Thoughts on Louisville vs. Kentucky

Intensity, excitement…Some great women’s basketball all wrapped up in a tense 40 minute package. A few notes on Louisville’s 64-58 victory over Kentucky on Sunday.

Credit Kentucky for showing resilience. On several occasions Jeff Walz’s Cardinals built a three possession lead and threatened to open this contrast up. Kentucky, on the road, hung tough and answered every challenge. In the stretch this was still anyone’s game.

Both coaches were ‘animated’ in questioning the calls or no calls of the officials. Thought Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy was a bit vocal. Down the stretch she questioned every play. That can only lead to a loss of focus in coaching. In other words, you are worried more about what the officials are doing rather than your team.

Also thought the UK assistants had too much say with the officiating crew. As an official (high school and AAU) for three decades and counting, I can attest we are taught not to take criticism from assistants. As they tell us in officials clinics, ‘deal with the five ‘star general’ (head coach) not the ‘buck privates’ assistants)’. That bench decorum is the head coach’s responsibility but if the assistants are totally out of line guess who gets the technical?

Elzy did get a ‘T’ with seconds to play and Louisville just closing out the victory. Again, officials are taught not to call the T with seconds left and the game decided. On the other hand if a coach oversteps the line and says the magic word(s) an official worth his or her salt has no choice.

Very impressed with Louisville sophomore Hailey Van Lith. The 5’7" Van Lith scored 13 points and had a game high +11 in the plus/minus department. She hot some big shots in the stretch and liked how Walz put her on the left side of the floor as a wing to utilize her left handed dribble penetration to get to the basket.

Dre’Una Edwards of UK also impressed with a 14 point 14 rebound outing. She was guilty of 7 turnovers but did hit a number of key buckets to keep the Cats right in the hunt.

Just a great 40 minutes all around.