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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Cardinal Couple -- Tapley loaded for bear


-Kentucky Premier holding some potential Cards

-2015 Georgia prep star Benham verbals to UofL

In this changing and challenging world of high school recruiting, sometimes we forget that there is a second source and force besides the prospect's high school that can shape and guide a girls' decisions and rationale when it comes to a college choice.

Welcome to club ball.

Club ball, travel teams are the entity that allow the rising

prospects to play, compete and get exposure when they aren't playing for their high school team. It's present in a multitude of sports besides basketball. It's an assembly of the best players in a certain area who band together and play a competitive schedule against other club teams.

I remember several years ago going to one of these shootouts for club teams that was held in Cardinal Arena. I was new to the travel team concept...this club ball scenario was first time fact gathering to me.

One of the players who impressed me played for Kentucky Premier, probably the best program in the state and the Ohio Valley area. I approached the Premier coach...David Tapley and asked if I could interview her. And I had a delightful talk with Makayla Epps. She was dead solid and sold on UofL then.

Things change.

In today's Courier-Journal, reporter Steve Jones has a nice article about Tapley's latest "clubbers" who are picking up some major college interest. He's got several players that  UofL is targeting.

I'm sure our Jenny here at Cardinal Couple has the names Krys McCune, Maci Morris, Erin Boley, Nora Kiesler, Lindsay Duvall and Alexis Robinson on her Twitter and Facebook hunt lists. A look at the Louisville Elite Camp Roster from June 26th. shows that three of the six were participants. A review of my notes from that camp reveals that I was pretty impressed with Kiesler, Morris and Duvall.

They all play for Tapley and Kentucky Premier.

If you put these six girls on the same high school team here in Kentucky, they'd win the state Girls Championship trophy going away. In club ball, though, they face teams with similar talent almost every weekend.

When a young woman announces her college choice it is usually at her high school with her parents and high school coach nearby. When the university announces the signing of this player, they always make mention of the high school. But when the recruiting services review a young lady, they base a lot of their rankings and ratings on club ball performance. What has Jeff Walz and his staff been doing for a lot of July? Going to club ball tournaments.

When I was a boy, you played either Optimist or backyard basketball until you got to the seventh grade. Then there was junior high hoops, freshman teams and varsity. Club ball? Never heard of it.

Times have changed.

Tapley has direct access to six of the best in the state. Louisville has either offered or is probably going to offer the six mentioned above.

Power broker or benevolent mentor?

Tapley has both titles. A high school coach gets a player for
maybe four months a year. A club team gets a longer time with these kids. Even in the eighth grade. Look at Lindsay Duvall. She was impressive in the Walz Skills Camp. She visited UofL on Thursday. Tapley wasn't sure whether UofL had made an offer, but Cardinal assistant coach Samantha Williams supposedly has told him, "I will not lose this kid."

These days, it's good to be David Tapley.


Maya Benham 5-11 WF 2015 Douglas County HS GA is going ACC. Benham gave verbal to Jeff Walz & Louisville Cardinals. DOUGLASVILLE Lady Tigers
We now have the 2015 recruiting class underway. My notes on her from the June 26th. skills camp at UofL.

Maya Benham (2015) 5'11" Douglas Co. (GA)Loved the way she shot, passes, hustled and has a very dominating court presence. Drives in traffic to hoop well.

You're gonna love this girl, Lady Cards fans!




  1. I’m forwarding you some links to stories about Shoni and Jude inspiring young Native Americans in South Dakota. I believe I met the youth worker referenced in one of the stories, but I can’t remember his name. I met him at the Colorado game. He and his wife had driven from South Dakota to come to the game; he told me that he worked with youth in his tribe and that Shoni and Jude were a great inspiration to the kids. And then I ran into him and his wife again - totally by chance - in New Orleans standing in line to get in to the championship game.

    1. Thanks, Phil. We'll post the links tomorrow!


  2. hey paulie why all the love for tapley here? you do know it was tapley who convinced epps n rogers to decommit and go uk right?

    big popi

    1. I DO NOT know that. All I DO know is that in the coupe times I have talked with David is that he is a pleasant, engaging man who is passionate about what he does. Conspiracy theories have no place here, Popi. What's next? You gonna tell me the earth is flat and there are aliens circling above us...


    2. Paulie, the earth is flat and underneath it is where all those missing socks are.

      --Joe Hill--

  3. I know David personally and he does more for his kids than I am sure necessary. He is in the business for all the right reasons, trying to help kids reach their potential and their goals of playing at the next level. At the end of the day, student athletes make the best decisions for them, based on their needs and where they perceive they will fit best in a program. Might he offer advice if asked, I am sure he does much like any responsible adult, parent or mentor. Did he in this case, I have no idea and it does not matter.

    I wish as a fan base we could let the Epps/Goodin-Rogers thing go. They decommitted, they felt it was in their best interest. They were at the time, and still are, kids. Please, folks, let it go.


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