Author Archive: Charlie Springer
Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.
Jeff Walz was back in the winner’s circle again Thursday, actually standing on the Cardinal logo at center court, following an impressive win over Syracuse by the University of Louisville women’s basketball team.
Walz usually meets with his team there after every game for some final words and additional motivation. On this night, however, he didn’t get a chance. Too much celebrating, the crowd of 8,387 giving him an extended standing ovation.
The win over Syracuse was Jeff Walz’ 200th victory in eight seasons at the University of Louisville, a tenure that has included five trips to the NCAA’s Sweet 16, including two runner-up finishes in championship games. He also coached two All-Americans, 16 all-conference selections and five WNBA draft picks. His teams have lost 72 games.
The celebrating followed another tumultuous Atlantic Coast Conference game, with all the physicality that implies. The Cardinals trailed 30-29 at halftime, but started the second half with a 13-2 run, extending it to 24-4 at one point, and would outscore the Orange 49 to 28 during the final 20 minutes. The final score was 78-58, ending a Syracuse five-game winning streak and improving UofL’s record to 19-2 overall and 7-1 in the ACC.
Another marvelous performance by Myisha Hines-Allen coming off the bench again. For the second game in a row, she would score 23 points, leading all scorers again. While Hines-Allen is 6-foot-2, she scores the majority her points moving without the ball, presenting herself to her teammates.
Mariya Moore would contribute 21 points, including four 3-pointers while coming up with six rebounds. Jude Schimmel scored 13 and Sara Hammond had 13 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high eight assists.
Walz said it was the best half of basketball all season, with his team credited with 16 assists on 21 baskets. For the game, UofL had 26 assists on 31 goals.
During all the post-season celebrating, Walz was never presented the game-winning basketball. Ira Green, women’s basketball sports information director, however, was seen with a tight grip on a priceless memento for the winningest coach in the program’s history.
Boston College much better than anyone expected, except Rick Pitino of course. Pitino was interviewed after his University of Louisville basketball team gutted out an 81-74 win over the Golden Eagles.
The past season wasn’t a mirage for University of Louisville football fans, just a preview of upcoming football schedules made possible by UofL’s entrance into the Atlantic Coast Conference. They’re all going to be good from here on out, packed with respectable opponents almost every week.
Right out of the gate is Auburn, a team UofL has competed with off the field for years. The programs will finally meet on the football field in the modern era. The game at the Georgia Dome, the event the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, at the scene of Louisville’s most recent national championship (in basketball, of course).
Auburn, remember, once tried to steal Bob Petrino in the middle of the night at a Clarksville, Ind., airport. Lately, the Tigers have been trying to pick off UofL football recruits, as if they had no list of their own.
Auburn started in the top 10 last season but finished 8-5 and ranked 22nd in the Associated Press poll, two spots ahead of UofL.
Houston, which has been a challenging foe, is the next weekend, followed immediately by powerhouse Clemson. The first three weeks could be make it or break it time. The only opponent resembling a breather is Samford, but the Bulldogs were 7-4 in the Southern Conference.
NC State, Florida State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Virginia and Pittsburgh will all be improved, making the conference schedule among the toughest ever. The final game is at Kentucky, which may or may not still be in football mode by then.
Todd Grantham is happy at the University of Louisville, thank you, reportedly turning down an offer to become the defensive coorinator with the Oakland Raiders.
A relieved Bobby Petrino made the announcement Wednesday, one week before the national signing day for college football.
“We’re very pleased and happy that Todd is going to be staying at the University of Louisville,” Petrino said. “He’s done a fabulous job with our defense that ranked in the top 10. He’s one of the finest assistant coaches in the country, and you expect excellent coaches like Todd to get opportunities in the NFL. I’ve always had respect for the job that Todd has done throughout his career, especially this past year at Louisville, and we’re happy that he has and his family will continue to be members of the Cardinals’ family.”
Grantham, who is adding up frequent flyer miles on the recruiting trail, confirmed in a statement:
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed for the defensive coordinator position with the Oakland Raiders, but I’m committed to the University of Louisville. I said when I came to Louisville that I thought we could win a national championship, and we are building toward that goal with the success we had this season. Coach Petrino and Tom Jurich have given me a great opportunity and I’m grateful for their commitment. My family loves it in Louisville, and I think we are establishing something special here with head coach Bobby Petrino and our staff. Our main objective over the next week is to finish strong in recruiting and continue to bolster this signing class.”
Myisha Hines-Allen had shown flashes of potential during the University of Louisville’s women’s basketball team’s pre-conference schedule, leading her team in scoring three games, including a high of 17 against Kentucky.
The 6-foot-2 Hines-Allen arrived at Louisville as a McDonald’s All-American, one of three five-star prospects in the 2014 class. Through the first five conference games, however, Myisha was averaging only 6.6 points per game. She saw only 14 minutes of playing time and contributed only four points in the loss to Florida State.
The Montclair, NJ, native was on the bench as the game against Miami tipped off, losing her starting spot. Coach Jeff Walz obviously wanted to give the freshman a chance to see what life was like on the bench, providing some time for reflection, i.e., a reason to pick up her game, become more physical.
Myisha apparently got the message.
Walz would finally send put her in at the 15:55 mark, with her team trailing 11-2. Hines-Allen would respond quickly, scoring on a layup less than 35 seconds later, ending her team’s four-minute scoring drought. She would score 13 of her total in the first half, helping to pull UofL to within four points at the intermission.
Hines-Allen would have the game of her budding career, leading the team with 23 points, connecting on 10 of 11 shots from the field. None of the baskets coming easily against a bruising Hurricane defense. Myisha’s resurgence couldn’t have come at a better time, with Sara Hammond, recovering from a collision, seeing only seven minutes in the first half, failing to score in the game.
The Louisville women will be dangerous if Myisha Hines-Allen has finally found her groove. One won’t have to wait long to see, with Syracuse (15-5 overall, 5-2 conference) arriving at the KFC Yum! Center Thursday with a five-game conference winning streak in tow.
Update: Logan is open, game on WHAS-TV at 9 p.m.
Air traffic remained at stand still at Logan International Airport in Boston at 3 p.m. Tuesday with a blizzard warning still in effect until 8 p.m. By mid-afternoon, snow accumulation had been measured at 21.5 inches.
The University of Louisville basketball team reportedly will fly to Massachusetts for the Boston College on the same day as the game. That’s not a good thing, a three-hour flight, followed by a basketball game — at least not for ordinary people.
Even worse on a day after flight schedules have been scrambled and airlines are attempting to get their collective act together again. Even though it’s a charter flight for the Cardinals, the scheduling process will be challenging.
On the bright side for UofL is the fact that Boston College isn’t having a good season, having lost five of their last seven games. The Golden Eagles are 9-9 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
If the game does come about, it will be interesting to see how many Bostonians are at Conte Arena. Which also happens to be a ice hockey facility, but that’s another story.
University of Louisville fans are going to be seeing a lot more of Darrell Griffith, now that the former All-American who led UofL to its first NCAA championship is getting into the restaurant business.
Griff’s, which has already opened, is located in Cardinal Towne at 323 West Cardinal Boulevard, which is adjacent to Belknap Campus. According to Business First, the restaurant has “a full bar, 12 flat-screen televisions and seating for as many as 120 people. There’s also a small section where customers can purchase hats, toboggans, polos and T-shirts with Griff’s name on them.”
Menu items will include wings, fried pickles, nachos and hamburgers, as well as hot brown, grilled salmon, Cajun pasta, and chicken and waffles, with prices ranging from $4 to $20.
Griffith said he had been considering the idea for a couple of years. The proximity to UofL was what clinched the deal for him. Nice addition to the campus, connecting current students with the Living Legend. Won’t hurt basketball recruiting either.