Here is today’s press conference from Louisville Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jeff Walz. He talks progress, attendance, safety, newcomers and much more….
(click more for quotes from the presser)
Coach Walz started off the teleconference stating how honored he was to win the iron man competition. A competition that started off with 4hrs of tennis and 18 holes of golf. Competition lasted about 8 ½ hours, coach logged over 39,000 steps and shot an 87 to win. Coach also joked about only carrying 7 clubs in his bags as opposed to a full set of clubs.
“Really pleased at where we are as a team.”
“It’s going to probably be the Deepest team that we’ve had here.”
“Our guard play is extremely good right now.”
“Our post play is getting better.”
Coach Walz mentioned that he loved the competitiveness of his team and that he has 12 that he can play in every game and “It’s not a huge drop off.”
There is also a high probability of seeing multiple starting lineups early as coach Walz maneuvers his chess pieces on the board to maximize this team’s talents. Not just starting the best 5 players on the team.
“I’ve changed up the three scrimmages that we’ve had. I’m really still trying to work on, okay what’s going to be the best combination.”
“Liz Dixon has had some great improvement over the summer. Excited where she is.”
“Olivia Cochran is a freshman…I knew she was good but she playing even better than I thought she would this early in her career.”
“Her strength, ability to finish around the basket with contact. Even though she’s 6’2, she’s by far the best back to the basket post player that we’ve had here as a freshman in my 14 years.”
“All three of my freshman: Hailey Van Lith, Olivia Cochran and Merissah Russell are going to play….. and play significant minutes.”
“Ahlana Smith our junior college transfer, she’s played extremely well.”
“She’s got D1 experience at a high level,go to junior college really refined some things, got better and now she’s fitting in well.”
“Not very often you get 4 newcomers that are eligible to play and all 4 of them are going to be able to come in and compete with a pretty darn good returning group.”
“We’re just grateful that we’re going to be able to have some fans.”
(3,000) a little less than a ⅓ that what we usually draw.
“Got a lot of faith and confidence in our fans that those 3,000 are going to come and makeup for the other 6500 to 7000 that we usually get.”
Coach Walz is still expecting a very good homecourt environment.
Scheduling and Cancelled games:
“Some games were canceled based on when we were planning to play them.”
“Went from 18 to 20 (conference games) and cut down the number of regular season games you are allowed to have to 25, if you’re not playing into an NTE. So now all of a sudden you’re down to 5 games.”
Coach Walz also talked about the importance and impact of the new student housing will have on recruiting, not just for his program but for others.
“It’s going to be big for all of our programs. Men’s basketball, lacrosse and us to he able to have a facility right across the street.”
“It’s one of those things we feel will help us in the world of recruiting and for our current players as well.”
Rivalry game pushed back to next year due to the uncertainty of non-conference games and fans being at games.
Coach Walz is also working on a few backup plans in case scheduled games have any conflict or needs to be canceled.
“Hey my game tomorrow night just got canceled. Anybody looking for a game? Then meet up, if it’s my place or their place and go play. Find three officials and that’s going to be our game.”
“They’ve (players) worked so hard this summer, this fall. They want to play games.”
“Obviously we would do it to make sure it’s safe and done right.”