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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Shoni pleased, Walz prepping.


-Walz, Schimmel address media

-Newbauer accepts Belmont position

For someone who had just completed three intensive days of basketball, flown across country and even attended class on Monday...Shoni Schimmel looked fresh as a daisy and ready to go out and pop threes for several hours.

She and Jeff Walz answered various questions from the media yesterday in the SAC and both seemed quite pleased with the way things had been going lately.

Schimmel is excited about being selected to the 12 player USA Women's World University Games team roster and related that all she did was go out and play as hard and as smart as she could during the trials. She also added that draining five or six threes in a row during competition probably didn't hurt her chances.

The selection list announcement had her a bit nervous and confused at first. The committee was going in alphabetical order and she was the second to last one named to the team...the final being Odyssey Sims. Technically, Bria Smith was still alive in the naming, too...for the last spot...but the Baylor guard got the nod.

When asked how she and Sims got along, Shoni smiled and commented, "Pretty good, actually."

I asked Shoni if playing against quite a few of the players involved in the tryouts over her career helped her in preparation for trying to gain a spot. She replied that it wasn't so much that...but playing with them during the sessions is what she believed helped her make the squad.

Shoni will tell you, she likes to play and that is what she goes out there to do. It has reaped pretty good rewards for her. A first trip ever to Russia coming up in a couple of months. The chance to shine on the world's stage. And being on a roster that includes seven other guards and "even bigs that can step outside and light it up"....according to her.

She also mentioned that Bria and Sara were excited for her selection and helped her celebrate...something that she noted some of the other players on other teams didn't seem as excited when their teammates, but not them, got selected. The mere experience of getting invited to participate with such a select group of college players is quite an honor in itself. It will be most beneficial to all three Cardinals who took part in the sessions.

Shoni also mentioned that several parents of the players and a few recruits complimented her and the squad on their magical run to the NCAA Championship game. When asked how many autographs she has been asked to provide over the last couple of months...she grinned broadly, in that unmistakable Shoni style, and replied:

"You'd be surprised..."

A fun summer ahead for the illustrious Shoni, doing what she loves best...playing the game.

Something she does quite well.


Jeff Walz is a humble man.

When asked if he would follow in Coach Pitino's footsteps and own a few thoroughbreds or Derby contenders...he smiled and replied that it would more likely be a couple of plow mules in his case. He's not ready to enter the world of horse-racing ownership.

He also dowplayed his role in helping get Cameron Newbauer primed and ready for his first coaching job...explaining that it was the incredible group of young ladies that drew the attention of the world to Louisville women's basketball and eventually Newbauer. He is proud and happy for Cameron, proud of all three assistants that have left his tutelage and assumed head coaching roles...but insists that his role in getting them there was based on what they wanted to achieve in terms of future goals and how he could help them get there. A true sign of humility and unselfishness. 

Walz also explained that there is no secret system or magical strategy involved in his successes and runs he has had at Louisville. He defers to the teaching that Paul Sanderford provided him when he was an assistant at Western and Nebraska and insists that the most important thing he learned was just how to "roll with it" as the game progresses. 

He also doesn't expect the proposed 10 second rule for women's college basketball will change the game dramatically. Maybe a bit at the end if a team is trying to protect a lead and can no longer dawdle in the backcourt for 15-20 seconds...but not for the majority of a contest. 

He is excited about Emmonnie Henderson, Janelle Cannon and Starr Breedlove arriving on campus to join the returning team and thinks they'll provide depth and immediate rewards for the squad. When pressed about the potential depth of sixteen players being a great benefit to Louisville...Walz gently reminded the questioner that he had similar teams with just as apparent depth but things can happen and he is choosing to take a wait and see approach on how things turn out.

Roll with it.

Walz maybe satisfied with mules in the field...but the championship fillies he'll have on the hardwood will provide Cardinal WBB fans with plenty of happy returns and exciting wins.  

A link below with Walz discussing Shoni's selection:
It'll get you to the main video page and you can go to
"Sports" and check out Walz's words.



Cameron Newbauer made his acceptance speech at Belmont this afternoon and displayed a nice sense of humor in his opening remarks. Here's a link to Cam's words:

Cameron Newbauer talks about being head coach



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