CARDINAL COUPLE

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New Rankings -- ACC Tournament Pick Em -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

New Rankings

Who will dance with me? I dance in March ! 
It appears the AP voters were more generous to the WBB Cards than most of us expected.  Despite a pair of conference losses during the week Louisville women's basketball dropped from #5 to #9.

Louisville, who is now 21-3 with a 10-2 conference record, has been without Elizabeth Balogun and Norika Konno the past two games.  Konno has recovering from a knee injury that occurred during the Team USA game.  Balogun has been with the Nigerian National Team as they try to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

I fully support the team's decision to allow Balogun to play with her home country.  In my opinion, having the opportunity to represent your home country in the Olympics is way more important and a much higher honor than a pair of regular season games.  Assuming Louisville has no major collapse the rest of the year the Cards will still be dancing in March and should host I dance in the first two rounds.

South Carolina remained #1 in the country and rightfully so.  The Gamecocks continued to prove their worth after controlling UConn from the start in a Top Five match-up last night.

Ms. Wuf definitely can dance 
Baylor remained #2 and Oregon #3.  NC State moved up to #4 to become the highest ranked ACC team while UConn fell a spot to #5.  The Huskies may drop again after a blowout loss to South Carolina.

Mississippi State moved up to #6, UCLA jumped up to #7, Stanford dropped to #8, and Maryland broke into the Top 10 in the final spot.

Florida State is the only other ACC team in the rankings at #14.

Louisville (10-2) and NC State (11-1) will meet on Thursday at 8:00 p.m., for a showdown to decide who will take the prime spot in the ACC.  A win will give the Cards the head-to-head tiebreaker with five games to go while a loss will set them two games back and just barely ahead of FSU.



ACC Tournament Pick Em

Hoping for no busted brackets dance
We are a little under a month away from the ACC Tournament.  Paulie will head to Greensboro when the time comes to cover the entire tournament.

As is tradition, we will be having our Cardinal Couple ACC Tournament Pick Em.  Each correct pick in each round is worth one point.  Whoever has the most right at the end wins.  What the prize will be will be announced by Paulie himself later on.

Paulie will have an interview with Coach Teeter and perhaps a player or two tomorrow.  They will discuss their match against Cincinnati as well as look at their upcoming matches at home on Saturday (vs. Denver) and on Monday (vs. Marquette). .

Jeff Walz should be having his weekly press conference this week, which I assume Paulie will attend.  It is not a special one to discuss the two recent losses but I assume that will be a large topic of the presser.  Walz will also look at the upcoming games against NC State and Notre Dame.

Not sure of Teeter's dancing skills
The variable here is timing.

Paulie has pre-arranged to have a "Teeter Talk"  at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and will endeavor to meet with him and selected Lacrosse student-athletes throughout the season (when Paulie isn't out of town). Walz is fond of Wednesday pressers, too, so we hope the time frame works out where he can get both interviews here. I wouldn't be surprised, if a time conflict occurs, that he goes with Lacrosse.

Walz seemingly prefers the bright lights and TV cameras for his audience. We don't have an "in" there, nor the money or backing to do that.

Toss in a "in the works" request to meet with softball's Holly Aprile before the team takes off to Chapel Hill for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge this weekend and our fearless leader has a busy few days ahead of him, tracking down the joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Jared

14 comments:

  1. Dave O here!

    I've managed to stay silent throughout much of the debate about the two losses. I've seen or heard all sides of this topic and need to get a few things out there. So buckle up, keep your hands inside the coaster and get ready for the David Diatribe.

    How does anyone know what the team is actually thinking and supporting? Additionally, what else could they say? It's amazingly irresponsible that they had to even answer a question like that. If UofL WBB wins out, wins the ACC regular season, wins the ACC tourney, gets a #1 seed, and wins a national title, I will be the first to come and say I looked at the Cards schedule before the season started and saw this three game stretch against FSU, Syracuse and NC St. and deemed it the toughest three game stretch on WBB's schedule this year. !!! And, Louisville has underperformed in the first two. Who could have predicted that a team that had been shooting over 45% on the season would barely make 1/3rd of their shots against two tough opponents?


    The decision to allow Balogun to play for another team during OUR season was not an issue to the other players, perhaps, but it was costly in terms of not having a starter available, who shoots well. !!!! Its not ROCKET SCIENCE!!! The incredible opportunity to actually be on a team that is going to the Olympics. Think about that. How many UofL WBB players all-time can point to that and say, "yes, I'm on the list of those who has." Take your Balogun theories and set them aside. Because, it's over and passed. You need to, in the words of a former football coach, "tear off the rear view mirror". No good can come from picking at a wound.

