We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Saturday, November 30, 2019



Yes, it really happened ! 

Louisville WBB turned the game around starting in the second quarter and dispatched the #1 team in the nation -- the Oregon Ducks -- by 10 in their final game of the Paradise Jam. 

Four Cards in double figures scoring, led by Kylee Shook with 18 points (and 15 rebounds). She was named to the all-tournament team. Dana Evans 17 points and tournament MVP. Elizabeth "E" Balogun with 11 and Jaz Jones with 10. 

Defense did it again, holding Oregon to 34% from the floor. 

CARDINAL COUPLE will have much, much more on this tomorrow from Jeff McAdams in his Sunday write. 

Just know this. #1 has gone down and Louisville WBB did it ! 

WBB Cards Soar Past Oklahoma State -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Evans, Cards Soar Past Oklahoma State

In their second game in as many days in the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Louisville women's basketball defeated Oklahoma State 69-48.

Dana Evans led all scorers with a career-high 28 points.  Elizabeth Balogun posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cards had a strong defense in the first half and won the quarters 19-13 and 18-12, respectively.  However, 12 turnovers in the half were plenty to keep the Pokes within striking distance.

A 14-5 run for much of the second quarter pushed the Louisville lead to 15 right before the half.

Louisville's defense turned on the jets even more, slowing down the Oklahoma State offense and surrendering just 23 second half points.

The Cards managed to get the lead to as high as 24 points late in the third quarter.  After that, the lead
never faltered and remained above 16 the remainder of the game.

Evans, who decided to knock out one of my bold predictions by just one point, shot 6-9 from three-point range and added five assists.  Overall, the Cards shot 9-14 (64.3%) from deep.

From the field, Louisville went 28-59 (47.5%) as the short range accuracy continued to be a hassle.

Trips to the free throw line were slim- Louisville shot just 4-5.  The Poke didn't get to the line much either, going 7-11.

Eight of 11 Cards to see the floor saw double-digit minutes with the other three all recording below three minutes.

Louisville (7-0) will have a tall task today as they face #1 Oregon.  The 6-0 Ducks defeated Oklahoma State 89-72 and UT Arlington 91-54.

Another lights out performance from three-point range and cleaning up the turnovers will give the Cards their best opportunity to win, and a chance to prove me wrong on a second bold prediction.

The two foes will tip off at 3:15 on the silly $29.99/month website.  Or just listen to Nick and AJ give you detailed play calling on air. They'll move to either 970 WGTK AM today or  1080 WKJK AM since Louisville Football will be on the usual channel 790.  I'd check both, the UofL Sports information site listed 1080  WGTK, which doesn't match up on call letters and radio dial number. You can always go to the live stream on the UofL website and we've linked it up for you below.



Speaking of on air, it appears Paulie and Worldwide will be on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour alone.  I will be battling the elements on the field as Louisville football has a showdown with rival Kentucky for the Governor's Cup. Case is down on the farm and Daryl is throwing a party at her place for the Football game.

Sonya will join the guys in the studio to observe, she doesn't like to "mic up" We're also on Facebook Live !  LINK:  THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR


On a quick side note, congrats to Chris Mack and the men's team for defeating WKU and moving up to #1 in the country.  Walz will get his squad up there soon, and we could see the first school to have the women's and men's teams win the national championship in the same year since UConn in 2014.

We usually don't do anything here about non-women's sports here at Cardinal Couple, but a lot of you will be tuned in to Louisville vs. Kentucky Football in Lexington today at noon, so GO CARDS, BEAT UK.

Since Paulie edits most of the articles here at Cardinal Couple, I'll leave the FRED report to him as an add-on.


Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst says "Scream for those Cards!" 
FREE THROWS -- Hardly anything to mention here, as Dee Kanter and her crew swallowed the whistle and let them play. Louisville attempted five and made four. Kylee and Dana tried two each and made them. "E" got one and missed it. Still. 80% is 80% and we'll award a Capital "F" for the limited but productive marksmanship. 

REBOUNDS -- Louisville won the battle of the boards 47 to 39 and it was Bionca Dunham and Elizabeth Balogun leading the way with 10 each. Louisville only managed seven on the offensive boards, a quite low number, but overall the "grabs" effort was enough to earn them another Capital "R" for running down missed shots. 

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- No slow start Friday for the Cards, leading by six after the first quarter and increasing that lead as the game went on. Turnovers, though, another bugaboo with 21. Walz likes to tease that if you throw the ball to someone in the same colors as yours, those turnovers will drop. The Cards did win the points-in-paint battle, fast break points and second chance points stats, though, so...based on that, I'll offer a lower case "e" for hustle. 

