It hasn’t been a bad week at all for Louisville women’s basketball. Olivia Cochran and Hailey Van Lith were officially named McDonald’s All-Americans on Thursday. That night Jeff Walz’s team gave him his 350th victory with a 71-56 win over Virginia that improved Louisville to 19-1 and a perfect 8-0 in ACC play. While still #5 in the AP poll there are some voices that think they deserve the top spot, while in the coach’s poll the Cards have improved to #3. On Sunday the Cardinals welcome the Pitt Panthers who are…fundamentally challenged. This shouldn’t be a difficult test against a 3-15 and win-less in the ACC Pit team, but stranger things have happened.

Louisville Top Team In Country

Game Info:

DATE: Sun 26 Jan 2020
TIME: 4:00 p.m. EST
SITE: KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, KY)
WATCH: ACC Network
LISTEN: 790 AM WKRD

The 2017-2018 season was a no good, very bad year for basketball in Pittsburgh. Ten days after Kevin Stallings was fired from the men’s head coaching position, women’s coach Suzie McConnell-Serio was handed her walking papers as well. Enter Lance White, a well-credentialed and lauded assistant out of Florida State. Now in year two, the second consecutive Pitt coach tasked with resurrecting the program is, shall we say, struggling.

Pitt finds themselves either dead last or in the bottom three of nearly every stat category with an 0-7 record in ACC play. One of the few categories in which they excel is rebounding, but a deeper look shows you that’s attributable to how many missed shots there are per game. Still, credit should be given to a relatively small team that will tenaciously crash the boards if you let them.

White’s first recruiting class has created a mixture of high caliber young talent with seasoned veterans led by graduate Aysia Bugg. The 5’7″ guard is a study in perseverance having redshirted in 2017-2018 only to spend most of 2018-2019 on the bench due to struggles with blood clots. Like old teammate Yacine Diop, Bugg was granted a sixth year of eligibility. And like Diop she’s making the most of it. Her 13 points per game leads the Panthers and Bugg presents a notable threat from three point range.

As for the next generation, freshman Amber Brown is an example of the recruiting ability for which Lance White was hired. The 6’0″ swingman leads the team in rebounding with an 8.6 per game average that’s seventh in the ACC. Add to that her 9.9 points per game and you’ve got a post player that’s not to be trifled with.

Fellow freshman Dayshanette Harris was contributing about nine points off the bench before earning a starting spot against N.C. State. Despite the losing effort against the Wolfpack, Harris managed a 16 point performance that should definitely draw some notice from Louisville’s defenders.

But no matter how you cut it, Pitt’s still working things out. One thing that does stand out, however, is that the Panthers are a measure of how far one other team has fallen. Last season Notre Dame crushed Pitt 100-44. This season? The Irish escaped Pittsburgh with a 60-52 win. Damn.

Game Info:

DATE: Sun 26 Jan 2020
TIME: 4:00 p.m. EST
SITE: KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, KY)
WATCH: ACC Network
LISTEN: 790 AM WKRD

PROBABLE STARTERS:

#5 Louisville (19-1 | 8-0)
G #1 Evans
G #4 Balogun
G #23 Jones
F #33 Dunham
F #21 Shook

Pittsburgh (3-15 | 0-7)
G #1 Harris
G #2 Bugg
G #12 Green
F #5 Brown
C #11 Judkins

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Your source for UofL Women's Basketball + Men's/Women's Soccer news via the The Crunch Zone. If I'm not at a UofL game you can find me at a Louisville City FC game, or doing Men's Basketball post-game on ESPN680/93.9 The Ville with my man Joe Kelly. Husband, cat owner, sports consumer.

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