Louisville Guard Asia Durr dribbles while forward Myisha Hines-Allen runs down-court. Hines-Allen and Durr are the two team leaders on the Cards this season. Photo by our friends at Cardinal Couple.
team picked second in acc, ranked 9th overall
Already, the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team is receiving recognition. And rightly so. These girls are ranked 10th in the coaches’ poll, and 9th in the AP top 25. We’ll have our first look at them this Friday, as the Cards open against Southeast Missouri.
Head coach Jeff Walz’s starting five will look mainly familiar, as bench players will more likely fill starting roles.
Projected Starting five: Asia Durr, G; Arica Carter, G; Jazmine Jones, G; Myisha Hines-Allen, F; Sam Fuehring, F;
The highlight of the team is Durr. She’s received a tremendous number of preseason honors, including the Coaches’ Preseason ACC Player of the Year, and preseason All-American. She also played for the Under-23 National team over the summer, and was invited to the Women’s Basketball National Media Day. She’s earned all her honors. Durr led the Cards as a sophomore last season, averaging 19.2 points per game. She’s an accurate player; shooting a .424 field goal mark, .405 from three.
The other player receiving attention is forward Myisha Hines-Allen. She’s a true forward, and a physical one. She led the team in rebounds and steals last season, as well as averaging 13.9 points. She’s also accurate from close, and maintained a .493 field goal percentage. Hines-Allen was named preseason All-ACC by the coaches and Blue-Ribbon Panel. She was ranked 24th in ESPNW’s top-25 players list.
Coming off an injury is Arica Carter. The 5’8” redshirt junior from LA suffered a groin injury and missed all of 2016-17. But before her injury, she was a team player. She racked up 87 assists in 2015-16 in 29 starts, and 34 games. She also shot .410 from three.
“It feels amazing” Carter said when asked how it feels to be back, “I wouldn’t say I’m at 100%, but I’m on my way there.”
Rounding out the starting five is Jazmine Jones and Sam Fuehring. Both have been good, and deserve to start. Jones, a guard, rebounded 97 balls in just 558 minutes, had low turnovers, and was a decent shooter from close-range. While she missed all three 3-point field goal attempts, she has done well with assists and steals, and can play more like a small-forward.
Fuehring is a great rebounder, and an outstanding close-range shooter. She’s made over 50% of field goal attempts, though missed all three 3-point tries.
Off the bench, Walz has a few more weapons. Freshman guard Dana Evans comes to Louisville a five-star recruit, was a McDonald’s All-American, and was the No. 3 overall recruit by ProspectNation. As a Senior at West Side High School in Gary, Indiana, she averaged a whopping 35.8 points.
Then there’s forward Kylee Shook. The Sophomore had starting experience last year, was a rebound and block machine, and a good close-range shooter.
The ACC is stiff competition. Five teams are ranked in the coaches’ poll, four in the AP top-25. The Cards were picked second in the conference. Only Notre Dame is ranked higher. It’ll make for a fun January- Louisville plays all of them in January. The Cards host three- Duke, Notre Dame, and Florida State.
But before, the Cards will need to answer some key questions: the main one being who will step up and be a playmaker? The Cards third highest-scorer from last season, Mariya Moore, transferred to Southern California, leaving a hole to be filled. The team needs a couple other players to play at a high-level, if they hope to compete with the class of the ACC.
We’ll have our answers this Friday, when the season begins for real.
Louisville plays Friday at 7, before travelling to Columbus, Ohio, to take on No. 5 Ohio State on Sunday at 4.