DEFENSE -- Louisville WBB held OK State to 25.4% shooting. The Cards had eight blocks. They forced 14 OK ST turnovers and scored 14 points off them. They allowed just 48 points. All that leads to a Capital "D" for their defensive efforts. 


Happy Saturday and Go Cards!


Friday, November 29, 2019

WBB Cards survive in Paradise 76-67 -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


UofL Women's basketball survived a shaky first quarter, blew out to a 16-point lead in the final quarter and managed to hang on against a pesky UT-Arlington squad in the Virgin Islands yesterday. 

It was the Cards first away game of the season and the squad appeared to miss the friendly confines of the KFC YUM! Center, trailing 21-20 after the first quarter. 

Jeff Walz explained the shaky start this way: 

" I expected this. I told the kids that before we came down here, I was very impressed with watching UTA in film study. They play a physical brand of basketball." 

Nothing wrong with coach's eyesight or evaluation turns out.

The Cards were depending on their on-court leaders, Jazmine Jones and Dana Evans to carry the load, but the dangerous mid-major from the Lone Star state was intent on an upset. They were still threatening the Cards early into the second quarter -- leading 26-25 -- when Louisville finally got comfortable and played their style of basketball...going on a 8-0 run in two minutes to assume a 33-26 lead. 

Two Evans made free throws started the run. After a UTA failed possession, the Cards took off running and Kylee Shook took a fast-break pass from Elizabeth Balogun, made the bucket, got fouled and sank a free throw. Jaz hit one of two from the stripe and UTA took a timeout to slow the run. After the stoppage, Jaz nailed a jumper to give Louisville the eight-point lead. 

The half ended 43-36 Cards. Jaz had 10 and Evans 12 of the Cards points. 

UTC was not done, though.

The Cards were able to win a close third quarter and held a 60-50 lead with 10 minutes to play. That grew to 16 after back-to-back threes from Jaz and Dana, to build what looked like a comfortable 70-54 edge with 6:29 left.

The Mavericks, though,were unwilling to secede, mounted one last charge and went on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to cut that lead to 72-67 with 1:33 to go. 

UTC employed the foul theory the rest of the way but Jones and Evans nailed four free throws and UofL was able to keep UTC scoreless to gain their sixth win of the season. 

UTC head coach Krista Gerlich commented after the contest: 

"We knew coming in everybody would probably overlook us. We just wanted to give it out best shot and try to punch them in the mouth first. We talk all the time about the upsets going on in men's basketball. We want to see some of those in women's basketball as well". 

And, credit the UTA squad. They never gave up and made things a bit nervous for us listening to the radio feed back here in Louisville.  A couple of threes by UTC guard Claire Chastain and two steals had the momentum in the Mavericks favor during that nerve-wracking final stretch. Four missed shots by the Cards in that five minutes stretch were painful to hear. And, UTC had a chance to cut it to three with a minute to go, but a huge block and ball recovery by Balogun, stemmed the UTA charge. 

Louisville goes on to second-day action against Oklahoma St. today at 1 p.m. The Cowgirls got bucked by #1 Oregon on Thursday. A 34-13 first quarter pasting from the Ducks showed that Louisville wasn't the only team in St. Thomas that was struggling early.  As for UTA, they get Oregon today. We'll see how the "punch in the mouth" philosophy works against Ruthy Hebard, Sabrina Ionescue and Minyon Moore...


"A beautiful day from the free throw
FREE THROWS -- No complaints about the Cards 19-25 foul line performance. Dana was 10-10 and Jaz 5-8. All makes came from the Cards starters (Dana, Jaz, "E", Kylee and "B". Clutch shooting at the end preserved the win. We'll award the Capital "F" here. 

REBOUNDING -- Louisville barely takes the "grabs" stat 34-31. Shook, as you might expect, led the way with seven in 23 minutes. UofL had trouble keeping UTA star Marie Benson away from the ball, though, she totaled eight for the Mavericks. In a contest where both teams shot over 45%, there aren't going to be a lot of rebounds, so I'll assign a lower case "r" for Louisville's effort. The non-starters had nine of the boards, "E" getting three. 

EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- I surmised it at the start of the season that Jaz and Dana would be the engineers of this Cardinal Cannonball Express and they did not disappoint, with 43 points, nine assists and 15-18 free throw accuracy. 20 turnovers are way too many, though, and the Cards late collapse force me to withhold a letter award here. 

DEFENSE -- Good at times but the Cards were allowing too many points-off-turnovers (23). Louisville also allowed 30 points in the paint, which doesn't bode well either in terms of guarding inside. The lack of a strong shutout late in the contest could be hazardous against both OK State and Oregon. No letter here. 



"Repeat that final score again?" 
So, the Cards survived the brawling Mavericks and maybe learned a thing or two about preparation on the road against someone who is intent in getting a season-highlight upset.  It's said the first road game is always the toughest and that old adage bore fruit yesterday. 

