LOUISVILLE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL #2 RANKED
Following the wins over Connecticut Thursday night in the KFC YUM! Center and at Clemson Saturday, the Cards have climbed one spot in the AP Poll and are now #2 in the nation, behind Baylor.
The Cards received three of the 28 first place votes, Baylor the other 25. Oregon checks in at #3, Notre Dame is #4 and the UConn Huskies drop to #5. A guy whose quips equal those of Jeff Walz...Mr. Geno Auriemma was asked about his two losses this season after the Huskies beat Cincinnati 85-55 on Sunday. He replied in typical Geno fashion:
"Last time I checked, there were 365 Division I teams in America. 364 would trade places with me in a heartbeat. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it."
Would Walz, Mulkey...even McGraw or Kelly Graves' squads make that switch? How about the Bulldogs at Mississippi St. would they abandon ship to put on UConn jerseys?
Rounding out the top 10 are #6 Mississippi State, #7 Oregon State, #8 Marquette, #9 North Carolina State and #10 Maryland. Other ACC schools getting the top 25 nod are #15 Syracuse, #24 Florida State and #25 Miami. Louisville bring the 'Cuse to town for a Thursday night tangle this week. It means the return of "Q" (Quentin Hillsman) to the 'Ville'...he's one of our favorite showmen in College WBB and a snappy dresser to boot.
The win over Husky nation means a lot of things, obviously, to Louisville and NCAA women's basketball. It gives the Cards a huge confidence factor from here on out. It does put an even larger "target on their back" when they travel to places such as Blacksburg, Charlottesville and Pittsburgh the test of the regular season and the four foes coming into the downtown arena over the next three weeks. Syracuse, Miami, Boston College and NC State know that a win over Louisville at Louisville is a season changer, heck, program changer and would weigh heavily on the thought processes of the NCAA selection committee.
The clear-cut favorite as NCAA Tournament favorite is, well, unclear as well. Baylor showed a little vulnerability last night when Texas roared back from a 21-point deficit after three quarters to cut the Bears lead to four with 30 seconds to play. The Cards, the Huskies, the Irish and the Ducks all have losses that were either head-scratchers or sound defeats. Toss in Miss. State, add Oregon State and Maryland for a little seasoning and you have a eight-team stew that is unpredictable from spoonful to spoonful.
That's why they play the game, though, I doubt the upsets and surprises are done for the regular season. Here's hoping the Cards can stay clear of them.
ASIA DURR NAMED ESPNW PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After a sparkling performance against Connecticut, Asia Durr has been named ESPNW Player of the Week.
There were plenty of candidates, no doubt. Five others that come to mind are Kristine Anigwe (Cal), Ruthy Hebard (Oregon), Stephanie Watts (UNC), Destiny Slocum (Oregon State) and Haley Gorecki (Duke) all had weeks that were noteworthy, but Durr delivered a 24-point performance Thursday night against then #2 Conn on ESPN and that was enough to put the award in her steady hands. Why, there was even a quad-double last week, engineered by Grambling State's Shakyla Hill.
The award trophy case for "Nite-Nite" has to be crammed full, if there is such a thing.
Durr is projected to be #2 in the WNBA mock draft coming up Wednesday. She's averaging 20.8 p.p.g. this year. 45.1% from the floor and 35% from three-point range.
The awards, the honors, the recognitions....the triple-teams....all of the emphasis on #25 would be a whirlwind type of experience for just about any DI WBB student-athlete. Durr keeps a calm demeanor, though, and keeps her eyes focused on the ultimate goals. A Final Four slot. A National Championship.
|"What do you think? I think that #25 is pretty good."|
Have a Terrific Tuesday and stay dry. The monsoon season has apparently begun in Louisville.