|Gonna miss former UTC coach Jim Foster coming to the YUM!
Known as the "Mocs", their second-year head coach Katie Burrows continues the rebuild of the program. She has a couple of players of note. Senior guard Lakelyn Bouldin averages 12.8 points per game and sophomore forward Abbey Cornelius contributes 12.2 a night. UTC has a win over Liberty this season but losses to Purdue (66-34), Hampton (84-55) Belmont (63-50) an, as mentioned, the Bearcats.
It all adds up to look like a chance for Jeff Walz to continue the exploration of his depth, rotation and player combinations. In a press conference yesterday. Walz indicated the possibility of inserting Kylee Shook into the starting lineup in place of Liz Dixon.
We can see why.
Kylee has turned in a double-double in two of the Cards three contest this season. He also referred to the idea of letting Liz watch a bit from the sidelines to get the flow of the game (like the Keisha Hines/Gwen Rucker combo from a few years ago) before entering th game. Walz doesn't seem to think either player's minutes will drop, he's just trying this strategy early in the season to see how it works. Walz's Wednesday presser is below. He talks Van Lith and more :
LINK: WALZ PRESSER FROM 11-20-19
The rest of the Cards' starters are pretty solid. Jaz Jones and Dana Evans are coming off career-high points totals in the win over CMU. "B" Bionca Dunham has been steady inside and "E" Elizabeth Balogun is a multi-talented three point threat that was hampered by a few questionable whistles last time out.
After that, it's looks like basketball roulette. "Kasa" Mykasa Robinson should see her minutes, the Cards defensive stopper appears 100% and ready to go. "Ya-Ya" Yacine Diop should have the chance to get significant minutes and punch up the Cards scoring. Norika Konno has seen her fair share of court time, she's a proven assist-maker and the shot will eventually come. Jess Laemmle is a steady ball-handler and knows the offense, plus a three-point threat. So is Lindsey Duvall, who we hope will get a few more minutes than previously this season.
Seygan Robins continues to have heel issues and will sit this one out. Sitting also is Molly Lockhart, who is not quite 100% yet regarding her injury rehabilitation.
The Cards have won 98 games against non-AP Top 25 teams. I don't see that changing tonight. Louisville averages 75.7 points-per-night, while Chattanooga checks in a 52.3 an outing. The Mocs do have a bit more height than the previous UofL foes this season. Cornelius is 6'2" and the Mocs have a couple of 6'3" paint players in Ruona Uwusiaba and Kallie Searcy -- but UTC averages just 31.8 grabs a game and has a -6.6 rebounding margin against their opponents. Louisville is good for 47.0 rebounds a night and has a +12.0 edge over their opponents so far.
Remember, game time is 6:30 tonight. If you can't attend, the ACC Network is televising the contest. I've don't know much of their crew tonight (Tiffany Greene and Kelly Gramlich) and if I wasn't able to be in the arena, I'd go with the stellar broadcasting duo of Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson on Cards Radio 790 AM -- WKRD. Maybe "the network" should stick with local talent for these Louisville broadcasts against non-ACC foes. I'd love to hear the trio of Don Russell, Sara White and Katie George mic up for WBB just once. I know many of you would, as well.
It's also 80's night. Dress accordingly, if you wish to participate. After my 70's night garb last week, I'm passing on the eighties attire. That's me on the left.
I might consider it if I had an MTV T-Shirt in my closet. I don't think I'd look good in leggings, though.
The "eighties" just wasn't as memorable for me, with the exception of meeting and marrying my dear Sonya. I'll have the recap of what I hope is a feel-good, blowout win for the Red and Black attack in the Friday Cardinal Couple edition.
Here's the delightful little ditty about the "see Rock City" town, as performed by the Andrews sisters:
LINK: CHATTANOOGA CHOO-CHOO
WOMEN'S SOCCER ON A BUSINESS TRIP TO UTAH
So, you're the #23 team in the country, halfway across the nation to face an undefeated, #4 ranked squad on their field, in front of around 3,000 fans and it's the second round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. David vs. Goliath time? Reason to tense up a bit?
Nope. Just a business trip for Karen Ferguson Dayes Kickin' Cards.
Louisville has played the elite of WSOC this season. 10 Cardinal opponents made the NCAA Tournament. Six have advanced to second round action. Louisville has faced and played well against the powerhouses UNC, Virginia, Duke and Clemson. They have no fear of, but a healthy respect for, West Coast Conference foe BYU.
Louisville sees this one as a showcase for the joy and excitement of the sport. The Cards philosophy is "one game at a time" and this is the next one up. The Cards have allowed just .075 goals per game this season. Yes, that's less than a goal per game. A wonderful atmosphere for the sport should be in full force tonight and the Cards plan to use it to their advantage.
Proving it in Provo. This is the task for UofL Women's Soccer. If you read Jared's preview in the Wednesday Cardinal Couple, you know that the Cougars have weapons. They have had their successes this season.
The Cards can't worry about that.
Louisville intends to play Louisville Women's Soccer tonight, and it's a style that has led the Cards to a 13-4-2 record. If you haven't read Jared's report and listened to Coach Ferguson Dayes interview, I suggest you go back and review it.
The Cards play together. How that will translate out tonight is anyone's guess, but I won't be surprised at all if they advance to round three. The Sweet Sixteen. Believe it. Teams from the toughest women's soccer conference in DI don't surrender. These Birds didn't fly out there just to enjoy the mountain air.
This one will be shown at 8 p.m. on BYU TV. On Spectrum, that's channel 281. Although, women's basketball duties are on tap for me tonight, I'll be hoping to get home in time to view some of the Cards vs. Coogs contest and will review it tomorrow here at Cardinal Couple.
Believe in yourself, Women's Soccer Cards. Go get the win.
HAILEY WAS DOWN TO TWO
Wenatchee, Washington is called the "apple capital of the world". Jeff Walz and the Louisville Cardinals picked the best one off the tree when they received a commitment from Haliey Van Lith.
Jeff Walz was in the Atlanta airport when he got the call from Van Lith. She was holding her announcement presser at 3 p.m. Walz's phone rang at 2:45 p.m. He knew it was down to his Cards and Baylor. She told him she wanted to be a part of the Cardinal family.
Van Lith has been a part of four USA goal medal teams. MVP on two of them. There is a dedication, drive, desire and determination to her that develops when she steps on the court.
"She is a dynamic player. she can score in all phases of the game. She can get to the rim, hit the pull-up jump shot and make the three. I think what separates her from a lot of players out there is her competitive drive."
A win over Kim Mulkey and the Baylor Bears in the recruiting wars as well. I wonder if Kim shed off her coat and stormed across the practice court when she heard the news?
Hailey joins former 3X3 teammate Olivia Cochran in the class of 2020. Both scored five-star 98 (out of 100) ratings from ESPN. Not to be forgotten in this class of new arrivals are Canadian sensation Merissah Russell and dynamic Panama City, Fl combo guard Ahlana Smith.
Many consider Hailey the most-highly sought after and skilled Louisville commitment since Asia Durr. I am working to get a Cardinal Couple interview with her. I've gotten the "go-ahead" from Coach Walz and just waiting for her digits from Louisville's WBB S.I.D so I can call and inquire about the interview. I'm told her off-court personality is friendly, engaging, fun and informative. We'll aim to base our chat around that.
Is there a specific thing you would like to know about Hailey? I take requests, so leave your question in the comments section or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with what you'd like to know.
Have a triumphant Thursday !