Stretching for the turkey at the table and carving the pumpkin pie doesn't count for exercise credit.
So, how is that first game back after the break? Let's look at what Walz teams have done in their first game after the holiday.
Louisville was in the Big East when Walz arrived on campus. In 2007-08, they returned from home to face Mercer and Louisville won 99-74. The 2008-09 continuation of action brought the Cards back for three straight games, in the Marriott Cardinal Classic. They downed Morehead State 66-38, Central Michigan 94-72 and New Hampshire 82-40. That, of course was Walz and squad's first trip to the Final Four.
2009-10 was a rebuilding year of sorts and the Cards left their candy canes and parents to face IPFW after the break. They had no trouble in a 88-58 win. In the 2010-11 season, UT Martin visited and left a 92-67 loser. In 2011-12, Louisville players went to their hometowns after a three game road trip to Cincinnati, Portland and Washington St. Shoni and crew got back to Louisville after that to face UT-Martin again, in Louisville again, and won again -- 70-57.
|Where were these folks? Group potty break?|
The Asia Durr era began in 2015-16 and the first game after XMAS was old favorite UT-Martin again. 88-66 was the final outcome, another Cards win over the SkyHawks. In 2016-17, Louisville's opponent was Syracuse, who the Cards will face on Sunday. The 'Cuse was #17 in the nation at the time, but, fell to Louisville 91-76. In 2017-18, the contest against Georgia Tech proved to be the closest of the first game back from holiday win in Walz's tenure, and, the first on the road. Nevertheless, Myisha Hines-Allen pulled the Cards out of the burning building with a 74-71 win.
|Whaddya mean it'll be my last time|
So, in Walz's tenure, the team has scored an average of 81 points in their first game after XMAS break. Their opponents have managed 58.3. Louisville is 12-0 in these matchups. Some have been very nice, a few indicate Louisville must have been naughty in preparing.
It'll also be getting back into the swing of things for the Cardinal WBB fan base this Sunday. Walz and crew haven't been in the KFC YUM! Center since Nov 24th., when they got noisy versus Boise. Huge game for sure, but sandwiched in between two major UofL men's athletic events. Let's hope people wait around and attend this one before heading to Nashville.
WALZ PRESSER TODAY
|Whaddya mean Santa isn't coming?|
Syracuse is travelling to Louisville with a 6-5 record, unusual for a Quentin Hillsman team to be hovering .500. When you look at the slate they've faced though, it's partially explainable. Oregon, Stanford, Green Bay, Michigan and West Virginia have wins over the Cuse and Q.
Why they chose to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Pack is anyone's guess. I heard former Cardinal Jaire Alexander had a few late "picks" to secure the win.
JEFF WALZ PRESSER 12/27/19
Have a fun Friday!