Cards at #15 in USA poll and #17 in AP poll
So, say what you will about the tumultuous offseason for Louisville women's basketball. Departures, roster additions and thoughts about an expanded conference may have had a small effect on the 2023-24 Cards WBB outlook, but the two major ranking services still saw enough to include Louisville in the top 20 in DI.
It's the 13th straight year that Walz's bunch have garnered top 20 recognition from the sportswriters and the coaches. You have to go back to the 2010-11 squad to find a team that didn't gather top 20 recognition. And that bunch had freshman Shoni Schimmel, sophomore Asia Taylor, juniors Monique Reid and Becky Burke and senior Keisha Hines. They didn't do too badly, though, going 23-13, slaughtering UK by 26 points and making it to the NCAA Tournament third round (Sweet Sixteen) in the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to Gonzaga at Gonzaga's gym. You might remember that Zags squad, they had a guard by the name of Courtney Vandersloot. The Cards were playing Big East hoops then and had some great rivalries.
Jumping back to the present, this year's squad has already accomplished a nice feat in winning the GLOBL JAM over host Canada. It may take a while to learn the current roster, seven of the 12 listed are new to the team. and eight of them are juniors or high in classification. There is talent, though, and a lot of upperclassman experience.
It may take awhile to learn all the newcomers, seven in all. That's going to happen year in and year out...but it's been a long time since over half the roster was new. You can thank the "COVID year syndrome" and "transfer-bonanza" for that. There are also a couple of new graduate assistants, Kasa Robinson and Josie Williams.
The annual WBB Tip off luncheon, on Monday, Oct 23rd, will be a good start toward familiarizing oneself with the 2023-24 roster newcomers. The next day is the ACC WBB Media Day, down in Charlotte, that'll be shown on the ACC Network. It'll be interesting to see who Walz takes with him down there for that. And, the on campus media day a week later, on Oct 31st....another great chance to hear Walz and talk to the players.
I was asked the other day who I thought would start this year. That is a real tough one to answer at this stage of the season. I would expect we'll see a multitude of starting lineups early on, and remember one very important thing, it's not so much who starts, it's those five on the court near the end of a close game. In past years, I've not hit the daily practices very frequently. That may change this year.
|(Ladybirds and friends always earmark the luncheon)|
A change in "Walz ball" is probably upcoming as well, as there isn't that one blonde guard who would be demanding the ball, the shots and the attention on the roster anymore. And, I like it. It gives opposing coaches one less certainty and "given" about this squad to count on.
It all begins Nov 6th up in Cincinnati against the Bearcats. Then, 12 days later, Doug Bruno will be bringing his DePaul Demons to the KFC YUM! Center.
How in the heck did mid-October get here so fast?
We'll be here to cover the squad, the coaches and staff, the steps, the progression and the news for you -- in print and photo. We think there will be a lot of "joy and excitement" in this sport this season and we look forward to sharing with you what we see.