Hometown: Sendai, Japan
- A member of the U18 & U19 Japanese National Team
- 2018 U18 Women’s Asian Games Silver Medalist
- 3v3 team won a Silver Medal in the 2018 Asian Games
Norika’s freshman year was cut short due to a knee injury.
Coach Walz: “Norika could be 3rd in line in anything we do, watch the first two and then go out and do it better.”
Breakdown: Norika Konno is as selfless as they come. Konno is a well rounded combo guard and she sees the floor exceptionally well. There isn’t anything that she can’t do on the floor, except for maybe guarding a post player. Luckily for Norika, I highly doubt she gets put in that position. Norika really rebounds well for a guard and is very sound fundamentally on the fast break; and because she is not only a great but willing passer, she usually makes the right decision leading to a score. For as good a passer Norika is, she’s just as good and versatile at scoring. Konno is a high energy, high motor player and her teammates love her for that.
My Take: Last year, Norika played in 16 games and averaged 4.6ppg and 2apg. Konno wasn’t called on to score much last season, but did have a career high 11 points vs Chattanooga. This year, Konno still won’t be called on to score, but to be a key contributor off the bench. Despite coming off of a knee injury, Card Nation will see a steady improvement from a year ago. I don’t think she’ll record a triple-double this year, but I do think Konno has triple-double potential before she graduates from Louisville. The last player to have a triple-double for Louisville women’s basketball is Bria Smith, joining Angel McCoughtry (2) and Sara Nord (3).