Starting with the second half of the game against Team USA, Louisville has seemed to be on a downward slide this week. They look completely out of sorts. No offense to Syracuse but they looked pretty bad today but Louisville couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes. Louisville finished the game with 22 turnovers and on at least three occasions that I can recall we threw the ball out of bounds to seemingly nobody. With about 2 minutes left in the game Louisville only had 39 points. In the December 29th game against Syracuse the Cards scored 31 points... in the first half.
Jazmine Jones struggled with foul trouble, but she still led Louisville in scoring with 15. She also had 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Kylee Shook had 13 rebounds and 5 points. Dana Evans scored 13 points but had 5 turnovers. Elizabeth Balogun is still in Serbia competing for the Nigerian national team.
After the game Coach Walz told Nick Curran, “The biggest problem right now is our basketball IQ. We have got to start trying to understand the game and really focusing on that everything matters.” He added, “It’s close to driving me to drink because it’s the toughest [team] we’ve had since we’ve been here at following the scouting report. We’re really simplifying things now. I’ve realized, and I’ll take the blame for it, we were getting a little bit too complicated.”
He said, “Offensively we’re absolutely horrendous right now. It will be nice to have E [Elizabeth Balogun] back.” He said that teams have to respect her as an outside threat and with her “gone these past two games everybody’s really been collapsing in and blitzing Dana and it’s made things more of a challenge for her.” He said that he’s caught some flack for letting her go compete in the Olympic trials but “if we want to recruit international players....if you don’t allow them to go you’ll never get an international players because playing for their home country is really something they take a lot of pride in.”
Coach Walz got T’d up after this foul call on Liz Dixon. pic.twitter.com/B9iolVJTpK— Rachel (@snicklefritz35) February 9, 2020
He said, “We had a good talk in the locker room after the game. It wasn’t yelling and screaming— it’s about hey what are we going to do? I challenged them to watch more basketball because I think we really need to do that...and then you can improve your basketball IQ.” He concluded, “Hate to lose. It’s something that’s now much fun doing. But what I’ve learned is if you browbeat them and just knock them down and knock them down it’s gets you nowhere either so we like to show them the film and the areas they need to improve.”
Unfortunately the Cards don’t get an easy game to try and bounce back. They travel to Raleigh to play NC State (#1 in the ACC and #7 in the country in last week’s poll) on Thursday at 8PM. The game is on the ACC Network.