Tag Archives: Cincinnati

Doubleblock

Smith’s last-second shot lifts Cardinals past Bearcats, 58-57

By Noah Allison

The Cardinals of this year have needed a spark, a moment where magic is made possible and adopted as a part of the game plan. On Saturday in Cincinnati it finally came, with 2.2 seconds left senior guard Russ Smith hit the game-winning jumper to seal the deal at 58-57.

            Sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell led the Cards with 21 points and ten rebounds in his double-double effort. Freshman guard Terry Rozier was second with his 11 points, also contributing six rebounds and two assists. Smith overall had 10 points, five assists and three steals and rebounds.

            For the number 11 Cardinals, now 23-4, beating the number seven Bearcats gave them their first win against a ranked opponent on the season. All year long the story of the season has been the Cardinals beating the teams they were supposed, and failing to win the marquis match-ups.

            “It was a great win for us, like Connecticut, like Kentucky this was a very difficult crowd to battle,” Pitino said.

            The Cards jumped out to a 21-9 lead mid-way through the first half. The Louisville defense stepped up throughout the game forcing clutch and timely turnovers and keeping the Bearcats out of the paint. UC hit 16 of 56 shots, shooting at 28.6 percent through the game.

            “I gave them the same speech today that I gave them before Wichita State last year. The better defensive team will win the game tonight,” Pitino said. “

            Louisville shot at 40 percent through the game and saw senior forward Luke Hancock and red-shirt freshman Mangok Mathiang foul out. The game was gritty, the crowd was rowdy and it started to have a familiar feel to the four losses the Cardinals have suffered.

            The Cards saw their 21-9 lead dissipate and their second half lead of 47-37 turn into a 53-51 deficit. In the last moments it seemed as if everything could go wrong for the Cards again, but alas, they won.

            Without the game savvy of Hancock available for the last shot it is undoubtedly a moment of growth for this team. Smith made plays that he may not have made in the past.

            “This is my first game winning shot that I can remember,” Smith said. “I don’t think that I’ve ever hit a bigger shot than this. I’ve always been clumsy with the ball or done something ignorant with the ball. I’m just happy down the stretch I was able to make plays. Not the shot, but finding Montrezl two times down the court to keep us in it. That was the maturity I was looking for when I decided to come back.”   

            Pitino’s Cardinals have now won six games in a row. The energy level is rising and the spirit that this team needs is resonating through The Ville. The facial hair of Louisville shall continue growing for another day.

            Russ Smith is a hero, but this team won as a unit. When heads hung, they picked each other up. When somebody needed to make a play, the play was made. For the first time all year, Cardinal fans saw what they’ve seen in the past. A team that in the end; wins.

            “Luke, one of our captains, before the game said that we are going to face adversity. But we have to stick together no matter what happens,” Rozier said. “And that’s what we did.”

Photo by Austin Lassell / The Louisville Cardinal

 

Cincinnati holds onto victory despite Cardinals’ comeback

Doubleblockcincipic Miscues, breakdowns and a painfully familiar theme in many tough wins and painful losses throughout the season prevailed again to the woe of Card Nation as they lost Thursday night to the University of Cincinnati.

In the last Yum! outing against conference rival Bearcats, the Cards put on a performance that epitomizes the defending champs’ season. Louisville overcame a 17-point second-half deficit, but in the end Cincinnati won 69-66.

“You’ve got to give them a lot of credit because they lost total momentum in the game and good defensive teams can come back and hold on. They shot 63 percent in the second half, which is outstanding. We made really a couple of blunders down the stretch,” U of L Head Coach Rick Pitino said.

UC improves to a 20-2 overall record and a perfect 9-0 record in American Athletic Conference play. U of L fell to a 17-4 record and is 6-2 in AAC play. The Cardinals were led by sophomore power forward Montrezl Harrell who was the top scorer with 18 points, top rebounder with six and two blocked shots. Seniors, guard Russ Smith and forward Luke Hancock each had 16 points, Hancock led the Cards with six assists.

Red-shirt senior guard Sean Kilpatrick led the UC Bearcats offensively. Scoring a total of 28 points and going perfect at the free throw line, hitting 11 of 11 to ice the victory. “We tried to reach in and get steals on Kilpatrick when he’s an 86 percent foul shooter. It’s just uncalled for,” Pitino said. “But give them a lot of credit. They made a lot of big plays.”

The Cards fought back from a perfunctory first half that had them losing 20-28. With 16 minutes left the Cards were down 44-27. A Russdiculous three-point shot with 5:01 finally put the Cards up 64-61 and it seemed like the team everyone knew they could be was turning the corner on the season.

In that run the Bearcats committed nine turnovers due to the Cardinals swarming trap defense. The Cards were scoring on fast break points and attacking the basket successfully. “I think there were positives, anyone can see that. The way we fought and came back, we had a lot of fans behind us, but its something that we need to do for 40 minutes. If we do that we will be a tough team to beat,” freshman guard Terry Rozier said.

The Cards lost the rebounding duel, pulling down 25 to UC’s 36. In the end a few box outs could have made the difference for the Cardinals ability to hold on and later reclaim the lead. The Cardinals rebounding troubles are at the forefront of a long list of their game adjustments they need to straighten up to claim the AAC. But for now there is still enough time to just move on to the next game.

The Cards host the University of Central Florida Knights in the KFC YUM! Center at 9 pm, Saturday night. “We have just got to stay focused, there is nothing we can do. This loss is in the books, we can’t go back and replay a play,” Harrell said. “You take tonight, you think about it, you look at what you did wrong. Tomorrow is a new day, Saturday we play a new team, you can’t change the past.”

Photo Courtesy of Adam Mathieu/ the Oracle

Louisville routs USF

By Noah Allison

The twelfth ranked University of Louisville men’s basketball team rolled over USF 86-47 Wednesday night at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida stretching their conference winning streak to four games.

Once again, U of L, 17-3, received a boost off the bench from junior forward Wayne Blackshear.  He led all scorers with 16 points and hit three of the Cardinals twelve three pointers.

Montrezl Harrell contributed with his fifth double-double of the season, he finished with 14 points and ten rebounds.

For just the second time in his career, Mangok Mathiang scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

Chris Jones remained out of the lineup due to injury, in his absence; Terry Rozier scored 9 points and dished out five assists.

Luke Hancock added 14 points.

U of L faces Cincinnati next Thursday at the KFC YUM! Center at 7:00.

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Kremer, the News Record

Louisville keeps Keg of Nails

By Annie Moore

Teddy Bridgewater led the Cardinal offense to a victory in an overtime thriller against rival Cincinnati in what looks to be the final Keg of Nails, at least for a while. 23 completions in 37 attempts for 255 yards and three touchdowns don’t even cover the late-game heroics of the team leader.

The Cards struck first early in the first quarter. Sixth-year senior QB for the Bearcats, Brendon Kay was picked off on Cincinnati’s first drive by Charles Gaines. Louisville took over at its own 40-yard line and in just four plays and 1:47, Bridgewater connected with DeVante Parker for the first touchdown of the game to give the Cards the 7-0 lead after the extra point from John Wallace.

In the second quarter, Wallace put three more points on the board for Louisville with a made field goal, before Kay ran it in for Cincinnati to put the score at 10-7 at the half.

The Bearcats struck again in the third quarter, again at the hands of Kay. Kay rushed for a two-yard TD to give UC its first lead of the game.

The fourth quarter saw explosive offense from both sides. The Cards drew first blood in the fourth, when Damien Copeland caught a 22-yard pass from Bridgewater to put the cards back on top. It was this drive that showcased Bridgewater’s heroics most prominently. After single-handedly converting a fourth and 12, Bridgewater under immense pressure threw a perfect pass to Copeland in the corner of the end-zone to give the Cards the advantage.

“I thought he was sacked,” Said Cardinals Head Coach Charlie Strong. “He was moving around in the pocket and I thought the guy pulled him off and then all of the sudden he threw it and I thought it was going out of the back of the end zone, but then (Damian Copeland) makes the catch. It was an unbelievable play by Teddy.”

It looked for a minute like Teddy’s efforts were going to be to no avail, when just 45 seconds letter, Ralph David Abernathy IV rushed for a 15-yard touchdown, putting the Bearcats back on top.

But Bridgewater and his troops weren’t done. Louisville’s offense marched back down the field and 11 plays, 60 yards and 4:44 later, the Cards were back on top 24-21.

The Bearcats had the ball with just over two minutes on the clock. Kay led the offense back down the field but had to put its fate in kicker Tony Miliano, who was just 5-14 on the season. Miliano made the field goal to tie the game at 24-24 at the end of regulation.

UC won the toss to start overtime and elected to be on defense to start. After a drive where Louisville’s offense looked anything but lights out, a pass-interference call in the end-zone on Leviticus Payne for the Bearcats, put Louisville just two yards away from the end-zone. Dominique Brown rushed to put the Cardinals on top 31-24.

The Bearcats could not respond and for the second-consecutive Keg of Nails victory for the Cards in overtime. With Louisville moving to ACC play next year, it is the last installment in this celebrated rivalry.

“I am just excited. I actually told my mom that I wanted to cry,” Bridgewater said. “Tears of joy. I am just proud of this team and we showed that we have heart. We still have a lot to play for. It is not about us, it is about this brand on the front of our jerseys. The guys fought and I am extremely proud of those guys.”

Following the win, Louisville accepted a bid to go to the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, FL on December 28.

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Men’s basketball AAC preview

By Dalton Ray

 

CINCINNATI BEARCATS

Mick Cronin’s teams are known for rebounding on the offensive glass, long athletic

defenders, and low percentage jump shooters. This year’s team should fit the same mold and

will be led by senior guard Sean Kilpatrick. Last year’s team went 22-12, 9-9 in conference

but had a very disappointing postseason. After beating Providence in the first round of

the Big East Tournament they lost to Georgetown by 19 in the quarterfinals and then

followed that up with a four-point loss against Creighton in the second round of the NCAA

Tournament.

Even though four projected starters for the 2013 team are upperclassmen only two,

Kilpatrick and senior forward Titus Rubles, averaged more than 20 minutes per game. Once

again the Bearcats shouldn’t have a problem with defending or rebounding as they return

their top three leading rebounders in Kilpatrick, Rubles, and fellow senior projected starter

Justin Jackson. In addition Cronin added the athletic four-star power forward Jermaine

Lawrence, 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, to compliment their length and rebounding.

Like previous teams, this one has most of its questions coming on the offensive end.

Kilpatrick averaged more points per game with 17 than the rest of the projected 2013 starter

lineup combined at 15. The offense will need contributions from starting junior guard

Ge’Lawn Guyn, talented and now-healthy sophomore Jeremiah Davis III, and newcomers

Kevin Johnson and Troy Caupain.

Cincinnati will come into the year in the top 45 and will have games on their schedule

that could bump them to a top 25 team. North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Xavier and

number-23 New Mexico headline the non-conference schedule for the Bearcats. They will

have their hands full when it comes to conference play as the newly-formed American

Athletic Conference provides one of the deeper conferences in the nation. No. 3 Louisville,

No. 13 Memphis, No.18 UConn and Cincinnati are the heavy hitters in this conference.

The returning talent from Temple, SMU, South Florida, Houston, and Central Florida

could provide a very strong first year for the AAC.

CONNECTICUT HUSKIES

Kevin Ollie is in his second year as the head coach of the UConn Huskies and after

posting a record of 20-10 overall and 10-8 in conference play the Huskies are now done

with their postseason ban. The team returns all five starters and offers one of the best

starting guard combinations in the nation with Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier.

Napizer, 17.1 points per game, 4.6 assists per game, and Boatright with 15.4 points per

game and 4.4 assists per game, were both selected to the AAC All Conference Team. Napier

was one of three unanimous selections.

The outcome of the 2013-2014 season will mostly rely on the senior Napier and junior

Boatright but just how good the team can become will depend on the development of junior

forward DeAndre Daniels, sophomore Omar Calhoun, and junior Tyler Olander. The guard

play will be there but how Daniels, who averaged 21 points, nine rebounds, and three

blocked shots over his last four games, and the streaky shooter Calhoun can contribute will

be a large factor in UConn’s success. The Huskies will have size on the front court with

Daniels 6-foot-9, Olander 6-foot-10, Phillip Nolan 6-foot-10, Kentan Facey 6-foot-9 and

freshmen Amida Brimah who is 7 feet tall, that will pass anyone’s eye test. If the front court,

mainly the center position, can get boards and play solid defense then this team could be

very dangerous heading into March.

Calhoun and Daniels both averaged double digits last season but the next two leading

scorers that return are Olander with 4.2 and Nolan with 1.7. The front court must

contribute in order for this UConn team to live up to full potential. Starting off the season

ranked number 18 in the nation, the Huskies will face their toughest non-conference games

against Maryland, No. 10 Florida, Washington, and Boston College.

HOUSTON COUGARS

Coming from Conference USA, the Houston Cougars finished out last year with a 20-

13 record and a 7-9 in conference mark. The Cougars fell in the quarterfinals to UTEP in

the conference tournament and then they were invited to play in the College Basketball

Invitational in which again they were defeated in the quarterfinals by George Mason. Three

starters return from this 20-win basketball team.

With the returning wing duo of TaShawn Thomas and Danuel House, Houston has

the play makers in place to make a stamp on their first year in the AAC. Head coach James

Dickey has improved his win total over the past two years but continuing this streak might

be a difficult task. The jump from the C-USA to AAC could be a rough transition for the

Cougars as ranked 269 in nation last year in defensive efficiency and allowed opponents

to shoot 49% from two-point range. With conference opponents such as Russ Smith, Joe

Jackson, Shabazz Napier, Isaiah Sykes and Anthony Collins, it can be a long season for the

Cougars if their defensive intensity doesn’t step up. If Houston can play quality defense then

they can be a competitor, but if not the Cougars will have their first year in the AAC as

one they can forget about. They won ten games last year by five points or less, with stiffer

competition those close wins could easily turn into losses.

Houston might have one of the better frontcourts in the AAC with Thomas, Freshman

of the Year in C-USA House, returning senior starter J.J. Richardson and 6-foot-10 transfer

Danrad Knowles. While the front court seems to be set the back court isn’t as clear. Joseph

Young, the starting point guard for the 2012 team, transferred to Oregon. With the loss of

Young, Tione Womack will take over the point but averaged only 2.7 points in the 2012

year. Jherrod Stiggers hit 67 threes last season but really hasn’t proved anything else. The

Baylor transfer L.J. Rose should provide points off the bench as he was a top-75 recruit

before coming out. If Rose, Knowles, and Stiggers step up their performance then Houston

could easily become an underrated team in the AAC.

SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS

The 2012-13 year was one to forget in south Florida. The school had 58.8

points per game (331st), 32.6 rebounds per game (256th), 11.3 assists per game

(278th), and a .389 shooting percentage led to a 12-19 record and a 3-15 Big

East record. Last season’s team had a large problem with rebounding due to

their lack of a true center and interior depth. Head coach Stan Heath looks to

patch this up as he added center John Egbunu 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, forwards

Chris Perry 6-foot-8, 245 pounds and Dre’Kalo Clayton 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, as

well as returning last season’s leading rebounder.

Egbunu and Perry were both four-star recruits and will look to help out

sophomore forward Zach LeDay in the paint. Egbunu will provide the inside

presence they will need to get attention away from outside players and Perry’s

7-foot-5 wingspan will help the Bulls’ rebounding woes. With the arrival of some

young talent, senior Victor Rudd 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, will now have some of

the defensive pressure off of him and should be able to take advantage. Rudd

is easily the team’s go-to guy as he led the team in points at 12.3, rebounds at

6.9 and was second in minutes at 34 . Anthony Collins will be the starting point

guard, who led USF to the tournament in 2011, led the team with 36 minutes per

game and 6.5 assists last season.

JaVontae Hawkins and junior college transfer Corey Allen will be guys who knock

down open shots as a result of new post play. Freshman Bo Ziegler 6-foot-6,

180 pounds, will also get some time giving Heath a deeper bench, something

he didn’t have a year ago. The Bulls will be bigger and better but they’re still

rebuilding. Unless the bigs make a huge improvement on the boards and the

team increases their defensive pressure then this won’t be a NCAA tournament

team.

UCF KNIGHTS

Central Florida might not come out and win every game in the AAC but they will more

than likely cause some match-up problems. This UCF team is not the average college

basketball team. The primary ball handler is the small forward and the center led C-USA in

three-point shooting last season.

Isaiah Sykes is the Knights’ do-it-all player and led the team in points at 16, assists at 4.5 and

steals at 2.3. He was second in rebounds at 7.5. He was also selected to the AAC preseason

All-Conference Team.

If Kasey Wilson continues to improve then Sykes and the rest of the Knights could have a

successful first season in the AAC. The 6-foot-7 forward hit 42 of his 84 attempts last season

and forced opponents to pull their big men out of the paint, but his 4.4 rebounds a game

must increase. The Knights as a team need to focus more on rebounding, last season their

66.9 defensive rebound percentage ranked them 229th in the country, and that was with the

school’s all-time leading rebounder in the lineup. UCF has some serious issues defensively

inside, allowing foes to shoot 49.4 percent from 2-point range. Eugene McCrory, a 6-8

junior college All-American last season, will be looked to make a difference, and the two

sophomores Staphon Blair and Dylan Karell should contribute.

Tristan Spurlock excels more when he’s not banging away inside at the center position

but the 6’8, 230lbs senior can do it if need be. Senior Calvin Newell should also add some

consistent scoring as he averaged 11 points per game last season. Returning five of the top

seven players off last year’s 20-win team and adding new young talent the Knights will be

experienced and competitive in the AAC.

MEMPHIS TIGERS

Memphis had a 2012-13 record of 31-5 with a perfect 16-0 record in conference play and

has his team headed into the 2013-14 season as the number 13 overall ranked team. Josh

Pastner has followed in John Calipari’s footsteps in Memphis, in a way. Pastner always finds

a way to land big-name recruits, between his 2012 and 2013 classes’ he has hauled in a total

of six four-stars and one five-star in Austin Nichols. Now add this to the guard play of Joe

Jackson and Geron Johnson and Chris Crawford on the wing and this Memphis team can

run with most teams in the country. The biggest problem for Memphis in recent years is all

of Pastner’s talent that has came through has not always lived up to the full potential due to

inexperience and not having a quality team around the players.

Memphis has a chance to break this routine as they have a combination of experienced

veteran players and as usual talented young players. Forward Shaq Goodwin (6’9, 245lbs)

showed many signs of the type of player he could be in just his freshman year. Finishing the

year with 7.7 PPG and 4.4 RPG he needs to be more consistent in order for the Tigers to

move on to the next level. Another factor standing in Memphis’ way of success this year will

once again be how they fare with turnovers. Last season’s 20.8 turnover percentage, which

ranked 225th in the country, cost them games they could have won. Pastner’s high tempo

offense is one reason for the turnovers but he hopes his upper-class filled back court will

cut down on this state drastically. Senior transfer Michael Dixon Jr. and freshmen Kuran

Iverson, Nick King, Rashawn Powell, and Dominic Woodson will all look to contribute

immediately.

Memphis’ defense hopes to be as good as it’s been in recent years. Last season they

ranked 24th in the nation in defensive efficiency and 18th in steal percentage with 12.7%.

With two match-ups against top ten teams in #8 Oklahoma State and #10 Florida plus the

move to the AAC the Tigers won’t have as soft as a schedule as they had when they were

in the C-USA. The stiffer competition could cause problems for Pastner’s team but he has

the talent to match up with most teams in the country. Another 30-win season might not

be in the horizon for the Tigers but all the makings are there for competing for an AAC

championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS

Last year Rutgers went 16-16 with a Big East record of 6-14. Not many universities

have had as rough as a 2013 year as Rutgers. Between the videos of former head Mike Rice

throwing balls at his players, multiple transfers that followed his departure and new AD

Julie Hermann’s controversial past the Scarlet Knights needed a head coach that could lead

this team out of the darkness. They reached into the NBA to find a coaching candidate and

selected Eddie Jordan to take charge of this team.

Jordan’s team lost five players off last year’s team and he will ask many fresh faces off

the bench to put in a large work load. Four juniors and a senior will make up a line up that

shouldn’t make too many rookie mistakes led by junior guard Myles Mack. Mack, a very

underrated guard, led the Big East in 3-point shooting percentage last season, led the team

in minutes per game, was second in scoring with 13.6 wile shooting 48% from the floor. The

rest of the line up didn’t average more than seven points but they do return their top two

rebounders in Wally Judge and Kadeem Jack. Guard Jerome Seagears will be looked at to

step up on the offensive end to help Mack as Malick Kone’s presence is felt in the defensive

side of the court.

Rutgers has been given a big lift within the past couple of weeks as the NCAA ruled

that transfers Kerwin Okoro from Iowa State and J.J. Moore from Pittsburgh will both be

immediately eligible. Both should challenge for major playing time and starting roles and

along with junior college transfers DVon Campbell and Craig Brown should give Rutgers

more firepower. Defensive struggles will need to be addressed; otherwise this season won’t

be very pretty for the Knights.

SMU MUSTANGS

There’s a very interesting situation in Dallas, Larry Brown’s team will return all five

starters off last year’s team that went 15-17 overall with a 5-11 in conference record, but

there is a chance none of them might start. Each of his starters last season averaged at

least 32 minutes per game but with five new comers to the team there will be competition

for starting roles. With new competition, talent, and a Hall of Fame coach in Brown the

Mustangs can really turn some heads this year.

Last year’s starting guards Nick Russell (14 PPG) and Ryan Manuel (12.1 PPG) were two

of the team’s leading scorers, now both will be pushed for playing time by four new arrivals.

Illinois State transfer Nic Moore is expected to take over the point guard spot as he averaged

10 points and 3 assists last season as a freshman. McDonalds All-American Keith Frazier

(6’5, 190) has good range, great athleticism, and will almost start immediately. Transfers

Crandell Head and Sterling Brown will also fight for back court minutes. The front court is

just as crowded. The two returning starting forwards and center are joined by No. 1 JuCo

recruit Yanick Moreira (6’11, 220lbs) and Villanova transfer Markus Kennedy (6’9, 245lbs).

Jalen Jones, Shawn Willaims, and Cannen Cunningham started for the Mustangs last season

and combined had an average of 31 points, 19 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals per game.

With Russell and Jones being the only starters off last year’s team expected to start despite

returning everyone SMU should be one of the deeper teams in the AAC. Since Brown has

been at SMU the talent level has increased and at this point Brown has the pieces in place,

all he has to do is fit everything together. The Mustangs will travel to No. 24 Virginia in late

November and that could prove to be their toughest non-conference opponent.

TEMPLE OWLS

In recent years the Temple Owls have been one of the more consistent teams in the

nation, they’ve won 20 games six years in a row now, last year posting a 24-10 overall

record and an 11-5 in conference record. But like most new teams to this conference the

increased overall competition might put a halt to that. Better competition, small amount of

experience, and lack of proven scorers could cause Temple a hiccup in the six consecutive

seasons with 20 wins or more. After losing Khalif Wyatt, Scootie Randall and Rahlir Hollis-
Jefferson the Owls may not be able to bounce back.

Without a double-figure scorer on a team that already has to address some significant

defensive issues this could be a long season for the Owls. Temple’s D allowed 49 percent

effective field goal shooting, and conference opponents hit 38.6 percent of their 3-pointers.

Plus not to make anything better they lost five of their top seven key players from last year’s

squad. Not only will they need to focus on scoring by committee and team defense but they

will be doing this with unproven, inexperienced players. Anthony Lee (6’9, 230lbs) and Will

Cummings (6’2, 175lbs) return for their junior seasons and the guard and center combo will

need to adjust their game to the changed, slower offense. Lee averaged 9.8 points per game

and 6.8 rebounds per game last season. Lee and Cummings will both be more involved on

the offensive side this season.

Senior Dalton Pepper will be leaned on for his defensive impact and sophomore guard

Quenton Decosey is the team’s scorer. The backcourt is thin but coach Fran Dunphy’s team

will rely on freshman Josh Brown to play some minutes if needed. The front court is a little

on the small side. Outside of Lee (6’9) and Devontae Watson (6’10) the Owls have one

person 6’8 or taller in freshman Mark Williams. Temple will more than likely come in the

year a small-ball, team-ball type approach. If sophomore and starting forward Daniel Dingle

(6’7, 225lbs), Brown, and Williams all step up this could be a 20-win team

Photo by Austin Lassell

Women’s AAC Preview

By Dalton Ray

CINCINNATI

Cincinnati still has most of what it had a season ago. Seven players started double-digit

games for the Bearcats and six of them return. One of the returnees is Dayeesha Hollins,

who took nearly twice as many shots as any teammate and averaged twice as many points as

any other player. On the positive side, Cincinnati went 9-6 at home a season ago, the best

home record under Head Coach Jamelle Elliott.

Kayla Cook also returns and she was the only player to start all 30 games last season.

She also posted a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio while finishing first on the team in free-
throw percentage (78.4 percent). Bianca Quisenberry was the number 35 best guard in the

country coming out of high school as four star recruit from Ohio and should expect to play

immediately.

CONNECTICUT

The Huskies outscored Big East opponents by nearly 30 points a game with 29.9 points

per game a season ago. The newly shaped American Athletic Conference is not as good a

league as the dismantled Big East. This is bad news for all teams in the conference, especially

new comers to the league. While Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Stefanie

Dolson and Bria Hartley are back, depth is the question mark for defending national

champions. Still, Brianna Banks, Morgan Tuck, Moriah Jefferson, Kiah Stokes and the

freshmen might finish no worse than second in the league on their own.

Dolson played and started in 38 of UConn’s 39 games and was third on the team with

13.6 points while leading the squad with 7.1 rebounds per game. A 2012-13 WBCA/State

Farm All-America Team selection, she also earned a spot on USBWA All-American Team

and the AP All-America Third Team. Breanna Stewart played in 36 of UConn’s 39 games

and ended up second on the team at 13.8 points per game and third on the squad with 6.4

rebounds per contest along with leading the team with 74 blocks.

HOUSTON

Houston won’t match last season’s improvement in the win column. The Cougars saw

a 14 win swing last year going from 3-26 to 13-17 in their second season under Todd

Buchanan. Porsche Landry is no longer around, and she did a lot for this team a season ago

so someone new or the team itself will need to step up to replace her contributions. Post

players are not the league’s strong suit so senior Yasmeen Thompson could thrive after she

averaged 8.6 points. 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in her first season.

Senior Marrisa Ashton, who averaged 7.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season,

is also returning. Someone who should play a large key to the Cougars’ success will be senior

Teo’onna Campbell. She was one of three Cougars to start all 30 contests in her first season

at Houston. She ranked second on the team with 32.9 minutes per game. Averaging 7.8

points and she ranked second on the squad and eighth in C-USA with 8.2 rebounds per

contest.

RUTGERS

This young team will benefit from the AAC’s lack of multiple powerhouses. Freshman

Tyler Scaife is the latest big-time recruit to end up in New Jersey. And with Erica Wheeler

and Monique Oliver no longer around, there should be shots for her to take. Hitting 3-

pointers would also help as the Scarlet Knights return a total of 14 3-pointers from last

season.

Kahleah Copper was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team last season and looks to

pick up a lot more on the work load this season. Transfer Alexis Burke will be able to play

this season and this should give the Knights extra firepower to work with in replacing last

season’s departures. Syessence Davis returns as the team’s leading point guard as she led the

team in assist 13 times last season.

TEMPLE

An impressive string of four consecutive postseason appearances under Tonya Cardoza

came to an end last season. To bounce back the backcourt will be relied on heavily. Raeska

Brown and Tyonna Williams are the team’s two leading returning scorers, while new

arrival Shi-Heria Shipp averaged nearly double digits at George Washington a season ago.

Natasha Thames will return as very experienced player and was second on the team with

eight rebounds per game. Safiya Martin and Taylor Robinson are both freshman that could

provide great size and length if they can step in and learn quickly. Erica Covile being healthy

should help the Owls.

MEMPHIS

The Tigers arrive in the Big East after a fourth consecutive trips to the postseason

under Melissa McFerrin. They lost Nicole Dickson, who led the team in scoring at better

than 18 points per game a season ago, but sophomore Ariel Hearn, the team’s assist leader

and second-leading scorer overall last season, is set to take over. The addition of redshirt

freshman Mooriah Rowser is also a boost.

Pa’Sonna Hope returns and appeared in all 32 games for Memphis, averaging 5.2 points

and 4.7 rebounds a game. Sophomore Asianna Fuqua-Bey had 19 starts in her freshman

campaign. She averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and ranked second on the

squad in rebounding and she will be Memphis’ leading returning rebounder.

SOUTH FLORIDA

Andrea Smith and Andrell Smith finished up their college careers last season and that

means the Bulls need to replace 43 percent of 2012-13’s points. Inga Orekhova, 12.7

points per game, is a good 3-point shooter who does a lot of other things in terms of

ball distribution and creating turnovers, but she isn’t quite the prototypical go-to scorer

yet. Trimaine McCullough arrives with huge expectations for a freshman and expects to

compete for playing time.

South Florida has the height that most teams in the conference can’t match up with. Ivana

Vuletic, Paige Cashin, Akila McDonald, and Katelyn Weber give the Bulls a large advantage

with size. Tamara Taylor looks to provide an extra spark as she was rated the number17

best junior college transfer this season. While the team has its share of upperclassmen they

will rely on freshman and sophomores to step in and play key roles.

SMU

Keena Mays is a proven scorer, who can get others involved and produces beyond her

height on the boards. The Kansas transfer and reigning Conference USA player of the year

averaged 18.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and shot 40 percent from the 3-point line. Three other

starters return. There isn’t much size and rebounding, which could be an issue, but Brittney

Hardy’s return from a redshirt season could be a big plus.

Senior Korina Baker will return in her second season as a starter and will look to

improve her already developed pass-first game, 110 assists last season. Along side her will be

sophomore Kamy Cole. As a freshman Cole played in 30 games with 22 starts as a freshman

and averaged 9.8 points per game and was second on the team with 57 3-point field goals

made. She had a team-high 51 steals and 41 assists and second among starters with a 77.4

free-throw percentage. Cole and Mays will most likely be the leaders of this team but will

need their upperclassmen heavy bench to pitch in.

UCF

The Knights lose leading scorer Gevenia Carter but add redshirt junior Brittni

Montgomery, who sat out last season after transferring from Virginia Tech. Montgomery

isn’t going to shoot as much as Carter did, but she could be a good post complement to

Briahanna Jackson’s backcourt scoring. A preseason all-conference selection in the AAC,

Jackson needs to become more efficient with 32 percent shooting, 123 turnovers, but she is

talented.

Senior center, Erica Jones entered UCF’s top five all-time rebounders last season and

give the Knights a very polished post presence. Along with Yanique Gordon and the shot-
swatting Stephanie Taylor UCF has an intimidating front court. The guards are young but

they will rely on the front court heavily and they will hope Sara Djassi will continue her 10.8

points and 8.5 rebounds per game theat she produced in the C-USA Tournament.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Cardinal men’s soccer wins final road game of season

By Annie Moore

The number sixth ranked University of Louisville Men’s soccer team saw the end of its unbeaten streak, but also

a conference win in their final road games of the season last week.

Louisville first traveled to the University of Cincinnati, where they had their nine-game unbeaten streak ended

when the Bearcats won the Ohio River rivalry 2-0.

Following the loss the American Athletic Conference-leading Cardinals fell to 4-1-1 in conference play and 9-3-

2 on the season.

Cincinnati sophomore and Louisville native John Manga opened scoring in the 12th minute of the match when

he took a pass up the middle that found the back of the net past Cardinal GK Joachim Ball.

Just 12 minutes later, the Bearcats extended their lead when Will Diebold placed a shot inside the far left post to

put UC up 2-0, where the score would stay for the remainder of the match.

Ball recorded six saves in the loss, and Cincinnati GK Alex Gill had three saves in the Bearcats third shutout of

the season.

The Cardinals next traveled to Memphis for their final road match of the season.

A late goal from junior Nolan Moore with just three minutes left in regulation lifted the Cards over the Tigers.

The 2-1 victory was Louisville’s fifth road win of the season and puts their overall record at 10-3-2, 5-1-1 in

American Athletic Conference play— in sole possession of first place in the conference.

The victory on Saturday night also marked the seventh straight season Louisville has won 10 or more matches —

the longest such streak in school history. It was also head coach Ken Lolla’s 98th career victory in his eight years as

U of L’s coach.

Louisville hosts University of Saint Louis Thursday night. On November 3 the Cards play their last conference

game of the season against the University of South Florida. In the final match of the season U of L controls their

own destiny for the AAC regular season championship.

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Slugger Field to host exhibition game

By Michelle Lewis

Louisville Slugger Field is being called up to the majors. Many current major

league stars have come through Louisville and some are making a return trip. It was

announced on Sept. 19 that Slugger Field will be home to the final exhibition game

the Cincinnati Reds will play during the 2014 preseason. On March 29, 2014 The Reds

will face the Louisville Bats and many familiar faces will return to Louisville for a single

game. It is the first time Slugger Field has hosted a major league exhibition since 2005.

The Cincinnati Reds are the closest Major League Baseball team to Louisville, sitting

just up the river 100 miles. Louisville sits squarely in Reds’s Country and is home to the

team’s Triple A affiliate, The Louisville Bats.

Bats fans will recognize guys like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Aroldis Chapman,

aka The Cuban Missile. They along with quite a few of their teammates, will play a

Sat. afternoon game just before opening the major league season the following

Mon..

“The Bats have one of the strongest fan bases in the minor leagues, and we’re

happy they’ll be able to watch in person some of the major league players who recently

came through there,” Walt Jocketty, Reds’s General Manager and President of Baseball

Operations said.

The Reds are currently two games back in the National League Central and four

ahead of the Washington Nationals for the NL’s second Wild Card slot. They have

several players who spent the summer in Louisville before receiving Sept. callups. Recent additions to the Reds via the Bats have already proven helpful. Bats star and

base thief extraordinaire, Billy Hamilton, has nine stolen bases after just two weeks in the

majors. Hamilton had four stolen bases in his first major league start and was a key factor

in the Reds series sweep of the Houston Astros.

With the recent success of the Reds and the role Bats’ alumni are playing in the

majors, tickets are likely to go fast. There is a special “Big Red” ticket package, which

includes tickets for the exhibition and two Sat. night Bats games on June 14 and

Aug. 2, 2014, available now for $34 through the Bats ticket office. Also included in

the package is a Reds ball cap and both regular season games are bobble-head giveaways

featuring Homer Bailey and Joey Votto. Single game tickets for the exhibition will go on

sale Nov. 1

 2013. They will be $25 for infield seats or $14 for field reserve.

 

Photo Courtesy of Michelle Lewis

AAC Preview

By Sam Draut

Cincinnati

The Bearcats return 13 starters from a 10-3 team that started 5-0 and reached the Top 25 in 2012.

Tommy Tuberville was hired as head coach in the off season after Butch Jones left for Tennessee.

Cincinnati returns both quarterbacks who started last season, seniors Munchie Legaux and Brendan Kay.

Kay appears to be the starter after going 4-1 last year, but Legaux will split time initially. The defense

returns five starters from a unit that ranked in the top 15 nationally in defensive scoring average.

Cincinnati has been as consistent as anyone in the Big East, winning four conference championships in

the past five years, the transfer to the AAC should not alter their winning ways.

UConn

Paul Pasqualoni enters into his third year at UConn with a noticeably warm seat after two consecutive

5-7 seasons. The Huskies offensive returns eight starters from a unit ranking 110

offense a year ago. Junior running back Lyle McCombs battled injuries last season after rushing for

over 1,500 yards his freshman year. On the other side of the ball, the top 25 defense in 2012 returns 5

starters. The Huskies saving grace last year was their defense, this year; more questions open up about

their defense paired with an offensive that struggled a year ago.

Houston

The Cougars offense brought them into the national spotlight, including a 13-1 campaign in 2011. Head

coach Kevin Sumlin left for Texas A&M and Tony Levine was brought in. Houston continued to move

the ball in Levine’s first season, ranking in the top 15 in total offense, but the defense struggled, and

struggled mightily. The Cougars return 14 starters from a 5-7 team a year ago, 10 of those returnees are

on the offensive side of the ball, continuing to leave question marks on defense. Houston plays a soft

non-conference schedule, so returning to a bowl game should seem realistic.

Memphis

Memphis returns 17 starters from a team went 4-8 in 2012, but ended the season on a positive note at

3-0. Second year head coach Justin Fuente has shot some life into a struggling program, though picked

to finish last this season, Memphis plays seven of their first eight games in the state of Tennessee.

