UofL WBB Player Spotlight: Norika Konno

Norika Konno:

Number: 11

Height: 5’10

Class: Junior

Position: Guard

Hometown: Sendai, Japan

 Accolades:

  • 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
  • Participated in the Japanese National Team Training Camp in Tokyo in preparation of the 2020 Olympic Games.

Norika played in all 30 games last year, she only played in 16 the previous year because a knee injury cut her season short. Konno averaged just over 12 mpg and 3.4 ppg while shooting 48.1-percent from the floor last year.

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, well except for maybe guarding a post player. Luckily for Norika, I highly doubt she gets put in that position. Norika rebounds really well for a guard and is very sound fundamentally on the fast break; and because she 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: During her sophomore year, Norika showed glimpses of her potential in multiple games. Konno had a career high 6 steals in the NCAA Tournament First Round, 7 rebounds vs Boston College, and 10 points vs a really good Syracuse team. Norika has shown steady improvement over her years at Louisville. This year, Konno still won’t be called on to score, but will be a key contributor off the bench. Konno has the ability to score, but has to work on her consistency with her jump shot. She does that and she will definitely be a problem. She already does a lot of the intangibles on both ends of the floor. 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). Hopefully, Konno will join this list eventually.

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