Maybe a nice Thanksgiving meal and evening activities will make the Cards feel a bit more "at home" and ready to tangle with another team today that employs the "knock 'em around" style of hoops. 

The "jelling" continues. Louisville needs more out of the Georgia Tech transfer duo of "Liz" and "E" and I have to believe Yacine Diop is capable of much more than what Louisville is getting from her.

(A huge "Thank You!" to Nick and AJ on the radio for verbally describing the action. Yes, a picture is worth a 1000 words, but their call made me feel like I was there during this one and their insight, commentary and descriptions are why they're the best at what they do.)

"Who took the last drumstick?!?" 
It's still quite early in the season, of course, and I refer you back to Walz's continuous litany about how it will take this team awhile to get on the same page and perform as a effective unit. Let's just accept this "W", shower some well-deserved praise on the "terrific two" for holding the train together and anticipate the jello finally being removed from the freezer and getting served. 

The lessons learned in early battles help you win the war. 

The key, here, I guess is that Louisville faced a tough test on the road, overcame a couple of tough stretches of action and that the ones you expect to shine did. 

Have a fun "black Friday" ! I hope you find what you're looking for and no one gets injured in the running-of-the-bulls when the store doors open. 


We'll have THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR Saturday at as we go a bit further down that "green mile" toward the cessation of the station. I'm not sure who will join me and Jeff in the WCHQ 100.9 FM studios yet, but it'll be an entertaining hour in the magnificent, majestic mansion of Mellwood, that we can guarantee you.

Watch on Facebook Live, or listen on whatever device you choose. Maybe we'll have two Louisville wins to celebrate and discuss and I might bring a duck into the studio to help us preview the Saturday game vs. Oregon down in St. Thomas.

It's often been said that we're "quacks" ....tune in and waddle along with us. 



Thursday, November 28, 2019

Cards Fall at Pitt -- Paradise Jam Begins -- Thanksgiving -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Off You Go ! 

We'll try not too keep you long today as we know most of you have plans with family or friends that involve eating a lot of food.  However, we need to hit a couple Cardinal teams real quick.

Cards Volleyballers Fall at Pitt

As was expected, Louisville Volleyball hit a speed bump to close out the season.  They fell at #2 ranked/#5 RPI Pitt 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-11, 25-12).

The first half looked pretty spectacular for the Cards, who were hoping to ruin Pitt's chances for a perfect ACC season, the first since Georgia Tech accomplished the feat in 2004.

There were over a dozen ties and a half dozen lead changes in the first set as the conference rivals battled it out back-and-forth.  Pitt relied on a 5-1 run just past the midway point of the set to take a multi-point lead and force a Louisville timeout.  The Cards went on their own 5-1 run to take a 21-20  lead, thus causing the Panthers to use a timeout.  The hosts came out of the timeout with a fiery passion to take the first set. Three unforced Louisville errors at the end added to the Pitt momentum.

The second set showed similarities of the first set with 15 ties and five lead changes.  A series of blocks put the Cards up 20-17, sparking a Pitt timeout.  Amaya Tillman recorded one of her career-high 13 blocks after the break, causing a second straight Pitt timeout.  This time, the Cards would not falter, taking the set.

After halftime, Pitt showed why they are a Top Five team.  They dominated both the third and fourth sets, knocking UofL out of their offense and pushing them back on their heels.  Three straight challenges, all ending in favor of the Panthers, drug out the final set.

During the delays and the destruction of the Cards, analyst Katie George and her counterpart on the ACC Network discussed Thanksgiving food and why her 'nana' no longer cooks.

If there was ever a time that comic relief was needed, it was in the final two sets of the match.

Besides Tillman's personal career night there are a few other players with noteworthy accomplishments.  Claire Chaussee led the team with 14 kills.  Tori Dilfer recorded a double-double with 37 assists and 12 digs.  Anna Stevenson continued her hot streak with eight kills and three blocks.  Aiko Jones also pulled off a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs.

Louisville finishes the regular season 19-9 with a 12-6 conference mark.  That record is good enough to put them in a tie with Florida State for 4th place.

The NCAA Selection Show for volleyball is Sunday at 8:30 p.m.  As we discussed on air Saturday, Louisville should be in the tournament.  The won their final two home matches in straight sets and had a solid showing against a Pitt team that could host through the quarterfinals.  They probably won't be high enough to host but it would be surprising if they do not get in.

Basketball Tips Off in the US Virgin Islands

Paulie gave a good rundown about basketball yesterday as they face UTA, Oklahoma State, and #1 Oregon all in the span of 52 hours in the US Virgin Islands.  Sadly, unless you're willing to drop $29.99 to watch them there will not be a live video.  You can, however, tune in to listen on the radio.

