The Case Of The Missing Banner

Part of the observer’s duties for a decade was managing large meetings. When one is responsible for a special event, you plan, practice and rehearse, leaving nothing to chance. 

That’s why he  was embarrassed for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team Sunday when the team’s 2009 NCAA National Finalist banner was to be unfurled.spotlighte

Roll the highlights video, Angel McCoughtry greetings from Russia, Candyce Bingham’s remarks.

Drum roll … time to reveal the banner.

The spotlight lights up, searching, searching for the banner. The inept spotlight operator can’t find the banner, clumsily turning the beam this way and that.  No idea where it is, resorting to opening the lens to full frame. Never to land on the intended.

It isn’t until the overhead lights go on that fans are finally able to spot the banner.  A “teachable moment” for whoever is running the show … by the seat of his or her pants.

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Speaking of Angel McCoughtry, she has a great-looking new web site here. Thanks to Sonja for the find.




Louisville’s Shelby Harper, Future Star

If you chose to stay home rather than help Pack the House for the University of Louisville-Utah women’s basketball game, you missed a significant event: the unveiling of a future Cardinal star.

Fans are going to love Shelby Harper.
Fans are going to love                 Shelby Harper

Before today, Shelby Harper, a 5-foot-4 guard from Allen County, wasn’t even listed on the roster on the U of L web site. She’s a walk-on, had seen less than 10 minutes of playing time in her team’s first six games.

Well, surprise, welcome to prime time. She has speed, smarts and sizzle to complement her point guard skills and defensive intensity.

Remember Roger Burkman and his defensive intensity? Too long ago? How about Andre McGee’s relentless pace? The female version is Shelby Harper.

Coach Jeff Walz didn’t use Harper in the first 20 minutes with Utah building a 28-22 lead. He didn’t dare take her out in the second, with her inspirational play leading to a 60-55 win.

Make no mistake. Becky Burke is probably the go-to player, scoring 20 points in this one. But little Shelby Harper, a  perky blonde dynamo is quickly going to become a fan favorite.

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Official attendance was 8,213. Read Sonja’s take on the game here.
























So Pack The Place

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Based on incredible success on the recruiting trail, the University of Louisville women’s basketball team is building the foundation for some phenomenal seasons. Sunday is “Pack The House” day at Freedom Hall.  Get out there, even if you have to take advantage of coupons at Rally’s. Bandwagons are for pansies.

Injury Expected To Sideline Dez Byrd

[stextbox id=”alert”]Deseree Byrd, the starting point guard on the University of Louisville women’s  basketball team, is expected to undergo knee surgery in early December which would sideline her for the rest of the season.

Coach Jeff Walz told Card Game’s Sonja Sykes that Byrd will play in the opening home game Sunday against Tennessee Tech at Freedom Hall and will travel to Cancun for the Caribbean Challenge Tournament on Thanksgiving weekend. “We will see how she does after that but it looks like she will have to have surgery early December that will keep her out for the year,” he said.

Byrd has been visibly slowed by the knee injury that incurred late last season in her team’s march to the NCAA championship game, won by UConn. She played less than 25 minutes in each of U of L’s first two games. The Lady Cards are 1-1.
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Lady Cards Humbled At Hartford

[stextbox id=”alert”]Hartford scored 11 straight points after falling behind 4-2 and never looked back en route to a 62-50 win over the visiting University of Louisville women’s basketball team. U of L, led by Becky Burke’s 15 points, was never able to get closer than seven points the rest of the game.[/stextbox]