The University of Louisville women’s basketball team got double the good news early this morning, as two players announced that they plan on returning to school next year. Current seniors Ahlana Smith and Mykasa Robinson are planning on taking advantage of the extra year granted to them because of the Covid-19 outbreak. The outbreak put an immediate stop to the end of the 2019-20 season and drastically impacted most of the 2020-21 season.
Mykasa, who’s from Ashland, Kentucky is one of the best defenders in the country. She has played in all 23 games for the Cards this season and is a key reserve. Often times she sacrifices her offense for team success. Mykasa is averaging 20.5mpg, 3.9ppg, 3.7rpg, and countless hits to the face and charges drawn per game; all while usually taking the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s leading scorer on the perimeter or in the post. Robinson, who definitely is a fan favorite among Card Nation and UofL WBB had this to say:
Let's keep chasing rings right, Mykasa??
— Louisville WBB (@UofLWBB) February 16, 2022
Ahlana Smith is an interesting development and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Smith was one of the top JUCO players in the country when she came to Louisville, but was reduced to backing up the 2-time ACC POY Dana Evans.
This year, Smith is still a backup, but has seen an increase in both her minutes and her role on the team. Smith has played in all 23 games and is averaging 14.5mpg to go along with 5.2ppg. Smith is a relentless and athletic defender for the Cards.
— Louisville WBB (@UofLWBB) February 16, 2022
Fellow seniors: Emily Engstler, Liz Dixon, and Kianna Smith have all expressed interest and are most likely going to enter the WNBA draft, while Chelsie Hall has run out of eligibility.
Robinson and Ahlana will notably have bigger roles next season, but will be joining current teammates: Hailey Van Lith, Olivia Cochran, Peyton Verhulst, and Alexia Mobley just to name a few. There is also the class of incoming freshmen set to join the team: Nyla Harris, Zyanna Walker, Imani Lester and Jayln Brown.
To read more about Mykasa Robinson’s and Ahlana Smith’s decisions, check out the press release below:
Press Release From University of Louisville Athletics:
Louisville women’s basketball seniors Mykasa Robinson and Ahlana Smith announced on Wednesday that they will both take advantage of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility and return to the Cardinals for the 2022-23 season.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2022
On the Web: https://uofl.me/3rSpnYC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville women’s basketball seniors Mykasa Robinson and Ahlana Smith announced on Wednesday that they will both take advantage of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility and return to the Cardinals for the 2022-23 season.
Robinson is the lone four-year senior on this year’s roster and has helped lead the Cardinals to three straight Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles. Last season, she was one of five players named to the ACC All-Defensive Team and ESPN.com‘s Mechelle Voepel recognized her as one of the top 12 defenders in the country.
In ACC play this season, she is shooting 50 percent from the floor. Against Florida State, she finished with a season-high nine points on 3-5 shooting, adding four assists and four steals, while committing just one turnover. In the win over Wake Forest, she entered midway through the first quarter and her defense helped trigger a 32-0 run that stretched from the second to the third quarter. She finished with a season-high and team-high seven assists.
“I’m super excited to announce that I will be coming back to play for another year. I’m so excited to get the opportunity to play in front of Card Nation for another season,” said Robinson.
Smith has been a key contributor off the bench for the Cardinals all season long. She stepped up huge in the 64-58 win over Kentucky in December, contributing 13 points on 6-11 shooting. A week later, her strong second quarter helped get the Cardinals back into the game against UConn and she finished with 11 points on 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc in the 69-64 win.
Just last week, she tied her career-high with 13 points on 6-11 shooting in the 100-64 win at Syracuse.
“From the moment I stepped onto Louisville’s campus, I knew I made the right decision to come here. I just want to say thank you to Card Nation for making my experience here worthwhile. With that being said, I’ll be taking full advantage of my extra year of eligibility and will return next season,” said Smith.