The team enjoyed some time on the beach and on a boat yesterday, per posts by the team, coaches, and players on social media.  Let's hope they wore sunscreen and had water in those hollowed out coconuts!

1 p.m. today is scheduled tip-off and the game will be available on 790 AM Cards Radio WKRD. Download the app and hear it that way also if you're not willing to pay the ransom "Flo" is demanding. The Cards have a better "calling" crew, no doubt in Nick and AJ.  So much for the spirit of "giving" there -- Flo" is taking.

UTA today for UofL and a UTA defense that is fourth in the nation in limiting opponent's shooting percentage. 


Besides a day of being off work, sleeping in, and eating until your pants don't fit there is plenty of meaning behind Thanksgiving- giving thanks and being appreciative for what you have.

For myself, that includes being able to see friends and family and spend time with them.  I'm also thankful that my musical talents have not left me yet.  Grateful for the opportunity to cover all sorts of UofL sports and take pictures at these events, whether outside in the cold and rain, or hot sunny day, or somewhere indoors.

I'm also glad to share the opportunity with these knuckleheads here at Cardinal Couple!

What are YOU thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving and Go Cards!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

WBB To Face Three in Paradise Jam -- Volleyball at Pitt -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


#8 Louisville women's basketball takes their first road trip of the 2019-20 season and they're on an action-packed one. Three games in three days the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. If you wish to watch the Cards in action and are hoping for a TV or streaming venue, get out the credit card. 

Flo TV will televise the event but it'll run you $29.95 for a monthly subscription. 

I'm not in the Virgin Islands with the team, nor do I want to shell out for the broadcast (seems it was a lot cheaper when I used "FLO" for Softball this spring) so it'll be radio for me as the Cards play UT-Arlington, Oklahoma State and Oregon. Hello, Cards Radio. 

Thanksgiving Day at 1 p.m. is when UofL faces their first foe, the UT-Arlington Mavericks. Nope, not Tom Cruise and a few of his Top Gun pals...or a spin off of the NBA Dallas squad, but a Sun Belt Conference squad that is 4-0 so far this young season and has a win over Kansas State.

They refer to themselves as UTA, so we'll do the same. 

Three of those wins were on the road. They began the 2019-20 campaign hosting Chicago State (did I miss something and has the "Windy City" declared for and received statehood?) and downed the visiting Cougars 84-53. Next, a trip to Denton, TX to face North Texas. They left with a 68-49 win. UTA took on Tigers in Louisiana a few days later -- The Grambling State Tigers -- and beat them 88-54.

In their toughest test of the season so far, they tripped the light fantastic in Manhattan.

This is the Kansas town, not the Big Apple borough, and UTA upset K-State 57-53 on Sunday, Nov. 24th. The Mavericks jumped on the home team 14-7 in the first quarter and stretched that lead to 32-20 at the halftime break. 

UTA has the Sun Belt reigning Player of the Week in 6'1" senior forward Marie Benson. The Waco, TX native had 16 against the Wildcats in the Manhattan win, got her first start of the season a few days before that against Grambling, went 11-12 from the floor and gathered 27 points.  She was a star, and then transferred from UTSA (that's University of Texas - San Antonio) and has played in three games for the Mavs. She has 60 points on the season, good for a 20 points-per-game average. 

Other notable players on the Maverick roster are Claire Chastain, a 6'0" sophomore guard that is good for 11 points an outing, 6'5" post Misty Dossey, another sophomore contributing 10.5 a contest and a third sophomore Terryn Milton, a 5'9" play-maker that averages 9.8 per game. 6'3" Emma Halverson starts for UTA also, and adds 7.5 an event.

UTA is coached by 2019 Sun Belt Coach of the Year Krista Gerlich. Her daughter, Bryn Gerlich, plays for Paradise Jam attendee Oklahoma State, so there will be a mother-daughter match-up on Saturday between the two. 

The Mavs have some decent height and an a premium player in Benson, but they haven't faced talent like the Louisville squad has yet. I look for a game that will be close early, as the Cards revert to their previous ways of letting opponents hang around for awhile, before UofL's superior inside play and the dynamic duo of Jaz Jones and Dana Evans take charge.

Jeff Walz has been slow and non-committal to realize or say publicly that "J.J." and Dana are the engineers that drive this Louisville train, but, statistic speak for themselves. They run the show, create the excitement
and make the plays.

Which malady will Walz have to complain about following this first Paradise Jam game? Lack of defense? Rebounding woes? Shooting inconsistency? Free throws? Putbacks?  Or will the Cards find a new mistake to make?

