Sophomore Jazmine Jones was in the starting lineup for the first time, scoring four of the first six points as the University of Louisville women’s basketball team raced to a 16-0 lead over Southeast Missouri. Jones would score 12 points to lead all scorer in an 80-40 win for the Cardinals before 6,054 fans at the KFC Yum! Center. The win moves UofL into the sweet 16 of the WNIT (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).
The play of the night, indeed the most memorable moment of the pre-season, was Deng Adel slipping beneath the basket, twisting and turning, slamming the basketball through the net on a thundering reverse dunk.
Shades of Darrell Griffith, Adel’s theatrics igniting flashbacks of one of the most memorable seasons in University of Louisville basketball history. Anything is possible during the pre-season. Anything.
Ah, but just another exhibition game, UofL’s 72-57 win over Bellarmine before a crowd of 15,350 at the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday. Not much to really deduct from the result other than the obvious, the Cardinals were never really able to dominate the cross-town foe.
Adel was the dominant force in UofL’s offense, scoring 21 points, including two 3-pointers, and five free throws. V. J. King with 14 points, Anas Mahmoud 9, and Ray Spalding with 7. The lack of stoppage, however, portending a heavy focus on defense before the opening game against George Mason.
Our favorite photographer, Cindy Rice Shelton, was there, submitting the following for your scrutiny (click on first photo for slideshow):
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Quite frankly I was under the impression that Kellie Young’s problems as coach of the University of Louisville lacrosse team had gone away since she was first accused of being overly aggressive in applying discipline back in 2014.
Apparently not, not with reports that at least 15 members of the team had transferred or left the team in the past eight months. She had also been sued by a former player who had become physically ill, passing out during a practice session.
All the problems attracting too much attention. Young was fired Monday by Interim Athletic Director Vince Tyra. She started the program from scratch, compiling a 106-68 won-lost record in 10 seasons. It was time for her to go.
Her dismissal coming just days after the conclusion of the 2017 season in which UofL had an 11-8 record, making its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
While building a winning program, Young obviously missed opportunities to instill loyalty and trust from players and their parents. Too many distractions on and off the field.
Hard to blame University of Louisville football fans for being apprehensive about the upcoming game with Virginia. Things seem to have gone backwards for the Cardinals since the opening game.
More dread lately than optimism, testing the loyalty of UofL football fans on the verge of another basketball season.
Kickoff for the UofL-UVa game on Saturday has been set for 3:30 p.m., which is good news for UofL fans accustomed to those noon-time starts. Louisville is 5-4 overall, 2-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. Virginia is 6-3 overall and 3-2 in ACC play.
My Top Sportsbooks picks Louisville to win, primarily because Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson is running the offense. My Top Sportsbooks is an accumulation of betting services, with Louisville’s margin of victory averaging 11 points overall.
UofL’s offense is averaging 33.7 points per game, but the Cardinals allowed an average of 34.9 points against the seven Power 5 teams on their schedule. The anemic defense has made some bad teams look unstoppable. Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino used the bye week to focus heavily on some obvious shortcomings, especially in the secondary.
The best news is that Stacy Thomas will be back in the lineup. “He has his legs back under him and he’s ready to go,” said Petrino. “He’s been the guy who’s the leader of the defense. Now he’s back at full strength, ready to go.”
Predictions don’t mean much in this budding rivalry, with UofL leading the all-time series 3-2.. All five games having been decided by a touchdown or less. Expect a high-scoring affair on Saturday, and hope that UofL is the last team with the ball.
Hopefully, John Schnatter looks around next time he attends a board meeting on the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus. The founder of Papa John’s Pizza harbors a misconception that all of the construction is going on in athletics.
Despite all the garbage dominating the front pages these days, UofL continues to build on the momentum of the past couple of decades — in both academics and athletics. The project that overwhelms them all is a new $83 million classroom facility that will open in the fall of 2018.
Significantly positive news was drowned out by a personnel issue during the most recent Board of Trustees meeting, including these nuggets from an audit of fiscal year 2017:
— The University’s financial position remains strong with total assets reaching $1.3 billion, including a $28.7 million increase in net position during the year.
— UofL had operating revenue growth from nearly every source, and the school’s operating loss was diminished by $33.6 million.
— Scholarship and financial aid expense was slightly lower than the prior year, resulting in an overall 5.8% increase in net tuition revenue.
— The University continued to invest in new and renovated facilities, including the following from the 2016-17 fiscal year:
Completed in 2017
- Medical Dental Research Building Masonry Restoration, $1,287, 594
- Ekstrom Library 3rd Floor Renovation, $2,750,000
- Thornton Academic Center, $19,300,000
- Baxter I Supplemental Chiller, $617,000
- Ekstrom Library HVAC Upgrade $550,000
- Donald Baxter Cardiology Facility, $2,079,000
Completed in 2016
- Ekstrom Library 1st Floor Renovation, $2,200,000
- Medical Dental Building 4th Floor, $705,000
- K-Wing 2nd Floor Renovation, $1,075,000
- Resurface Running Track at Cardinal Park, $910,000
- Belknap Classroom Building, $83,560,000
- Student Activity Center Renovation $38,500,000
- PJCS North End Zone Expansion, $63,250,000
- Vivarium Study, Medical Campus, $105,064
In The Works
- UofL Athletic Association Production Studio, $8,000,000