    It's time to accept the previous, and develop a tougher team mentality. If Balogun's return bolsters that confidence, so be it. I look more at the efforts of Evans, Jones and Shook in the last two game and I can't recommend any of the three for ACC Player of the Week awards the way they have been playing over these last two. All season long, these three have been considered the "big three" in Louisville women's basketball. Time to return to that aspect. Be the players who beat Oregon and got you to 21-1.

    I don't fully agree with Coach Walz assessment that this team has a "low basketball IQ". How did they get to 21-1? Sheer luck? It appears to be a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from a basic and obvious fact.

    The shooting hasn't been as good as it was earlier.

    That's why you lose games. That needs to get better and the key to that is making good decisions, taking advantage of what is available to you when it's there and performing successfully.

    Coach Walz hasn't won a single game since he's been here based on his on-court performance. It's been the student-athletes who score, play defense, make smart passes and play defense. Walz and his staff can design, create, practice and coach to the best of their skills but, ultimately, it is the players who decide games. Yes, the more, better players you have available helps, but, you had four excellent, season long starters out there in the last two that helped you get to the top of the ACC. A Balogun absence, Konno injury and sick Diop shouldn't matter that much.

    So, it comes down to performance. For 22 games, the performance was great. It can return to greatness, but it has to be achieved by the players. If one can't go, it's next one up time. They aren't there because of their stunning good looks or sparkling personalities. They demonstrated skills that made them desired recruits.

    It's a simple game. Make shots, make good decisions, limit the mistakes and capitalize on the weakness of your foe. You have to want it and do the things needed to achieve it.

    Dave O.

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    Replies
    1. Good points, David, and good to hear from you. It is a basic game. Time to get back to basics.

      paulie
      xxxxx

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    2. I agree with just about everything you say, Dave, except, missing Balogun AND Diop not up to par mattered enough for Syracuse and Florida St. to beat us. Yes, we need for the next man up to step up, except we don't have anyone capable of doing all the things those two do. We needed at least one of them at full strength. Going forward if we didn't have them, gives Walz a little more time to come up with a master plan, play around with rotation, tweak this or that, but hopefully, he won't have to, Balogun and Diop should be ready to go come Thursday night. I definitely like our chances better at NC St with them๐Ÿ˜

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    3. You're a stinking genius Watson! Why aren't you coaching?

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    4. Dave, normally I agree with about everything you say. Disagree today on two points which is no biggie.
      1. You said FL St, Syracuse and NC State rough three games. Not really. Fl State lost at home to BC. Fl St looks like they have no clue half their games. Syracuse definitely this year is abysmal offensively. That team has zero chemistry and is a snore to watch.
      2. Yes Walz IQ comment about his team is correct. His team does not have a good b-ball IQ. Without mentioning names, collectively they are average mentally and Walz knows it.
      Just one of those years where the talent is slightly overrated and the IQ doesn’t make up for it.

      Delete
  2. Coming in with the heat, Dave O! I hear ya, big dog. Let's tear off that mirror and hope these women can resume to solid, basic hoops. Too much talent here for anything else. We may take another loss Thursday but I'm looking for improved performance, too, W or L.

    Curtis "Let's go win" Franklin

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  3. NC St. licking their chops at a slumping Cards WBB team coming to town. I can't see UofL winning down there, much less getting within 10 points, unless Walz and the staff have performed a miracle in practices.

    Balogun back won't help. i wonder if Asia, Arica and Sam would help, at this point.

    Nick O

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    Replies
    1. Again, Balogun AND Diop will most certainly help. This is one game where we could definitely use their size, as they're both good rebounders, their offense, and their defense. One or the other needs to be on the court. They usually rotate between them.

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    2. AC AC love that LA YOUNG LADY.HA HA LOL๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

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    3. Anything can happen this year in the ACC. Would I be surprised if the Cards win it at NC State. Not at all.

      Delete
  4. And for the record, I'm saying this is a winnable game despite the two game losing streak, and despite how good NC St is. We are STILL a top team and we SHOULD be just as hungry as NC St will be, chomping at the bits to right the ship and get back on track.
    Still gonna be a top team EVEN if we so happen to lose, also.
    A conference road loss to a now top 5 team...

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  5. All I can say is, Go Card's beat the Wolf Pack.
    Let's go Cardinals! Let's go Cardinals!

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  6. I think we all want UofL WBB to win Thursday. Walz has a presser scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday. It'll be interesting to see how he spins tomorrow's talk. And, I'll be able to do both Walz and Teeter's interviews. A win, already.

    paulie
    xxxxx

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  7. I have to wonder why Walz didn't use Lockhart and Dixon more to counter the Syracuse bigs and get the starters up front more of a rest? They're never going to learn on the bench. I know, I'm second-guessing Walz, and that's usually not a good thing, but --

    Blue Lou

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