Walz has been quick to point out each game what the Cards WBB squad has done wrong. All the while, UofL WBB is 5-0, #8 or #9 in the rankings, depending on who you follow, and winning games by an average of 27 points a contest. Jelling still? OK, maybe, but I think it's time to drop the "we can't do (this or that) well" litany and start a "look what we can do Louisville" campaign. Sing it, Hazel Miller !! 


But, if UTA shows their 4-0 record and win over K-State was no fluke and they give the Cards a beating or make Louisville sweat out a close one...get ready to put in the ear buds and cue up "The Walz Blues Collection".  

Tournaments like this are designed for the teams (and those fans who can afford to be there) to have a little fun in a tropical venue, play some quality opponents in rapid succession and learn more about themselves in conference tournament-like settings. Let's see what Louisville learns, starting tomorrow, and whether they are dancing to a steel-drum led calypso beat or sitting on the stoop playing more blues harmonica. 

The Cards face the OSU Cowgirls Friday and #1 Oregon Saturday. We'll have more on those foes here at Cardinal Couple later this week. 

ANALYSIS: Walz shouldn't have much to moan about after this one. Let's say LOUISVILLE 84- UTA 49 in a contest where the Cards guards put on a show in the tropics. 


No easy task here for Cardinal Volleyball, with this Wednesday trip to the town with three rivers. Pitt is #2 in the nation,  28-1 overall, 17-0 in the ACC and 14-1 at home (The Peterson Event Center) . Only Penn State has hung a "L" on these "Panthers of the Pete" and it was a five-set one. 

When the Cards and Panthers faced about a month ago in the LNFCU, Louisville didn't exactly get blown out. Although this one was a three-set triumph for UP, the set were fairly close at 25-21, 25-22 and 25-20. That one was 11 days after Louisville lost Melanie McHenry for the season against Notre Dame and the VolleyCards have also gone through a jelling process with Claire Chaussee, Aiko Jones, Amber Stivrins and others trying to fill the gap created by losing Mel. 

Since that Pitt game, the Cards have gone 4-3 bit it should be pointed out that Louisville is on a three-game win streak, all three-set triumphs. 

Whether these rebuilt Cards can head into the Panther lair and pull off a monumental upset or not remains to be seen. Pitt has powerful players in hitters Chinaza Ndee, Layne Van Buskirk, Stephanie Williams and the incredible Kayla Lund. 

Hali Hillegas is the digs leader and Sabrina Starks is a blocking force. Dependable Aeko Lexis is an assist machine. 

You can view this one on the ACC Network at 6 p.m. and Jared will offer the recap in our Thanksgiving Day Cardinal Couple article. 

I'll wish you a Happy Thanksgiving a day early, and, if you don't see a turkey sitting at the table, look in the mirror, it's probably you.

Be thankful for what you've got. I'll leave you with William De Vaughn's classic song from 1974. 


Have a wonderful Wednesday ! 



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

WBB Prepares for Thanksgiving Tournament -- Bold Predictions -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Women's Basketball Prepares for Thanksgiving Tournament

Bad news, folks.  As of right now, there is no place to view the women's basketball games in the U.S. Virgin Islands for free.  The GoCards website provides a link to the FloHoops website.  You can subscribe for $29.99/month or $150/year to save money.  Either way I won't be spending that much money on it.

The Cards will face three opponents in three days while out of the 50 states.  They're set to play one game per day beginning Thanksgiving Day.

Radio is a great option. Cards Radio 790 WKRD will have  Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson there to bring all the action. They provide a concise, accurate and informative view of games. Download the app.

Louisville will face UT Arlington on Thursday at 1:00 p.m., E.T.  The Mavericks went 24-8 last year and made an appearance in the NIT.  They have started this season 4-0.

Louisville will square off against Oklahoma State on Thursday at 1:00 p.m., E.T.  The Cowgirls went
14-16 last season.  They are 5-0 this year.  The Cards are 0-2 against Oklahoma State, with the most recent game coming right before Christmas 1993.

The prime time game of this event will be when Louisville matches up with #1 Oregon on Saturday at 3:15 p.m., E.T.  The Ducks have started the year 4-0 and also defeated Team USA in a preseason exhibition.  Oregon went 33-5 last year and fell in the Final Four to Baylor.

The Cards and Ducks are 2-2 all-time against each other.  Louisville beat Oregon 77-61 back in November 2017 en route to one of Louisville's most successful seasons in program history.

Oregon head coach Kelly Graves took his squad to Syracuse and left with a 81-64 win. A close first half against Q and company at 31-30, but the Ducks exploded for 31 third quarter points against Syracuse and went on to win fairly easily.

Graves also called Q a few days before the game with a odd request. He wanted to know what outfit Q would be wearing during the game. The stylish Syracuse coach is back to his designer, fashionable suits this season after going with sweats and tracksuits last year. Graves suggested he switch back to the more casual attire against the Ducks.

