Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Dana Evans Commits to Louisville...Welcome To Cardinal Arena...Kylee Shook -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
SHOOK SHOOK UP THE RECORD BOOKS IN COLORADO
(This is the sixth in a series of articles about the first-year players on the University of Louisville Women's Basketball team for the 2016-17 season. going in alphabetical order...we look at Kylee Shook today)
Unlike a lot of high school basketball players, who go through growth spurts as they matriculate late through high school, Kylee Shook arrived on the Mesa Ridge, CO. basketball team as a 6'4" prospect and stayed at that height her entire four years of prep and high school hoops.
Having four years of high school hoops may have seemed like an eternity to the schools that faced the Colorado Springs based Grizzlies. She holds the state record for blocked shots and rebounds. She averaged 27.3 points per game her senior season and finished her career with 1797 points.
At 6'4"...you'd think she would have been one of the best centers to play high school hoops in Colorado. Kylee saw a different direction, though. Forward thinking, you might say...developing and improving her game outside of the paint. She possess a soft mid-range jumper and can make opponents pay if they decide to leave her open around the arc. She elaborates:
" When I was a post player, I didn't really like being down there. My body type isn't really fit to muscle out all those big girls down there. I had to evolve and develop an outside game. I think it will help me in college. I won't be stuck down there with the 6'7" and 200 lb girls."
With Kylee, it was a bit different when it comes to developing her style. she came in very solid and capable on defense. Offense was a learning transition for her...she took to it enough to score over 700 points her senior season.
Many schools sought after the McDonald's All-American. In the end, Jeff Walz and staff won out. Kylee explains why:
" I considered Colorado because it was close to home and the University of Washington...becuase of their coaches and athletics. Louisville, though...they have a generally good team atmosphere and school. They have a lot of fan support. Jeff Walz is great and he will push and drive me to where I want to be...the next level."
At 6'4" and a huge wing-span, Shook projects to be a defensive stopper and rebounder for the Cards. She's likely to learn the game behind Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore and Sam Fuehring at first and if the outside shot stays accurate, she could be a great zone buster at 6'4". On a team that has plenty of offensive weapons, it doesn't hurt at all to have someone who can get the ball back to you for an offensive set and play within the team concept. Shook has proven she can do all the above and when you add in her drive and desire to work hard each and every day...we think she'll see significant court-time for the Cards as a freshman.
Yes, work is needed in the weight room...but Shook has the drive to get that done. Will Shook shake up women's college basketball.
To paraphrase James Bond...we think the fans will be shaken...AND stirred.
FIVE FUN FACTS ABOUT KYLEE:
1) ROCKY MOUNTAIN..."HI!" Kylee is the first Cardinal WBB player since Katie Olson played for UofL from 2003-2007. Katie was from Wheat Ridge, CO. Seems like there are a lotta ridges in Colorado...
2) DOIN' THE BLACKJACK! Kylee will wear #21 for the Cards. That was Bria Smith's number...you'll remember. They probably couldn't use the same tailoring measurements...
3) A COUPLE OF NETS...Kylee was also an outstanding Volleyball player at Mesa Ridge. At 6'4" and with very, very long arms...we could see her as a middle blocker or outside hitter. She'll spike a few orange balls around and have her share of blocks on the basketball court. The kind of player Anne Kordes could use...
4) PUT ME IN AND LEAVE ME THERE COACH. Kylee didn't start her first game as a varsity player. She did come off the bench, though, and record 12 blocks in the game. She became a starter next time out...
5) RARIFIED AIR. Kylee has patterned her game after Elena Della Donne and Breanna Stewart's style. Yeah, I think Cardinal fans would be OK with that...
EVANS SAYS YES TO LOUISVILLE
While we're handing out hello's....let's extend a loud "howdy!" and welcome aboard to DANA EVANS...a 5'6" top flight guard out of West Side H.S. in Gary, IN...who announced Tuesday night she would be attending Louisville next fall.
One of the top recruits in the class of 2017 and a major target for the Cards...Evans is a high-profile, scoring machine point guard that averaged over 35 points her senior season.
" I chose the Cards because of the relationship I built with the coaching staff. They're going to make me a better player." she reports.
There is always room for improvement...but Evans comes in with a ton of skill sets already. Exceptionally fast, a terror in driving to the hoop, excellent shooting skills and a great knowledge of the game...she was the one I've been hoping would join Lindsey Duvall and Loretta Kakala as 2017 arrivals. Walz, it is reported, is looking for one more for the class of 2017.
Evans was the #7 prospect in the 2017 class according to ESPN and picked the Cardinals over Purdue and Tennessee.
You're going to love her style of play...Cardinal fans. So fast, so explosive...scores in waves. A proven floor leader that can get her teammates involved in the action, break down defenders with regularity and virtually impossible to stop off the dribble.
She's been a phenom in the Gary area for years. Valparaiso offered her a scholarship in the fifth grade. Purdue soon followed. In the end, it came down to Purdue, Tennessee and Louisville.
Walz and company strikes again. If they were bowling, this would be their 300 game...with the Evans verbal. She talks about the process...a situation where only she, her parents (and probably Coach Walz) knew where she was headed prior to her announcement Tuesday evening:
"It was difficult...at one point I was going to all three schools. I prayed on it Sunday the answer came to me. Louisville. I loved the girls and the coaches at Louisville. It's the best fit for me. Louisville is the up and coming program"
We couldn't agree more and we know the competition can't contain ya, Dana. Welcome to the Ville!