VOLUME XVI • NUMBER 28 FEBRUARY 29, 2012
FEBRUARY 3, 2011
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
AMERICA’S FOREMOST AUTHORITY ON UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETICS®
VOLUME XVI, NUMBER 28 • FEBRUARY 29, 2012
EDITORIAL STAFF GENERAL MANAGER - Jack Coffee SENIOR WRITER AND EDITOR - Russ Brown OPERATIONS MANAGER - Howie Lindsey ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES - Mickey Clark, Betty Olsen and Blanche Kitchen CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Gail Kamenish, Dave Klotz, Shelley Feller, Howie Lindsey and Chuck Feist CONTRIBUTING COLUMNISTS Matt Willinger, Jeff Wafford, Jason Puckett and Rick Cushing GRAPHIC DESIGNER - Scott Stortz COPY EDITOR - Rick Cushing
SENIORS SPLENDID: Louisville coach Jeff Walz posed for a picture with student assistants Nicole Ambrose and Jared Stillman along with senior shooting guard Becky Burke. More than 10,000 fans were on hand for Burke’s Senior Day as the No. 16/17 Cardinals beat No. 19 DePaul 75-62. Burke poured in 20 points and had four threes in the second half. - photo by Howie Lindsey
The Louisville SportsReport is printed in Kentucky and based in Louisville. It is published weekly in January, February and March, monthly in April, May, June and July and weekly mid-August through late December by Louisville Sports News, L.L.C., in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville Sports News, L.L.C.: Owner and General Manager - Jack Coffee. The SportsReport was founded in 1996. United States Postal Number: 015255 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Louisville SportsReport, P.O. Box 17464, Louisville, KY 40217. Four weeks advance notice is required on old addresses as well as new. Periodicals Postage paid at Louisville, Ky. Subscriptions are priced at $57.95 each (plus 6% Ky. tax) for 32 issues. Members of the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Athletic Fund receive a special group rate of $39.75 for their initial subscriptions and that amount is applied from each annual donation. Year-round firstclass mailing is available for an additional $53 per year. Please call for Canadian and overseas rates. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs unless accompanied by return postage. Publisher reserves right to accept or reject advertisements. Copyright 2008 by Louisville Sports News, L.L.C. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. For subscriber information or circulation questions call 1-502-636-4330. Office hours at 2805 S. Floyd St. in Louisville: By Appointment Only.
5 CARDS NEED TO SPEED UP
9 TOUGH HOMECOMING FOR BEHANAN
Louisville softball is 12-0 to start the season, besting the previous record for best start in school history by three games. Sophomore Chelsea Leonard set a new school record with 16 strikeouts Saturday vs. Creighton.
Speedy motormouth Russ Smith said hearing coach Rick Pitino say he wants Louisville to speed up the tempo during upcoming games is like music to his ears. Louisville has scored more than 60 points just once in the last four games.
Between chants of “Cin-cy hates you” and “Trai-tor, Trai-tor,” the fans at Cincinnati did not welcome Cincinnati native Chane Behanan back home very kindly last week. Behanan was a one-time UC commitment.
17 FOOTBALL JUNIOR DAY BRINGS STARS
19 REVENGE WAS SWEET ON SENIOR DAY
Most of the top football prospects in the state of Kentucky were on Louisville’s campus Saturday for Charlie Strong’s first Junior Day recruiting event of the recruiting cycle. QB commit Kyle Bolin was there, and he helped convince a LB to commit.
How much fun did senior shooter Becky Burke have Saturday? She couldn’t stop smiling after the game. On her Senior Day she had 20 points, including four secondhalf threes to knock off DePaul in a revenge game.
SOFTBALL CONTINUES RECORD RUN
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COVER DESIGNED BY SCOTT STORTZ COVER PHOTO BY GAIL KAMENISH
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A CATCH YOU HAVE TO SEE
Go to YouTube.com and type in “Adam Engel catch” to see the Louisville sophomore’s amazing, over-the-fence catch that robbed an Eastern Kentucky batter of a tworun homer last week. It’s a must-see web gem. 6 6 7 8 10 11 12
KURIC KEEPS HIS WORD, BOUNCES BACK By Russ Brown BASKETBALL BY THE NUMBERS By Howie Lindsey TURNOVERS CONCERN PITINO By Russ Brown NEW BAT STANDARDS HAVE ZAPPED EXCITEMENT By Jack Coffee THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY By Howie Lindsey OPPONENT PREVIEW: SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS By Rick Cushing OPPONENT PREVIEW: SYRACUSE ORANGE By Rick Cushing
13 14 18 18 20 21 22
PITINO A FINALIST FOR HALL OF FAME By Howie Lindsey BASEBALL PHOTO GALLERY FROM FLORIDA By Jack Coffee SYRACUSE STILL ROLLING, FIVE BATTLE FOR DOUBLE-BYES By Rivals.com BIG EAST BASKETBALL STANDINGS By Rick Cushing MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULES WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PHOTO GALLERY By Howie Lindsey CARDINAL STARS OF THE WEEK By Howie Lindsey
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
CARDS SHUT DOWN CREIGHTON, IMPROVE SCHOOL-RECORD START TO 12-0 By Rick Cushing Pitching was the story for the University of Louisville softball team last weekend -shutout pitching, as the No. 18/20 Cards blanked Creighton in all three games to improve their school-record start to 12-0. “This has been a very exciting start for us,” said coach Sandy Pearsall. “I’m so proud of this team. They worked very hard in the offseason, and we’re seeing some of the results of that effort. There is a lot of softball left to play, and we continue to work hard and continue to improve as a team. This has been a total team effort. I cannot stress that enough.” It may have been a total team effort, but as far as Creighton is concerned, the three hurlers the Cards put on the mound were enough. The Blue Jays had just seven hits in the three-game series, and they were limited to one hit by both Tori Collins on Friday and Chelsea Leonard on Saturday. In addition, Leonard had a school-record 16 strikeouts. The Cards won 8-0 on Friday behind Collins, who fanned 12, then 7-0 in the opener on Saturday behind Leonard and 4-0 in the nightcap behind Caralisa Connell and Collins, who combined to surrender five hits and strike out 11. In all, 39 Creighton batters struck out in the series. COLLINS ONE-HITS THE BLUE JAYS Creighton came to town with a 7-0 record, but the Blue Jays hadn’t faced the likes of Collins, a left-handed senior. She allowed only one hit and struck out 12 as the Cardinals posted an 8-0 victory. “I thought Tori did a great job today,” said Pearsall. “We knew Creighton could hit the ball, they’ve scored a lot of runs this season, but Tori came out ready and threw well. I thought Creighton’s pitchers kept us off balance at first, but we were able to make a few adjustments and it seemed to open the floodgates. I’m really proud of our effort today.” It was a pitchers’ duel through 3 1/2 scoreless innings before the Cards erupted with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kristin Austin led off with a triple, and Katie Keller followed with her first home run of the season, a towering shot over the left field fence. Taner Fowler walked and was lifted for pinch-runner Kirsten Straley, who moved around to third on Jordan Trimble’s base hit. A wild pitch sent Straley home, and singles by Alicja Wolny, Hannah Kiyohara and Whitney Arion tacked on three more runs. In her second plate appearance of the inning, Keller connected on a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0. Collins (6-0) retired 11 straight batters with seven strikeouts in the first 3 2/3 innings before hitting a batter and issuing a walk in the fourth. She went on to strike out the next four and retire the first two batters in the sixth before Ellen Homan singled to break up the no-hitter. Collins retired the final four batters, striking out one to finish with a dozen Ks. The Cards tallied the final run of the game in the sixth when Jennifer Esteban
had a two-out single, moved to third on Austin’s double and came home on Keller’s RBI single. Collins notched her second shutout of the season. Keller, a sophomore, was 3 for 4 with four RBIs, and Austin went 3 for 4 with a double, a triple and a run. Wolny was 2 for 2 with an RBI. SWEEP ON SATURDAY The pitching staff continued to throw blanks as the Cardinals won 7-0 and 4-0 to complete the three-game series sweep and improve to 12-0. The previous best start in school history was 9-0 in 2006. Leonard (3-0), a sophomore, got things started with a one-hitter, fanning 16. “I thought Chelsea Leonard did a tremendous job in her first complete game getting out there and keeping them off balance, and Taner Fowler was great behind the plate,” said Pearsall. “I think we’re doing some really good things, but we’re not great yet. We have to keep working on defense, get more aggressive on offense and continue to get good innings from pitchers. This weekend, we were able to try out players at different positions.” The Cardinals backed Leonard with seven runs and 10 hits. They got on the scoreboard early with an unearned run in the first. Esteban led off with a single and came around to score when Keller reached on an error. The Cards used four hits, a walk and an error to put up a four spot in the second. Kiyohara drew a leadoff walk and Arion followed with a single. Austin’s RBI double and Keller’s two-run single made it 4-0, and Keller scored when Trimble reached on a fielder’s choice. Katelyn Mann led off the third with a single, took second on Kiyohara’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a hit by Arion to make it 6-0, and Fowler took the first pitch of the fourth over the left field fence for her third home run of the season to make it 7-0. Leonard (3-0) had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings and retired 15 consecutive batters - 12 by strikeout - before Christa Ruf singled with one out in the top of the sixth. A walk to Allie Mathewson followed, but Leonard retired the final five batters, four by strikeout. In the nightcap, Connell (3-0), also a sophomore, scattered four hits and struck out eight in five innings, and Collins allowed one hit and fanned three in two innings as the Cards won 4-0. Keller continued her torrid hitting by going 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Fowler was 2 for 3 with an RBI. UofL got a run in the first when Austin singled, stole second and scored on a single by Fowler. It remained 1-0 until the Cards put up three unearned runs in the fourth. Arion singled and Esteban was safe on a fielder’s choice. An error allowed Austin to reach and Arion to score, and Keller’s tworun single made it 4-0. KELLER’S WEEKEND The second baseman from Livermore, Calif., had a lights-out weekend, going 6
Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Leonard set a school record with 16 strikeouts Saturday against Creighton. - photo by Howie Lindsey
for 10 with a home run, eight RBIs and two runs scored. She raised her average from .250 after nine games to .316. Two other Cards had big weekends offensively. Austin, a senior outfielder from Hartsburg, Mo., was 6 for 12 with two doubles, a triple, one RBI and four runs scored and raised her season average from .444 to .462, which leads the team. Arion, a freshman from Delphi, Ind., who plays all
over, was 4 for 7 (.571) with two RBIs and two runs scored. She raised her average from .208 to .290. On the season the Cards are hitting .337 as a team while holding the opposition to a .151 batting average. Leonard, who’s from Lexington, N.C., has a 0.91 ERA, Collins, from Lafayette, Ind., a 1.34 ERA and Connell, from Murfreesboro, Tenn., a 2.49 ERA.
LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT HONORS
This photo of the cheerleading squad is from the 1953 UofL yearbook. Orlando White (second from the left) was the first African-American to perform in front of fans as a University of Louisville cheerleader. Pictured (L. to R.) are Janice Vimont, White, Sandy Long, Ralph Wooten, Suzy Friedlander, Corky Scherer, Sandra Gaston and Lynda Thompson.
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
RECRUITING NOTEBOOK LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL 10 AMAZING AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF THE 2009-2010 SEASON
U O F L B E AT S P I T T, B U T N E E D S T O R U N M O R E
PITINO WANTS CARDS TO SHIFT INTO HIGHER GEAR By Russ Brown Before his team’s August trip to the Bahamas and throughout preseason practice, University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino emphasized a fast-paced offense with his players, running a drill that required the Cardinals to get the ball past half-court in three seconds. The idea was that the faster UofL played the more efficient it would be. But lately, the Cards have been in a rut, lulled into playing at a plodding pace more suited for Clydesdales than thoroughbreds. This is, after all, horse racing country. In three of the last four games -- two of them losses -- No. 17 UofL (22-7, 10-6) has struggled to crack the 50-point barrier, the latest being Sunday’s 57-54 victory over Pittsburgh (15-14, 4-12) in the KFC Yum! Center. That came four days after a 60-56 loss at Cincinnati. And the Cards will face another team that prefers a slow, grinding pace when surging South Florida (18-11, 11-5) visits Wednesday night in UofL’s home finale. The Bulls, who edged Cincinnati 46-45 Sunday in Tampa for their fourth win in five games, are last in scoring in Big East Conference games at 60.1 ppg and No. 1 in scoring defense, with opponents averaging 58.1 ppg while shooting just 39.4 percent. “We keep getting caught in these slowpaced, half-court games, and it’s our own fault because we’re not pushing the pace enough,” Pitino said. “The main thing I told our guys is that they’re not going to get open looks without spreading the floor and beating teams down the court.” So how do they do that, especially against a patient team like USF? “It’s difficult, but you have to attempt it,” Pitino said. “Five guys have to attempt to run and get into the offense quicker so that (the opposing team) is not as alert as to what they should do defensively. We’ve gotten away from that a little bit. “We’re playing too much half-court basketball. Here’s what happens. Every single thing we run is put on tape. So everybody knows every single thing you’re going to run if you walk up the court and get into it. That gives everyone time to choreograph their defense. If you sprint the ball up the floor, even if you don’t get a fast break, it’s difficult for them to understand what you’re running because we’re moving, and that’s what we have to get back to. We’ll start working on that tomorrow.” Because they have such a difficult time scoring in the half-court, the Cards have been prone to costly scoring droughts. They were scoreless in a 52-51 loss to Syracuse in the final 3:38 after grabbing a five-point lead. Against Cincinnati, they went more than nine minutes without a field goal. And against Pitt Sunday, they went the last six minutes of the first half and the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second without a field goal, then managed just one basket in the final 6:23 -- Kyle Kuric’s crucial three-pointer for a 53-48 lead at the 3:25 mark. “If you play that way you’re going to have droughts,” Pitino said. “We’ve got to run more. It’s as simple as that.” One approach is to press more to try to
Sophomore Russ Smith had 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting at Cincinnati. He was a spark for Louisville against Pittsburgh Sunday, hitting 7 of 12 shots for 18 points. - photo by Gail Kamenish
force the pace with turnovers that lead to quick baskets. That was the difference against Pitt, with Louisville getting 13 steals and scoring 24 points off 19 turnovers. “It’s tough to get fast breaks on teams like Cincinnati, Pitt and South Florida because they get everybody back and they like the half-court game,” UofL point guard Peyton Siva said. “We’ve got to do a better job with our press. USF just beat Cincinnati by a really low score, and it’s going to be up to me and Russ (Smith) to get out on the break and push our teammates to go. Coach P wants to play a lot faster, and it’s up to Russ and me to get our big men to run.” There’s no doubt that the Cards would prefer a faster pace. “It’s tough and it’s frustrating,” Russ said. “I love running out on the break. Getting out on the break and getting an advantage with no-help defense, I feel I’m unguardable in that situation, and a lot of us are. So we’re trying to push the tempo, trying to get everybody to run the floor. The press gets deflections, steals, opportunities to run out and get mismatches, so it helps us a lot. When we’re on
the break we’re almost unstoppable and hard to guard.” If everybody could go at the warp-speed clip that Russ does, the Cards could outrun almost anyone because the frenetic, high-energy sophomore’s motor runs at a higher gear than any of his teammates, and he showed it again with a devastating spurt against Pitt that turned the game in Louisville’s favor. After the Cards fell behind 38-35 approaching the midway point of the second half, it became the Russ Smith Show for a while. He scored nine points in just 2 1/2 minutes and 11 in a row overall to personally outscore the Panthers 11-6 as UofL surged to a 46-44 lead it never lost. His points came on a variety of shots -- a layup, a 17-footer on the baseline, a pull-up 10-footer, a basket underneath off an inbounds pass and a three-pointer. “Just trying to win, being aggressive, doing the things you get taught in practice and individual instruction,” Russ said. “It all came into play.” Pitino has often said it can be frustrating and nerve-wracking coaching Russ because
he is so unpredictable, and he made that point again Sunday. “It’s so difficult with him, it really is,” Pitino said. “I’ve never known what a nervous breakdown is, but coaching him I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown daily. But I live with it. Let’s face it, he’s won four or five games for us this year.” Told that he scares his coach, Russ, the unflabbable Brooklyn native, replied: “He scares me, too. He probably scares me more than I scare him.” LEAGUE SEEDING AT STAKE UofL enters the USF game tied with the UC for sixth place in the conference, while the Bulls are tied with Georgetown for fourth. The Cards have assured themselves of a first-round bye in the league tournament March 6-10 in Madison Square Garden, but a double-bye is highly unlikely because it would take two losses by No. 9 Georgetown (11-5) (to Notre Dame and at Marquette) coupled with wins by Louisville against USF and at No. 2 Syracuse (29-1, 16-1) Saturday. A double-bye into the quarterfinals goes to the top four teams in the standings, and the Hoyas hold the tie-breaker due to their 71-68 victory way back on Dec. 28 in both teams’ league opener. No. 2 Syracuse (16-1) has already clinched the championship and No. 1 seed, and UofL can’t overtake Marquette (133) or Notre Dame (12-4) for the double-bye under any circumstances. “You’re trying to get some idea of where you’re going to be (seeded), when and who you’re going to play,” Pitino said. “Going into Syracuse, I think we’ll have a better understanding of who we’re going to play, but we probably won’t know for sure until the last game is played.” Every Big East team will be in action Saturday with the exception of Notre Dame and Providence, who will meet Friday night in South Bend. The most likely scenario at this point is for UofL to be seeded sixth, which means the Cards would play at 9 o’clock Wednesday night, March 7, against the winner of the No. 11-No. 14 game -- currently St. John’s (6-10) and Villanova (4-12). USF comes to town looking not only to move up in the conference standings but for a statement win that would punch its ticket for the NCAA Tournament, although the Bulls took a significant step by beating Cincinnati. “Before today, we were definitely on the outside looking in,” USF coach Stan Heath said following the win over UC. “Everybody kept talking about, ‘This is the part of their schedule that’s either going to make or break them.’ The first leg, the first step, we passed.... We still need some wins. I still feel like winning down the road is going to be the answer to the question.” UC coach Mick Cronin, asked if the Bulls are in, had this to say: “I’m not on the selection committee. I’m rooting for them because Stan Heath is a great guy. But I’m oblivious, to be honest with you. I don’t watch any of those shows. I don’t know anybody’s numbers. I know nothing. I can’t even get my team to stop the ball from going into the paint with the game on the line. The last thing I can do is tell you who should be in.”