Q countered with a classic response, noted that Oregon was #1 in the country and must have received all the Nike clothing gear, including Syracuse's. Said he'd be back in a suit for the rematch.

We can only wonder if Graves will call Walz and inquire about what the Louisville coach is packing, clothing wise, to take to the Virgin Islands.

Paulie will break down the three games more in-depth later this week. I'm not sure what Paulie is wearing this morning when he goes to edit today's article, but I do know he's a fan of retro/throwback Louisville sweatshirts he's collected over the years and "puffy pants".

Jared's Bold Predictions

I've been known to make some wild, bold predictions before.  To make things interesting I decided to add some to today's article.

I'm not going to reveal what I'm wearing the rest the season, though. And, I'm not waiting by the phone to see if "Q", Graves or Walz call me to consult on clothing selections. I just want to see Paulie return to his 70's motif for the rest of the season.

And, if Nike dumped a bunch of clothing items on me, I'd probably return them postage due. After all, Louisville is an adidas school.  OK, the bold predictions:

  • No Louisville player will score more than 27 points in any game this season.  Plenty of Cards have shown they can break 20 points but none of them can pull off 30 and 40-point games like Asia Durr could.
  • The Cards won't break 100 this year.  It happened three times last year and twice the year before.  They were in perfect position to hit the triple-digit mark last game, needing just 42 points in the second half, but they couldn't do it.  UTA and OKST would both be possible 100-point games, but with three games in three days expect to see the starters get plenty of rest.
  • UofL will finish the home season perfect.  Miami ruined that last year and Florida State the year before.  Since moving to the KFC Yum! Center, Louisville has not had more than three losses at home.  Walz has never had a perfect home record in any of his seasons with Louisville, but only one year did they have more than three home losses.  This will be the year he hits that perfect home record mark.
  • Louisville will lose to Oregon by more than 12 points.  Oregon is just that good this year and Louisville has had plenty of early season woes with defensive troubles and missed easy shots.
  • The Louisville-Kentucky game will be decided by single-digits.  Three of the last five match-ups have been decided by less than 10 and both teams are ranked in the Top 15.  Rhyne Howard now has her rookie year under her belt and will have a home crowd on her side.
Thoughts on these bold predictions?  Have your own?  Comment below!

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, November 25, 2019

WBB corrals Broncos 98-82 -- Volleyball sweeps Canes -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


"Hey, guys...I found a baby"  (CAPTION THIS PIC) 
Louisville women's basketball looked like a top ten team last night for the first ten minutes in a 16-point win over visiting Boise St. in the KFC YUM! Center Sunday afternoon. In the final 30 minutes, they struggled with BSU in a highly competitive contest against a squad that just would not go away. Narrowly missing 100 points is a testament to the fact Louisville can score. Allowing 82 points and allowing the Broncos 61.4% shooting alludes to the Jeff Walz axoim "If you're going to make a mistake, make a new one." Yesterday, it was defensive continuity that was lacki 

Maybe it was the legion of 8331 red clad fans in the Downtown arena. It could of have been the brilliant red-light themed pre-game aura surrounding Denny Crum Court during the Louisville introductions. Whatever it was, the blue-clad visitors from Idaho came out a step slow to start this contest and the Cards capitalized. 

Jazmine Jones, Kylee Shook and Bionca Dunham were "plugged in" early and UofL grabbed an early 8-5 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes. It was part of a 12-0 run for Walz's squad that led to an 18-5 advantage with 4:20 left in the opening session. The Cardinal starters Jones, Dunham, Evans, Shook and Balogun were on a roll. Walz inserted Elizabeth Dixon and Norika Konno into the contest and the party continued. A 13-6 run ended the first period, Shook and Evans had seven points each, UofL was shooting 75% from the floor and the scoreboard read 31-14. This football-like score had the fans rollicking.  

The start of the second quarter featured a bit more parity between the squads. Evans drilled a three to keep the advantage at 18, at 40-22, but the Broncos had shaken off the early jitters, were getting guards Riley Lupfer and Jayde Cunningham involved and playing UofL pretty evenly. Walz worked Yacine Diop and Kasa Robinson into the contest and the buckets continued to pile up for both squads.

58-34 at the half, thanks to a Evans layup at the horn . Louisville was still shooting at a 71.4% clip (25-35) and was dominating in paint points 36-16. 

Three Cardinals (Shook, Evans and Jones) had already reached double figures in scoring and Evans had distributed six assists in the 20 minutes. 

I'd like to tell you that the onslaught continued in the final 20 minutes. I'd be lying if I did, though.

