The Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team was picked to finish 2nd this season in the American Athletic Conference behind defending National Champion UConn. Here is the official press release from GoCards.com.
The University of Louisville women’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the 2013-14 American Athletic Conference regular-season title. The selection was made by the league’s 10 head coaches, who were not permitted to select their own teams. Shoni Schimmel, Antonita Slaughter and Sara Hammond were selected to the preseason all-conference team.
Louisville was picked to finish second in The American after the Cardinals finished last year as the national runner up. Preseason All-Conference selections Slaughter and Schimmel return to lead the team as seniors this season. Schimmel led the team last year with 14.2 ppg and 136 assists, while Slaughter was third on the team with 10.1 ppg and a .358 3-point shooting percentage. Hammond, also an All-Conference honoree, was second on the team with 10.8 ppg and averaged a team-leading 6.4 rebounds per game.
UConn was selected unanimously to win the league in the inaugural year of the American Athletic Conference after the Huskies won the NCAA Championship title last year. UConn returns three starters and seven of its top-eight scorers from last year’s national championship squad. Connecticut finished 35-4 in 2012-13 to post its eighth-straight 30-win season. The Huskies enter the 2013-14 season having appeared in a record six-straight Final Fours and UConn has advanced to at least the Final Four 11 times since 2000. The Huskies will be led by Preseason American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Breanna Stewart, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four last season. Joining Stewart is junior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and senior Stefanie Dolson, both selected by the coaches as Preseason All-Conference team members.
Schimmel was one of three unanimous selections to the Preseason All-Conference along with UConn’s Breanna Stewart and Stefanie Dolson. Schimmel was named the Most Outstanding Player for the Oklahoma City Regional. She also earned WBCA All-Region honors and first team All-BIG EAST honors. She led the Cardinals in scoring and assists with 14.2 points and 3.6 assists per game. Schimmel was also one of 12 players named to the 2013 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games.
Hammond was second on the team last year in scoring with 10.8 ppg. She led the team in rebounding with 6.4 boards per game and was tied for the team lead with 34 blocks. Hammond was also second on the team in free throw percentage, connecting on 80.6 percent. Slaughter was third on the Cardinals’ roster in scoring with 10.1 ppg. Slaughter played in all 38 games, averaging 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting a team-high .358 from 3-point range. In the NCAA Championship win against Baylor, Slaughter had seven 3-pointers for 21 points. During the BIG EAST regular season, Slaughter was second on the team with 13.3 points per game.
2013-14 Preseason Coaches Poll Points
1. Connecticut (9) 81
2. Louisville (1) 73
3. USF 59
4. Rutgers 57
5. SMU 50
6. Memphis 32
7. Cincinnati 30
8. UCF 28
9. Temple 25
10. Houston 15
Preseason Player of the Year
Breanna Stewart, UConn, So., F
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Tyler Scaife, Rutgers, Fr., G
Preseason All-Conference Team
Briahanna Jackson, UCF, So., G
Dayeesha Hollins, Cincinnati, R-Sr., G
*Stefanie Dolson, UConn, Sr., C
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn, Jr., F
*Breanna Stewart, UConn, So., F
Keena Mays, SMU, Sr., G
Sara Hammond, Louisville, Jr., F
*Shoni Schimmel, Louisville, Sr., G
Antonita Slaughter, Louisville, Sr., G
Inga Orekhova, USF, Sr., G
Preseason All-Conference Honorable Mention
Betnijah Laney, Rutgers, Jr., G/F
Bria Hartley, UConn, Sr., G