VERHULST'S SQUAD ASSIMILATES AUSSIES BY 40
The USA FIBA U 19 WBB squad continued their domination over opponents in the FIBA games in Debechen Sunday with a start-to-finish dominating win over the "down under" ballers from Australia 99-59 in pool play.
Cardinals freshman Payton Verhulst drew the start for USA and came out on fire, nailing two three-pointers and getting a steal in the first four minutes of the first quarter for USA.
In an effort to get all of her all-stars a chance to compete in the action, USA head coach Cori Close(UCLA) played everyone dressed for the game a lot -- Verhulst saw just 18 minutes of action in the romp and all 11 USA players in uniform scored in the dismantling of Australia
A notable exception from action was Wake Forest guard Jewel Spear...who was held out of the contest under that dubious distinction of "coaches decision" Spear was not not the court nor on the USA bench for the event. No word on whether she'll reappear Tuesday.
As for Verhulst, she ended the game with eight points and seven rebounds. She also dealt out three assists for USA, who is now 2-0 in pool play. Cori Close has been using Verhulst primarily as a "4" in her offensive sets...and Payton has looked good in the role. With a team that consists of Verhulst, Clark, Sonja Citron, Lauren Ware, Lauren Betts and Azzi Fudd, though, they probably could have entered themselves as an "independent" in the recent Olympics women's basketball tournament and grabbed the silver.
Stepping up huge for USA was Iowa sensation Caitlin Clark.. The 511" guard that ran roughshod over the Big10 last season accounted for 24 points -- sinking five three-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds against the Aussies. Her 33 minutes on the hardwood led USA in time played. with a 52-35 halftime lead, USA was in good shape and continured to roll over the hapless Aussies.
If there is a chink in the USA squad's armor, it is from the charity stripe. Yesterday, they went 16 for 26 from the line, a 61% number that would have Jeff Walz glowering over his stat-sheet in dismay. but, USA is 2-0 in their group -- which consists of Italy, Egypt and Austrailia -- and will play the winless Egyptians on Tuesday.
All told, 16 teams are divided into four groups in Hungary. Group B consists of Russia, Hungary and Chinese Taipei, Group C has Spain, France, Brazil and Korea and Group D holds Canada, Japan, Mali and the Czech Republic.
Watching the games on YouTube, I have had some fun listening to the "accounts and descriptions" provided by the sole guy (Coach "J2K") who has done the play-by-play for the USA games. He seems to get excited about three-pointers more than anything else, and interacts with a host of commenters nin the chat section provided with feed. A typical sequence would consist of:
"Australia, they have the ball. They shoot. They miss. It is now United States ball. They are moving it. The will try a shot THREE POINTER BY CLARK !!!! It's good, she made it !!!!" (Somewhere, Arike Ogunbowale is smiling, I'm sure...)
He also mistakenly identified Verhulst as attending Iowa with Clark, which would be enough to scare the "bee-jesus" out of any Big 10 program, The commenters called him to task, though, and he finally made the correction. I suppose I should not complain too much, though. The games are available and we can watch. That's a good thing.
For yesterday's romp, go here: https://www.fiba.basketball/world/u19women/2021/game/0808/USA-Australia#tab=overview
FIBA events allow "noise-makers" (at least n Hungary) and some well-meaning USA fan, in the two games I've watched, has had access to an air-horn with a seemingly-endless source of pressurized air. Every single USA possession, this moron lets loose a staccato of synchronized blasts in varying patterns that gets old by the 5-minute mark in the first quarter. It continues all 40 minutes. I know, mute the broadcast...Paulie.
Best of continued luck to USA as they advance, although they probably won't need it against the Egyptians, who have been out-scored 180-101 in their first two tilts.
GETTING THEIR KICKS IN?
The UofL schedule of events indicates that Louisville women's soccer was "allegedly" involved in a exhibition/scrimmage with IU last night. This seemingly took place on campus at Lynn Stadium. None of us from the Cardinal Couple crew made it out to this scrimmage and there is no recap or report on how it went for the Cards. They usually don't keep an official stat sheet either.
That's usually the case in pre-season scrimmage affair, but I'll continue to search for infor/results
Have a marvelous Monday!