Boise (3-3) won the second half 48-40

Louisville maintained the 16-20 point cushion they had built up in the first half but the Broncos were looking pretty good against their ACC opponent, hitting shots and going to the boards with authority. UofL did put together a late third quarter 12-2 run to hold their largest advantage of the night at 81-56, Dixon accounting for eight of the points. 

The Cards shooting fell off in the final quarter to 33%. Walz added Lindsey Duvall to the 10-player rotation and she responded well with five points but Boise was still plugging away. Their 11-17 fourth quarter shooting (64.7% )and inside banger Rachel Bowers one-women war against the Cards front line with 14 points brought the Broncos back to within 16 with a 13-4 fourth quarter run in the first four minutes. Suddenly it was 88-71 and the blue squad had "uncle mo" going for them. 

The Bronco players were loose and joking with referee Mark Hardcastle. Seeing a dangerous trend developing, Jeff Walz decided to make a wholesale substitution move and re-inserted Jones, Balogun, Evans and Dunham for Dixon, Duvall, Robinson and Diop. 
It's Walz's job to win games and the move was made instead of letting the current players on the court get a chance to weather the storm.

"Hey, where's the baby I found ?" 
BSU would get within 15 a minute later and actually win the fourth 24-17 but the Cards stemmed the tide and the Broncs were contained the rest of the way, only outscoring the Cards 11-8 in the final five minutes.  A 16-point Louisville win 98-82.

It wasn't a blowout, the Cards did get tested and found something new to work on -- defense -- and also proven, yet again, that they do have three reliable scorers in Jaz, Dana and Kylee... plus waiting-in-the-wings "Liz", who seems to have embraced the "first off the bench" role. "B" is steady, does the job and is productive.  "E" will explode again very soon, as the season rolls on -- learning a new system takes awhile. 


FREE THROWS -- The Cards almost reached our standard of 70% with a 16-23 effort from the charity stripe. Jaz shook off her early woes and sank her final six charity attempts. Konno and Dixon came off the bench for a combined 6-8 from the line. We'll offer a lower case "f" here, only six of the 11 Cardinal players attempted "free ones". 

Fred the Bear for today's "Fred" The Cards gather
another pelt Sunday. 
REBOUNDING -- Louisville won the boards battle 34-25. It was rebound by committee, Jones leading  the way with six. The front line trio of Shook, Dixon and Dunham was limited to 13. BSU had no one with more than three, the elusive "team" rebounding stat led the way for them with four. Balogun, Konno and Jaz combined for 15. We'll award the Captial "R" here, primarily for the 18-9 first half effort. 

EXECUTION/EFFICIENCY --  If the contest had ended after the first quarter, no problem with a capital "E" here. And, Louisville did commit only 10 turnovers and won the points-off-turnovers 25-10. But, when you play a un-ranked team basically even for 30 minutes and your bench produces just 27 of your 98 points, it's only worth a small case "e" to me. The "jelling" continues on, as Walz told us it still would be after the Cards first game. 

DEFENSE. Yes, Louisville forced 20 turnovers. Eight in the first quarter. But, BYU blistered the nets for over 60% shooting. Either that's incredibly lucky or you're having trouble guard shooters and preventing assists. BSU guard Jayde Christopher racked up 14 assists against the porous UofL guarding attempts. They almost matched Louisville with points-in-the- paint 52-48. Two of their front-liners went 15-20 against the Cards. No letter here. 



Gordy Presnell started out the post-game chats. A good guy. Albeit a brief encounter with the Louisville media, he spoke glowingly about his team and credited Louisville as well. 


It was another combination-type Cardinal post-game media event, with players Kylee Shook and Jaz Jones joining Walz midway through his remarks. Per usual, he pounded Paulie about a question (defense) and revealed the stunning theory that "most points win a game". Farmer Tom derailed the whole thing later when he asked Jaz if she was going to video the upcoming Virgin Islands trip. Gee, post-game presser are fun. 



Let's review the pluses from yesterday's contest. The Cards won and are now 5-0 to complete the home-stand. Jaz and Dana continue to still be a powerful 1-2 punch against opponents. Kylee is proving her ascension to a starting role was a wise call and Norika continues to show she's a worthy and productive early addition to games.  Liz Dixon has calmed down, for the most part, now coming off the bench and sinking her inside attempts. 98 points doesn't exactly stink, let's face it

Louisville found a new thing to work on after yesterday and that is maintaining defensive pressure against a better-than-average opponent. All, part of this jelling process, I suppose. 

Next up, a trip to the Virgin Island with three games in three days starting Thanksgiving afternoon. UT-Arlington, Oklahoma State and Oregon. Louisville should be 2-0 when they battle the #1 Ducks on Saturday. By far, the toughest contest of this early schedule awaits and we'll see...the Cards have shown their a top-ten team. They'll need to put together 40 minutes of excellence to survive Saturday. We'll see how it goes. 



