FRESHMAN'S INPUT HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL DURING CARDS WIN STREAK.
Prior to the Louisville WBB nine-game win streak, highly heraled freshman Asia Durr was averaging a little over 10 points per game in the five contests she played in. Beginning with the 12/13/15 win over IUPUI, Durr has scored 78 points in the nine games (8.6 ppg) in roughly 20 minutes a game. Fourth leading scorer on a squad that currently has three players averaging close to fourteen points a game or better.
Contributions cannot always be measured in terms of points scored, however, and a confident Asia Durr is one of the key reasons that the Cards have jumped into a top-25 ranking and are undefeated in ACC play.
Ask Duke head coach Joanne P. McCauley after Duke's loss to Louisville:
"I thought 25 [Durr] did a great job for them. Durr...she's a terrific player and showed great poise as a freshman...to do what she did....they didn't have Durr early...Durr's a big difference for them...she might be the best player on their team and she's a terrific basketball player. She has the right kind of poise. She doesn't get rattled."
That from a coach who was in the mix for the Douglasville, GA player...along with Maryland, Baylor, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Louisville. Against the Blue Devils, Durr delivered 15 points...her second-highest output of the season...on 6-17 shooting...three threes, two assists, two steals and just one turnover and foul in 28 solid minutes...her longest playing time of the season.
Durr is averaging 11.25 ppg in the four ACC games she and her teammates have played in and has eight steals. She's also had just two turnovers. With her and Briahanna Jackson....Louisville has dual threats at the shooting guard positions, opponents have to be prepared for different styles and multiple skills when either is in the contest.
When a foe has the ball, the clear and present danger is that the Louisville defense has not allowed anyone to score 70 points since early December....and held ACC foes to an average of 56.5 points per game.
Playing through the pain has been a big part of her success. Hampered by a groin injury since the summer of 2015, there was concern about further injury...but test results from the doctors indicated that the injury was healing well and there was no chance of aggravating the groin, just the pain of healing. The words were a catalyst in her performance. Dealing with pain management is a lot easier than dealing with the psychological worry of further injury.
The dictionary describes durable as: "able to withstand wear, pressure or damage". Perhaps there should be a picture of Asia Durr next to the description.
Louisville has the steady scoring of Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore. Walz knows he's going to get 100% + effort out of Jackson anytime she is on the court. He has said that Cortnee Walton is the best rebounder he has seen in his twenty years of coaching.
With Arica Carter and Taja Cole giving the Cards steady minutes at the point...Durr's emergence as that fourth threat to put up huge offensive numbers is another headache for ACC coaches as the season continues and gives Louisville seven players that Walz can confidently insert in tight situations. Erin DeGrate's stock is rising rapidly in the paint and gives the Cards that much needed third option to control the boards if Walton or Hines-Allen have to ride the pines because of fouls. If the Cards can maintain a solid nucleus of 8-9 players that can give Louisville the consistency and dependability each night...this team is a legitimate and dangerous threat for the post-season.
|"COACH WALZ IS COMING TO SEE ME? LOVE IT! "|
Four down and 12 to go in conference play. Did you predict the Cards to be 4-0 at this point of the ACC? Did you see Louisville at 12-5 overall? And how will the Cards fare in the final 13 games before they enter ACC Tournament play?
The redemption train gets back on the tracks for stops in Virginia, North Carolina and New York. The wheels are rolling smoothly, the bumps have been few lately and the tracks are clear ahead. Open the throttle and full speed ahead!