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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Basketball recruiting


WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(Jenny O'Bryan with the Wednesday CARDINAL COUPLE edition. She looks at one of her favorite areas of college basketball -- recruiting. )




Louisville Women’s Basketball made it’s second appearance in the National Championship game in just 5 years.  Coach Walz took a team in 2009, with the likes of Candyce Bingham and Angel McCoughtry, to the Championship game. 

But, Coach Walz inherited those players.  All of this current team was recruited by Walz.  That legitimizes (in case you needed convincing) that Louisville Women’s Basketball and Walz belong in the conversation of basketball programs.  This team, a team blistered with injuries for the last two years, and who sat 3, sometimes 4, would-be starters due to injuries much of the season, made it to the Championship Game.  

The Cardinals were the talk of the post season.  With a program-changing win over Baylor, equally impressive wins over Tennessee and Cal, Coach Walz and his Cardinals were the buzz in the post season.  As well they should have been!

Every time you tuned in to post season basketball commentators were talking about the game planning of Coach Jeff Walz and crew.  Dubbed the “Mad Scientist” on the sidelines our beloved Coach was talked about incessantly.  Let me tell you folks, you cannot buy that kind of publicity. 

The recruiting boon for Louisville Basketball started happening after the 2009 Championship game.   The recruiting class of 2009 was in the books, but the class of 2010 had the 2009 run on their mind.  Need I remind you of the young women who entered campus in the Fall of 2010?  The class was highlighted by Shoni Schimmel, the highest ranked recruit to ever don a Louisville uniform, ranked at #8 coming out of high school.  I cannot seem to lay my eyes on the rank of the class, but I believe it was in the top 4 in the country.  The following year Bria Smith, Sara Hammond and Jude Schimmel arrived on campus.  Smith also ranked #8 in her class, matching the highest ranked recruit to ever play for Louisville Women’s Basketball. 

The class of 2013 is all but in the books.  We have a lot of great recruits to look forward to joining this team next year.  Even more exciting, is that for the great recruits we do have, we were in the final 2 for the #1 recruit in the nation, Mercedes Russell.  We were in the top 3 of #4/5 ranked player in the country Becca Greenwell.   This was 4 years past the 2009 Championship Game and top recruits in the country were very seriously considering Louisville Basketball for their destination. 

While Coach Walz and Company did not snag those top recruits, it is important that they were in it to the final stages with those kids.  I think the day where Schimmel and Smith are the highest ranked recruits to play for Louisville Basketball is about to come to an end. 

With this post-season run and the phenomenal accomplishments of the entire Athletic Department, Louisville has secured itself as a destination for elite athletes.  I, without a doubt, believe this. 

My intent of this article was to talk about names that are being mentioned as potential recruits.  As I sat down to write it though, I ran across this very nice article by Jody Demling at CARDINAL AUTHORITY.   I am going to just point you to his article to read about the names being mentioned.  Of the kids he mentions I am hearing a LOT of chatter about Ariana Freeman, Jasmine Lumpkin and Kelsey Mitchell.    My intent was to profile those 3 kids in-depth, but that can wait ‘til next week.
 
Enjoy the read:
 
CARDINAL AUTHORITY 

-Jenny O'Bryan

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(Editor Note...Louisville women's golf did finish second to Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Championships and softball (weather permitting) heads to Lexington today for battle with the 'Cats. Last we heard...it was a 6 p.m. start and was to be televised on Fox Sports South.)

-- 

5 comments:

  1. If the Cards can get Lumpkins, Mitchell and Freeman, along with Sydney Brackemyre then it would be a excellent class. How many can the Cards take on in the 2014 class Jenny?

    Curtis Franklin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Although I have had (and, yes, still have) criticisms of Walz, I also believe in giving credit where credit is due, and Walz's performance with the media during the tournament was simply superb and can only boost Lville recruiting. Here's a guy who has had to overcome a significant speech impediment, and now he's getting ESPN mics stuck in his face at highly stressful/emotional times. So what does he do? He calmly delivers one great one-liner after another and shows himself as someone who would be fun to play for. Speaking in public in general is not easy, and I'm sure it's not any easier during the middle of or at the end of a close game, which is why most coaches, when they're being interviewed, act like they're suffering from a severe case of hemerroids. With the possible exception of Geno, who already has achieved mythical status with the media, Walz outclassed every other coach when it came to interviews, and he certainly held his own in talking trash with Geno as well. If high school kids with WCBB D-1 aspirations didn't know about him before, they do now.
    --PDX Phil

    ReplyDelete
  3. 5'11 Guard Ariana Freeman commits to Louisville today!!
    Jenny

    ReplyDelete
  4. Staff is putting on the full court press on Mikayla Venson. Ariana reminds me a bit of Charmaine Tay. Crazy atheltic, plays good D, and is a very good rebounder. But unlike Tay, she seems to have a good attitude. Hope she works crazy on her mid range and 3 point shot.

    We really need to land some elite bigs.

    ReplyDelete

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