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Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Cardinal Couple -- How will the loss of Breedlove and Niamke affect 2014-15 UofL WBB?


- How much will Louisville WBB miss Monny and Starr? 

Monny Niamke and Starr Breedlove will not be on the 2014-15 University of Louisville women's basketball team. A look at the 2014-15 roster shows eight returning players and five freshmen are on campus and already attending summer classes. The question was posed to me about the departure of Monny and Starr and how it will affect the team. 

UofL loses two of the three "attack yorkies"...a term that Worldwide, Jenny and I coined several years ago when Shelby Harper and Jude Schimmel were the backup guards at UofL. The girls were small in size but ferocious with their on-court tenacity and ability to hound and pressure larger opponent guards. 

If Starr had stayed, free from the concussion syndrome that
kept her sidelined for most of the 2013-14 season, her role would have been slightly increased but her chances of breaking the top three guards very remote. Bria, Jude and Megan have that role wrapped up...although it will be interesting to see who handles the offense as point guard. Both Bria and Jude logged plenty of time there last season. So...who moves to "2" and replaces Shoni? 

The truth is...we just never got to see enough of Starr to make a firm determination on how she would have fit into the 2014-15 roster. And, for a lot of college players, playing time is down the road she goes in search of it. Our best guess would be a NAIA program where she can play and start right away. 

As far as Monny goes, she was a late game defensive replacement that never developed much of a shot or ability to run the offense in her time at Louisville. She was recruited by Walz out of France, spent a year at Lindsey Wilson (NAIA) sat the bench at Louisville and now heads back to the NAIA somewhere. 

Louisville currently has four listed guards if you add sensational 5'8" incoming freshman Arica Carter. At 5'8" she's too tall by our judging standards to be an "attack Yorkie"...but has the game to be a defensive stopper. We can pretty much surmise she would have been that "4th" guard that Walz would have gone to if Monny and Starr had stayed. She also plopped in a ton of points in high school as a combo guard at Long Beach Poly.

One couldn't blame Megan Deines for occasionally looking over her shoulder nervously. The reports we're getting is that she's really picked her game up as she prepares for her junior year. We're pretty sure she's looking for more playing time than she had as a sophomore. 

So, the roster sits at 13. We have this feeling that there could be another announcement or two when we get to August. A speculated transfer, ex-UCF guard Briahanna Jackson, is 5'4" and would qualify as "attack Yorkie" material. She was also CUSA freshman of the year and was averaging 17 points a game at the Orlando school in 2013-14 before leaving the squad. If she does end up at Louisville, with 14 games under her belt in 2013-14...we surmise she wouldn't be available under after the first semester of the 2014-15 season....but we're no experts on NCAA eligibility and guidelines. As of today, Jackson hasn't sent any word out on where she'll be spending the 2014-15 season. 

There is always the possibility that Walz could also have a future Card he hasn't laid on the table yet in terms of transfers. We've been surprised before on late announcements. The mad scientist always has a surprise or two tucked away in the deep recesses of the 2nd floor SAC laboratory/offices. He's even taught 16 month old daughter Lola how to effectively end press conferences. 

So... despite the loss of two reserve guards and four outstanding seniors...Walz still has plenty of Cards to shuffle and deal. Coach will tell you that players earn their time. Asia, Tia, Shoni and Nita earned their spots. They'll be hard to replace. Who will grab those departed minutes?

The clock is ticking. 


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