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
KURIC KEEPS HIS WORD, BOUNCES BACK FROM 0-FER AT UC By Rus Brown Say this: Kyle Kuric is a man of his word. After enduring a nightmarish evening in last Thursday night’s 60-56 loss at Cincinnati when he missed all 11 of his shots, he vowed he wouldn’t let it affect his play and that he wouldn’t be reluctant to shoot in the ensuing game against Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon in the KFC Yum! Center. And if there was any doubt that Kuric hadn’t lost any confidence in his shooting ability, the first time he got an open look Sunday he fired away on a three-point shot from the top of the key. No hesitation. No sweat. Swish. “I came off a screen, pulled back and it was open, so I had to shoot,” he said. The senior forward finished with a solid allaround performance of 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals, with no turnovers, in 36 minutes. After going 0 for 7 from beyond the arc against the Bearcats, Kuric made 4 of 7 treys against Pitt. “My approach was the same as every other game,” he said. “I’m not really focused on my shot as much as people would think. It was more on defense and how we could stop them, and if I hit some shots, great. If not, then I’ve got to get some stops on defense. I wasn’t thinking about it. I kept my confidence up like any other game and didn’t dwell on the past.” Kuric also hit the biggest shot of the afternoon. Pittsburgh had rallied from a 50-42 deficit to pull within 50-48 and the shot clock was about to expire when Kuric took a pass from Chane Behanan and drilled a trey from near the top of the key for a 53-48 lead. “That was ridiculous,” UofL guard Russ Smith said. “We all know how big that shot was. There’s definitely no punchline to that. Once he released it, everybody on the bench was like, ‘Please go in, please go in.’ It did, we got some breathing room and that’s what we needed.” UofL coach Rick Pitino called Kuric “a big shot-maker with the game on the line.” Said Kuric: “That was concentration. The shot clock was running down, so I didn’t have a choice whether I was going to shoot or not. I was trying to move without the ball, Chane passed it out, and I just got it and shot it.” Behanan had predicted after the Cincy game that Kuric would have a big day against Pitt. “Sunday, that’s when his shots are going to fall,” Behanan said then. “Sunday, I know he’ll put on a shooting clinic.” Kuric shrugged off his bad night at UC, which he said was the first time he could remember missing all of his shots on any level -- grade school, junior high, high school or college. “It wasn’t like I was taking bad shots,” he said. “I thought every shot was a good one. There wasn’t one shot that when it left my hand I thought was off. Every single shot felt good. I thought they were all going in. Your confidence has to be high enough that if you miss a few you think you can still knock the next one down. It’s all about confidence.” At Cincinnati, coach Rick Pitino certainly showed that his confidence in Kuric never wavered. Twice in the final 14 seconds, Pitino
called plays to get the Cardinals’ leading scorer an open three-point shot. “He’ll be fine,” Pitino said. “I showed him when I ran the play who I thought was the bigtime shooter. It was just one of those nights. Every player goes through one of those nights when nothing will fall. But he did a good job. He helped in other areas, doesn’t turn the ball over.” Kuric went into the Cincinnati game averaging 13.3 points and shooting 36.4 percent (56 of 151) from behind the arc. His worst shooting game prior to UC was 1 of 8 vs. Syracuse, but he rebounded in the next game to make 9 of 17 at DePaul. In a 73-62 win at Pitt on Jan. 17 Kuric was 7 of 12, including 5 of 9 from three-point range. “What I told Kyle was, ‘Nine of your shots were terrific shots, a mix of two-point and three-point shots, and you just had one of those nights when the shot did not fall,’” Pitino said after the UC game. “’That’s not a big deal.’ “He’s made a lot of big shots. I think he’s smart enough to know whether you’re Michael Jordan or you’re good in another spectrum, you’re going to have a night where you don’t make shots. Everybody has one of those nights. He’s very fortunate he hasn’t had more of them. I don’t think he thought about it at all. We didn’t make any big deal out of it.” Kuric said he watched film of his shots against Cincinnati and worked on his shot in the two days of practice for the Pitt game. “I wanted to watch the shots I missed and see why,” he said. “See if I was doing anything I don’t usually do, see if I could pick something out, fading back left or whatever. I noticed some little things and worked on it, but today was more about defense than 100 percent thinking about my shot.” The USF game will be the final home appearance for the formerly unheralded walkon from Evansville, Ind. He was reminded that in the final game in Freedom Hall in 2010 he erupted for a then-career-high 22 points to spark the Cards to a 78-68 upset of topranked Syracuse. Could another such huge performance be in the cards Wednesday for his personal swan song? “Probably not,” Kuric said, smiling. “I’m not really looking forward to doing that. I’m just more focused on winning.” Kuric will be one of three UofL players honored on Senior Night, the others being guard Chris Smith and forward Jared Swopshire, who is a junior in eligibility but a senior academically and won’t return next season. “I don’t think it will hit me as much as it will after the game,” Kuric said. “It’s the last time I’ll play here. That’s what it is, and I’m not going to focus on it. It’s not my day; as long as we win, that’s what I care about. “I’ve had great moments here, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If I had it to do all over again, I would definitely come back.” Chris Smith said his upcoming final home game entered his mind during the win over Pittsburgh. “Sitting on the bench a couple of times today, I thought about it being near the end for me,” he said. “I want the fans to think of me as a guy who put on the jersey every day and went out and played hard at all times and left as a winner.”
Senior Kyle Kuric was 0-for-11 shooting at Cincinnati, but came back to score 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting against Pittsburgh on Sunday. photo by Gail Kamenish
BY THE NUMBERS
Louisville has two victories over Pittsburgh this season, one in Pittsburgh and the one Sunday in Louisville. It’s the first time in program history the Cardinals have beaten the Panthers twice in the same season. Louisville was 5-5 against Pittsburgh coming into the season. The teams have met three times in the Big East Tournament, with Pitt eliminating Louisville in all three meetings (2006, 2007 and 2008).
Louisville has zero conference wins against Big East teams with a winning league record. Of the Cardinals’ 10 league wins, only Seton Hall (8-9) is close to a winning record. Louisville has victories over Connecticut and West Virginia, who are both 7-9, but the rest of Louisville’s wins have come against teams with at least 10 league losses. The Cardinals’ next chance to beat a team in the top half of the league will come Wednesday against visiting USF (18-11, 11-5).
Senior shooters Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith hit zero shots against Cincinnati Thursday night. The pair combined to go 0 for 15 overall, 0 for 8 from three-point range. Kuric was 0 for 11 overall, 0 for 7 on treys, and Smith was 0 for 4, 0 for 1. As a team, Louisville missed 13 of 14 three-point attempts, while Cincinnati hit 11 threes during its 60-56 victory.
Prior to the Cincinnati game, Louisville was averaging 21.2 points per game off opponent’s turnovers over the previous five games. Louisville’s defense was winning games as the Cardinals were averaging 1.6 points off each opponent turnover. Against the Bearcats, the Cardinals forced just 11 turnovers and scored just eight points off of those while Cincinnati scored 17 points off Louisville’s 14 turnovers.
Senior shooting guard Becky Burke scored 20 points, including four second-half threepointers, to help the No. 16/17 Louisville women beat No. 21/18 DePaul 75-62 Saturday. Burke’s performance was extra special considering it was her Senior Day. She has 71 threes this season and is hitting 39.2 percent of her long-range shots. Burke is currently 12th all-time at UofL with 1,233 points, just seven behind Joy Martin, who is 11th. She is currently third in career treys with 239, 21 behind second-place Sara Nord. Kristin Mattox is first with 271.
As of Sunday morning, nine Big East men’s teams ranked in the RPI top 50: 1. Syracuse, 8. Marquette, 14. Georgetown, 22. Louisville, 25. Connecticut, 33. Seton Hall, 42. Notre Dame, 46. West Virginia and 48. South Florida. Cincinnati was No. 73 in the RPI after beating Louisville. The Bearcats’ 114th-ranked schedule is holding them back from a higher ranking. For comparison, only one Pac-12 team is in the RPI top 50 (35. California).
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL C A R D S E N D R E G U L A R S E A S O N V S . U S F, S Y R A C U S E
TURNOVERS CONCERN PITINO AS POST-SEASON PLAY NEARS By Russ Brown Rick Pitino is happy about 20-plus victories during this injury-ravaged season. He’s happy that the No. 17 Cardinals have, for the most part, solved their rebounding problems from earlier in the year. And he’s happy that UofL is making it very difficult for opponents to hit a high percentage of their field-goal attempts. Those are two of the three goals the University of Louisville basketball coach cited as critical earlier in the season. The problem is the third one. Pitino is NOT happy with the Cards’ penchant for careless, unforced turnRUSS BROWN overs. It’s not so much the number of errors as the kind. Pitino noted Thursday’s 60-56 loss at Cincinnati as an example, with the Cards throwing the ball away 14 times despite the slow pace of the game. “I’ll tell you my biggest concern and the area.... You don’t mind playing slow, it’s a road game,” Pitino said. “If you play an 85-point game and you turn it over 14 times, that’s fine. But when you play a 56-point game and you turn it over 14 times, it’s not good. If you’re in a slowdown game, you can’t turn it over more than 8-9 times. Fourteen is a killer, you can’t do it. “We have to do something about our turnovers because we’re constantly not getting the assist-to-turnover ratio we want, and that’s what I’m trying to drill into them in the next two weeks, to become much better in that regard. That’s what we really have to work on.” Point guard Peyton Siva, center Gorgui Dieng and guard Russ Smith combined for all but three of UofL’s turnovers against UC, and Siva has a team-high 93 on the season, which you would expect from the player who handles the ball the most. Russ Smith has 62 in 212 fewer minutes than Siva, while Dieng has committed 62 and Chane Behanan 58. Behanan has improved significantly lately, committing just three turnovers in the last four games, or 102 minutes. The Cards (22-7, 10-6) rank 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio in the Big East in all games at 0.98 and 10th in conference games only at 1.00. UofL is faring considerably better in the other two departments. The Cards lead the league in field-goal-percentage defense, holding foes to 37.4 percent shooting, fourth in the nation. They’re seventh in rebounding margin at plus-1.6 in conference contests. “We have to clean some stuff up,” senior forward Kyle Kuric said. “Obviously, we’d like to be higher in the rankings, but everything is going pretty well. We play with great effort. We’ve got to tighten
For Louisville to be effective against USF and Syracuse this week, center Gorgui Dieng must play a big role. Rick Pitino said Dieng appeared “run down or tired” against Pitt Sunday. photo by Gail Kamenish
some things up and we’ll be all right.” UofL has two more games to get that done before postseason play begins in the Big East Conference Tournament March 6-10, and neither figures to be easy. Upstart South Florida (18-11, 11-5) visits the KFC Yum! Center Wednesday night for the home finale and Senior Night, then the Cards travel to No. 2 Syracuse (29-1, 16-1) on Saturday for a nationally televised game (4 p.m., CBS) in the Carrier Dome. The Bulls are the Big East’s surprise team this season. Going into Sunday’s game with Cincinnati in Tampa, USF had won only 23 conference games since joining the league in 2005 and had never had a winning record in the conference. They have made only one postseason appearance as a Big East member -- a one-and-done trip in the National Invitation Tournament in 2010. They were 3-15 in the conference last season, 10-23 overall. USF is still searching for a so-called signature victory, however. The Bulls beat nobody of any consequence in non-conference play, and going into the UC game they had zero victories over any Big East team with a winning record. That’s actually the same situation as Louisville, whose 10 league victories all have come against teams with losing conference marks, eight of them with double-digit losses. UofL has been competitive but has dropped all five games it has played against upper-echelon teams. USF is considered a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament, and a win over Louis-
ville would go a long way toward enhancing its chances to make the Big Dance for the first time since 1992. The Bulls have played in the NCAA Tournament just twice in the school’s history and have never won a tournament game. “To do something that hasn’t been done in 20 years would have a tremendous amount of meaning for our program, our fans and our university,” said USF coach Stan Heath, who is in his fifth year at the school. “It would create a tradition. We don’t have much of a basketball tradition. It would be the start of something special, and this group would be the group that got it done.” But Heath, whose team has already earned a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament and could get a double-bye (as of Sunday the Bulls are tied with Georgetown for fourth place), understands that USF needs to make a strong statement for serious NCAA consideration. “We just haven’t been in the tournament in forever,” he said. “And when you’re not maybe a known commodity, one of the teams that’s perennially in there, you can’t just lightly knock on the door. You’ve got to kick it in sometimes. That’s what we’re going to have to do. We’re going to have to kick the door in.” Villanova coach Jay Wright, whose team has lost twice to USF, said he was impressed by the Bulls and that they deserve to be in the NCAA tourney. “They are as good as anybody we’ve played against. Anybody,” Wright said.
