SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Junior Shoni Schimmel more than just a talented basketball player.
-USA WBB rolls past China 114-66.
(We continue with our look at the 2012-13 University of Louisville women's basketball team. We've reached the junior class and today's featured player is Shoni Schimmel.)
Our guess is if you asked a UofL sports fan to name a player on the women's basketball team, the name Shoni Schimmel would get the majority of responses.
If you asked which women's basketball player spoke the the Title IX conference in Washington, DC in late June...the answer is Shoni Schimmel also.
Who was the star of a 90 minute documentary about life and basketball on and off the Umatilla Indian Reservation? Shoni Schimmel.
Maybe the most ballyhooed recruit (so far) in the history of UofL women's basketball, the Mission, OR. junior has been in the media limelight since her freshman year in high school.
She has not disappointed.
During her freshman year, she was second leading scorer on the squad with 15.1 ppg. Few Cardinal women's basketball fans will ever forget her 33-point explosion against Xavier in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2011. All-American freshman honors. Honorable mention All-Big East. The daring, precocious guard that had fans shaking their heads and smiling in disbelief after seeing her passing, shots and overall play.
Louisville WBB fans...meet "Sho-time".
Last year saw her lead the Lady Cards with 14.3 ppg. Leading the 15 times in scoring during the season. Engineering another second round apperance in the NCAA and narrowly losing to a talented Maryland squad.
Ask her and she'll tell you she used to consider herself "just a basketball player." The Shoni Schimmel of 2012-13 is much more than that. A shining example to children of all ages that shows hard work, perseverance and dedication can make dreams come true. The catalyst in bringing a large fan base from the Pacific Northwest to the Louisville WBB team. The smiling, hyperactive lynch-pin on a Cardinal womens' basketball team that is getting plenty of pre-season hype as a top-10 contender.
She is team first and foremost, though. She'll tell you of the importance of team chemistry, of pressure defense, of the transition game and rebounding.
As she goes into her junior year, she will continue to "sho" Cardinal fans and opponents the skills and basketball play that have matured into a overall team player. Take your eyes off her and she's knocking in a long range three. Lighten up on the defense and she's whipping a no-look pass to an open post player. Get lazy with the ball and she's streaking by you with a steal and headed for a layup.
You've just been "Schimmeled"
"I knew what I was recruiting. She could have gone and played anywhere, but she couldn't have played for anybody." -- Jeff Walz on Shoni.
Basketball can be a funny game. Sometimes the shots won't fall, the refs seems biased against you and the ball seems to bounce directly into the opponents' hands on each loose ball. Overcoming the bad breaks is the sign of a disciplined, talented and mature team.
The team that Shoni will lead into the 2012-13 season is a disciplined, talented and mature group. A team that will be a force to reckon with in the BIG EAST. Gone is Becky Burke but back are Tia Gibbs and Monique Reid. Asia Taylor temporarily hobbled but Cortnee Walton and Megan Deines on board.
Shoni is the charismatic, flamboyant and volatile
spark that drives the engine of the Cardinal attack. A key to stopping in any opposing coach's pre game chalk-talk. Maybe the only player assured of being a starer in the 2012-13 lineup.
Media and fans will sometimes talk about "the face" of the program...the one player who embodies and represents the squad. It's a discretionary and subjective tag...our guess is that most would select Shoni for the role of "face". We also expect that Shoni would turn around and tell you that there is no "face" to the squad...that it's a team effort, a team victory, a team cause and a team philosophy.
On and off the court. From the "rez" to meeting the "prez". Shoni handles it all with the same grace, skill and confidence.
THE SCHIMMEL STATS:
Year Games Starts Points Rebs. Assists P.P.G
2010-11 35 35 528 125 172 15.1
2011-12 31 31 444 139 146 14.3
USA Olympic team with another lopsided win today...tying their all time point total with a 114-66
win over China. This one close early, China leading 28-25 with 1:30 left in first quarter.
Angel assist to cut it to one. Angel steal and layup. USA up by one. Candace Parker steal and pass to a streaking Angel to make it 31-28.
A 17-2 run that had USA off and away to a 61-36 1st half lead. Angel with five steals and six first half points.
She'd finish with 16 in 20 minutes. Five steals and six assists. D. Taurasi leading the Americans with 22. USA finishes pool play a perfect 5-0. Canada next, on Tuesday.