The University of Louisville women’s basketball team kicks off the season with an exhibition game against the ASGR All-Stars this evening in Freedom Hall at 7 p.m. Not much is known about the opponent except that ASGR is an acronym for All Star Girls Report, and the roster consists of former college players from Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia and Georgia Tech.
The Cards will play a lot of players and combinations as Coach Jeff Walz gets to see his players perform for the first time against someone other than themselves. UofL will be without the services of senior center Chauntise Wright, who suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice.
What will we see, and what should we expect? Returning starters Angel McCoughtry, Candyce Bingham and Brandie Radde take to the court with several reserves and five of the six freshman from the highest ranked recruiting class in Lady Cards history. Gwen Rucker is currently playing volleyball for the Cards and is not expected to dress.
With Keisha Hines the only true center on the roster, Coach Jeff Walz will try several different offensive sets and patterns, and have his players pushing the ball in fast break, get it to the hoop fashion. Dez Byrd has experienced stiff competition for the point guard slot and it will be interesting to see how Tiara Stephen looks running the offense.
Monique Reid and Becky Burke are legendary high school scoring machines, and fans will get a first look at them, as well as the rebounding and inside skills of Janae Howard. Mary Jackson hasn’t received as much preseason press as the other freshmen, but her guard play and defense could be an important part of the team, as the Cards take the court tonight ranked #10 in the nation.
If you can’t make the contest, Jim Kelch and Adrienne Johnson will have the call on 790 AM /101.7 FM WKRD. I’ll also offer a post game recap and commentary for Card Game. Go Lady Cards, get it started!
Much of the fun of attending University of Louisville womenâ€™s basketball games the last two seasonsÂ has been watching Chauntise Wright have her way in the middle. With herÂ 6-foot-3 wide body, she is an intimidating force for opposing centers,Â doing the pushing instead of the relenting, a force with which to be reckoned Unfortunately for Tise and her many fans, Chauntise went down hard Friday, suffering a season-ending torn ligament, a major blow in the gut to the Lady Cards.
By Sonja Sykes
Things that stand out aboutÂ ChauntiseÂ â€œTiseâ€Â Wright: Off the court are herÂ big smile and playful nature. On the court she is calm and businesslike, aÂ warrior dominating the paint on both ends of the court. TiseÂ will need all of those qualities the next few months as she goes through surgery and rehabilitation â€¦ not only to keep mind and demeanor in tact, but for the sake of her teammates who begin the season without her in six days.
For Tise, it’sÂ just one more delayÂ in her journey at the University of Louisville and hopefully not her final destination.Â Tom CollenÂ recruited theÂ Forestville, MarylandÂ high schooler to Louisville with hopes of turning her into the type of dominating center that top teams in women’s college basketball usually have on their rosters. Collen already had a pretty decent pivot player already in Jazz Covington but he envisioned a future battleship in the middle.
The firstÂ season was delayed, Tise becoming eligible onlyÂ after the fallÂ semester. There were things for her to work on — a tuneup, if you will, before she got on the road. Weight to be lost, conditioning to work on, defensive skills to beÂ Â improved. There were the shining moments, 23 points and Â 9 rebounds in one game, but she couldnâ€™t keep pace in games against powerhouse schools.
TiseÂ she continued to work on her game along with Angel McCoughtry, another Maryland freshman, seemingly too skinny toÂ have much of an impact.Â Angel and Tise began together, and they would be counted on as the journey continued. Continue reading “Big Detour For The Tise”
The crowd of 18,000 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the largest in college womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basketball Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that saw the Lady Cards challenge UConn last season was just a preview of things to come for University of Louisville womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basketball.
Jeff Walz has a dynamite class of recruits joining Angel McCoughtry and some seasoned veterans next season. This program has already achieved under Walz and will only get better.
June 30th is the deadline to purchase season tickets for $50 each for next season. They will be going up after that, like everything else.
Buying womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basketball tickets may well be the best option for some fans to gain entry into the new downtown basketball arena, scheduled to open in 2010.
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Ready for Football? Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Not quite yet, thanks, but Frank Pos over at Hell In The Hall is trying to convince himself that he is. Take a couple of aspirins before you get his take on some of the recent influences on college football locally.