“And probably the closest to Syracuse in terms of length and defensive prowess, controlling the tempo of the game. I think they can win in the NCAA Tournament. I think they’re an outstanding team.” UofL has dominated USF, posting a 25-3 record in the series and winning 11 in a row, the last six by an average of 19.4 points. The Cards’ last loss to the Bulls came in 2001 in Tampa, 73-67. But Pitino will undoubtedly point out to his players that USF jumped to a 20-7 lead at Syracuse on Feb. 22 and took the Orange nearly down to the wire in a 56-48 loss. On the other hand, Pitino is certain to ignore USF’s 75-45 blowout loss at Georgetown a month ago. While USF is capable of pulling an upset, the marquee game this week for the Cards is their rematch with Syracuse, which escaped with a 52-51 win in the KFC Yum! Center on Feb. 13, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Cards. It was a game Pitino and his players felt they should have won. They held Syracuse to 37.4 percent shooting -- including 1 of 15 from three-point range -- and led 51-46 with 3:38 remaining, but couldn’t score the rest of the way. They hit only 12 of 21 free throws on the night. That was just one of many narrow escapes by Syracuse in Big East action. The Orange have won four conference games by three points or less and four others by single digits. They also won three nonleague games by six, six and four points. Their latest close call came in a 71-69 victory at Connecticut Saturday in which they blew a 17-point second-half lead before surviving on Fab Melo’s rebound dunk with 22 seconds left. “This team has been in seven, eight games like this this year,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said after the win in Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. “It’s not like we haven’t been in them. And they find a way to make a play at the end of the game, whether it’s a defensive play at Louisville, or offensive plays, a tip-in, a drive. They’ve found a way all year long to make something good happen. We just find a way to get it done. And now we have a week to get ready for Louisville.” As Boeheim noted, the ‘Cuse doesn’t play again until Louisville’s visit. Two of the Cards’ wins in their seven-game streak against the Orange came in the Carrier Dome -- 67-57 in 2009 and 66-60 in 2010. Pitino promised that he’ll tweak UofL’s game plan for the rematch. “Any two games, you’ve got to understand the other team is going to make changes,” he said. “And you’ve got to make changes yourself because the advantage goes their way if you don’t make certain changes.”
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
COFFEE BREAK WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
New bat standards have taken some excitement out of the game One good thing about being the boss is getting the good road assignments. In the past Russ Brown has gone to Newport, R.I., for the Big East meetings, Howie Lindsey to Jonesboro, Ark., for a football game, and I go to Florida to watch the baseball team. For the last three seasons I have followed the Cardinals to Clearwater/St. Petersburg as they begin the season with three games in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge. Not only is the weather usually perfect for baseball, but the Cards have been successful as well, winning eight out of nine games. Each year the number of Cards fans cheering on the team increases, and this winter UofL seemed to have the largest following of all the participants. Adding to the noise made by Louisville fans is the constant yelling of about 20 members of the TKE fraternity who skip class and drive to the Sunshine State to show their support for their classmates (among other things). There also is some imbibing that takes place with this group. I think local fans will enjoy watching this young UofL baseball team. In last Wednesday’s game against Eastern Kentucky, five of the first six UofL batJACK COFFEE ters were either freshmen or sophomores. The pitching features upperclassmen Justin Amlung, Derek Self and Travis Tingle, but there are several good sophomores and freshmen, including Jeff Thompson, who had a good outing against Illinois, shutting them out for six innings. Leadoff batter Adam Engel is batting .444 and is 4 for 4 in stolen bases. This could be a return to the “good times” for Cardinals baseball. I still don’t agree with the NCAA decision that took effect last year to require BBCOR bats in college baseball. BBCOR stands for “Ball-Bat Coefficient of Restitution,” which is the standard used to determine the exit speed of a hit ball off of the bat. The new standard reduces the BBCOR, therefore slowing down the ball as it leaves the bat. According to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee, the reasons given were “maintaining the integrity of the game and enhancing player safety.” As to the safety aspect of the slower bats, I could not find one instance of a college player being hurt due to bat speed. My guess is that “safety” thrown into the edict makes it more sellable to coaches and players. As usual, some of the “powers-that-be” in the NCAA hierarchy were once again trying to justify their existence. A story on the NCAA web page by Gary Brown, a writer for the organization, states that the “new BBCOR formula provides a better measure of a bat’s performance and allows the Baseball Rules Committee and bat-testing laboratories to better predict field performance based on lab tests.” Now that’s what we need -- a group of NCAA executives sitting in a conference room or lab predicting on-field performance. All they need to do is call me or some other fans and ask us about the performance of the new bats -- they stink. According to NCAA statistics, Division I teams in 2011 (the first year of the new standards) had a batting average for all teams of .282, the lowest since 1976. Home runs dropped to .52 per game compared with .94 the previous year, the last for the thin-walled bats. Runs per game also declined from more than 7 to 5.83 in 2011. There is a bright side to the change -- earned run average was the lowest (4.70) since 1980 (4.59). Pitchers like the new bats. So why the change? Here’s a quote from the Brown article that gives insight to the thinking of the committee: “The goal is for non-wood bats meeting the new standard to perform similarly to wood bats.” So there you have it. A group of purists on the rules committee decided there was too much hitting and too many home runs in college baseball and changes had to be made. According to the people behind the decision, the new bats produce “better baseball.” Another statement by a member of the committee gives more insight into the change: “The new, more power-oriented version of baseball wasn’t the game they grew up playing. These new bat standards have brought the game back to its original style of play. It has put a premium back on strategy, pitching and defense, and not on the No. 9 batter being able to hit the ball 400 feet.” So there you have it: A return to wooden bats for the satisfaction of a bunch of baseball purists. It’s too expensive for the schools to buy wooden bats, so they mandate wooden-like aluminum. Of course, no thought was given to the companies that manufactured the composite bats and are now stuck with warehouses of unusable bats. I’m a purist, too, in some regards, but I liked the fact that the “No. 9 batter could hit the ball 400 feet.” That’s one of the things that made college baseball fun and also why so many people come to UofL games. No doubt they’ll still come to cheer on the home team. But like me, they’ll miss the home runs and the long base hits. It seems NCAA officials always forget the folks who pay the bills - -the fans. Were home runs really that offensive?
Cards in the Community
Bill Randle is a 1976 graduate of the University of Louisville and a former member of the track and field team from 1972-76. His events were the high and low hurdles, triple jump and long jump. At one time Bill held the school record for the high hurdles. He graduated from Seneca High in Louisville and spent 35 years with UPS. He has been retired for three years and lives in Louiville.
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448-2802 www.bobmontgomery.com BOB MO NTG O M E RY H A S B E E N S E R VI NG TH E CO M M U N I T Y S I N C E 19 6 0 .
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FEBRUARY 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL C A R D S ’ F R E S H M A N O R I G I N A L LY C O M M I T T E D T O B E A R C A T S
RUDE HOMECOMING AT CINCY FAILS TO RATTLE BEHANAN By Russ Brown The final result didn’t turn out the way freshman forward Chane Behanan wanted, but at least his homecoming was a success in some ways. Call it bittersweet. No. 17 Louisville (21-7, 9-6) couldn’t hold on to a six-point lead in the second half and lost to Cincinnati 60-56 in Fifth Third Arena last Thursday night, losing to the Bearcats (208, 10-5) for the third straight time and falling into seventh place in the Big East Conference. However, Behanan weathered the slings and arrows of the vociferous Cincinnati fans, who let him know how unhappy they were that he had RUSS BROWN spurned his hometown university to attend UofL. Behanan starred at Aiken High School in Cincinnati as a freshman and sophomore and committed to the Bearcats following his freshman season. However, after moving to Bowling Green, Ky., he re-opened his recruitment and eventually signed with Louisville. The UC student section booed Behanan every time he touched the ball and cheered when he missed a shot or committed a foul. They also chanted, “Cincy hates you.” To which UofL coach Rick Pitino cracked: “I don’t think he likes them either. Tell them it’s mutual.” But Behanan handled the adverse circumstances well, turning in a solid performance with 11 points, seven rebounds, a blocked shot and zero turnovers in 33 minutes. He hit 3 of 5 shots. “I felt like LeBron (James) going back to Cleveland,” Behanan said, referring to the Miami Heat star who formerly played for the Cavaliers. “Any time he goes back, he’s going to get all the boos. And now that I’m in Louisville and coming back and forth to Cincinnati to play, I’m sure I’ll get booed every time. “I just tried to keep my composure, keep playing the game and trying to get the win. I had fun. We all did. We gave great effort.” Behanan said he got phone messages during the day telling him to stay calm and not let the pressure of returning to his hometown, and the predictable rude welcome affect his performance. “I heard from some people and they told me don’t go out there and try to press, go out and play with your team and play your game and don’t try to do anything spectacular, and I think that’s what I did,” he said. “I took their advice into consideration and accomplished something. Not the win, but playing well and being mature about coming back home and playing.” Said Pitino: “Chane played real well. He did a good job. He’s a tough-minded young man. It was very good for him. He was looking forward to going back home to Cincinnati, and he found out what homecoming’s all about. I know he was a little shaken when he was even booed in warmups. I told him, ‘Cincinnati hates you and you haven’t even touched
Freshman Chane Behanan, a Cincinnati native who spurned the Bearcats to play for UofL, was treated rudely by UC students last Thursday but was able to ignore the taunts and have a good game, with 11 points, seven rebounds, a blocked shot and no turnovers. “I just tried to keep my composure,” he said.
the ball.’ “But he came up big, it didn’t bother him. He rebounded great, played terrific on offense, so that showed you something about his pride in himself. He was jumping over people and making strong moves and doing a lot of very good things. I don’t think he’s mentally mature yet, but I think he’s mentally and physically tough.” Besides the implications for his team and his homecoming, Behanan wanted to beat UC to get the best of an old rival, Bearcats senior forward Yancy Gates, who posted a doubledouble of 10 points and 10 rebounds. When Behanan was a freshman at Aiken, Gates was a senior at Withrow High School and never lost to Behanan’s team. “He was the lights of Cincinnati,” Behanan said before the game. “It was a big rivalry anytime we played each other. I went head to head with him several times, and I never beat him, so hopefully that will change.” It didn’t, but Behanan and UofL could conceivably get another shot at Gates and UC in the Big East Tournament March 6-10 in Madison Square Garden. DIENG’S EXIT CHANGED THINGS Pitino thought the turning point of the game came when center Gorgui Dieng picked up his third and fourth fouls within 40 seconds of each other. The Cards had used a 15-4 run to take a 45-39 lead and were still ahead 4542 when Dieng went to the bench with 10:53
remaining. Cincinnati promptly used an 11-0 burst -much of it while Dieng was out -- to surge into a 53-45 advantage. “I think our guys looked terrific until Gorgui went out and that changed the whole momentum of the game,” Pitino said. “We just have to keep Gorgui in the game and protect (him), and we didn’t. His fourth foul was a drive when they beat us off the bounce.” Dieng finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds -- his 11th double-double of the season -- along with a game-high four steals in 33 minutes. “Gorgui has a tendency to get pushed around and travel,” Pitino said. “That was a great game for Gorgui to have ... because the (TV) announcers kept saying, ‘Gates is bullying Gorgui.’ It was good for him to hear that, good for him to be bullied and see that. That was a great lesson. Gorgui’s response was, ‘We’ll see what happens to the bullies when I gain 20 pounds.’ And I said, ‘It’s not going to happen by the Big East Tournament.’” While UC was taking control of the game, UofL went over nine minutes without a field goal while scoring just three points on free throws. After hitting four of their first six shots in the second half, the Cards were a miserable 2 of 25 the rest of the way. “I’m real proud of our guys,” Pitino said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well from the two and three spots, and take away all of that and
we still, if Gorgui stays in the game, we have a great chance to win. But give Cincinnati credit -- they won and they move ahead of us in the standings.” CRONIN ALTERED OFFENSE Cincinnati buried UofL under a barrage of three-pointers, partly because coach Mick Cronin decided not to run any plays or use an offense against Louisville’s confusing 2-3 matchup zone defense. The Bearcats hit 11 of 27 treys to 1 of 14 for the Cards. “We had structure, but I didn’t want them worried about what defense Louisville was in,” Cronin said. “I told them just make sure you’re ready to shoot when you catch and don’t forget about Yancy in the low post.” The move proved especially beneficial for junior point guard Cashmere Wright. Wright scored 22 points, his most in Big East play this season and only three shy of his career high. He hit 6 of 13 three-point shots and also handed out five assists with just one turnover. UofL has the 11th-most efficient defense in the nation, so Cronin told his players no plays, no sets and do what you do best. “Just play,” Wright said after the game. “If you’re open, shoot. If you can drive, drive. I felt that was a very comfortable situation for me. Not worrying about mistakes, going out there and just playing.” Among the threes Wright hit was a 35-footer on the wing near the left sideline as the shot clock expired to give UC a 53-45 lead. “They make difficult threes, let’s face it,” Pitino said. “They’re not easy shots, and they do it against everybody.” Cronin thought his team shot a few too many trifectas, with the 19 they jacked up in the first half more than their total in four of the last five games. “I thought we shot too many threes,” he said. “We made some shots early, then I thought we fell in love with it.” OFFICIATING RANKLES PITINO In a humorous, saracastic way, Pitino mildly criticized the officiating crew of Sean Corbin, James Luckie and Bryan Kersey. “I have a problem with the officials. I felt I was talking tonight to Jake O’Donnell, Mendy Rudolph and Ed Rush,” Pitino said, referring to three former outstanding NBA officials. “I mean, I thought they were three guys going into the Referee Hall of Fame the way they talked to me. “I didn’t think Gorgui fouled on the third one, then he got thrown out of bounds and he got called for traveling. I don’t know, I’m sure Mick would have problems with the officials, too. I don’t know what they’re looking at sometimes. But they’re so positive (about their decisions) they really should go into the Referee Hall of Fame.” QUOTE OF THE WEEK – As Dieng was leaving the locker room before reporters were admitted, UofL sports information director Kenny Klein told him to return to talk to the media. “I don’t even speak English,” Dieng, a native of Senegal, deadpanned in perfect English.
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
C O M M E N T A R Y
It is great to see Rick Pitino named as one of 12 finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. While he’s not in the Hall of Fame yet, the final vote is announced at the Final Four, and word is that Pitino is a likely pick this year. We believe he deserves it. Taking three different programs to the Final Four is huge (Providence and UofL once each, UK three times), but his work with the three-point shot, his press and his scouting methods have changed college basketball forever. Pitino said he’s holding his celebration for the actual announcement. This year’s list includes four firsttime finalists: Pitino, five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain. The list also includes eight previous finalists: Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Don Nelson, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and the All American Red Heads. If elected, Pitino would join former Cardinals great Westley Unseld and coach Denny Crum in the Hall of Fame.
Speaking of Crum, it’s GOOD to see him join some other notable locals with an oversized mural in downtown. The mural, emblazoned with “Denny’s Louisville,” was unveiled Sunday on the west wall of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel on West Main Street. Mayor Greg Fischer, former UofL players and members of the pep band were on hand for the unveiling ceremony. Crum’s mural was produced and installed through support from Ellis and Badenhausen Orthopaedics and in memory of Dr. Rudy Ellis, longtime physician for Crum’s teams. Crum is the 20th “Hometown Hero” to be honored with an oversized mural.