ON SENIOR DAY at the LNFCU, the Cards honored Melanie McHenry and then went out and got a  3-0 sweep over the Canes 25-19, 25-21, 25-19. 

Claire Chaussee delivered 13 kills and 11 digs to help propel the Cards in their second-to-last game of the regular season. Also in force for the VolleyCards was Amber Stivrins and Aiko Jones....this version of UofL's "A" Team had nine kills each and Anna Stevenson added seven kills and a impressive five blocks. 

The Cards jumped out to a 14-7 first set lead, weathered a bit of a Miami Hurricane flare-up but rallied from a 19-15 lead to prevail by six. .344 hitting from the accurate Cards and Anna Stevenson's block ended the set.

Set two had Miami active early but UofL tied it at 11-11. Leading just 20-18, Louisville went on a late 3-0 run, augmented by Miami errors. UM called a timeout, but their late rally wan't enough...another Miami miscue gave the Cards this one by four. 

In set three, the Canes battled the Cards to a 13-13 tie in the early going but Louisville turned to Aiko and she deflated the stormy conditions to lead the Cards to the final set, six point match closer. 

An optimistic effort from Louisville, who now travels to #2 in the nation Pittsburgh for a Thanksgiving Eve battle against the powerful Panthers. 

19-8 on the season for Dani's crew as they head for the re-match in the Three Rivers City. 

Have a magnificent Monday!


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Volleyball Senior Day , Boise St visits WBB, The Caardinal Couple Radio Hour -- SUNDAY CARIDINAL COUPLE

Volleyball Senior Day

In a roster of 16 players, only one is a senior, Melanie McHenry.  If you've graced these pages during volleyball season at any point in the past four years, you've seen her name.  Today UofL Volleyball honors her UofL career.

McHenry suffered an ACL tear in the Notre Dame match a few weeks ago and has been sidelined ever sense, but on the sidelines she has been.  Even three days after surgery, McHenry did what she had to do to be there for her team on the sidelines last Friday against Syracuse.  I'd say her support payed off, with the team finally coming together and "gel"ing for the first time, really, since McHenry was injured.

That team play continued, again with McHenry on the sidelines, in the return visit from Notre Dame, earning the Cards their first sweep against Notre Dame in 3 years.

My comment during the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday was that the team play against Notre Dame was the probably the most put together play I've seen from a UofL Volleyball team.  I've seen teams with more talent, and I've seen many better individual performances, but I don't think I've ever seen a team play together, cohesively, like I saw UofL do Friday evening.

Today's match is against Miami at 1pm in the L&N FCU Arena.  The Cards did get the win over Miami, in Coral Gables, during the nigh on disastrous stretch of matches after McHenry's injury.  They did take the full five sets, with two of them involving extra points to get the win.

Today's match is yet another case of the Cards being able to get a win, IF they show up and play the way that have seen that they're capable, and the way they have done so the past two matches.  This is almost a must-win match for the Cards to ensure their post-season opportunities.  Right now they almost certainly have a berth in the NCAA tournament (there is no ACC post-season tournament for volleyball), but a loss to RPI 134 Miami might drop them into "bubble" territory, and if the Cards are on the bubble, the 2-5 record, towards the end of the season, between the Virginia Tech and FSU matches will loom large over the Cards resume.

In a slightly unusual change, the Senior Day presentation will be after the match, rather than before, so be sure to stay through to the end.

Basketball Battling Boise

Boise State, yes, the team with a blue(?!) horse as a mascot, and of course, the universally loved Smurf Turf on their Football field, will be coming into the KFC Yum! Center.  They will be looking for revenge for the 74-55 win the Cards visited on the Bronco's on their home court last year.

We talked during the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday, about the lack of generalized respect that teams like Boise State get in mainstream media, when they have a tradition of competing well in women's basketball.  The comparison was made to WKU, who nearly always have a competitive team in a mid-major conference as well.

Fans of women's basketball will not overlook teams like Boise State, particular given the state of Cards play right now.  Walz has a lot of talent on his squad this year, and in an almost diametrically opposed scenario to what I saw in volleyball, maybe the most talent he's ever had on his team, but their team play...yeah, not so much, right now.  OK, there are also some fundamental execution errors that need to get cleaned up (hello lay-up stats), but there's talent, and certainly a will to win, but there's a lot of "putting together" that still needs to happen on this squad.

This game also tips at 1 p.m., the same time as volleyball, so you'll have to decide on downtown vs campus for these.

Both competitions are available for streaming on ACC Network Extra.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

The "A team" was in studio yesterday for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  It was a good hour (well,
a bit over an hour) of discussion on Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, and Field Hockey.  It's a busy time of year, but it makes for some fun conversations, that's for sure.

Check it out, if you missed it, at: