The Louisville Cardinal U of L's Independent Student Newspaper 2018-11-19T01:58:51Z https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/feed/atom/ WordPress https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/media/2016/05/cropped-lc-logo-1-32x32.png Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Spartans stun men’s soccer in NCAA second round]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64711 2018-11-19T01:38:55Z 2018-11-19T00:19:11Z By Matt Bradshaw — Michigan State (12-4-4) upset four-seed men’s soccer (11-5-3) in the second round of the NCAA Championship. “It’s a tough way to end the season, especially in overtime,” head coach Ken Lolla said.  The Spartans scored the opening goal then held the home team scoreless until an equalizer from the Cards forced overtime. U […]

The post Spartans stun men’s soccer in NCAA second round appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Matt Bradshaw —

Michigan State (12-4-4) upset four-seed men’s soccer (11-5-3) in the second round of the NCAA Championship.

“It’s a tough way to end the season, especially in overtime,” head coach Ken Lolla said. 

The Spartans scored the opening goal then held the home team scoreless until an equalizer from the Cards forced overtime. U of L looked to top their eighth overtime match of the season, but fell 2-1 from a golden goal by MSU three minutes into the period.

Following back-to-back seasons with Elite Eight appearances, an early defeat in the tournament is a disappointment for Louisville. The Cardinals had an inconsistent 2018 run, with wins over top-ranked opponents and losses from unranked ones, but they entered the NCAA Championship with tons of momentum.

The team posted one draw, one win and two losses the final four games of the regular season. Afterwards, U of L beat No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 1 Wake Forest and No. 4 UNC in the ACC Championship for the program’s first conference title.

“It’s a little bit of a hangover from the week before,” Lolla said. “Championship teams learn how to handle success. I wouldn’t say we were intoxicated by it, but it’s so difficult to let it go.”

Lolla’s team had back luck the past two seasons with losses in the NCAA quarterfinals. He last reached the final four of the College Cup in 2010, when the Cards became national runner-ups behind Akron.

Louisville hoped to change that luck with a four-seed, first-round bye and forward motion coming into the NCAA Championship following the conference tournament. Michigan State traveled to Lynn Stadium and ended the chance for a postseason run.

The first Spartan goal came at the 16 minute mark. MSU caught Louisville flat-footed with a counterattack and took advantage with a wide-open score.

From that point on, U of L had chances to score but never capatlized on shots on goal. Senior and ACC Championship MVP Tate Schmitt nearly scored at the 71 minute mark but the opposing goalie saved the shot.

The Cards found their equalizer at the 78 minute mark. A corner kick led to a scramble in the box and, somehow, freshman Haji Abdikadir kicked a ricocheted ball into the net.

Regulation concluded with the score 1-1. It was an intensely physical match with 30 fouls and five yellow cards. Michigan State was not happy with Louisville’s goal and believed it should have been overturned due to a hand ball.

Little over two minutes into the overtime period, Michigan State scored the winning goal after possession around the box.

“We played a very physical team and that’s soccer,” Lolla said. “We’ve seen it many times before – that fine line decides games.”

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Spartans stun men’s soccer in NCAA second round appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Women’s golf finishes fall play ranked No. 28]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64610 2018-11-19T01:58:51Z 2018-11-17T23:58:16Z By Matt Bradshaw — Women’s golf ended the fall portion of their 2018-19 season ranked No. 28 in the nation. U of L posted top-10 finishes in five tournaments, including wins over No. 11 Auburn and No. 24 Oklahoma. Lauren Hartlage guided the team with a 72.57 stroke average and three top-10 finishes. The junior has […]

The post Women’s golf finishes fall play ranked No. 28 appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Matt Bradshaw —

Women’s golf ended the fall portion of their 2018-19 season ranked No. 28 in the nation. U of L posted top-10 finishes in five tournaments, including wins over No. 11 Auburn and No. 24 Oklahoma.

Lauren Hartlage guided the team with a 72.57 stroke average and three top-10 finishes. The junior has earned All-ACC honors for the past two seasons.

The Cardinals return two other upperclassmen: Senior Olivia Cason and junior Delaney Shah. 

Mairead Martin recorded a 73.57 stroke average and finished tied for sixth at the Cardinal Cup. Fellow first-year Lauren Thibodeau shot four rounds of even- or below- par during the fall. Both freshmen have bright futures ahead.

Last season, Louisville set school records at the NCAA San Francisco Regional and sealed the program’s historic run with a 15th place showing at the 2018 NCAA Championships.

The team returns in February when they travel to Melbourne, Florida for the Moon Golf Invitational.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Women’s golf finishes fall play ranked No. 28 appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Weston Payne http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Wolfpack keeps football winless in ACC with 52-10 stampede]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64549 2018-11-19T01:55:36Z 2018-11-17T21:09:51Z By Weston Payne — Football (2-9, 0-8) extended their losing streak to eight games by falling to conference foe NC State (8-3, 5-3). The 52-10 defeat continues the disappointing narrative for Louisville despite a slight increase in energy and positivity after the termination of head coach Bobby Petrino. “It started off positive, but we shot ourselves in […]

The post Wolfpack keeps football winless in ACC with 52-10 stampede appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Weston Payne —

Football (2-9, 0-8) extended their losing streak to eight games by falling to conference foe NC State (8-3, 5-3). The 52-10 defeat continues the disappointing narrative for Louisville despite a slight increase in energy and positivity after the termination of head coach Bobby Petrino.

“It started off positive, but we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties,” interim coach Lorenzo Ward said. “The fans did their part. We need to do ours.”

Their loss to the Wolfpack makes U of L the first ACC team to post a winless season since Boston College in 2015, and gives the Cardinals their first winless conference season since 1997. With no shot at a bowl game, they are playing for game-time experience this point in the season.

Highlights

NC State moved the ball consistently throughout the contest, using spread formations to extend Louisville’s defense. The Pack quarterback, Ryan Finley, took advantage with 26-for-36 passing for 316 yards and four touchdowns.

U of L quarterback, freshman Malik Cunningham, made effective plays with his legs to give his team a fighting chance in the first half. Continued penalties and turnovers prevented them from getting scores.

Cunningham finished with 90 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. He exited the fourth quarter due to injury and NC State emerged victorious with a final score of 52-10.

Recap

The Cardinal defense started strong by forcing a punt. Cunningham and the offense used the opportunity to move the ball into scoring position.

The Wolfpack held their ground in the red zone and forced a 32-yard field goal from Louisville junior Blanton Creque.

NC State’s second drive proved more effective than the first. Finley marched the offense 76 yards down the field and used a 25-yard touchdown pass for a 7-3 lead.

After back-to-back punts from U of L, Finley led the Wolfpack downfield once again. They settled for a 23-yard field goal and increased the lead to 10-3.

A 32-yard rush from freshman running back Hassan Hall put the Cards deep in opposing territory. A holding penalty brought them back, then Creque’s 36-yard field goal attempt was wide.

This was Louisville’s last true drive of the game and the failed attempt took the wind from their sails.

“We came out with energy in the first half…you have to play four quarters,” senior Jaylen Smith said.

The Cardinals had back-to-back fumbles to start the second-half, one of which was recovered by NC State and later followed by a touchdown.

The Wolfpack continued running the home team in the second half and dumped a 52-10 loss on U of L.

Football hosts No. 17 Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the annual battle for the Governor’s Cup.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on twitter @thecardsports

Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Wolfpack keeps football winless in ACC with 52-10 stampede appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Wasike finishes 14th at women’s cross country NCAA Championships]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64579 2018-11-19T01:57:29Z 2018-11-17T20:47:51Z By Matt Bradshaw — Dorcas Wasike capped a historic season with a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Madison, Wisconsin. The junior posted a time of 20.08.2 in a snowy 6K race and earned All-American honors for the second consecutive year. Wasike posted top-15 finishes in all seven of her races this fall. She began […]

The post Wasike finishes 14th at women’s cross country NCAA Championships appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Matt Bradshaw —

Dorcas Wasike capped a historic season with a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Madison, Wisconsin. The junior posted a time of 20.08.2 in a snowy 6K race and earned All-American honors for the second consecutive year.

Wasike posted top-15 finishes in all seven of her races this fall. She began her postseason run by becoming the first ACC Champion in women’s cross country program history.

