CARDS #5 IN PRESEASON USA TODAY WBB POLL
An old friend of mine used to say "Another county heard from" when he heard new information. And, as we draw nearer to the Nov. 25th.start date for UofL women's basketball, another ranking source (or county, if you will) has come out with their preseason projections.
USA Today has released their preseason "coaches" poll and Louisville WBB is ranked #5 in this poll. South Carolina got all but one first place vote of the 32 votes, #2 Stanford receiving the other first place vote. Then, it's Connecticut ranked #3, Baylor #4 and the Louisville Cardinals at #5.
This poll's panel is chosen by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The member represent each of the 32 Division I conferences that receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Each coach submits a "top 25" list with the first place team they've selected getting 25 points, second place 24 and so on.
Representing the ACC in the poll is Miami's Katie Meier.
South Carolina received 799 votes (or 25x31=775 + 24x1=24 for the 799 points). Stanford came in with 740 points, Connecticut 732, Baylor 702 and Louisville 663. One of the Cards ACC rivals -- NC State -- was listed sixth with 601 points. The top ten rounds out with Mississippi State at 567, Arizona with 539 and UCLA gathering 535 votes.
The ACC had four schools placed in the top 25. After Louisville and NC State, Syracuse is at #21 with 149 votes and Notre Dame at #23 with 104 votes.
Louisville's first opponent is Middle Tennessee State University. They were listed in the "also receiving votes" category with six points. The ACC had FSU (23 points), North Carolina (11 points) and Virginia Tech (six points) in the "also receiving votes" category.
Just how much stock can be taken in preseason polls is anyone guess. Yes, it's nice to know what some of the coaches in NCAA DI basketball think as far as good teams go, but, let's face it -- no one as played a game yet and the voters have to formulate their list by looking at last year's results, who a team lost to graduation or the WNBA, who they picked up via transfer or freshmen signees and the strength of schedule and conference. Just to use an couple of examples...what a MVC coach might know about the PAC 12 or a ASUN coach can predict about the ACC is debatable.
Let's play ball...
WBB VIRTUAL TIPOFF LUNCHEON
The 40-minute presentation of this annual event was a good show. No, it didn't beat being their in person, but, given 2020 and the circumstances...the University of Louisville did the best they could with what they had to work with. For those of you starved for Louisville WBB news, you got a plate full.
The first change from previous years I noticed was Cards WBB play-by-play guy Nick Curran replacing Sean Moth as the emcee of the event. And Nick did a great job performing his duties during the broadcast. I won't compare Nick with Sean. Each has their own style and way of presenting and describing things and both are excellent craftsmen at what they do.
After Nick's opening remarks and greeting to all, Nick introduced the roster and we got to see the student-athletes introducing themselves and describing a favorite moment in their basketball pursuits so far. After that, we saw a short clip from Vince Tyra, who expressed his thoughts about the squad and Coach Walz. That's a yearly thing in the WBB Tipoff Luncheon and expected.
Then, a few individual question and answer sessions with followed. Players featured in this segment were Kianna Smith, Hailey Van Lith, Elizabeth Balogun, Mykasa Robinson and Dana Evans. A couple of things were consistent in the Q & A sessions First, there is excitement about finally getting to play games, there is a strong bond of friendship and solidary amongst the players and a degree of confidence on how the team is performing in practice.
I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a couple of more Q&A interviews (I would have liked to heard a Q&A with Norika, Nyah and Liz in that section of the show) but who and what we did hear was inspiring, encouraging and informative.
Next was Coach Walz and he didn't do a one-on-one with Nick -- just a monologue from his office. Coach was as good as we've always come to expect he will be. He talked about the depth of the squad, who the toughest opponent was (he answered "COVID") and the dedication of the student-athletes, coaches, and staff..
The presentation was definitely casual, in terms of apparel, which is a difference from the previous years where we've seen the student-athletes and staff "dressed to the nines" for the event. But, hey...Sonya and I were watching at home and we didn't put on our best Cardinal gear to view it, so, I understand the informal format.
In case you missed it, here's the link so you can re-watch it at the link before and feel free to stay in yor pajamas or jogging suit while you view the presentation! :
Have a fantastic Friday!