( Today's CARDINAL COUPLE column is a commentary about the upcoming 2015-16 women's basketball squad. It is a speculative look at what we might see on the court this fall and winter...and the views expressed here are pretty much Paulie's and should be observed as just that...)
I was talking with a CARDINAL COUPLE reader a few days ago...actually about another UofL women's sport...when she raised this question about women's basketball:
Where is the rebounding coming from?
It is a good question. With the graduation of Shawnta' ,Sara and Sherrone...a lot of rebounding last year for Louisville has walked out the door for Jeff Walz's "Derby City Dozen".
Here's what we know in terms of returnees. Cortnee Walton is expected back after sitting most of last year with a foot injury. Walton has shown rebounding prowess in her previous years here...but questions remain on whether she can go 25-30 minutes a night over a probable 35-40 game schedule.
Emmonnie Henderson is also in that row boat. Add the penchant for "E" for drawing referee's whistles, and you wonder if she can evolve into a player that can give the team 20-25 minutes of solid rebounding and steady defense. We know she can score...but scorers don't seem to be a problem with this year's edition of Cards.
Myisha Hines-Allen returns after a productive and...at times...spectacular freshman season. She has the talent, size and skills to give Walz double-doubles every night. We'd like to see her intensity level increase, though. Put an Angel McCoughtry's determination and will-to-win in Myshia's mind-set and you have a deadly force to reckon with and a potential All-American.
Sydney Brackemyer is the "X" factor...because we've never really seen what she can do on the college level. She cam in as a player that had all "all-over-the-court" skills on the high school level. Can she become a Candyce Bingham type and attack the paint with purpose when rebounds are needed?
Add to this mix two highly ranked but yet unproven freshman in Sam Fuehring and Erin DeGrate. They have size, wonderful high-school resumes and have shown the ability to work inside and gather missed shots. Will that translate over to the college game. Is there a Sara Hammond or Asia Taylor in either of these two?
Rebounding, of course, is a five-player responsibility. Jude Schimmel had a knack for coming up with rebounding numbers that would make you scratch your head and wonder how the smallest player on the court was out-rebounding the 6'2" and 6'3" designed board grabbers. It was all about the positioning and anticipation of the ball location.
Mariya Moore can mix it up from the wing to the paint as well as anyone in the country. We'll soon know if the three guards coming in and Arica Carter can do what they will be needed to do on this team. They'll be expected to grab their share of missed shots.
And, with the mad scientist at the helm of the ship, they're always the possibility we might see another player or two join the roster. With the recent plethora of player's transferring lately, anything is possible.
|Can Cortnee become an Asia?|
Louisville will have plenty of guards/wings to create offense. Moore, Durr, Cole, Jones, Carter...all of these back court players are 20 points a night potential. Add a guard or two and you may just have the best young guard contingent in the nation. They'll definitely be the most exciting with the flamboyant Durr and Cole. We'll discuss guards down the road here.
Rebounding? It's a team effort, obviously... but your "bigs" are the catalysts. A duo of Hines-Allen and Walton could be very prolific and successful if they come ready to assume the crown and control the paint.