Thursday, July 24, 2014
Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Yes, they are watching...
THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- EX CARDS GETTING NATIONWIDE WNBA ATTENTION
The nationwide attention being bestowed on UofL WBB ex-stars Shoni Schimmel and Angel McCoughtry is undoubtedly the most attention ever paid to former Cardinal athletes in any professional venue in Cardinal sports history.
Name me two ex-Cards that are grabbing headlines for an entire season like #35 and #23 are gathering.
Pro football? Teddy will get press...but he isn't even guaranteed a starting job yet...much less being a starter in the All-Star game. And...name me (3) UofL football graduates that are grabbing headlines in the NFL.
NBA? I'll propose the same question. How many Pitino
alumni were starters in the All-Star game and how many have gone the to NBA Finals or led the league in scoring?
So...why the overwhelming success for Walz's prodigies?
The talent level is your first key. Shoni and Angel are two completely different types of basketball players...but get it done in their own unique way and have a fan base that gravitates to them.
Coaching is the second reason. Would have either Angel or Shoni reached the platitudes they now are bestowed if they had gone to Georgetown? Or Oregon?
Let's face it. Both are strong-willed, determined women. Not many coaches in college hoops could have handled the task of developing their game skills, dealing with their drive and desire and balanced their skills with their idiosyncrasies.
Thank you, Mad Scientist and staff...for possessing those juggling skills and keeping your sanity at the same time.
I was asked the other day...how many more Shoni's and Angel's will Walz turn out in the future?
The answer is....zero.
The two are unique and cannot be duplicated. There is strong chance, though...that the procession to the WNBA will continue for a Jane Smith or Sally Brown or Sandy White. Or choose any name you want. Different players, different skills. There are no clones.
Think back to how many times you saw Shoni or Angel take over games and bring the Cards back from the abyss and either win or get back into contests.
Desire. Will. Determination. Hungry and driven.
You must also credit a coach that is willing to overlook one miscue or errant play because he knows he's going to get four or five spectacular ones in return to offset them. Risk vs. reward.
Rolling the dice and winning.
Look to Geno Auriemma as the kingpin for developing WNBA talent. And look at Jeff Walz as a younger, heir apparent to developing and honing the skills of the future WNBA talent.
Walz is confident and correct in his advice to players that if they will just listen to the coaching staff and follow the game strategy, they will be successful and win.
Yes, these next Shoni's and Angel's...they will come. They may already be on campus. They've probably been to the camps. They know about the tradition and fan support for Louisville women's basketball.
And you can't buy that on the shelf at Food World.
It's often said...you can lead a horse to water but you can't make the horse drink.
With Jeff Walz...it's more like catching the wild horse from the pack, using freedom, disciplinary skills, coaching and teaching to turn the horse into a capable thoroughbred that eventually rises to the lead and wins the race by utilizing their own skills, the wise coaching advice and strategy and having that desire to win.
Keep training, coach.