Not a Gameday
As has been covered here in Cardinal Couple already, UofL Women's Basketball has entered a Covid pause, so there will be no gameday today. The Cards were slated to play Miami, in Miami, but Covid spread within the program put a stop to that.
Incidentally, Notre Dame was set to play NC State today and Notre Dame has also started a Covid pause. As a result, NC State will travel to Miami and play Miami instead. Well done by the ACC to at get a game set up for NC State and Miami so that those two teams are not, or are at least only minimally, impacted by these situations.
With these pauses and rescheduling of games, it does make one wonder what that will do with the previously scheduled Miami vs NC State game and how it will otherwise affect scheduling later on. I was not familiar with the Wolfpack's or Hurricane's scheduling before now, but apparently they were slated to play on January 27th and that game is the one that is moved to today. That will leave an open Thursday for those two teams, but there are still questions about when will games be scheduled to make up the lost games for UofL and Notre Dame. I don't envy the ACC in having to juggle dates like this.
WBB Stats Digging
So, while we've got a break, let's take a bit of a dig through the Louisville stats so far this season.
Starting with the basics, if you had asked me who I thought was the scoring leader for the Cards this year, I would've said Emily Engstler. Not so, in fact, she's third behind Kianna Smith and Hailey Van Lith. And here I was commenting about how HVL made changes to her shooting stroke in the off-season and really hadn't gotten back to form, yet. The three are neck and neck, though, 157 for Smith, 155 for HVL, and 149 for Engstler.
Most rebounds? Olivia Cochran, right? Nope, Emily Engstler leads in this category, and by a sizable margin. 118 to 70. A cohort comes in all really close after that, with Liz Dixon, Kianna Smith, Chelsie Hall, Mykasa Robinson, and Hailey Van Lith pulling down between 52 and 46 rebounds. Give Cochran some credit on the offensive boards specifically, though. She's gotten 35 second chances for the Cards vs 29 for Engstler.
With the Cards stout offense, how about the steals category? Yeah, Engstler, I don't think there was much doubt there, again by a significant margin, 39 with Chelsie Hall in second with 22.
We just came out of a giving season with Christmas, so who's the most generous? Chelsie Hall takes the top spot in the assist category, but not by much, here. Hall's 32 are followed by Kianna Smith's 30, and Mykasa Robinson's 28.
How about some offense? Most 3 pointers probably won't surprise too many people with Kianna Smith dropping 27 from range. Second place may surprise some though, Emily Engstler has 17. This may be where HVL still needs to get her shooting form put back together with only 11, and about halfway down the list on the team for 3pt shooting percentage.
Playing around with the stats a bit more, one thing I did notice that I want to bring out, here. Payton Verhulst, may not be getting the playing time she deserves. She has played 167 minutes, while HVL tops this category at 383, with Kianna Smith at 367. But when you sort the stats by just about any other category, Verhulst jumps up the list (unfortunately that also includes for personal fouls and turnovers). But in field goals made, 3pt shots made, free throws made, total points, rebounds (both offensive and defensive as well as total), assists, steals, and rebounds Payton has out-stat'ed her playing time. You can't say she's only seen the court against "bunny" teams as a reason that her stats are so much better than minutes played as she's played in 13 of the 14 games the Cards have played this year. Maybe she should be playing more minutes?
Some interesting data to be found in the stats, got any that you think are intriguing?
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
After a couple of weeks off due to holiday scheduling, the crew was back at it again. We had a late scratch as Case has been having Internet outages at his place, so he wasn't able to join the call, but Jared, Paulie, and myself got on the line to record the first CCRHP of 2022.
Lots of basketball talk, as you would expect, including obviously the announced Covid pause and some discussion of the impacts that will have. We also recapped the Pitt and Georgia Tech games. And finally we talked a little bit about Elle Glock, a transfer from USC (Southern California) joining the Cards volleyball squad for the sprint semester and beyond.
At the moment the recording is only available on Youtube as Case does the light editing and addition to the podcast feeds, which has been disrupted by his Internet access troubles. So you can check out the Youtube stream at: