Thursday, October 13, 2016
ACC WBB Media Day -- Cards picked 2nd preseason....Hines-Allen Preseason POY -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
WALZ, CARDS PICKED SECOND BY ACC COACHES
15 ACC women's basketball coaches and about twice as many players descended upon the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC for the 2016-17 ACC WBB Media day to vote, emote and promote their programs Wednesday. The Cards showed up with last year's and preseason player of the year Myisha-Hines Allen accompanying Jeff Walz.
The junior from Montclair, NJ also debuted her stand-up (well, OK...sit-down) comedy act...when she deadpanned the answer to a question on whether her front-line teammates looked up to her.
"No, I don't think they do. They're taller than I am." she replied...(drum roll) . Then, MHA broke out into a big grin and talked about the learning aspect and respect that the entire team had for each other.
The Cards were well-respected in the Blue Ribbon panel and coaches' polls...coming in second behind Notre Dame and ahead of Florida State. I'm not exactly sure who makes up The Blue Ribbon panel participants entire rankings but they seem to have a grip on the scenario. They didn't ask me to be on it....I don't look good in blue anyway, so it's just as well.
1) Notre Dame (44 first place votes from Blue Ribbon, 13 from coaches)
2) Louisville (8 first place votes from Blue Ribbon, 1 from coaches)
3) Florida State (2 first place votes from Blue Ribbon, 1 from coaches)
7) NC State
8) North Carolina
9) Ga Tech
11) Wake Forest
12) Va Tech
14) Boston College
Coach Walz spoke of spirited practices and intense competition so far in Louisville's preparation. Even though the Cards return all five starters from last season, he tossed it out there that there might be a couple of new starters for 2016-17.( Anyone want to speculate on just who? -- I'll go with the possibility of Taylor Johnson at point and Asia Durr at "2")
Walz also stressed that it was more important who finished games....something we've been hearing him say since he arrived on campus in 2007...and that it will take more than just five players to win games. Team unity is high and Coach went into detail on the Cuba trip.
Walz also noted that Taylor Johnson had come in and been a stable and steady performer...pointing out that she'd been through the college scene for four years and had seen almost every situation out there. He also tossed compliments Cortnee Walton's way when he mentioned she was finishing around the basket better than he had ever seen her. Jazmine Jones was mentioned for her athleticism and play at the wing...it was even suggested that Myisha might see a little time at wing also.
You can watch the whole two-hour and forty five minutes morning session with the coaches and players at the link below. To catch Louisville's segment, fast -forward to the 02:34:00 mark.
LINK: WALZ, HINES-ALLEN DISCUSS LOUISVILLE WBB
Hines-Allen, along with Mariya Moore and Asia Durr were named to the pre-season All-ACC team. Can't argue with any of those choices. Others on the team were Brianna Turner and Lindsay Allen (Notre Dame), Rebecca Greenwell (Duke), Leticia Romero and Shakayla Thomas (FSU), Adrienne Motley (Miami) and Alexis Peterson (Syracuse).
The Newcomers Squad was void of any Cardinals. Lexie Brown and Leaonna Odom from Duke got the call...plus Chatrice White (FSU), and Erin Boley plus Jackie Young (Notre Dame)
I watched five or six of the coach/player interviews and found a current themes in the chats. Each coach feels they might possibly have a better, more talented and unified squad than last year. Even Quentin Hillsman...who would be hard-pressed this year to duplicate what the Orange accomplished last year. Of course, you expect coach-speak like that at these kind of events. I've never heard a coach come out and say that "we stink, we have no unity or leadership and we'll be lucky to win any games this season."
Moving the ACC Tournament to Coastal Carolina in Conway, SC is an interesting decision.
The HTC Center holds 3,200.
Better get those tickets early, Cardinal fans. It is really close to Myrtle Beach...whether early March is golf and swimming weather remains to be seen. I remember it snowing on the drive back from Greensboro last year.
Fun times ahead for ACC women's basketball.