Senior quarterback Jacob Karam returns for his senior season, while a commitment to running game will

remain intact with the return of running back Brandon Hayes and five offensive linemen with starting

experience. Seven starters return on defense led by junior middle linebacker Charles Davis. The soft

schedule and momentum could allow the Tigers to surprise some teams.

Temple

The transition to the Big East did not go as smoothly as Temple had planned a year ago. Finishing 4-7

added with the loss of head coach Steve Addazio left the Owls searching for answers. Matt Rhule takes

over a team that returns 15 starters, but plans to switch to the spread offense, a contrasting style from

Addazio’s run oriented offense. The defense returns Tyler Matakevich, the Big East Defensive Rookie

of the Year in 2012. Once again, the Owls will be transitioning, but with games against Notre Dame,

Louisville, and Cincinnati early on, the season could take a rough turn early.

SMU

SMU enters into its inaugural year in the American Conference with early tests and questions

offensively, while trying to rebuild the front four. The Mustangs play Texas Tech, TCU, and Texas A&M

in their non-conference schedule, but do not play AAC league favorite Louisville. A team that finished 7-

6 a year ago returns starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert and four starters in the secondary. The early

schedule is loaded, so for Mustangs to reach their fifth consecutive bowl appearance, they must win

games in conference.

Rutgers

Rutgers started last year 9-1 and was in the driver’s seat for the Big East conference championship

and BCS berth, but the final weeks ended in disasters for first year head coach Kyle Flood. The Scarlet

Knights returns 14 starters from a 9-4 team in 2012, but must replace 11 players drafted or signed by

NFL teams. Quarterback Gary Nova returns, but the stout defense from a year ago returns just four

players. Rutgers was picked to finished third in the AAC this season, but Kyle Flood will begin to define

his program as players from the Greg Schiano era sift out.

USF

Willie Taggart was hired after a disappointing 3-9 campaign led by head coach Skip Holtz in 2012. The

Bulls return 11 starters, but is the only team in the AAC to not return a starting quarterback. Four

players have competed for the starting job at quarterback, senior Bobby Eveld, sophomore Matt Floyd

and Steven Bench, or freshman Mike White. The defense has a core group of returning, including a pair

of talent defensive ends in Ryne Giddins and Aaron Lynch. The Bulls were picked to finish 5

but Taggart will face an uphill battle with games against Michigan State, Miami, and Louisville.

UCF

The Knights finished 10-4 last season and return 11 starters from a year ago. George O’Leary enters

his ninth season at the helm of UCF, the longest tenured head coach in the AAC. The team will be

tested early with matchups against Penn State and South Carolina. The offense returns 6 starters, but

the defense will be missing seven of the top ten tackles from last season. The Knights were picked

to finished fourth in the AAC, and can potentially benefit with the early tests before they enter into

conference play.

The AAC has seven bowl tie ins for the 2013 season.

The league champion has a guaranteed berth in a BCS Bowl. The Russell Athletic Bowl versus an ACC

opponent, the Belk Bowl versus an ACC opponent, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl versus a Big 12 opponent,

the BBVA Compass Bowl versus an SEC team, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl versus a Conference USA or SEC

team, and the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl versus a Conference USA opponent.

fireworks3

Last Blast of Summer

By Karlie Griffith– 

Every Sunday of Labor Day weekend WEBN hosts its annual fireworks display in Cincinnati — though it is not technically in Cincinnati because WEBN launches its firework display from a barge in the middle of the Ohio River. WEBN is one of Cincinnati’s largest radio networks and hosts this annual firework display with the help of Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks and Cincinnati Bell. This event first kicked off in 1977 as a onetime event in honor of WEBN’S 10th birthday. The event was such a success that WEBN made the decision to display the fireworks every year since.

Every year nearly 500,000 people line up along the river banks of Newport, Ky and Cincinnati to watch this immaculate display of fireworks. WEBN has a screaming contest ten minutes before the firework display.

The WEBN fireworks are a longstanding tradition for not only Ohioans but individuals from all over. People from Indiana, Louisville, Lexington, and even West Virginia come to watch as the fireworks light up the sky for over 30 minutes. The Cardinal asked Ian Tracy who is a resident of Louisville about why he travels two hours just to see these fireworks.

He said, “Cincinnati is my home and always will be. I grew up watching the fireworks from the roof of my house in Newport. I never missed them and moving away isn’t going to stop that. It’s a tradition … it’s part of Cincinnati’s culture now.”

Dirk Dorsel, another Louisville resident said, “It’s simply a great time. Vendors from all over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky set up booths … you don’t just come for the fireworks, although they are the main event, but you come for the whole experience. You come for the food, the drinks and to learn about hidden treasures of the tri-state area.”

People start to line the river banks around 8am Sunday morning so they can lay claim to the most perfect spot for viewing. Linda Blythe, a member of Alexandria UMC, goes up after church to lay claim to her spot. Blythe camps out all morning and afternoon to claim her spot between the Purple People Bridge and the Papa John’s vendor tent.  She claims it is the perfect spot because no one can sit in front of her and obstruct her view. She can always find her spot because all she has to do is follow the smell of pizza. “It’s the best of both worlds. You have the perfect spot and you’re next to the pizza stand.” Blythe said.

The WEBN fireworks are the main reason many native Cincinnatians, as well as Kentuckians, return home every Labor Day weekend.

The show takes place each Labor Day weekend in Cincinnati, but visitors are advised to arrive before 7 p.m., since that is when the bridges close to traffic.