Friday, November 13, 2015
Louisville women's basketball press conference with Jeff Walz -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
"WE'RE WORKING HARD AND WE'RE A WORK IN PROGRESS"
Jeff Walz met with members of the media Thursday afternoon at the KFC YUM! Center to discuss the upcoming season, the recent recruiting class commitments and whatever we wanted to discuss with him. CARDINAL COUPLE will play the interview in it's entirety on our Saturday radio show THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR AT 11 A.M.
Here are some excerpts from Walz's comments:
Question: Give us a state of the Cardinal as you are 72 hours from the opener:
WALZ: " Well, we could use another 72 hours on top of the 72 we have. You know...we're working hard, we're a work in progress but there's no question about it. We're extremely talented. Now it's a matter of getting that talent to play together. We do miss our senior leadership from last year. Jude, Shawnta, Sherrone, Sara and Bria. Those may not have been the kids scoring all the points but they did the little things behind the scenes. We're trying to find that right now. We're trying to find whose going to step up when things aren't going well and who will get things back together. Once we can establish who those people are going to be, then I think you'll really see us start to make some progress."
Question: Do you envision playing more bodies more minutes as you begin this season?
WALZ: " We're going to have to put our best out there. It really going to come down to where it could be game-by-game...We're going to have to figure out who can get the entire picture and put that forward."
Question (from Paulie): You've said in the past it's not so much who starts a game but it's who finishes a close game. Do you have five players in mind for that yet?
WALZ: No. You, me...Jody (Demling). Matt with one leg back there (radio play-by-play announcer Matt Andrews...who was sporting a hard cast around his right foot) Us four could be a start.
He's still got it, ladies and gentleman. That rapier, slightly sarcastic but teasing wit. ( I personally think we need a little more height...but scanning the room the only other tall guy I saw was Courier-Journal photographer Scott Utterback...and he's gonna have to drop the camera in order to go low post and create some space for me to work around the foul line and drive to the hoop.)
Talent. Young but off-the-charts. Seven of these girls have never experienced the building-shaking pre-game ceremonies or felt the spotlight on them as they get introduced by Sean Moth. How will they react when the first couple of shots don't fall? When it seems the refs won't give you a call...and Coach is screaming at you to get involved?
No one asked me...but I've seen a trend with them where Cortnee Walton and Myisha Hines-Allen are doing the on-court coaching, exorting and on-the-fly adjustments. Briahanna Jackson is too...and her speed and quickness serves as a great example of teaching by demonstration and not lecture. If there is a list for leadership candidates, you could certainly do worse that these three.
B.J is also the favorite player of Coach Walz's daughter Lola. That's gotta mean something, right?
Walz also had glowing reports on the five signees for 2016. Kylee Shook is a shooter at 6'5" who will rival any of his current three-point threats and a shot alterer. Sydney Zambrotta a pure scorer. Jazmine Jones so athletic, so versatile and game-aware. Ciera Johnson that strong, inside-the-paint dominator who can also run the floor. Bionca Dunham is one that Walz sees a lot of Candyce Bingham in someone who can also run the floor, score, rebound and intimidate smaller guards.
The future indeed looks bright. As does this year. Cal will come into town after a game tonight against Austin Peay in Clarksville, TN. If you want to do your own scout of the Bears...the contest will be available on the OVC Digital Network. It's accessible at the Austin Peay sports website and it's free. LINK BELOW:
CAL VS AUSTIN PEAY WBB
I'll plan on watching it. That is...if I have time. I've got to get ready to start Sunday afternoon and my conditioning is just slightly better than that of a bear just out of hibernation. Getting from the bed to the bathroom is cardio, right?
FEROCIOUS FLORIDA WEEKEND FOR VOLLEYBALL
Anne Kordes may have the Volleyball team in the Land of Sunshine...but they're probably not lounging by poolside in swimwear and wearing sunglasses. The VolleyCards face dangerous Miami tonight in Coral Gables. Miami (17-7, 10-4) has the reigning ACC Volleyball Player of the Week in Olga Strantzali who leads the team in kills (288) and in services aces (44).
#22 Louisville handled the Canes earlier this season with a 3-1 triumph. After losing the first set, the Cards came back to win the remainder of the games...led by Erin Fairs' 24 kills. The Cards still sit atop the ACC Volleyball standings with just one loss and one game up on North Carolina and FSU.
This one will be available on ESPN3. A 7 p.m. start time. Clear the calendar and bring Bill The Goat in from the shed, mama! We got some watchin' to do tonite!