Card Crunching: Johnny U statue, Shoni slump, Adam Duvall update

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will undergo expansion in the near future. No doubt about that with the growing demand for University of Louisville football tickets. The ticket office is getting ready to announce still another all-time record for season ticket sales.Unitas

Tom Jurich reportedly has three sets of stadium schematics and probably has his development staff already at work on filling the suites to be added at the north end of the stadium.

If one can assume anything about the expansion, it is that the football team will have a real tunnel this time around. No more of those rubberized entry ways for an football program with national title aspirations.

So what happens with the Johnny Unitas statue when that part of the stadium has to be reconfigured? It’s a serious question, given Johnny U’s. Many players traditionally tap the statue for luck their way to the playing field.

Why not place the Johnny U at the main entrance to PJCS, at the edge of the Green Lot. The placement there would greatly enhance the entrance to the stadium while honoring an all-time UofL great and saluting his contributions to the game of football. While an impressive piece of work, the statue is dwarfed by all of the other distractions inside the stadium, not to mention being partially obscured by the tunnel during games.

Let’s face it. The exterior of the stadium, including the entrance, is pretty bland at present. The placement there would give Johnny U a whole new dimension, recognizing UofL’s growing football tradition. Fans, along with the football players, would be able to touch the statue for luck, upon entering the stadium after Card March every game.

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Former Cardinal Shoni Schimmel has cooled off significantly since scoring 29 points and winning Most Valuable Player honors in the WNBA All-Star game in mid-July.

Since that game Shoni has scored 31 points in six games for the Atlanta Dream, failing to score in games against Chicago and Connecticut, three against Tulsa, and four against Washington. Her high of 17 points came against Asia Taylor’s Minnesota team, the next game after the all-star event.

“The rigorous schedule often catches up with rookies about this time of season,” said Brad Gust, media relations manager. “She’s okay and will be fine when she gets her second wind.”

Shoni is averaging 6.7 points in 27 games. The Dream, with a 17-10 recored, is leading the East Division by 4 1/2 games.

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Adam Duvall
Adam Duvall

So how has Adam DuVall, former UofL baseball player, been doing since he hit that home run in his very first game with the San Francisco Giants back on June 26?

He’s seen action in 12 games with 40 at-bats, currently batting .200, with eight hits, including two home runs and a triple.

He collected his second four-bagger on July 22, driving in two runs that put the Giants ahead of Philadelphia in a 7-4 win.

Shoni Schimmel head and shoulders above in a game of all-stars

What a show it was, one for the record books.

Shoni Schimmel hasn’t even earned a starting spot on her own team yet, but Saturday she was the undisputed Most Valuable Player in the WNBA all-star game, leading the East to a 126-125 win over the West.soco5hn0drav7h9q1n8ekf3nj6112013.png-final

There Shoni was again, with that familiar behind-the-shoulder flip over 6-foot-8 Britney Griner in the fourth quarter. Making it look easy, following an earlier layup against the same player.

The former All-American at the University of Louisville, now a backup guard for the Atlanta Dream, now owns the all-star game record with 29 points, collecting 11 field goals, including seven of 16 three-point attempts. She also handed out eight assists, including two to Angel McCoughtry another former UofL star who had 13 points.

Twenty five of those points came in the second half, including nine in the third quarter, nine in the fourth, and seven more in overtime.

Seventeen members of her direct and extended family were in the crowd of 14,486 at Phoenix, as well as hundreds of other Native Americans, including many who followed Shoni to games during her years at UofL.

Any reservations (no pun intended) Atlanta Coach Michael Cooper, who also happened to be the East coach, may have had about inserting Shoni Schimmel into his own team’s starting lineup should have been dispelled after her latest performance.

Shoni Schimmel settles in quickly at Atlanta

Shoni Schimmel couldn’t have gotten off to any better start in her debut in the Women’s National Basketball Association, scoring 26 points and making 21 assists in her first two games.

Meanwhile, Angel McCoughtry, another former University of Louisville All American, is leading the league in scoring with 24 points per game.  Their team is undefeated after two games.

The Dream will celebrate Native American Night on Friday, May 30 when it hosts Seattle in honor of Shoni who grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon.

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Asia Taylor has averaged just under nine minutes in two games with the Minnesota Lynx, averaging two points per game.

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The Los Angeles Sparks cut former U of L standout Antonita Slaughter and the Connecticut Sun waived former University of Kentucky center DeNesha Stallworth.

Shoni Schimmel makes pro debut May 16th

Shoni Schimmel will make a quick transition from college basketball to the Women’s National Basketball Association. The WNBA season officially begins Friday, May 16th.SchimmelJersey-670 copy

Shoni and her former University of Louisville team, Angel McCoughtry, will open the season at San Antonio. Top two players in the program’s history, making the Atlanta Dream the pro women’s team of choice for all UofL fans.

The next day, on Saturday, May 17th, Atlanta travels to Indianapolis to play the Indiana Fever at Lucas Oil Stadium. It’s Family Night and tickets are available for $20, which also includes a soft drink, chips, hot dogs and a T-shirt.

Shoni’s new coach, Michael Cooper, was recently comparing her to Magic Johnson in a Portland Tribune piece.  “I see a lot of Magic in her,” he said. “But she’s a better 3-point shooter. Magic didn’t become a good 3-point shooter until the end of his career.”

Jude Schimmel recently tweeted that her sister’s Altanta Dream jersey sold out shortly after it was posted on the team’s web site.