What in the world was referee Karl Hess thinking when he threw NC State legends Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani out of the arena a week ago Saturday? After the pair complained about what they believed were missed calls early in the second half of the Wolfpack’s loss to Florida State, Hess walked over to the scorer’s table and motioned for the two men to be ejected from their front-row seats. He has not explained his reasoning for the drastic measure, but NC State coach Mark Gottfried has talked about it - a lot. He called Hess’ decision “weak” and said, “The official was completely out of line 100 percent.” Gottfried didn’t stop there. “I’m disappointed quite frankly in the ACC because not only did he throw out two of North Carolina State’s greats, he threw out two of the ACC’s greats. The league is supporting an official rather than supporting former great players. The former great players, in my opinion, were embarrassed and wronged when they shouldn’t have been. I don’t think you can have rabbit ears like that if you’re a referee and start throwing people out. I was disappointed in the whole thing.” The ACC reprimanded Hess on Monday for not following proper procedure for fan dismissal.”We were taking the game in, cheering, yelling like I’ve done the past 20 years,” Corchiani, a former all-conference guard, told Yahoo! Sports radio. “Never once did we say anything that was threatening, any profanity, anything that was even on the line. That’s why it was so baffling when we were asked to leave.”
Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde had a good article last week about the resurrection of Larry Eustachy’s basketball coaching career. The one-time rising star at Iowa State was dismissed after his drinking problem came to light via pictures of him at a college party surfaced on the internet in 2003. Eustachy is clean and sober now and has Southern Miss headed toward its first NCAA bid in 21 years and a possible Conference USA Championship. His team is playing extremely well, and Eustachy has used his past as an example for his players. “His past is not a secret,” point guard Neil Watson said. “He didn’t hide it. He uses it as an example of why you should take advantage of your opportunities. He’s overcome a tremendous amount of adversity in his life. We have no choice but to do the same.” GOOD for Eustachy.
Pat Knight, the much-less-obnoxious son of Indiana coaching legend Bob Knight, brought his Lamar team into the Yum! Center earlier this season and left with a 68-48 loss to then-No. 9 Louisville. The Lamar Cardinals are now 17-11 overall and 8-5 in the Southland Conference East Division. After a 62-52 loss to Stephen F. Austin Wednesday night, Pat Knight, who is normally very upbeat and affable (he takes after his mother), had a few UGLY words for his team leaders. “We’ve got the worst group of seniors right now that I’ve ever been associated with,” he said. “Their mentality is awful. Their attitude is awful. It’s been their (custom) for the last three years. To come out in a game like this, with no emotion and flat, it’s terrible.... These guys are stealing money by being on scholarship with their approach to things.” And there’s more: “We’ve had problems with these guys off the court, on the court, classroom, drugs.... If you act this way in the real world, you’re going to be homeless, without a job.... You just can’t do all that BS and then expect to be a good team and win games. And if people have a problem with me being so harsh about it, I don’t care. I’ve come here to clean something up, and that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to get a better personality on this team, a better mindset, and that’s where recruiting comes into place.” We bet many coaches have wanted to say the things Knight said Wednesday night.
H O W I E
L I N D S E Y
It was probably a bad idea for Buzz Williams to dance near midcourt in Morgantown, W. Va., after his team came from behind to beat the Mountaineers 61-60 Friday night. And by probably, we mean definitely. After the hard-fought victory and the handshake line, Williams was strolling across the court toward a post-game TV interview with ESPN when he broke into a quick two-step and spin as the speakers blared West Virginia’s sacred song, “Country Roads.” The students sitting at midcourt went absolutely nuts, screaming obscenities, throwing posters and pushing forward menacingly toward Williams as security guards held them back. Williams, noticing how angry the students were, told his PR guy, “I danced on the floor and they got mad. I danced to this song, and they are mad. It’s my fault,” as ESPN tried to start the interview with him. Mad is an understatement. The students in the front row were acting like lunatics. When asked about the incident later, a sweat-drenched Williams said, “I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful,” adding that he was just “very happy” about his team’s comeback victory on the road.
Some Louisville fans immediately compared Williams’ postgame shimmy to former Marquette coach Mike Deane’s disgraceful display after a 1998 victory in Freedom Hall on a buzzer-beater by Brian Wardle. No comparison as far as we are concerned. Williams’ sashay at West Virginia was a quick, playful display as he walked toward the ESPN crew. It was light-hearted and cheeky. Deane, who many believe flashed the bird (and not the Cardinal Bird) to the UofL student section as he celebrated on the court, was mean-spirited and obnoxious. BIg difference. Besides, Williams deserved to dance a little after his team came back from being down by 15 points after he suspended three of his star players - Darius Johnson-Odom, Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue - for the entire first half after an unspecified violation of team rules. Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, who led Marquette with 26 points, sparked a 24-8 run that helped the Golden Eagles overtake the Mountaineers in the second half.
We have to mention the UGLY behavior by the students at Cincinnati. Without fail, each time Chane Behanan touched the ball, they would boo, call him “Traitor” and chant their hatred toward him. In fact, there was an organized chant of “Cin-cy hates you (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) when Behanan went to the foul line three times in the second half. After the game, Behanan said it actually hurt him to hear his hometown treating him that way. The 6-foot-7 forward grew up in Cincinnati but moved to Bowling Green (Ky.) High for his senior year. Prior to that, he had decommitted from Cincinnati and committed to Louisville. Rick Pitino may have had the line of the night when he was asked about the “Cincy hates you” chant. “Yeah, well tell them the feeling is mutual,” Pitino said with a smirk.
No team on campus is on a better run than Louisville softball. Coach Sandy Pearsall was all smiles when we saw her Friday night after the Cardinals beat Creighton 8-0 for a school-record start of 10-0. They are now 12-0 after two wins over Creighton on Saturday. They didn’t just beat Creighton either, they crushed them in each of the three games, winning by a combined score of 19-0. Louisville’s next test will come Friday in Knoxville, Tenn., against MTSU at 12:30 p.m. and the Dutch National Team at 5:30. The MTSU game will count toward UofL’s record, but the second game is just an exhibition. The No. 20 Cardinals then will face No. 9 Tennessee Saturday at 3 p.m., which should be a quite a showdown.
We’ve mentioned it before in this space, but it bears repeating. The fans should be applauded for their support of UofL women’s basketball. The Cardinals finished the home season with a crowd of 10,454 on hand to see them beat DePaul 75-62 on Becky Burke’s Senior Day. Louisville averaged 10,670 fans per game this season. That’s good for second in the nation behind only Tennessee at 14,117. After the game, coach Jeff Walz and the team waved and thanked the fans for their remarkable support, then went around the court signing autographs.
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FEBRUARY 29, 2012
GAMEDAY PREVIEW - SOUTH FLORIDA
2011-12 SCHEDULE DATE NOVEMBER Nov 12 Nov 14 Nov 16 Nov 19 Nov 23 Nov 26 Nov 30
Vermont Marist Florida Southern Old Dominion Ga. Southern FAU @VCU
W, 61-59 W, 81-67 W, 73-43 L, 68-66 W, 66-46 W, 68-55 L, 69-46
DECEMBER Dec 3 Dec 11 Dec 14 Dec 19 Dec 22 Dec 28
@Kansas Florida A&M @Auburn Cleveland St. @Southern Miss Connecticut
L, 70-42 W, 83-59 L, 52-40 W, 70-55 L, 53-51 L, 60-57
JANUARY Jan 1 Jan 5 Jan 10 Jan 13 Jan 18 Jan 22 Jan 24 Jan 29
Rutgers @Villanova @Notre Dame Seton Hall St. John´s (N.Y.) @DePaul @Marquette Providence
W, 67-65 W, 74-57 L, 60-49 W, 56-55 W, 64-49 W, 75-59 L, 67-47 W, 81-78
FEBRUARY Feb 4 Feb 8 Feb 11 Feb 15 Feb 19 Feb 22 Feb 26 Feb 29
@Georgetown Pittsburgh @Providence Villanova @Pittsburgh @Syracuse Cincinnati @Louisville
L, 75-45 W, 63-51 W, 81-78 W, 65-51 W, 56-47 L, 56-48 W, 46-45 7:00 pm
MARCH Mar 3
BREAKING DOWN THE BULLS By Howie Lindsey The Bulls are the surprise team in the Big East Conference. Never before three games over .500 in league play, USF is currently 11-5 and in a tie with Georgetown for fourth place in the HEAD COACH league. STAN HEATH The Bulls, who finished 3-15 and in 15th place in league play last season, were tabbed to finish 14th this year in a preseason poll of coaches. But they already have more than tripled last season’s number of league victories with two games to go, one of them at home, where they are 7-1 in league play and 14-1 overall so far this season. Regardless of how they do in their final two games, the Bulls should make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992. They are doing it with defense. They are allowing just 58.1 ppg, first in the Big East and 10th in the country. Only three foes have reached 70 points this season. They are allowing opponents to shoot just 39.6 percent overall, 29th in the country, and 30.3 percent from three-point range, 30th in the country. USF fields a tall lineup, going 6-10, 6-8, 6-7, 6-6 and 6-1. The Bulls also go nine deep, with seven players averaging 6.7 ppg or more. Two weeks ago they completed a season’s sweep of Pittsburgh with a 56-47 victory at Pitt, having beaten the Panthers 63-51 in Tampa two weeks previously. In seasons past a sweep of Pittsburgh would have been unthinkable. They then went to No. 2 Syracuse last Wednesday and lost 56-48 but rallied from a 13-point, second-half deficit to trail by only one point with less than seven minutes to go. “I’m proud of the way we came back in the second half, but we know we didn’t play our game tonight,” coach Stan Heath said. “We can grow a lot from this and get back to business.” USF limited Syracuse to 34 percent shooting and held the Orange to fewer than 60 points for only the third time this season. After beating Cincinnati 46-45 on Sunday the Bulls were 1811 overall, having won five of their past six games. The Cards figure to have their hands full come Wednesday. GUARDS Anthony Collins, a 6-1 freshman who runs the show, is a good one. He’s averaging 7.6 ppg, sixth on the team, and leads the team with 5.5 assists per game, which is 42nd in the country. He also leads the team in steals at 1.67 per game. He’s shooting 49.6 percent overall, 30.8 percent on treys, and he’s an outstanding free-throw shooter at 84.2 percent. Two weeks ago he was named Big East Rookie of the Week after averaging 16.0 points and 6.5 assists in victories over Villanova and Pittsburgh. Then he had 12 points and 10 assists against Syracuse, although he made 8
turnovers. For the season his assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.59-1, which is 183rd in the country. The other backcourt starter is 6-6 senior Hugh Robertson, who’s averaging 6.7 ppg and 4.5 rpg and had a big week two weeks ago, when he averaged 12.5 ppg and shot 76.9 percent in two games. He’s shooting 53.3 percent overall but just 20 percent on treys. Jawanza Poland, a 6-4 junior and part-time starter, is second on the team in scoring at 9.0 ppg. He’s shooting 42.7 percent overall but just 28.1 percent from three-point range, and he’s rather careless with the ball (15 assists, 35 turnovers). Other backcourt subs are 6-0 sophomore Blake Nash (4.3 ppg) and 6-4 junior Shaun Noriega (3.8 ppg). BIG MEN Augustus Gilchrist, a 6-10 senior, leads the team in scoring at 10.3 ppg but is only third in rebounding at 5.0 rpg. He’s shooting 40.1 percent overall, 30.0 percent on treys and also is sloppy with the ball (14 assists, 42 turnovers). He leads the team with 31 blocks. Victor Rudd, a 6-7 sophomore, is third on the team in scoring at 8.9 ppg and fifth in rebounding at 4.4 rpg. He’s shooting 36.2 percent overall but just 28.8 percent on treys. The third starter up front is 6-8 junior Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, who’s averaging 8.3 ppg, fourth on the team, and a teamleading 6.6 rpg. He’s shooting 45.7 percent overall, a very good 43.2 percent on treys. He’s second on the team with 29 blocks. The team’s top frontline sub is 6-8 senior Ron Anderson, who’s averaging 7.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg. He’s shooting 55.6 percent and has not tried a trey. STAR Gilchrist and Anderson each have led the team in scoring seven times, while Anderson has led in rebounding seven times, Gilchrist five times. TEAM STRENGTHS Balanced scoring, depth and the defensive stats noted above. The Bulls also are a pretty good free-throw shooting team at 70.6 percent, 117th in the country. TEAM WEAKNESSES The Bulls have trouble scoring at 60.6 ppg, 308th in the country. They are shooting just 32.2 percent on treys and making just 4.8 a game, 295th in the country. COACHING RESUME Stan Heath is in his fifth season at USF, his 11th season overall. Before coming to USF he coached one season at Kent State and five at Arkansas. At USF he’s 69-88, overall he’s 181-175. ALL-TIME SERIES UofL and USF have met 28 times in a series dating to 1985. The Cards own a commanding 25-3 edge and have won the past 11 meetings. They are 8-0 since both schools joined the Big East.
SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS
Coach: Stan Heath Last Season: 10-23, 3-15 Big East Overall Record: 163-164 (10 years) At USF: 51-77 (4 years) USF SHOULD MAKE THE NCAA TOURNEY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1992.
2011-12 SOUTH FLORIDA BASKETBALL ROSTER NO 1 1 11 25 3 32 24 13 15 22 12 5 34 33
NAME ANDERSON JR., RON BROCK, MARTINO COLLINS, ANTHONY DAMOUR, ALBERTO DORITY, LAVONTE FITZPATRICK, TOARLYN GILCHRIST, AUGUSTUS HEATH, JORDAN NASH, BLAKE NORIEGA, SHAUN OMOGBEHIN, JORDAN POLAND, JAWANZA ROBERTSON, HUGH RUDD, VICTOR
POS F G-F G F G F F-C G G G C G G F
HT 6-8 6-5 6-1 6-5 6-1 6-8 6-10 6-0 6-0 6-4 7-3 6-4 6-6 6-7
WT 255 190 175 225 195 230 245 185 185 195 291 200 202 207
EXP (L) SR (4V) JR (2V) FR (HS) SR (3V) SO (1V) JR (2V) SR (3V) FR (1V) SO (1V) JR (2V) FR (HS) JR (2V) SR (3V) SO (2V)
HOMETOWN(SCHOOL) UPPER MARLBORO, MD (KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY) MEMPHIS, TN (SOUTH ALABAMA) HOUSTON, TX (WESTBURY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL) POINCIANA, FL (POINCIANA HS) CHICAGO, IL (EDWIN G. FOREMAN HS) TAMPA, FL (KING HS) CLINTON, MD (PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY) DETROIT, MI (TAMPA PREP) CASA GRANDE, AZ (WILLSTON STATE JC) NORTH PORT, FL (NORTH PORT HS) LAGOS, NIGERIA (ATLANTIC SHORES CHRISTIAN ACADEMY) WICHITA, KS (HUTCHINSON CC) MACON, GA (TALLAHASSEE CC) LOS ANGELES, CA (ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY)
FEBRUARY 29 South Florida at Louisville 7 PM
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
GAMEDAY PREVIEW - SYRACUSE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
BREAKING DOWN THE ORANGE By Rick Cushing The Cards will get a second crack at the No. 2 Orange this Saturday, They came up short in their first crack, squandering a 51-46 lead with 3:38 to go before losing 52-51 on Feb. 13 at the KFC Yum! Center. UofL did many of the things you need HEAD COACH to do to win, holding Syracuse to 34.4 JIM BOEHEIM percent shooting, including just 6.7 percent from beyond the arc (1 of 15), and outrebounding the Orange 40-37. But the Cards shot only 34.7 percent and made just 12 of 21 free throws (57.1 percent). Point guard Peyton Siva also got in early foul trouble after scoring eight of the Cards’ first 13 points. He had to sit out 13½ minutes spanning halftime, and when he returned he failed to score again and made a couple of crucial turnovers. But the Cards know the formula to beat Syracuse, which clinched the Big East regular-season title with a 71-69 victory at Connecticut last Saturday. They are 29-1, 16-1 and have just the UofL game remaining before the Big East Tournament, in which they’ll have a double bye. Syracuse, whose only loss was at Notre Dame on Jan. 21 and has won nine straight since, lacks an individual star. The Orange does not have a player in the top 20 in scoring or rebounding in the Big East. What Syracuse does have is an aggregation of very good players. “This is the most depth I’ve ever had,” said Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. That depth allows the Orange to go 9-10 deep, and any one of them can beat you. Syracuse does rank highly in a host of team statistics, however. It leads the nation in turnover margin (+6.7), is third in steals per game (9.9 ) and blocked shots per game (7.2), 12th in field-goal percentage defense (38.5) and 36th in field-goal percentage (47.2). Syracuse has played several down-to-the-wire games this month, including Saturday against UConn. The score was tied with 45 seconds left, and the Orange took a 71-69 lead on a tip-in by sophomore center Fab Melo at 0:22. They then got two blocks at the other end to prevail. “At the end of games, we find a way to win,” Boeheim said. “We’ve been doing it all year. We make plays at the end of games. We find a way to win. Now we have to get ready for Louisville.” UofL has not been making plays to win in two of its past for games. The Cards came up empty in their final six possessions against Syracuse, and they were outscored 21 -11 at the end of last Wednesday’s game at Cincinnati. That is probably the biggest adjustment they will need to make Saturday – make plays at the end of the game. And holding Syracuse to 6.7 percent three-point shooting again wouldn’t hurt. GUARDS Dion Waiters, a 6-4 sophomore, is second on the team in scoring at 12.0 ppg but comes off the bench. He leads the team in steals at 2.0 a game, which is fourth in the Big East and 39th in the country. He’s shooting 47.6 percent overall, 32.5 on treys and averages 2.7 assists, third on the team. He had seven points in the team’s first meeting but made just 3 of 10 shots. Brandon Triche, a 6-4 junior who starts, is averaging 9.4 ppg, third on the team, and 2.8 assists, second on the team. He’s shooting 43.1 percent overall, and he leads the team in three-point shooting at 36.1 percent and in free-throw shooting at 86 percent. He had eight points in the first meeting but made just 4 of 11 shots. Scoop Jardine, a 6-2 senior who starts, is averaging 8.7
ppg, fifth on the team, and leads in assists at 5.0 a game. He has 140 assists and just 59 turnovers, giving him an assist-toturnover ratio of 2.32-1, 35th in the nation. He’s shooting 49.0 percent overall, 35.6 on treys, but has a free-throw percentage of only .491. In the team’s first meeting he was scoreless and missed all eight of his shots. He did have five rebounds, five assists and two steals. The other top sub in the backcourt is 6-5 freshman Michael Carter-Williams (3.0 ppg), who had eight assists in a game this season. BIG MEN This is where Syracuse can really come at you. Kris Joseph, a 6-7 senior, leads the team in scoring at 14.0 ppg and is third in rebounding at 4.8 rpg. He’s shooting 44.1 percent overall, 37.1 on treys. Foul trouble limited him to 25 minutes in the first meeting, but he returned to make a key basket, grab two key rebounds and come up with a late steal. C.J. Fair, a 6-8 sophomore who comes off the bench, is fifth on the team in scoring at 9.2 ppg and is tied for the lead in rebounding at 5.5 rpg. He’s shooting 48.0 percent overall but just 21.6 on treys. James Southerland, a 6-8 junior who comes off the bench, is averaging 6.8 ppg, seventh on the team, and 3.0 rpg, fourth on the team. He’s shooting 46.0 percent overall, 31.3 on treys. He had a team-high 13 points in the first meeting. The 7-0 Melo, who was rated by many the No. 1 player in the 2010 recruiting class (UofL and Syracuse were his top two choices), has rebounded from a disappointing freshman year (he averaged just 2.3 ppg and 1.9 rpg). He dropped nearly 20 pounds last summer and is averaging 7.9 ppg, sixth on the team, and is tied for the team lead at 5.5 rpg. He also leads in blocked shots at 3.1 a game, which is 10th in the country. He had a school-record 10 blocks against Seton Hall. He had 11 points and six rebounds in the first meeting. Rakeem Christmas, a 6-9 freshman who has started every game but averages just 11.5 minutes a game, is averaging 2.9 ppg and 2.9 rpg. He’s shooting 57.1 percent and has not tried a trey. Baye Moussa Keita, a 6-10 sophomore who’s the backup center, is averaging 2.6 ppg and 2.6 rpg and is shooting at a 77.1 percent rate. He stays near the basket. He averages just 12.6 minutes a game but has blocked 27 shots. STAR It varies from game to game. I’ll go with Waiters again. He also had five rebounds and three assists in the first meeting. TEAM STRENGTHS Overall depth, the team statistics noted above, and the ability to “find a way to win.” TEAM WEAKNESSES Rebounding. The Orange is being outrebounded this season, with a rebounding margin of minus-1.0, which is 227th in the country. Syracuse also is not very good at three-point shooting -- 34.5 percent, 155th in the country. (1.0 a game) COACHING RESUME Boeheim passed Dean Smith for third all-time in victories and is now 885-302 He is in his 35th season, all at Syracuse, and Rick Pitino was an assistant coach on his very first staff, serving two seasons (1976-78). Boeheim has taken the Orange to the NCAA Tournament 27 times, to the Final Four three times and to the 2003 national title. He has a record 33 20-win seasons. ALL-TIME SERIES UofL and Syracuse have met 18 times in a series that dates to 1964 (Boeheim played in that game), with the Cards holding a 13-5 advantage. Their seven-game winning streak in the series was snapped earlier this month. They are 2-2 all time at Syracuse but have won the past two there.
2011-12 SYRACUSE BASKETBALL ROSTER
FEBRUARY 13 Syracuse at Louisville Orange won, 52-51 MARCH 3 Louisville at Syracuse 4 PM
NO 1 25 10 23 5 4 13 11 21 32 12 14 51 33 24 2 43 34 20 3
NAME CARTER-WILLIAMS, MICHAEL CHRISTMAS, RAKEEM COONEY, TREVOR DEREMER, RUSS FAIR, C.J. HART, NOLAN HOFFMANN, GRIFFIN JARDINE, SCOOP JONES, MOOKIE JOSEPH, KRIS KEITA, BAYE MOUSSA LYDE-CAJUSTE, MATT MELO, FAB NASSAR, ALBERT REESE, BRANDON RESAVY, NICK SOUTHERLAND, JAMES TOMASZEWSKI, MATT TRICHE, BRANDON WAITERS, DION
POS G F G G F G G G F F C F C F G G F F G G
HT 6-5 6-9 6-4 6-4 6-8 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-6 6-7 6-10 6-4 7-0 6-6 5-11 6-2 6-8 6-8 6-4 6-4
WT 176 222 185 210 203 152 178 190 220 210 213 205 244 195 160 201 210 215 205 215
EXP (L) FR (HS) FR (HS) FR (HS) SO (1V) SO (1V) SO (1V) JR (2V) SR (4V) JR (2V) SR (3V) SO (1V) JR (2V) SO (1V) FR (HS) SR (3V) SR (3V) JR (2V) SR (4V) JR (2V) SO (1V)
HOMETOWN (SCHOOL) HAMILTON, MA (ST. ANDREWS HS) BRYN ATHYN, PA (ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH) WILMINGTON, DE (SANFORD SCHOOL) WRENTHAM, MA (XAVIERAN BROTHERS HS) BALTIMORE, MD (BREWSTER ACADEMY) ALBANY, NY (ALBANY ACADEMY) NEW YORK, NY (YORK PREP) PHILADELPHIA, PA (NEUMANN-GORETTI HS) PEEKSKILL, NY (PEEKSKILL HS) MONTREAL, PQ (ARCHBISHOP CARROLL HS) SAINT LOUIS, SENEGAL (OAK HILL ACADEMY) MOUNT VERNON, NY (IONA PREP) JUIZ DE FORA, BRAZIL (SAGEMONT HS) STUART, FL (SOUTH FORK HS) DAVIE, FL (PINE CREST SCHOOL) WEST MILFORD, NJ (WEST MILFORD HS) BAYSIDE, NY (NOTRE DAME PREP) SEABROOK, NH (HOLDERNESS HS) JAMESVILLE, NY (JAMESVILLE-DEWITT HS) PHILADELPHIA, PA (BURLINGTON LIFE CENTER)
Coach: Jim Boeheim Last season: 27-8, 12-6 Big East Overall record: 885-302 (35th season) At Syracuse: 885-302 (35th season) Started 20-0 this season KRIS JOSEPH
2011-12 SCHEDULE DATE NOVEMBER Nov 12 Nov 14 Nov 19 Nov 29
Fordham Manhattan Colgate Eastern Mich.
W, 78-53 W, 92-56 W, 92-47 W, 84-48
DECEMBER Dec 2 Dec 6 Dec 10 Dec 17 Dec 20 Dec 22 Dec 28
Florida Marshall G. Washington @N.C. State Bucknell Tulane Seton Hall
W, 72-68 W, 62-56 W, 85-50 W, 88-72 W, 80-61 W, 80-61 W, 75-49
JANUARY Jan 1 Jan 4 Jan 7 Jan 11 Jan 14 Jan 16 Jan 21 Jan 23 Jan 28
@DePaul @Providence Marquette @Villanova Providence Pittsburgh @Notre Dame @Cincinnati West Virginia
W, 87-68 W, 87-73 W, 73-66 W, 79-66 W, 78-55 W, 71-63 L, 67-58 W, 60-53 W, 63-61
FEBRUARY Feb 4 Feb 8 Feb 11 Feb 13 Feb 19 Feb 22 Feb 25
@St. John´s (N.Y.) Georgetown Connecticut @Louisville @Rutgers South Florida @Connecticut
W, 95-70 W, 84-61 W, 85-67 W, 52-51 W, 74-64 W, 56-48 W, 71-69
MARCH Mar 3
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
FINAL VOTE FOR 2012 CLASS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE FINAL FOUR
PITINO A FINALIST FOR NAISMITH HALL OF FAME By Howie Lindsey University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is one of 12 finalists to be considered for election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year. “It is very much an honor to be nominated and be a finalist,” he said. Pitino, who is in his 11th season at UofL, could become a member of a rare group of coaches who are enshrined while still actively coaching. That group includes current Big East coaches Jim Calhoun of Connecticut and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and also included former UofL coach Denny Crum, who was enshrined in 1994. “I don’t think I have thought about it too much because I am so pre-occupied with trying to win games,” Pitino said. “It’s something that I think every person appreciates if that day ever does come, not only for the amount of time you’ve spent with the athletes and coaches, but also very close family and friends who have been there each step of the way.” Pitino is the only college basketball coach in history to have officially taken three programs to the Final Four (Providence and UofL once each, UK three times), has a national title to his credit and has 618 career victories despite three different stints in the NBA. Pitino is among four first-year finalists, the others being: five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain. Rounding out the complete list of finalists chosen by the North American Screening Committee are players Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Ralph Sampson and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Dick Motta and Don Nelson; and referee Hank Nichols. McClain and
Louisville coach Rick Pitino is one of four first-ballot finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
the The All American Red Heads are finalists chosen by the Women’s Screening Committee. “The finalists for the Class of 2012 are a decorated group consisting of some of the greatest leaders that we have ever seen in the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors. “They represent all facets of the game from professional, collegiate, amateur and international levels for the sport.” Pitino said he was just leaving his TV show Friday when sports information director Kenny Klein texted him and asked that he call right away. Pitino, who was with special assistant Jordan Sucher, asked him what the urgent matter was and that’s when he
heard the good news. Pitino said his immediate thoughts were about the players he’s coached and all the assistant coaches with whom he has worked. “You’re not only honored, you’re very grateful to all of the coaches you worked with, all the players that you’ve coached,” he said. “For a coach it is different than for an athlete. For an athlete, you reach a certain plateau – points, rebounds, assists and championships, certainly. And for a coach it’s the athletes that you’ve shared time with who have helped you win a championship, go to Final Fours or win conference championships. “For me, I’ve been very lucky because I’ve had outstanding coaches that I’ve worked
COACHES IN THE NAISMITH HALL OF FAME Forrest C. “Phog” Allen W. Harold Anderson Arnold J. “Red” Auerbach Geno Auriemma Leon Barmore Justin M. “Sam” Barry Ernest A. Blood Jim Boeheim Larry Brown Jim Calhoun Howard G .Cann Henry Clifford Carlson Louis P. “Lou” Carnesecca Bernard L. “Ben” Carnevale Peter J. “Pete” Carril Everett N. Case Van Chancellor John Chaney Jody Conradt Denzil E. “Denny” Crum Charles J. “Chuck” Daly Everett S. Dean
Antonio Diaz-Miguel Edgar A. “Ed” Diddle Bruce Drake Pedro Ferrandiz Alessandro “Sandro” Gamba Clarence E. Gaines James H. “Jack” Gardner Amory T. Gill Aleksandr J. Gomelsky Sue Gunter Alexander M. “Alex” Hannum Marv K. Harshman Donald L. “Don” Haskins Edgar S. “Ed” Hickey Howard A. Hobson William “Red” Holzman Robert “Bob” Hurley Sr. Henry P. “Hank” Iba Phil Jackson Alvin F. Julian Frank W. Keaney George E. Keogan
Robert M. “Bob” Knight Michael “Mike” Krzyzewski John A. Kundla Ward L. Lambert Harry Litwack Kenneth D. “Ken” Loeffler Arthur C. “Dutch” Lonborg Herb Magee Arad A. McCutchan Alfred J. “Al” McGuire Frank J. McGuire Walter E . Meanwell Raymond J. “Ray” Meyer Ralph H. Miller Billie J .Moore Aleksandar “Aca” Nikolic Robert “Lute” Olson John T. “Jack” Ramsay Pat Riley Cesare Rubini Adolph F. Rupp Cathy Rush
Leonard D. Sachs Bill Sharman Everett F. Shelton Jerry Sloan Dean E.Smith C. Vivian Stringer Pat Head Summitt Fred R. Taylor John R. Thompson Tara VanDerveer L. Margaret Wade Stanley H. “Stan “Watts Leonard R. “Lenny” Wilkens Roy Williams Tex Winter John R. Wooden Phillip D. “Phil” Woolpert Morgan B. Wootten Sandra Kay Yow
with throughout 35 years.” Pitino was asked whether he reached out to any of his former players or colleagues in coaching when he heard the news. He said he’s so focused on the season that he’ll think about it later. “Not yet,” he replied. “I think right now I am going to focus in on the season because it is very premature, but it is a great honor to be nominated and be a finalist. I’ll reach out to people if I become a Hall of Famer.” The Hall of Fame Committee also announced five Direct Elects, who are the initial members of the Class of 2012. They are: Mel Daniels, voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee; Don Barksdale from the Early African-American Pioneers Committee; Lidia Alexeeva from the International Committee; Chet Walker from the Veterans Committee; and Phil Knight from the Contributors Direct Election Committee. This marks the second year of the Direct Elect process. Last year the ABA and Early African-American Pioneers committees were added to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting process and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball. These five individuals have been directly elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremonies in September along with the eventual members from the North American and Women’s committees. The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be announced on Monday, April 2, at a news conference in New Orleans prior to the NCAA’s men’s championship game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election to the Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass., Sept. 7.
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE BASEBALL PHOTO GALLERY
A picture of five of the 20 TKE fraternity members who traveled to Florida celebrating ‘before’ a game.
Former UofL football player Cookie Brinkman posed with baseball coach Dan McDonnell at the home of Tampa Bay alumni president Don Delaney -- better know as “Cardinal Central South.” Brinkman holds two distinctions in UofL football history: the longest punt, 89 yards against Tulsa in 1968, and scoring the only two-forwardpass touchdown. The play occurred in the Pasadena Bowl in 1970, with the first pass thrown by quarterback John Madeya, the second by tight end Tom Jesukaitis. The TD, of course, was disallowed, and the Cards tied Long Beach State 24-24.
Members of the baseball team enjoyed the spread prepared by the Tampa Bay Alumni Club at Jill and Don Delaney’s.
Cardinals fans packed the bleachers at the Fuller complex for the Michigan State game.
A view from the stands at Al Lang field shows Tampa Bay in downtown St. Petersburg.
UofL Alumni Operations Director Patsy Wynne and Tampa Bay Alumni President Don Delaney posed in Delaney’s house in Clearwater, Fla.
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE BASEBALL ON A ROLL WITH SIX STRAIGHT WINS
ENGEL’S HIGHLIGHT-REEL CATCH COULD HAVE BEEN AN INTERCEPTION By Howie Lindsey If you haven’t seen Adam Engel’s home run-robbing catch from last Wednesday’s victory over Eastern Kentucky, do yourself a favor and search for it on YouTube. “It’s the greatest catch I’ve ever seen in Jim Patterson Stadium,” coach Dan McDonnell said. “It goes down as one of the two greatest catches I have seen here at Louisville. (Former center fielder) Boomer Whiting made that catch at Rosenblatt Stadium (during the College World Series), and that is good company to be in.” Engel, a sophomore center fielder, made one of the best catches in school history when he sprinted to left-center, paused, then leaped above the wall and snagged a potential two-run homer by EKU’s Bryan Soloman that would have cut Louisville’s lead to 3-2. Engel went over the wall and came back down with the ball, raising his glove to show the umpires he had it. “It’s legitimately one of the best catches I have ever seen, and definitely the best catch I’ve ever seen here at Jim Patterson,” assistant sports information director Garett Wall said. Wall, who has worked with Louisville baseball for three seasons, is in charge of managing the media relations for the team and also travels with the team on the road. “It was definitely one of my best catches ever,” Engel said. “I really haven’t been in the outfield very long. I converted as a freshman here. One of the things I have always wanted to do is work on the wall because I haven’t been out there too long. It felt good to make a catch like that. It gives me confidence going forward.” Engel has been an outfielder for only a little less than a year, but he’s had plenty of work tracking down fly balls. “We work on it in practice,” he said. “We work on making plays at the wall, and with the wind blowing out like it was today, I saw the ball go up and I knew it had a chance of going out. I thought it would be deep and it was, so I just found the wall and tried to go up and make a catch.” McDonnell said he thought the ball was long gone given the way Engel hit the wall. “When he made the jump, because the wind was blowing so hard out, I thought, ‘Oh, no, the ball went over the fence,’ because half of his body went over the fence,” McDonnell said. “Usually when kids do that, they miss it, but their body carries them over the fence. Even though he was carried over the fence, he came back with it. He held up his glove and I was like, ‘Wow.’” Engel confirmed that it would have been a home run, “Yeah, it was over the wall,” he said. “It wasn’t too far that I couldn’t grab it, though. I felt it hit (his glove).” “It had such a big impact on the game,” McDonnell said. “It was not only a great
Sophomore captain Adam Engel was all smiles after the Eastern Kentucky game. He snagged a two-run homer from beyond the wall in what many are calling the best catch in Jim Patterson Stadium history. - photo by Howie Lindsey
athletic play, but it kept them from scoring two runs and, as we saw, they put up two runs the next inning and it was a big play.” Engel’s athleticism is nothing new to his teammates and coaches. McDonnell said the 6-foot-1, 213-pound Engel is a physical specimen. “I am excited the fans got to see that,” McDonnell said. “We see him every day, and we know how special he is as an athlete. He’s so explosive. He’s so quick, powerful and strong. He has a lot of tools and a lot of ability. It is good that the fans got to see that.” Most Louisville fans don’t know that Engel’s highlight-reel catch could have been a game-saving interception for the Wisconsin Badgers. A star in two sports at Loveland (Ohio) H.S., Engel had offers from several Division I football programs, including Wisconsin, as a safety/quarterback. As a high school senior, Engel hit .537 with 34 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. As a junior he hit .520 with a school-record 17 doubles, 24 RBIs, 24 runs scored and 13 stolen bases, and he hit .544 with 19 RBIs and 20 runs scored as a sophomore. He participated in the 2008 World Wood Bat Association 17U National Championship, and he plays summer baseball for the Midland
(Ohio) Redskins. He earned three letters in football and became the first Loveland player to earn Fort Ancient Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors as a senior quarterback. “I played a little bit of every sport, really,” he said. “I am fortunate. I have been blessed with my athleticism and played football and baseball in high school. And I played basketball one year as a junior because I lost a bet to an upperclassmen and he made me come out for the team. It was one of the most fun seasons I have ever had.” With nine varsity letters (four each in baseball and football and one for hoops) and All-Conference honors in both football and baseball, Engel had options to play both sports at the major college level. It was a tough decision for him. “I had already committed here to play baseball and got the call from Wisconsin,” he said. “They said they’d like to offer me a football scholarship. Early on in the recruiting process I was dead-set on playing football in college, but after I committed here, I made my mind up that I wanted to focus on baseball. “I got a lot of opinions from a lot of different people. I was asking coaches and
people I knew what would be my best sport in college, and everyone said baseball. So I was like, ‘All right, that is what I want to do.’ Then I got that call and I was bummed and thought about it for a little while, but I decided I really wanted to go to Louisville and play baseball. I love it here, and I am very happy with my decision.” Said McDonnell: “It is really not for us to recruit against football. If football is in a kid’s heart, that is what he can do, but we recruited him hard as a baseball player. I know he came down here when we were hosting the NCAA Regionals, and we are glad he made the choice to play baseball. Everybody is starting to see what potential he has in our sport.” Now that Engel is concentrating on baseball, McDonnell believes he has a professional future. “He plays great defense,” McDonnell said. “He closes distance quickly, he makes plays and he was a high school shortstop, so he has arm strength. You look at his defensive skills and say ‘Wow,’ and then on offense he can steal bases and he’s very aggressive. The swing will get better and better. It is better this year than it was last year, but the sky is the limit for him. He’ll have the opportunity to play in the Cape Cod league this summer, and he might get the opportunity to wear red, white and blue this summer with Team USA because he is on their watch list. I know the scouts have noticed him, too.” Engel hit .250 as a freshman with 16 stolen bases in 23 attempts and nine RBIs while making 38 starts and playing in 53 games. He was coming on strong at the end of the season, hitting .392 with 10 stolen bases in 19 games in May. Then last summer he was named a Coastal Plain League All-Star while hitting .283 with two home runs, 26 RBIs, 28 runs scored and 19 stolen bases in 39 games for the Florence (S.C.) RedWolves. So far this season Engel is hitting .419 with four RBIs, seven runs scored and five stolen bases. Engel and the Cardinals (6-1) swept three games from Oakland last weekend, winning 7-4 Friday, 10-7 Saturday and 6-3 Sunday. He has at least one hit in each of Louisville’s six wins. “I’m a speed guy, so I am trying to play that to the fullest,” Engel said. “I want to put myself in situations where I can use that to my advantage. I am trying to steal bases to put our offense in good situations. I want to get on base - take a walk, single - do whatever I can do to get on base.” And he hasn’t given a single thought to walking on Charlie Strong’s football program. “No, not at all,” he said. “I have enough on me with focusing on one sport. I want to be the best I can be at baseball.”
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULES
SWIMMING AND DIVING
DATE 01/14/12 01/28/12
OPPONENT / EVENT at Cincinnati # at Indiana
LOCATION Cincinnati, Ohio Bloomington, Ind.
02/03/12 02/10-12/12 02/15-18/12 02/24-25/12 03/08-10/12 03/09-11/12 03/15-17/12 03/22-24/12 03/29-31/12 05/03-06/12 06/07-09/12 06/25/12
vs. KENTUCKY Ralph Wright Natatorium BIG EAST Diving Championship # Pittsburgh, Pa. BIG EAST Swimming Championship # Pittsburgh, Pa. Championship Qualifying Meet Knoxville, Tenn. NCAA Diving Zones TBA Grand Prix - Columbus (LC) Columbus, Ohio NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, Auburn, Ala. NCAA Men’s National Championship Federal Way, Wash. Grand Prix - Indianapolis Indianapolis, Ind. Grand Prix - Charlotte Charlotte, N.C. Mutual of Omaha Swimvitational Omaha, Neb. US Olympic Trials
TIME / RESULT M 2-0, W 2-0 M 165.5-134.5, W 128-165 M 188-107, W 183-107 M 4th, W 1st M 2nd, W 1st TBA All Day All Day All Day All Day All Day All Day All Day
BASEBALL DATE OPPONENT / EVENT Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge 02/17/12 vs. Minnesota 02/18/12 vs. Illinois 02/19/12 vs. Michigan State 02/22/12 vs. EASTERN KENTUCKY 02/24/12 vs. OAKLAND UNIVERSITY 02/25/12 vs. OAKLAND UNIVERSITY 02/26/12 vs. OAKLAND UNIVERSITY 02/28/12 vs. EASTERN ILLINOIS 03/02/12 vs. PEPPERDINE 03/03/12 vs. PEPPERDINE 03/04/12 vs. PEPPERDINE 03/06/12 vs. INDIANA Alabama Tournament 03/09/12 vs. Oral Roberts 03/10/12 at Alabama 03/11/12 vs. East Carolina 03/13/12 vs. OLE MISS 03/14/12 vs. OLE MISS 03/16/12 vs. BALL STATE 03/17/12 vs. BALL STATE 03/18/12 vs. BALL STATE 03/20/12 vs. OHIO STATE 03/23/12 vs. CINCINNATI # 03/24/12 vs. CINCINNATI # 03/25/12 vs. CINCINNATI # 03/27/12 at Purdue 03/30/12 vs. VILLANOVA # 03/31/12 vs. VILLANOVA # 04/01/12 vs. VILLANOVA # 04/03/12 vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY 04/05/12 at Georgetown # 04/06/12 at Georgetown # 04/07/12 at Georgetown # 04/10/12 at Kentucky 04/13/12 vs. SETON HALL # 04/14/12 vs. SETON HALL # 04/15/12 vs. SETON HALL # 04/17/12 at Indiana 04/20/12 at USF # 04/21/12 at USF # 04/22/12 at USF # 04/24/12 vs. KENTUCKY 04/27/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # 04/28/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # 04/29/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # 05/01/12 at Western Kentucky 05/05/12 at West Virginia # at West Virginia # 05/06/12 at West Virginia # 05/08/12 at Vanderbilt 05/11/12 vs. ST. JOHN’S # 05/12/12 vs. ST. JOHN’S # 05/13/12 vs. ST. JOHN’S # 05/15/12 vs. MOREHEAD STATE 05/17/12 at Pittsburgh # 05/18/12 at Pittsburgh # 05/19/12 at Pittsburgh # 05/23-27/12 BIG EAST Championship
DATE 02/19/12 02/24/12 02/26/12 03/02/12 03/07/12 03/10/12 03/14/12 03/17/12 03/24/12 03/27/12 04/05/12 04/07/12 04/13/12 04/15/12 04/20/12 04/22/12 05/03/12
OPPONENT / EVENT at Ohio State at Longwood at Old Dominion vs. DENVER vs. NORTHWESTERN vs. Presbyterian at Vanderbilt at Jacksonville at Notre Dame # at Cincinnati # vs. LOYOLA (Md.) # vs. GEORGETOWN # at Rutgers # at Villanova # vs. SYRACUSE # vs. CONNECTICUT # BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
LOCATION Columbus, Ohio Farmville, Va. Norfolk, Va. UofL LACROSSE STADIUM UofL LACROSSE STADIUM Cumming, Ga. Nashville, Tenn. Jacksonville, Fla. South Bend, Ind. Cincinnati, Ohio UofL LACROSSE STADIUM UofL LACROSSE STADIUM New Brunswick, N.J. Philadelphia, Pa. UofL LACROSSE STADIUM UofL LACROSSE STADIUM Syracuse, N.Y.
TIME / RESULT L, 21-7 W, 19-8 L, 14-12 2:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 4:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET TBD
TIME / RESULT
Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla. Miami, Fla.
W, 4-1 W, 8-3 W, 5-4 W, 4-2 W, 2-0
Greenville, N.C. Greenville, N.C. Greenville, N.C. Greenville, N.C. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM
W, 2-1 W, 5-0 W, 5-4 W, 7-6 W, 8-0 W, 7-0, W, 4-0
Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn. Knoxville, Tenn.
1:30 p.m. ET 8:15 p.m. ET 12:15 p.m. ET 2:30 p.m. ET 9:00 a.m. ET
ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Bowling Green, Ky.
11:00 a.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET
Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento, Calif. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Lexington, Ky. Chicago, Ill. Chicago, Ill. Chicago, Ill. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Villanova, Pa. Villanova, Pa. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM South Orange, N.J. South Orange, N.J. South Orange, N.J. Bloomington, Ind. ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM ULMER STADIUM Jamaica, N.Y. Jamaica, N.Y. Jamaica, N.Y.
1:00 p.m. ET 5:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 6:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 5:30 p.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 3:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 6:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 11:00 a.m. ET 1:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 4:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET TBA 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET 2:00 p.m. ET 12:00 p.m. ET
South Bend, Ind.
TIME / RESULT
Clearwater, Fla. St. Petersburg, Fla. St. Petersburg, Fla. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM
L, 7-1 W, 4-3 W, 7-6 W, 7-2 W, 7-4 W, 10-7 W, 6-3 3:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET
Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuscaloosa, Ala. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM West Lafayette, Ind. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Bethesda, Md. Bethesda, Md. Bethesda, Md. Lexington, Ky. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Bloomington, Ind. Tampa, Fla. Tampa, Fla. Tampa, Fla. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Bowling Green, Ky. Morgantown, W.Va. Morgantown, W.Va. Morgantown, W.Va. Nashville, Tenn. JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM JIM PATTERSON STADIUM Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh, Pa. Clearwater, Fla.
2:00 PM ET 5:05 PM ET 11:00 AM ET 6:00 PM ET 12:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 4:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 4:00 PM ET 12:00 PM ET 6:30 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 3:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 2:00 PM ET 5:30 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 7:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 6:00 PM ET 1:00 PM ET TBA
DATE OPPONENT / EVENT Florida International University Tournament 02/10/12 vs. Michigan State vs. Illinois 02/11/12 vs. UAB at Florida International 02/12/12 vs. Massachusetts East Carolina University Tournament 02/17/12 vs. Virginia 02/17/12 at East Carolina 02/18/12 vs. UNC Greensboro 02/18/12 vs. Hofstra 02/24/12 vs. Creighton 02/25/12 vs. Creighton (DH) Tennessee Classic 03/02/12 vs. Middle Tennessee State vs. Dutch National Team 03/03/12 vs. Memphis at Tennessee (W) 03/04/12 vs. Boston University Red and Black Tournament 03/10/12 vs. Saint Louis vs. Michigan 03/11/12 vs. Saint Louis 03/12/12 vs. Illinois State vs. Illinois State 03/14/12 vs. Western Kentucky Sacramento State Capital Classic 03/16/12 vs. Colorado State vs. Princeton 03/17/12 vs. Akron at Sacramento State 03/24/12 vs. Pittsburgh # vs. Pittsburgh # 03/25/12 vs. Pittsburgh # 03/28/12 vs. Kentucky 03/31/12 vs. DePaul # vs. DePaul # 04/01/12 vs. DePaul # 04/04/12 vs. Kentucky 04/06/12 vs. Rutgers # vs. Rutgers # 04/07/12 vs. Rutgers # 04/11/12 vs. Villanova # vs. Villanova # 04/14/12 vs. Longwood vs. Longwood 04/15/12 vs. Longwood 04/18/12 vs. USF # vs. USF # 04/21/12 vs. Seton Hall # vs. Seton Hall # 04/22/12 vs. Seton Hall # 04/25/12 vs. Indiana 04/28/12 at Georgetown # at Georgetown # 04/29/12 at Georgetown # 05/05/12 vs. St. John’s # vs. St. John’s # 05/06/12 vs. St. John’s # BIG EAST Championship 05/10-12/12 BIG EAST Championship
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
BOLIN, KENNEY HEAD PROSPECTS WHO VISIT ON JUNIOR DAY By Jeff Wafford The University of Louisville football program hosted its annual Junior Day recruiting event last Saturday, opening up its facilities to recruits and families who are considering the Cardinals. More than two dozen talented players attended, headlined by current UofL quarterback commitment Kyle Bolin. The 6-3, 180-pound Bolin, who will be a senior at Lexington Catholic H.S. (Ky.), committed to the Cardinals last year. While he can’t sign with coach Charlie Strong’s program until next February, Bolin has been talking up the Cardinals to any recruit he can on the circuit, and he was spotted at the Best of the Midwest Camp in Indiana last week saying a lot of good things about UofL. Bolin has had offers from Cincinnati, Illinois and Kentucky but remains a solid verbal pledge. “I thought about what would be best for me in the long run, because if I don’t make it to the NFL then I need to have something to fall back on,” Bolin recently told Cardinalsports.com contributor Shane Stovall. “I also didn’t want to be too far from home because I wanted my family and friends to be able to come see me play.” Four-star defensive end David Kenney was another of the big-time prospects on UofL’s campus over the weekend. Kenney (6-2, 250), who attends Indianapolis Pike H.S., is rated the No. 238 overall prospect in the class of 2013. He already has scholarship offers from Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Cincinnati and Minnesota. While Kenney wasn’t available for an interview before press time, his father communicated with Rivals.com contributor Josh Helmholdt immediately following the Junior Day event. Helmholdt said Kenney’s father texted him that, “David is absolutely loving Louisville. Sounds like the visit is going really, really well.” Several other talented players were expected on campus over the weekend. Here are some other notable names: Four-star defensive end Elijah Daniel (6-4, 253) was going to try and make the trip. The Avon H.S. (Ind.) prospect is friends with Louisville signee Deandre Herron. Daniel has offers from Florida, Kentucky, Michigan State and a plethora of others. He is rated as the No. 116 overall player in 2013. Running back Dalyn Dawkins (5-9, 175) was expected to make the visit, along with his Trinity H.S. teammates Jason Hatcher (63, 228, DE), James Quick (6-1, 180, WR) and Ryan White (5-10, 180, DB). White made a mention of Louisville on Twitter last week, noting that he was “loving Louisville right now.” He already has offers from Kentucky, Arkansas, Michigan, Illinois, Louisville and Vanderbilt. Strong and his coaching staff no doubt loved having a big group of talented prospects on campus, and Strong indicated as much with a tweet shortly after Junior Day ended. “Had a great day today on campus,” he wrote. “Gearing up for the future.” CARDS LAND FLORIDA LB/S Bolin now has company on the commitment list. On Sunday afternoon, the Cardinal
Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin committed to Louisville as a junior. He was among the top-rated recruits at Louisville’s Junior Day Saturday.
coaches got a call from a Florida athlete who became Commit No. 2 for the Cardinals in the 2013 class. Fleming Island, Fla., outside linebacker Donel Elam (pronounced dah-NELL EE-lum) committed to the Cardinals Sunday after visiting for Junior Day Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. “It was just like family,” Elam said of the atmosphere at Louisville. “The coaches, I felt like it was family up there. I just like the program and I knew that is where I want to be.” A 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect who is listed as an outside linebacker, Elam has the speed to play safety in college. He had just recently started hearing from colleges and picked up scholarship offers from Louisville and FIU in recent days. “The recruiting process had just started, but I knew Louisville is where I want to go,” Elam said. “They were first to offer.” Elam said he already knew some Louisville players before he visited and met more while he was on campus. “I know some players on the team - (Florida transfers) Robert Clark and Gerald Christian” Elam said. “That was a factor. I spent time with them over the weekend.” ANOTHER MAYBIN AT LOUISVILLE? Any Louisville fan worth his salt knows about former Cardinals basketball player Marques Maybin. Now it appears that his son could end up being a recruit for the Louisville football program. Jalen Reeves-Maybin (6-1, 210), a versatile athlete who plays quarterback and safety for Northeast H.S. (Clarksville, Tenn.), already has scholarship offers from Austin Peay, Duke, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. “It’s going pretty good,” Reeves-Maybin said. “There’s been a lot of schools coming through. It’s been good to meet all the different coaches and see what all types of programs are like. It’s been fun. “I kind of figured it would all start to come around eventually if I worked hard. I
didn’t think it would happen this fast. You don’t really realize you’re in it until you sit back and think about it. I didn’t expect it to happen like this. “It’s different at different places. Some people think I’m a linebacker, some people think I’m a safety or want to try me at running back. It’s mostly those three positions, but everyone has kind of said I can start out and feel my way to where I want to be.” But what position Reeves-Maybin plays in college does not really matter to him. “I don’t really have a preference,” he said. “I feel like I’m a football player and can do it all.” As a junior Reeves-Maybin accounted for 2,735 yards and 46 touchdowns. He completed 78 of 153 passes for 1,257 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed 170 times for 1,468 yards and 31 more scores in leading the Eagles to a 7-5 record and into the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs. Defensively he recorded 103 tackles with three interceptions. “I had a great season individually,” he said. “I was productive offensively and defensively. It was really my first year starting the whole year on defense. I did pretty good on that side of the ball. We still came up short as a team. We wanted to get to the
state championship; that was our main goal. Going forward we’re looking for a state championship.” FUTURE BBALL CARDINAL WINS TITLE Anton Gill (6-3, 200), a shooting guard from the 2013 class who verbally pledged to the Cardinals earlier this basketball season, had 14 points, six rebounds and three assists to help Ravenscroft H.S. (N.C.) win its first state title since 1980 with a 64-52 victory over Greensboro Day last Saturday. He scored 22 points in Friday’s semifinal win over Arden Christ School. Shortly after helping his team win the Class 3-A title, Gill was named an all-state performer. Louisville’s lone signee for 2012, 6-foot guard Terry Rozier, wrapped up the regular season with his Shaker Heights H.S. (Ohio) team last week. While he has flown under the radar for most of the season, Rozier is a player who could come in and contribute immediately next season. A scorer who can also handle the ball, Rozier seems to be a mixture of Peyton Siva and Russ Smith. “I’m very excited about Terry Rozier because he’s a guy who can shoot and play multiple positions, and those are the types of players we need,” UofL coach Rick Pitino said in a press conference last week.
SYRACUSE STILL ROLLING, FIVE BATTLE FOR DOUBLE-BYES By Yahoo!Sports and Rivals.com With two regular-season games left for most Big East teams - just one for Syracuse and Seton Hall - two teams have secured double-byes in the upcoming Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden: Syracuse and Marquette. The Orange are 16-1 in league play (291 overall) and have a 2 1/2-game lead on second-place Marquette (24-5, 13-3). The Orange and Golden Eagles will have byes into the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. Five other teams are still battling to secure one of the other two double-bye spots. Notre Dame (20-9, 12-4) is in third place, has a onegame lead on Georgetown (21-6, 11-5) and South Florida (18-11, 11-5) and could secure its spot with a win over Georgetown Monday night or over lowly Providence Friday. The Hoyas have the toughest path. Beating Notre Dame and winning at Marquette won’t be easy, but if they win out they’d likely finish tied for third and would win the tiebreak over Notre Dame. South Florida also has a tough path, with games at Louisville Wednesday and at home against West Virginia Saturday. Louisville, currently tied for sixth with a 22-7 overall record (10-6 in Big East), would lose the tiebreaker with Cincinnati (20-9, 10-6) due to the Cardinals’ 60-56 loss at UC Thursday night. UC closes its season against visiting Marquette Wednesday and at Villanova Saturday. Seton Hall (8-9), West Virginia (7-9) and Connecticut (7-9) are all mathematically eliminated from a double bye by virtue of their nine league losses, but one of the three could still qualify for one of the four first-round byes. Notre Dame, Georgetown, USF, Louisville and Cincinnati have all clinched at least a single bye in the Big East Tournament. USF BEATS CINCINNATI Freshman point guard Anthony Collins drained two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining to lift South Florida past Cincinnati 46-45 on Sunday in a game that carried NCAA Tournament implications for both teams. South Florida (18-11, 11-5) is seeking its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1992. Cincinnati (20-9, 10-6), which is on the bubble, saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. For the sixth consecutive outing South Florida held an opponent to 20 points under its scoring average. Cincinnati, which shot just 34.6 percent (18 of 52), came in averaging 69.8 points per game. Collins finished with 14 points for the Bulls, who went up 44-43 on two free throws by Ron Anderson Jr. with 26.3 seconds remaining. Cincinnati retook the lead, 45-44, on Cashmere Wright’s basket with 9.5 seconds left. After Collins’ go-ahead free throws, Cincinnati had one final opportunity. But South Florida, with two fouls to give before a bonus situation, committed a foul in the frontcourt with 0.7 seconds remaining. An ensuing inbounds pass by Cincinnati’s Dion Dixon was deflected by South Florida’s Victor Rudd Jr. Sean Kilpatrick paced UC with 13 points.
BULLS LEAP-FROG BEARCATS According to the league office, had the Big East Tournament started Sunday prior to USF’s win over Cincinnati and Louisville’s win over Pitt, the Bearcats would have been the No. 5 seed and USF would have been the No. 6. But as of Monday morning USF was the No. 5 seed and Cincinnati was the No. 6 by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreak with Louisville. CALHOUN HOPES TO COME BACK Connecticut Jim Calhoun is set to have back surgery Monday to help alleviate pain caused by narrowing of his spinal column, a procedure that he hopes could lead to his return to the court this season. Connecticut has not provided details about the surgery, but Calhoun said it is being performed after conventional therapy to treat his spinal stenosis failed. The Hall of Fame coach is expected to be hospitalized for two nights. Dr. John Knightly, who is the medical director of the Spine Center at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., said that time frame means it is likely Calhoun will undergo what is called a laminectomy, which involves removing some of the bone in the spinal column to create more space and relieve pressure on the nerve roots. He is not treating Calhoun. “They open the skin up and either on one side or both sides remove the back portion of the canal so there is more room for the nerve to come out,” he said. “The analogy I use with my patients is that it is like a covered bridge and you have an 18-wheeler ... and you need to get to the other side. So, you take out your chain saw and cut off the top of the bridge and you drive the truck through.” Knightly said doctors could also opt for an even less invasive procedure that involves putting a tube in the canal to “core out the arthritis and leave all the rest of the bone alone.” Calhoun, who has missed seven games so far during his medical leave, will not coach Tuesday at Providence, and the school said he will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. Calhoun told The Associated Press Saturday that he hopes to be back in time to coach the March 3 season finale against Pittsburgh. NCAA TOURNEY LOCKS (45) (teams listed alphabetically by league) ACC (4): Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Atlantic 10 (1): Temple Big 12 (5): Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri Big East (5): Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Syracuse Big Ten (6): Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State Mountain West (3): New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV SEC (3): Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s One-bid leagues regardless (15) America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Horizon, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, MidEastern Athletic, Northeast, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern Athletic, Summit, Western Athletic
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
Big East Basketball Standings 1. Syracuse
The Orange will host UofL Saturday.
Golden Eagles at Cincinnati Wednesday, host Georgetown Saturday.
3. Notre Dame
Irish, their nine-game winning streak snapped, played at Georgetown Monday, host Providence Friday.
Hoyas hosted Notre Dame Monday, at Marquette Saturday.
4. South Florida
Surprising Bulls at UofL Wednesday, host WVU Saturday.
Cards host USF Wednesday, at Syracuse Saturday.
Bearcats host Marquette Wednesday, at Villanova Saturday.
8. Seton Hall
Pirates at DePaul Saturday.
9. West Virginia
Slumping Mountaineers host DePaul Tuesday, at USF Saturday.
Huskies at Providence Tuesday, host Pittsburgh Saturday.
11. St. John’s
Youthful Red Storm, fresh off an upset of Notre Dame, at Pittsburgh Wednesday, at Rutgers Saturday.
Knights host Villanova Thursday, St. John’s Saturday.
Wildcats at Rutgers Thursday, host Cincinnati Saturday.
Panthers host St. John’s Wednesday, at UConn Saturday.
Friars host UConn Tuesday, at Notre Dame Friday.
16. DePaul Blue Demons at WVU Tuesday, host Seton Hall Saturday.
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
B U R K E ’ S S E N I O R D AY S P L E N D I D W I T H 2 0 P O I N T S
REVENGE IS SWEET AS CARDS TURN BACK DEPAUL 75-62 By Howie Lindsey Editor’s Note: This week’s Louisville SportsReport was printed and mailed Monday, prior to Louisville’s game Monday night at Seton Hall. For more on that game, check CardinalSports.com. On Jan. 31, the University of Louisville women’s team was crushed by 25 points at DePaul in what coach Jeff Walz called an “embarrassment.” Last Saturday, on Becky Burke’s Senior Day, the Cardinals got revenge, dropping the Blue Demons 75-62. “It’s a huge win,” Walz said. “After how they embarrassed us at their place, it is a huge win.” Said sophomore guard Shoni Schimmel: “We had a month to prepare for this game, and we just kept preparing as a HOWIE LINDSEY team. Learning from our mistakes and staying together as a team, we all pulled it out together; it was a great win for our team.” Revenge was sweet, but it also was a huge win for the Cardinals in the Big East race. The Cardinals (20-8, 9-6) moved a game ahead of the Blue Demons (20-9, 8-7) in the league standings and now figure to finish somewhere between fourth and seventh in the league when the Big East Tournament begins next week in Hartford, Conn. “We certainly need to take care of business Monday at Seton Hall, but I don’t feel as nervous about that game as I would with other teams,” Walz said of the Cardinals’ regular-season finale against the 7-22, lastplace Pirates. “I think this team understands the importance of rebounding and defense and, not that that will be an easy win, but that gives me confidence.” Prior to Saturday’s game against DePaul, Walz said that if his team couldn’t get motivated for a rematch with DePaul after what they had done to the Cardinals in Chicago, “We need to get new players.” After Saturday’s 13-point win, Walz said the players could stay. “I’m really pleased,” he said. “I’m excited about how we’ve come together as a group. These 10 that are playing right now are a joy to coach. I haven’t had a problem with these 10. They come to practice every day. They like each other. Our chemistry is great, and they work. When you have that you can do great things on the basketball court. We have talent. Our expectations before the year started were trying to get to Denver. When you looked at the landscape of college basketball, I thought we had a great shot at that. Our goal is still to get there. We’re going to have to really be playing our best basketball. We have to rebound and defend.” While they were sufficiently motivated for DePaul, UofL’s players didn’t really take Walz seriously about his “new players” barb. “That’s his favorite line,” Burke said. “If you don’t do this, you have issues.... He al-
Becky Burke wiped a tear from her eye as she led her family onto the court at the KFC Yum! Center for Senior Day. Burke is currently third all-time in three-point field goals and is 12th all-time in scoring. She helped Louisville to the Final Four as a freshman. - photo by Howie Lindsey
ways says that.” Said Schimmel, “Yeah, I think we are safe to stay.” The Cardinals started the game playing inspired defense, and they battled for every loose ball and every rebound. The Blue Demons hit four first-half threes but still trailed 35-29 at the break. “I told my staff before the game started that we’ve got to find a way to score 70,” Walz said. “If you can’t score 70 points, you’re not going to win a lot of basketball games. This is the second time in a month and a half that we’ve scored 70 points. We’ve won some games, but it’s been 6863. If you want to be a really good basketball team, you’ve got to find a way to put 70 on the board every night. It’s a battle. With about six minutes left I told the official it’s a race to 70. Whoever scores 70 first is going to win. We had to get 12 more and they had to get 23 more, and we figured out a way to get there first.” DePaul was forced into seven turnovers in the first five minutes of the second half as Louisville extended its lead to 43-31. DePaul closed within 51-44 with just over nine minutes left, but a three by Burke pushed the lead back to double digits. Another three by Burke, this one with a DePaul defender flying at her, made it 57-44 with 7:45 left. The game then took a turn for the worse when officials missed back-to-back calls with just over six minutes left. First, UofL freshman guard Bria Smith was clobbered while trying to drive to the basket, but no foul was called. Then Burke took a clear charge but was called for a block. As the fans howled in displeasure, Walz was whistled for a technical by official Ed Sidlasky. The score was 58-50 before the technical
and foul shots, and DePaul hit all four to cut Louisville’s lead to four points. “He T’ed me up because I waved at him,” Walz said. “I mean, I watched our player get killed under the basket down here and then a ridiculous (block) call at the other end and he doesn’t like that I waved at him. So we’re sensitive, but that’s OK.” DePaul coach Doug Bruno stood and clapped and the small section of DePaul fans cheered their team from behind the bench. Louisville’s players seemed to take exception to the notion that the Blue Demons were about to start a run. “I pulled everybody together, we had to stay focused, and the crowd helped a lot at that point getting us into it,” Burke said. “With something like that, when you see the other team on your court getting hyped up and thinking they’re about to make a run, you have to put a stop to that immediately, and I think that’s what we did.” Louisville responded with a three by Burke, a pair of free throws by Smith and a 1-of-2 trip to the foul line by Shawnta Dyer to push the lead back to 10 at 64-54. The Blue Demons would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way. “It was a huge three,” Walz said. “Becky hit the three, and then Bria did a great job of getting the rebound and then she gets fouled and makes both free throws. It was a five-point play for them and I think they cut it to four. Then we get a five-point play and it’s back up to nine. It was a huge swing for us right there.” BURKE’S SENIOR DAY Burke led Louisville with 20 points, including four second-half threes. “It was a great way to finish her career at home,” Walz said. “We’re really excited
for her. She hit some big-time shots for us. Our team did a really good job of getting her some open looks. I thought Shoni did a really good job with the ball getting (Burke) shots where she can just get her feet set and shoot. They were great passes right in her shooting pocket, and she didn’t have to worry about trying to adjust it or anything like that. We are really, really excited for her.” Burke, who teared up during the pregame ceremony and again after the game when addressing the fans, was all smiles in the post-game press conference. “I’ve had so much fun this year, that was a lot of fun,” she said. “My teammates made it really special for me tonight, made me feel special all day. You know, I just had to stay patient. All I cared about was this win, and it was kind of cool that I got to come out at the end and make some big shots. The most important thing was this win tonight, and I stayed patient throughout the game, our teammates were getting involved. Shoni kept telling me she was going to find me, and I knew she would at some point, so it was a good game.” The crowd gave Burke a standing ovation when she checked out with less than a minute left. “I was crying all day today,” she said. “I was crying all during the game. I don’t know if there was any one time when it all flashed before me or anything, but it was all during the day. It has been such a blessing to be a part of Louisville basketball, and I wish everybody could experience this.” Burke’s fellow senior, forward Monique Reid, was injured (knee) earlier this season and will take a redshirt year in order to play next season for the Cards.
2011-12 MEN’S SCHEDULE DATE
OCTOBER 10/14/11 Red-White Scrimmage KFC YUM! CENTER 10/22/11 Red-White Scrimmage KFC YUM! CENTER 10/26/11 vs. PIKEVILLE * KFC YUM! CENTER NOVEMBER 11/03/11 vs. BELLARMINE * KFC YUM! CENTER GLOBAL SPORTS INVITATIONAL 11/11/11 vs. TENNESSEE-MARTIN KFC YUM! CENTER 11/13/11 vs. LAMAR KFC YUM! CENTER 11/19/11 at Butler Indianapolis, Ind. 11/22/11 vs. ARKANSAS STATE KFC YUM! CENTER 11/25/11 vs. OHIO KFC YUM! CENTER 11/28/11 vs. LONG BEACH STATE KFC YUM! CENTER DECEMBER BIG EAST / SEC CHALLENGE 12/02/11 vs. #19 VANDERBILT KFC YUM! CENTER 12/07/11 vs. IUPUI KFC YUM! CENTER 12/10/11 vs. FAIR. DICKINSON KFC YUM! CENTER BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME SHOOTOUT 12/17/11 vs. MEMPHIS TV KFC YUM! CENTER 12/20/11 vs. C. OF CHARLESTON KFC YUM! CENTER BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC 12/23/11 vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY KFC YUM! CENTER 12/28/11 vs. GEORGETOWN # KFC YUM! CENTER 12/31/11 at Kentucky TV Lexington, Ky. JANUARY 01/03/12 at St. John’s # TV New York, N.Y. 01/07/12 vs. NOTRE DAME # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/10/12 at Providence # Providence, R.I. 01/14/12 vs. DE PAUL # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/16/12 at Marquette # Milwaukee, Wis. 01/21/12 at Pittsburgh # Pittsburgh, Pa. 01/25/12 vs. VILLANOVA # KFC YUM! CENTER 01/28/12 at Seton Hall # Newark, N.J. FEBRUARY 02/04/12 vs. RUTGERS # KFC YUM! CENTER 02/06/12 vs. CONNECTICUT # KFC YUM! CENTER 02/11/12 at West Virginia # Morgantown, W.Va. 02/13/12 vs. SYRACUSE # KFC YUM! CENTER 02/18/12 at DePaul # Chicago, Ill. 02/23/12 at Cincinnati # TV Cincinnati, Ohio 02/26/12 vs. PITTSBURGH # TV KFC YUM! CENTER 02/29/12 vs. USF # KFC YUM! CENTER MARCH 03/03/12 at Syracuse # TV Syracuse, N.Y. BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden) 03/06-10/12 TBD * - Exhibition game, # - Big East Conference game
TIME / RESULTS
White, 86-85 Red, 105-60 W, 74-55
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
2011-12 WOMEN’S SCHEDULE DATE
TIME / RESULTS
VS. LINDSEY WILSON *
KFC YUM! CENTER
W, 118-41 W, 73-64
OCTOBER 10/30/11 NOVEMBER 11/13/11
at Missouri State
at #4 Texas A&M
College Station, Texas
W, 83-48 W, 68-48 W, 69-53 W, 54-27 W, 59-54 W, 79-66
at Eastern Kentucky
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. AUSTIN PEAY
KFC YUM! CENTER
at #24 Florida State
at Florida A&M
vs. MURRAY STATE
KFC YUM! CENTER
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Cincinnati #
at Washington State
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. MARQUETTE #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at St. John’s # TV
vs. SOUTH FLORIDA #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Rutgers #
L, 68-71 (OT)
vs. PROVIDENCE #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Georgetown #
vs. VILLANOVA #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at DePaul # TV
DECEMBER W, 62-60 W, 90-60 W, 80-58 W, 95-87 W, 69-62 W, 70-68 L, 71-68 L, 69-62 W, 73-58 L, 67-65 L, 90-59 W, 67-59 L, 74-63 W, 73-62 W, 84-74 W, 60-51
FEBRUARY W, 78-66 W, 80-59 W, 77-74 L, 52-51 W, 90-82 (OT) L, 56-60 W, 57-54 7:00 p.m.
at West Virginia #
vs. CONNECTICUT #
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. SYRACUSE #
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Pittsburgh #
W, 71-66 (OT)
vs. NOTRE DAME #
KFC YUM! CENTER
vs. DEPAUL # TV
KFC YUM! CENTER
at Seton Hall #
South Orange, N.J.
MARCH BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Hartford, Conn.
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Senior Becky Burke pointed to her family in the crowd after hitting one of her four threes in the second half of Saturday’s 13-point win over No. 21/19 DePaul. - photos by Howie Lindsey
Coach Jeff Walz hugged lone senior Becky Burke during the pre-game Senior Day ceremony. Burke’s fellow senior, Monique Reid, is taking a medical redshirt year and will be back next season.
Referee Ed Sidlasky took exception to coach Jeff Walz waving at him after a bad call and gave him a technical foul. The foul sparked a 5-0 run from DePaul that Louisville countered with a 5-0 run of its own.
Student manager Jared Stillman proudly held his framed photo for Senior Day. It depicts him impersonating coach Jeff Walz, an activity Stillman is frequently fond of doing.
Junior Antonita Slaughter crouched in defensive posture during the second half of Louisville’s win over DePaul. Slaughter has been playing more aggressive basketball in recent weeks, drawing praise from coach Jeff Walz.
During one of the TV timeouts Saturday, sophomore Shoni Schimmel (left) and freshman Bria Smith laughed and smiled about an inside joke. The pair were still smiling as the ball was inbounded.
CARDINAL STARS OF THE WEEK
STEWART IJAMES - BASEBALL The senior from Owensboro, Ky., started the home schedule with a bang last week, slugging three home runs in Louisville’s first three games at Jim Patterson Stadium. Ijames’ homer on Wednesday put the Cardinals ahead in a 7-4 victory over Eastern Kentucky. He was 1 for 2 with two base on balls and a run scored during Louisville’s 7-4 win over Oakland Friday. Then his two homers Saturday helped Louisville beat Oakland 10-7 and improve to 5-1. Saturday’s stat line was impressive. He went 2 for 2, both home runs, with two walks, three RBIs, a stolen base and three runs scored. After Saturday’s game he was hitting .350 for the season with five RBIs and three home runs. BECKY BURKE - WOMEN’S BASKETBALL The senior shooting guard from Clark’s Summit, Pa., had 20 points to help the No. 16/17 Cards beat No. 21/18 DePaul 75-62 Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center. Burke hit all four of her three-point shots in the second half and scored 16 points in the half. She is Louisville’s second-leading scorer this season at 11.6 ppg. She’s also hitting 39.2 percent of her three-point shots and 81.1 percent of her foul shots. Her 71 threes lead the team. “It’s always sad to see a senior go, but this year has been unbelievable,” sophomore guard Shoni Schimmel said. “It’s been awesome to play with Becky for the second year in a row. You cannot describe it.” CHELSEA LEONARD - SOFTBALL The sophomore from Lexington, N.C., tied a school record with 16 strikeouts and pitched a one-hitter in a 7-0 victory over visiting Creighton Saturday. Leonard (3-0) was dominant, and the Cardinals backed her with seven runs and 10 hits to improve to 11-0. She had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings and had retired 15 consecutive batters - 12 with strikeouts - before Christa Ruf broke through with a single in the top of the sixth. A walk to Allie Mathewson followed, but Leonard then retired the final five batters, four of five by strikeout. MATT KOCH - BASEBALL While earning his second save of the season Saturday against Oakland, the junior from Cherokee, Iowa, also worked his longest outing (2 2/3 innings) since he went 2 2/3 innings in relief at Seton Hall on May 7, 2011. His seven strikeouts (all looking) among nine batters faced are the most for him since he whiffed seven in seven innings as a starter at Cincinnati on April 8, 2011. In a rare occurrence, Koch had four strikeouts in the eighth inning Saturday. After he recorded the first two outs of the inning by strikeout, Oakland’s Aaron Cieslak struck out but reached base when the ball got away from catcher Kyle Gibson. Koch then struck out pinch-hitter Spencer Marentette for the final out of the frame and his fourth strikeout of the inning. ALBERT WAGNER - MEN’S TENNIS The freshman from Amberg, Germany, clinched a 4-3 victory over No. 41 Wake Forest Saturday at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. Louisville led 1-0 after winning the doubles point with the help of an 8-5 victory by Wagner and Andrew Carter at No. 1 doubles. After Wake Forest closed within 3-2, Wagner clinched the match with a 6-0, 6-4 victory at No. 4 singles. “When we were up 3-1 Wake made a strong push; it reminded me of our last home match with them - being up 3-0 and losing - so we were really happy to see Albert clinch that match,” UofL coach Rex Ecarma said. “Albert is on fire right now, and his confidence is high. He and Andrew have a six-match winning streak. I am also pleased with Sebastian (Stiefelmeyer), who won at No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles. These guys carried us today, and it was a good start as we (now) play seven ranked teams in a row.” Ranked 16th in Germany and as high as No. 209 in the world junior rankings, Wagner was a German National Team player throughout his teenage years. JULIA FELLERHOFF - WOMEN’S TENNIS The sophomore from Deerfield, Ill., won her No. 1 singles match 6-4, 6-4 and teamed with Sara Miller to win at No. 1 doubles 8-6 to help Louisville sweep Toledo 7-0 Saturday at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. Fellerhoff is 2-0 this season at No. 1 singles and is 1-1 in doubles. She was the Big East Freshman of the Year, was named all-conference and was a Big East Player of the Month. In the fall she was ranked No. 60 in the ITA rankings and was the No. 8 seed at the ITA Regional. She won the Ohio State Invitational. NIKKI BOLTJA - WOMEN’S LACROSSE The sophomore from Medina, Ohio, scored a career-high seven goals to help Louisville (1-1) score a 19-8 victory over Longwood (0-2) on Saturday. Boltja, who tied her school record with 293 goals in high school, had two goals in Louisville’s season-opening 21-7 loss at Ohio State. She played in 17 games, earning one start, as a freshman. She had six goals, including a game winner against Villanova. Through the Cardinals’ first two games Boltja has nine goals on just 17 shots (.529) and has scored more than a third of Louisville’s goals so far this season (9 of 26).
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
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2011-12 BIG EAST WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS TEAM
#&Notre Dame 14 - 1 .933 27 - 2 .931 #Connecticut 13 - 2 .867 26 - 3 .897 #St. John’s 12 - 3 .800 20 - 8 .714 #Georgetown 11 - 4 .733 22 - 6 .786 ^West Virginia 10 - 5 .667 20 - 8 .714 ^Rutgers 9-6 .610 20 - 8 .714 ^Louisville 9-6 .600 20 - 8 .714 DePaul 8-7 .533 20 - 9 .690 USF 7-8 .467 15 - 14 .517 Syracuse 6-9 .400 17 - 12 .586 Cincinnati 6-9 .400 15 - 13 .536 Villanova 5 - 10 .333 15 - 13 .536 Providence 5 - 10 .333 13 - 15 .464 Marquette 4 - 11 .267 13 - 15 .464 Seton Hall 1 - 14 .067 8 - 21 .276 Pittsburgh 0 - 15 .000 8 - 20 .286 NOTE: STANDINGS AS OF PRESS TIME - SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT & Clinched at least a Share of Regular Season Title $BIG EAST Tournament champion ^Clinched first-round bye #Clinched bye to quarterfinals *Clinched BIG EAST Tournament berth
3/3 4/4 20/25 15/13 RV/RV 24/20 16/17 21/18
FEBRUARY 2, 2012
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT’S CARDINAL KIDS
Samuel and Thomas Watkins were ready to watch the UofLUK game in December.
Debra and Tracy Thacker’s daughter, Grace, with the Cardinal Bird at a UofL football game last fall.
Darin Conn and his son, Ryne, at the Miracle on Main win over Marquette last season.
Mary Collings Monarch, age 4, cheered on the Cards in the UofL-Western game.
LOUISVILLE SPORTSREPORT • PERIODICAL POSTAGE PAID
Kaylee, Belle and Brady Waldridge were ready to cheer on the Cards in the Belk Bowl.
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There's one week left of the regular season and the Louisville men's and women's teams are both ranked in the Top 25. Plus, Louisville footb...