Friday, December 13, 2019
Scouting UK WBB -- Volleyball vs. Texas Today -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
SPECIAL UPDATE !!!!
Louisville Volleyball upsets #2Texas 3-2 in the Sweet Sixteen. Biggest win in the program's history. CARDS WIN! Case Hoskins will have much more on this in the Saturday CARDINAL COUPLE. How about those Cards !
OH, YES THEY DID !!!! (LINK)
CARDS WBB FACES 10-0 UK SUNDAY IN RUPP
The 9-1, #7 ranked Louisville Cardinals women basketball team travels to Lexington Sunday for a 1 p.m. contest vs. in-state rival Kentucky. Today, let's tale a preliminary look at what the Cards are running into up in Rupp Arena.
UK is 10-0 on the season. I'd say their schedule to this point has been fairly weak and they've had eight of their ten games in Memorial Coliseum on the UK campus. No tropical paradise tournaments for the Cats, just a continuous session of beating up on mostly "less-than-mid-majors" so far...with the exception of the ACC's Virginia and Middle Tennessee State University.
The Cats combined opponents are 32-46 on the season, with just MTSU, Charlotte and Austin Peay sporting over .500 records to date. The Virginia Cavaliers gave UK all they wanted in Charlottesville, before falling 50-47. MTSU faced UK in Murfreesboro but ended up losing 67-52.
UK has blowout wins over Samford (3-8) by 30, Winthrop (1-6) by 55 and Charlotte by 47. Grambling (1-6) also took a beating from the Cats by 46. Other cupcakes on the dessert tray were Austin Peay (5-2) who fell by 29, Morehead State (3-5) a 25-point loser to Big Blue, Stetson (4-5) losing by 19 points and Mt.St.Mary (4-4) a 15 point "wrong side of the scoreboard loss.
To say that the Cards would be the first major test for Matthew Mitchell bunch would be a vast understatement. The are, however, an opponent that should be respected and feared.
Individually, UK is led by Rhyne Howard, a 6'2" sophomore guard, who leads the Cats in points scored a game (19.6) and rebounds (5.6). She's a multi-talented and prolific offensive threat and will pose matchup problems for Walz's squad.
Sabrina Haines, a 5'10'' guard is an Arizona St. redshirt-senior transfer and the other Wildcat in double figures with 11.6 a game. The rest of the UK probable starters are 6'2" junior forward Tatyana Wyatt, 6'1" junior forward Keke McKinney and redshirt senior, 5'7" guard Amanda Paschal, from Gulf Coast Junior College, who averages 4.2 assists a game.
Key subs are 5'6" senior spark plug guard Jaida Roper, who went off for 30 points against Winthrop Wednesday night and three-point specialist Blair Green, a 6'0" guard from Harlan, KY.
All told, the Cats average 74.8 ppg, while holding opponents to 45.6 a night. They shoot 43% from the floor while holding opponents to 33%. UK out-rebounds opponents 38.6 to 34.2 and the Cats average 8.2 made threes a contest
Is UK "Fools gold" or a legitimate foe? The AP voters think enough of the Cats body of work to rank them #14 in the nation. Their RPI checks in at 40th., however, while Louisville's is #5 in DI RPI.
Coach Walz is 6-6 against Matthew Mitchell coached teams. The Cards are on a three-game win streak against UK.
UK likes to run when possible and looks for Howard or Haines on just about every possession. Roper comes in and provides a huge spark off the bench, but the UK front line doesn't quite match up against the Cardinal contingent of Dunham, Shook, Dixon and Diop. Can UK slow down the dangerous Dana Evans or halt the athleticism of Jaz? How big a factor will Balogun be in her first UK vs. UofL rivalry. Will Konno play? And, how many UK fans take advantage of the cheap tickets available for the contest in Rupp? Will the Cards faithful travel well?
I see a close first half, Louisville tends to stumble out of the gate early in most of their games and UK might even be holding a halftime advantage. The Cards will settle in, get good efforts inside from Shook and Dunham and Jaz manages to stay on the court, un-saddled by foul trouble. Dana does what she does and UofL heads home with a 71-64 win.
We'll have the rest of our crew's predictions on Saturday's radio broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. What's your thoughts on the game? Who wins by how much? Let us know in the comments section below...
Walz had deemed a presser for this one is in order and it'll be held today at the Koeber at 12:30 p.m. We'll have it linked up here later this afternoon, so be sure and check back !!
A busy Friday for media obligations facing the Cardinal head coach. He'll also be on the ACC Network morning show with Packer and Durham this morning at 9 a.m. With these two guys, you never know just what they'll come up with in the way of questions.
All leading up to the annual Battle of the Bluegrass WBB style. It should be a good one and we encourage you to head to Lexington Sunday to take it in. We'll have coverage from me and Sonja, Jared snapping photos and maybe even Worldwide in the seats cheering.
WALZ INTERVIEW 12-13-19
WALZ ON PLAYING IN RUPP ARENA
VOLLEYBALL VS. TEXAS TODAY
We've spent the last two days here at Cardinal Couple breaking down today's 4 p.m. Volleyball Sweet Sixteen matchup between Louisville and Texas. The contest will be televised on ESPNU.
Yesterday the Cards were part of the Sweet Sixteen press conference. Quite a few questions were asked of the Cardinal head coach Dani Busboom Kelly and several Cardinal student-athletes.
Notables from that:
HEAD COACH DANI BUSBOOM KELLY: Just like the start of the NCAA Tournament, we're just really thankful to still be in it and have the opportunity to play in the Sweet 16, especially at a storied program like Texas. We're just real will I excited. We worked really hard to get here and had a lot of adversity this season, so I think that makes it even sweeter, too, to be here, one of the last 16 teams standing.
Q. Can you describe how big of a deal it was for you guys to lose Melanie?
COACH DANI BUSBOOM KELLY: It was a huge deal. She was our only senior, captain, she led us in kills. She statistically was honestly our best player in every category. When you lose somebody like that, you think about the kills, but that wasn't even what mattered to our team. I think we had to adjust to everything else that she did and figure out ways to block balls, dig balls, pass, serve.
It took some adjusting, and I'm just really proud that we were able to adjust and when it mattered and now we're here.
Q. What did you learn about your players after your five-set win last weekend?
AIKO JONES: I learned we had a lot of grit, more than I already knew that we had. I learned that we want this and that we love the game so much and that we just want to see how good we can all be and that each game just means more and more to us.
It was fun, just seeing that come out in each player, yeah.
TORI DILFER: Yeah, I think it showed that we didn't need it to be perfect. We just needed to compete hard and trust and know that we were the better team and we were going to come out on top if we played like it. It was super fun like she said. It was awesome compete against somebody that we got to play previously. Both of us were super different teams early in the season, but yeah, showed a lot of grit and just showed that we really want to be in that position and we're just here to make a statement.
Q. Tori, you obviously have familiarity with Texas, so what do you know about them and what do you expect to see?
TORI DILFER: Yeah, I do think they are a very different team this year. They are more physical than I think I've ever seen them be, and just obviously a really well-rounded team, but I guess having experience against them helps. I competed with them hard. Obviously it's a different program, but they are really fun to play. They are going to bring their best, so you have to match them. You have to respect them and respect yourself to give everything, every point and really play clean volleyball. If you play clean volley pull and put pressure on them, you're in a good position.
Q. Is there one thing you pinpoint with Texas?
COACH DANI BUSBOOM KELLY: I think we focus on our side of the net and we know Texas is going to make great plays. Probably the mindset to have a next-point mentality and know that each point is just a point. You don't get extra points for bounced blocking and bounced killing balls which we know they are going to do. We have to hang in there and make sure we don't get caught up in emotion and the crowd and everything that comes along with playing Texas.
Best of luck to our Volleyball Cards today!
Have a fantastic Friday!