“I was ready for this and I was prepared to win this race. Last time I was [second] and I didn’t want to be run up again,” Wasike said, referring to her second-place conference finish in 2017.

Less than two weeks later, the Kitale, Kenya native won the NCAA Southeast Regional to advance to the NCAA Championships. Wasike set a course record and became the first NCAA regional champion in program history.

The season of firsts continued as Wasike earned Southeast Regional Women’s Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Cardinal female athlete to do so.

“Dorcas Wasike was simply amazing in setting a new course record and picking up the individual win,” head coach Dale Cowper said. “She’s had a terrific season.”

With 14th place at the national level, her finish can only motivate Wasike to continue getting better. The sky’s the limit with one more year of eligibility as a senior along with the track and field season approaching this spring.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Wasike finishes 14th at women’s cross country NCAA Championships appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Chris Mack closes the men’s basketball locker room]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64490 2018-11-18T14:55:39Z 2018-11-17T20:20:06Z By Matt Bradshaw — Men’s basketball entered a new era with a smooth start these past few months. Chris Mack took control of a struggling program and lifted the outlook with leadership, accessibility and prime recruiting. It seemed fitting for a successful head coach like Mack to continue the winning tradition of such a prestigious program. […]

The post Chris Mack closes the men’s basketball locker room appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Matt Bradshaw —

Men’s basketball entered a new era with a smooth start these past few months. Chris Mack took control of a struggling program and lifted the outlook with leadership, accessibility and prime recruiting.

It seemed fitting for a successful head coach like Mack to continue the winning tradition of such a prestigious program. Not all traditions endure though, and Mack changed one last week: the locker room policy.

For the past 50 years, local media utilized an open locker room following all men’s basketball home games. The players were always available for questions and the setting provided a vehicle for fans to receive nuanced stories and details about the team.

Following their home opener, Mack decided to officially prohibit media from visiting the locker room post-game. Instead, two or three student athletes will be available for comment in the KFC Yum! Center interview room.

Mack provided a useful metaphor to explain his decision.

“When you were a little kid and your parents were saying ‘Eat everything on your plate,’ you’re like ‘I don’t like broccoli.’ Your parents say ‘I want you to try it.’ You’ve got to try it and then you can make a decision,” Mack said.

Kenny Klein, sports information director for men’s basketball, had told Mack the media was used to an open locker room. Mack never used the policy while coaching Xavier but elected to try it for the season opener versus Nicholls.

“I tried it,” Mack said. “I didn’t like it. And it’s in my opinion that, a lot of times, some negative things can happen in an open locker room setting.”

The media incurred criticism from Card Nation after reporting the closed policy during the game against Southern. Fans claimed an open locker room was unnecessary and that, as Mack said, it causes more problems than it’s worth.

Journalists defended themselves by pointing out that many used the old policy to positive effect and interacted with players to discover meaningful dialogue. While true for most cases, the methods can occasionally cause strife within a team.

“A guy might have three points, he may have defended his tail off and blocked out every single time,” Mack said. “All of a sudden, twelve cameras are next to the guy that had 24 points and maybe did a lousy job. I just think that can cause a little jealousy and tension in the locker room.”

Whatever the case, U of L now falls in line with most men’s basketball teams across the nation. They were one of the few who still enacted an open locker room policy prior to Mack. The four who still do are Duke, Syracuse, Seton Hall and Michigan State.

One aspect of Mack’s personality that garnered acclaim from fans is his relatability and accessibility. The coach says that won’t change with the arrival of any new policy.

“I’m not this evil guy that’s shutting down the media in any way, shape or form,” Mack said. “If you’ve been around my program before, you know you can have total access. You want to come to practice? Ask Kenny and I’ll let you come to practice.”

Beyond stories and team details, the main quibble the media has with the new policy is that Mack now controls communication between players and everyone else. Accessibility remains the same, only now journalists have to specifically request one-on-one time instead of a locker room free-for-all.

Mack said his main reason for the change was cohesion between his players. With a 3-0 start and recent victory over a tough opponent in Vermont, the chemistry of Louisville seems to be working well so far.

“My job as a coach is to make sure that I’m forming the best team I can,” Mack said. “That doesn’t mean media is bad, coaches are good. I’ve had great relationships wherever I’ve gone with media. And that’s not going to change here.”

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

Photo by Karen Nguyen / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Chris Mack closes the men’s basketball locker room appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Men’s basketball survives second-half surge, beats Vermont]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64487 2018-11-17T03:04:49Z 2018-11-17T02:51:37Z By Matt Bradshaw — Men’s basketball (3-0) passed its first true test of the season with a 86-78 defeat of the Vermont Catamounts (2-2). Louisville led by 22 points in the second half before Vermont came surging back near the lead. U of L has more challenging tests to come, but Vermont is a proven-tough opponent. The Catamounts are […]

The post Men’s basketball survives second-half surge, beats Vermont appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Matt Bradshaw —

Men’s basketball (3-0) passed its first true test of the season with a 86-78 defeat of the Vermont Catamounts (2-2). Louisville led by 22 points in the second half before Vermont came surging back near the lead.

U of L has more challenging tests to come, but Vermont is a proven-tough opponent. The Catamounts are favorites to win the American East conference and held their own against No. 2 Kansas earlier this week.

“I thought our team, for the first 32 minutes, played as well as we have all year against a really good team,” head coach Chris Mack. “I love our team and I think we’re going to continue to get better.”

The first half was hard-fought with six ties and six lead changes. The Cards ended up on top 45-35, then carried their momentum through the second half to weather the late run from the opponent.

Jordan Nwora powered the offense with a career-high 22 points. This is the sophomore’s second consecutive game with 20-plus points off the bench.

“He’s far from perfect,” Mack said of Nwora. “He’s a big-time offensive-talent, and my quest is to keep him getting better.”

Sophomore Darius Perry demonstrated how much his offensive prowess has increased. The guard finished with 17 points and 60 percent shooting from the field.

“I think I got the role of the hype man,” Perry said. “Coming out aggressive is a thing I’ve always done.”

Junior Steven Enoch proved, with little doubt, that his powerful presence in the paint is one of Louisville’s most important weapons. The big man posted 14 points and 75 percent shooting from the field, including a jumper from deep and a couple monster dunks.

Overall, the Cardinal offense played its season-best. The team shot 53 percent from the field, 42 percent from deep and 79 percent from the free-throw line. The players recorded 14 assists on 26 field goals and out-rebounded the Catamounts on both ends of the floor.

The defense faltered somewhat as Vermont found its footing late in the second half, but that much is expected from talented teams. If Louisville can continue its offensive efficiency and positive production from everyone on the floor, there’s plenty of room for growth against an extremely difficult upcoming schedule.

Each of the juniors performed well throughout the game. V. J. King finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Ryan McMahon performed great off the bench with eight points, along with the best plus/minus total out of everyone on the team (18). Dwayne Sutton worked the floor for four points, five rebounds and an assist.

Sophomore Malik Williams played great when he took the place of Enoch on the floor and finished with five points and five rebounds.

Men’s basketball travels to New York to face Tennessee in the NIT tip-off Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

Photos by Karen Nguyen / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Men’s basketball survives second-half surge, beats Vermont appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Joseph Garcia <![CDATA[It’s never too early, or too late, to start budgeting]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64356 2018-11-15T23:22:29Z 2018-11-15T17:00:39Z By Amber Cobb — This is fourth in the budgeting column: finances in college. Budgeting is the simplest and most effective way to manage your finances, yet it’s something that most of us don’t do. Or even know how to start. It’s a lot easier to just swipe our credit card or click “check-out” online […]

The post It’s never too early, or too late, to start budgeting appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Amber Cobb —

This is fourth in the budgeting column: finances in college.

Budgeting is the simplest and most effective way to manage your finances, yet it’s something that most of us don’t do. Or even know how to start.

It’s a lot easier to just swipe our credit card or click “check-out” online then to pay attention to how much money we’re making and spending. However, this is also the easiest way to get into financial trouble and develop bad credit which we talked about a few weeks ago.

What is a budget?

A budget is your estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time. Some people operate on a weekly budget, while others may budget for their pay periods or a month.

For whatever time period you choose, a budget allows you to keep track of how much money you will make, the set expenses you will have to pay and whether you can go out on the weekend.

After subtracting your known expenses from your income, the amount that you have left is the “extra” money you have for unexpected expenses, eating out and shopping.

“Budgeting has allowed me to track my spending habits but also celebrate the margins in which I can start saving for wants, over needs,” said Anna Rittenhouse, a U of L alum and Johnson Traditional Middle School music teacher.

Essentially, budgeting actually creates more financial freedom, not less.

Sarah Langston, manager of digital communications at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said, “Budgeting has helped me and my family save money for buying a house without going into too much debt from buying furniture, to the down payment. Without knowing where our money goes each month, we wouldn’t have been able to put enough into savings for all the expenses associated with buying a home.”

Rittenhouse and Langston are both excellent examples of how budgeting in college sets you up for success post-grad.

As for most things, there are tons of resources and apps to help you learn how to budget, like “Mint,” a budgeting app that connects to your bank account and helps you track where you’re spending your money categorically (i.e. gas, groceries, eating out, etc.).

When it comes to budgeting, just remember, it’s never too early…or late!

The post It’s never too early, or too late, to start budgeting appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Joseph Garcia <![CDATA[Kendré Barnes talks about work with refugees]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64347 2018-11-13T23:36:10Z 2018-11-13T17:00:34Z By Daniel Cruse — Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) English teacher Kendré Barnes shared the tea with the Student Activities Board Diversity Committee Nov. 7. The event was part of  SAB’s Diversity Week, U of L’s way to celebrate and explore the varied and diverse cultural background of the student body here on campus. Senior Diversity […]

The post Kendré Barnes talks about work with refugees appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Daniel Cruse —

Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) English teacher Kendré Barnes shared the tea with the Student Activities Board Diversity Committee Nov. 7.

The event was part of  SAB’s Diversity Week, U of L’s way to celebrate and explore the varied and diverse cultural background of the student body here on campus.

Senior Diversity Chair Poonum Haldankar organized the panel.

Barnes discussed her experiences dealing with refugees, immigrants, paroles and asylees. Asylees are people who are seeking asylum from their home country.

Barnes works to help aid the process of transitioning them to understand our language, culture and lifestyle.

Discussions at the panel opened with an estimated number of refugees in our country and the fact around 23 million children have come here as refugees.

Organizations and people who want to open up and help the refugees have received pushback from the executive branch of the federal government that largely controls the enforcement of immigration and refugee policy.

KRM hopes to continue helping as much as they can.

Barnes spoke in great detail about the non-profit organization, which serves to help resettle people who may not be able to make it on their own through faith and agency sponsorships, donations and more.

She said KRM believes in helping anyone who comes to America. This is a sentiment shared with the Diversity Committee and many of the students who were interested in the event.

Barnes expanded on the importance of helping refugees and immigrants throughout the panel.

“Louisville is behind only two cities for Cuban migrants, and there is a deficit of employees working here so refugees and immigrants are vital to the city’s economic development,” she said.

The organization has already resettled around 15,000 refugees and Barnes said they have no plans to slow down or stop helping as long as people are in need.

KRM and the Diversity Committee both believe that this is a city that thrives on diversity because of the vibrant cultures working and blending together.

After the panel, Barnes said she hopes students at U of L will look to help in any way they can, and continue to have conversations about this topic to keep a progressive dialogue on the table.

Photo by Daniel Cruse / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Kendré Barnes talks about work with refugees appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Conner Farrell <![CDATA[Men’s basketball is ready to get “Mack” to business]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64299 2018-11-13T16:35:33Z 2018-11-13T16:35:33Z By Conner Farrell — It’s finally November. The leaves turn, the air chills and men’s college basketball returns for another season. Like most years in the storied history of U of L’s program, each team has a certain flavor to it and the 2018-19 squad is no exception. Most notably, men’s basketball features a new […]

The post Men’s basketball is ready to get “Mack” to business appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Conner Farrell —

It’s finally November. The leaves turn, the air chills and men’s college basketball returns for another season. Like most years in the storied history of U of L’s program, each team has a certain flavor to it and the 2018-19 squad is no exception.

Most notably, men’s basketball features a new full-time head coach for only the third time since the 1971-72 season. Chris Mack takes the torch from Hall of Famers Denny Crum and Rick Pitino.

Mack, who guided the Xavier Musketeers for nine seasons, looks to put Louisville’s high profile program back in business following several years of turmoil.

“I believe we have something special brewing in the Ville again, and it starts with the leadership of our head basketball coach,” athletics director Vince Tyra said.

The Cleveland, Ohio native boasts a tremendous resume from Xavier that includes four Sweet 16 appearances and one Elite Eight appearance in 2017. Mack also guided the Musketeers to a No. 1 seed in last season’s NCAA tournament.

Aside from his achievements, Mack’s teams are known for their physical play on both ends of the floor and offensive motion featuring an outstanding wing player.

Looking at the current roster, coach Mack has a wide array of young talent to mold into his system.

“A good coaching staff gives the players whatever they need to be successful,” Mack said. “Our guys are improving, and their willingness to improve has been impressive. There’s a lot more to come, but the attitude has been great.”

The Cardinals return only one starter from this past season, but the team brings back three players who finished their freshman campaigns in great standing: guard Darius Perry and forwards Malik Williams and Jordan Nwora.

Junior forward V. J. King is the lone returning starter and fits the mold of a scoring wing featured in Mack’s offense.

Along with King, veteran leadership abounds with graduate transfers Akoy Agau, Christen Cunningham and Khwan Fore. Agau found his way back to the program after leaving in 2014.

“Each of the graduate transfers has a unique story,” Mack said. “You need guys that can provide stability and assimilate themselves into a team seamlessly.”

Junior center Steven Enoch is eligible to play this year after sitting out last season at UConn. The upperclassman has a vital role as starting big man for Louisville.

This is not to mention Mack’s two other redshirt juniors: sharpshooting guard Ryan McMahon and do-it-all forward Dwayne Sutton.

With Mack and all his players laid out, the question becomes: What is the end-of-year projection for this team?

When asked for a realistic prediction for what fans can expect, Mack responded honestly.

“This isn’t going to excite our fan base, but I want our team to get better every single time we step on the floor,” Mack said. “I’ve never said numbers or wins or anything like that. I want us to stick together through thick and thin and get better as the season progresses. That’s it, and where that is, I don’t know.”

Starting with the schedule, the Cards have one of the most rigorous non-conference slates in recent memory. The team will face the best in the country with the likes of Tennessee, Kansas and old-time Big East foe Marquette in the NIT Tip-off.

U of L also squares off with Seton Hall, the Indiana Hoosiers and, of course, the Kentucky Wildcats in their yearly matchup.

It’s safe to say the non-conference schedule is loaded and serves as a great litmus test for how the team will fare in conference play. The ACC will be the premier conference of men’s college basketball with the blue bloods of Duke and North Carolina leading the way this season.

Louisville squares up against highly-talented programs in-conference with Clemson, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Virginia.

Considering their loaded schedule, the Cardinals were picked to finished 10th in the preseason ACC poll by conference coaches. U of L is not featured in the national rankings.

“I recognize we have one of the toughest schedules in the entire country,” Mack said. “So our resiliency will be tested, our ability will be tested, and that’s a good thing. History shows teams that put themselves in the conversation for NCAA tournament bids – the selection committee rewards teams that go out and challenge themselves.”

The core of this year’s team is young and unproven. The tough games will serve as learning experiences for both the student-athletes and new coaching staff. All things considered, Louisville men’s basketball should have the leadership and talent to make it to March.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

Photo by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Men’s basketball is ready to get “Mack” to business appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0
Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Walz and “the other player” target a national title]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=64205 2018-11-13T16:35:20Z 2018-11-13T16:35:20Z By Matt Bradshaw — Amidst all the accolades women’s basketball achieved in 2017-18, one behind-the-scenes moment stands out as indicative of the dynamic duo of head coach Jeff Walz and preseason All-American guard Asia Durr. Muffet McGraw, Hall of Fame head coach for defending national champion Notre Dame, disputed Durr being named 2018 ACC player […]

The post Walz and “the other player” target a national title appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
By Matt Bradshaw —

Amidst all the accolades women’s basketball achieved in 2017-18, one behind-the-scenes moment stands out as indicative of the dynamic duo of head coach Jeff Walz and preseason All-American guard Asia Durr.

Muffet McGraw, Hall of Fame head coach for defending national champion Notre Dame, disputed Durr being named 2018 ACC player of the year. McGraw referred to Durr as “the other player” last season and advocated for her own leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale as deserving of the honor.

While subjective to say which player is definitively better, the Cardinals certainly outplayed the Fighting Irish head-to-head. Louisville thumped their conference foe by 33 points during the regular season and edged them in the finals of the 2018 ACC Championship.

Following the victory, Walz added insult to injury by shaking McGraw’s hand and stating “My player’s name is Asia Durr.” When asked for her thoughts, Durr responded with devotion for her team and mentor: “That’s one of the reasons why I came here. Coach Walz, he has our backs.”

Notre Dame had the final say and won the NCAA title, while U of L lost in the Final Four to Mississippi State. The Cards were one layup away from facing the Fighting Irish for a third time, but it turned out the two would have to wait nine months before they play again this season.

Louisville now begins their 2018-19 run with perhaps more spotlight and anticipation than ever before. The program has certainly worked its way into the national conversation previously, recording seven consecutive NCAA appearances and two NCAA runner-up finishes across five years.

“The growth of our program is just outstanding,” Walz said. “When I got the job, Tom’s [Jurich] goal was for us to get to the Sweet 16. Now we could lose in the Sweet 16 and it’s a terrible year for some people.”

Last year upped the ante for numerous reasons, but five come to mind right away: Twenty wins to start the season. Program-best 36-3 record. Both regular season and tournament titles in the ACC. First-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Third Final Four appearance in ten years.

One achievement evading the program’s resume is notable: A national title. Two games into the current season, the possibility of the outcome is as favorable as ever.

“I’m not going to base last year’s success by the fact we lost in overtime in the semifinals,” Walz said. “It was a remarkable year, but our ultimate goal is to win a national championship here.”

Walz will lead the charge back into the NCAA tournament as the most successful coach in women’s basketball school history. Twelve seasons at the job, he has cemented elite status by inheriting a program that had never reached a Sweet 16 and amassing a 301-96 overall record (68 percent winning percentage).

Moreover, the team returns an All-American for only the second time in school history. Durr, a 5-foot-10 senior from Georgia, enters her final year as a Cardinal ranked sixth all-time in scoring (1,743 points) and second in made three-point shots (278).

“I came here to win a championship, so I don’t care how well I play this year,” Durr said. “It’s team first, not me first. We’ve been working/training hard and we are striving for a title.”

ESPNW ranked Durr No. 2 out of the top-25 players in the country. Ogunbowale ranked No. 4 on the same list.

“She’s special. She can put the ball in the basket, she makes big shots and she’s fun to watch,” Walz said on Durr. “That’s why fans come out to watch us. We’ve had Angel [McCoughtry], we’ve had Shoni [Schimmel] and now it’s Asia Durr.”

Noticeably missing from the current squad is Myisha Hines-Allen, who ended her career ranked third-all time in scoring (2,028 points). Her dominating presence on the court is impossible to replace, but the depth of Louisville basketball is more than ready for the challenge.

In their season-opening victories at Western Kentucky and Chattanooga, at least nine Cardinals put points on the board and five scored double-digits. Expect forwards Bionca Dunham, Sam Fuehring and Kylee Shook to pack the punches down-low this season while a lightning-fast backcourt outruns the floor against every opponent.

“I’ve got a group of young women that want to win,” Walz said. “It’s not necessarily all about ‘do I get a start.’ It’s about ‘are they going to get a chance to contribute when it matters?’”

With the pieces set and the board moving, all that remains is for U of L to grind and prove themselves worthy of a national title. The No. 4 Cards trail No. 1 Notre Dame in the national rankings and should anticipate a fierce battle for the conference championship late in the season.

U of L takes on the Fighting Irish Jan 10. Alongside opponents like No. 2 UConn and No. 16 NC State, Card Nation can expect an exciting season from Louisville women’s basketball.

“It’s one game at a time,” Walz said. “Now it’s just a matter of keeping that consistency there.”

You can catch women’s basketball in their home opener at the KFC Yum! Center on Monday, Nov. 26 against Miami (OH).

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

The post Walz and “the other player” target a national title appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

]]>
0