDS!!!

    1. You were right! As usual I was wrong!


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