The Louisville Cardinals are embracing lofty expectations this season.
Despite losing the winningest class in program history – Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring and Arica Carter – many “talking heads” have the Cardinals projected to win the ACC.
Both Debbie Antonelli and Monica McNutt have rang Louisville’s praises.
“Louisville has the most talent and the most depth and certainly Jeff Walz has been there before and has built a winning culture around what he does.” Antonelli said.
The Cardinals may have lost Durr, Fuehring and Carter – three crucial pieces to Louisville’s offensive and defensive effort – but, that doesn’t worry head coach Jeff Walz.
“What’s exciting me right now is where Jazmine Jones has taken her game, Dana Evans and Kylee Shook.” Coach Walz said. “Kids on last year’s team who were very good basketball players but did their role and did a great job. Now, all of a sudden you are going to be the one to find your shot, create that shot.”
Louisville’s roster not only features great senior leadership – with Yacine Diop, Kylee Shook, Bionca Dunham, Jessica Laemmle and Jazmine Jones – but, powerful transfers and a stacked freshman class.
A pair of Georgia Tech transfers will certainly help fill the gaps left by Durr and Fuehring. Both Elizabeth Dixon and Elizabeth Balogun started all 30 games for the Yellow Jackets a season ago.
Balogun led Georgia Tech in scoring on 13 occasions. She produced six 20-plus point games, two 30-plus point outings and scored double-figures in 24 matches. Balogun was named ACC Rookie of the Year after leading all ACC Freshman with an average of 14.6 points per game. She is a 6’1 guard who can shoot the ball extremely well.
Dixon led all ACC Freshmen in rebounding averaging 6.4 per game. She was named ACC Freshman of the Week three times, and was named to the All ACC Freshman Team. Dixon was the third leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets averaging 11 points per game. She scored double-figures on 19 occasions and produced three 20-plus point games. Dixon is a 6’5 forward who racked up four double-doubles in her freshman season.
Louisville also has an incoming McDonald All American in Nyah Green. Joining Green are fellow freshman Ramani Parker – a four star forward – and Norika Konno – a 5’10 guard from Japan.
The Cardinals may surprise some this season with its talent and depth. Charlie Creme ranked Louisville at 8th in his Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25. But, the Cardinals have the potential and depth to climb into the top 5.