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Sunday, January 2, 2022

Gameday in Atlanta - Sunday Cardinal Couple

 WBB vs 16th Ranked Georgia Tech

As Case's "Year of New", apparently we're trying some new formatting options here on Cardinal Couple, notably center justification*, so let's do this new thing.

The hoop squad is in Atlanta getting ready to take on the Yellowjackets of Georgia Tech.  Nell Fortner is in her third season as head coach.  She has assembled a high powered staff of women with Tasha Butts as Associate Head Coach; Blanche Alverson and Murial Page as Assistants; Mickie DeMoss, who has helmed the Florida and Kentucky teams during her career, as Chief of Staff; Louisville alum, and Cardinal Couple favorite Cortnee Walton doing recruiting operations; and more.

(* OK, nope, I can't do the center justification thing for a whole article.)

The Yellowjackets are 10-2 on the season so far with a win against Wake Forest in their only conference game thus far.  A second conference game, scheduled against Pitt on Thursday, was postponed due to Covid issues in the Pitt squad.  Their losses aren't terrible, falling by eight points to Auburn and by only a single point to Purdue.  Both games were low scoring affairs with scores in the 50s.

Not many signature wins for GT in the season at this point, though I'm sure they're happy with the rivalry win over Georgia.  Oh yeah, and the 13 point margin over UConn is sure to get a lot of attention.

The Techsters, much like UofL so far this season, have shown off on the defensive side of the ball.  They've forced almost 20 more turnovers from their opponents and have chalked up more than 10 more steals than their opponents so far in the season.  They get about four rebounds for every three their opponents get.

On offense, things get a bit fuzzier for GT.  Only one player has a free throw average that would earn them an "F" in the Fred report, Lotta-Maj Lahtinen (5'9" senior), who's 20-28.  Loyal McQueen is listed on the season stats as hitting two for two, but she transferred in mid-December to Alabama.

Top scorers overall on the squad are Eylia Love (6'1" sophomore) and Nerea Hermosa (6'5" junior).  Neither are particular threats from beyond the arc, though when Love takes them, she hits them at a 52.6% clip.  Hermosa hasn't even attempted a three this season at all.

From range, watch out for Lahtinen, Digna Strautmane (6'2" super senior), and Lorela Cubaj (6'4" super senior).  Avyonce Carter (5'10" sophomore) is also a three point threat coming off the bench.  Lahtinen and Cubaj are the main distributors with 46 and 58 assists respectively.

With both teams being primarily driven by defense, look for a scrappy messy game.  Look for transition offense resulting from aggressive defensive plays, and a well coached game between two high quality coaches.

McCamish Pavilion is the location for this game, with a noon start on ACC Network, so you can find it on ESPN's streaming, or on linear TV.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

The CCRHP is still on winter/holiday hiatus, but should be back next week, where we'll try to catch up on all the Basketball action of the previous three weeks and preview a bit of the Miami and Syracuse games.

We hope to start the new year off with a bang, and hope you'll join us.

1 comment:

  1. Hermosa and Cubaj will definitely test us in the paint. Also, their guard play has made life difficult for us in the past. Lahtinen is legit.

    I hope we show up ready to play. A big target on our back and McCamish can get loud. Let's hope their fans stay home to watch the Falcons...

    Nick O.


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