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Thursday, September 27, 2012

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-Smith's solid start spells success for Cards.

(WE bring you another in a series of the 2012-13 Louisville women's basketball players. Today, we finish up the sophomore class with guard Bria Smith.)

Bria Smith joined the 2011-12 Cardinal women's basketball team as one of the most heralded recruits to wear the Red & Black. A four year starter at Christ the King High School in Massapequa, NY., Smith was the #8 ranked player in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz and had been selected to play in the McDonald's All-American game.

Originally headed to Virginia, a coaching change made her reconsider the decision and enroll in Louisville instead. It was a lucky day for Cardinal WBB fans when she made the switch.

Smith secured a starting position at guard alongside Shoni Schimmel when Tia Gibbs went down with a season ending injury and never relinquished the spot. Fans were thrilled early on with her tough-as-nails drives to the hoops and inside scoring abilities. She also provided steady defensive skills and demonstrated she was a better-than average interior passer as well. The original plan was probably to have Smith play in tandem with Gibbs and learn from the talented off-guard. Thrown into the fire without baptism most likely helped Smith grow and prosper faster than she might have otherwise.

Second on the squad last year in assists and steals, Smith showed she has the skills and talent to compete with the best the BIG EAST had to offer night after night. As she looks ahead to her sophomore year, she knows there are several areas where she needs to improve upon her game to have an even better season this year. Coach Walz would probably like to see Bria develop an outside shot as productive and deadly as Shoni's. He'd also like to see her cut back on turnovers and lead the fastbreak transitition game more effectively....although she did sparkle at it at times last season. 

With Tia Gibbs scheduled to return to action this fall, it'll be interesting to see just where, when and how Coach Walz uses the 5'10" Smith this season.

One thing we know for sure, her competitive never-say-die nature has made her a Cardinal womens' basketball fan favorite and we'll "see-ya Bria" on the court.


2011-12  GAMES PLAYED  Shooting %  Steals  Assists  Pts.  Avg

             33 (33 started)      .396          63        69      305   9.7



  1. I hope that Bria spent the summer in the gym shooting about 500 fifteen-to-seventeen foot jump shots each day. If she can knock down that shot consistently she can be a star. Last season the Big East teams played the drive exclusively and dared her to shoot.

  2. The reports we are getting is that Bria has, indeed, spent a lot of time polishing her mid-range jumper and there have been
    encouraging reports that it is falling with increased accuracy and repetition.


  3. Walz has the option of so many different types of lineups this season because of the depth Louisville has. I'll venture a guess and say that Smith is a 'first off the bench' player to spell either Gibbs or Shoni and will be a key player if Walz decides to play 'small ball'.

    --Joe Hill--

  4. Bria has proven that she deserves starting position an should continue.She is the most athletic and best defender on the team.Her best values are all the intangible things she does on both ends of the court.


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