The UofL women's basketball luncheon Tuesday afternoon at the Galt House drew a sold out crowd of over 700 Cards fans. Included in them was one very thankful man.
Walz spent the majority of his time on the dais thanking those who have helped make Cardinal womens basketball what it is today. Beginning with guys at the top...President James Ramsey and Athletic Director Tom Jurich...Walz went through the support staff and those associated with the Louisville squad and expressed his thankfulness with their efforts and sacrifices in keeping the program going.
|Paulie interviews Coach in the pre-banquet presser|
He also spent time thanking his players for the success the program has had. As he likes to say:
"I've never scored a basket or grabbed a rebound in seven years here...but I'm very thankful and proud of those who have."
|Lola Walz speaks for Coach at the presser|
Walz is also very thankful for the fans who support WBB. University of Louisville women's basketball ranks seventh in attendance of both the men's and women's basketball programs in the ACC. There will be places the Lady Cards play this year that won't have as many in the stands as there were fans at the tables attending for yesterday's tipoff luncheon.
Jeff Walz is also real. What you see is what you get.
He tells it like it is and he makes sure his players know that
up front before they ever make that first visit to campus. If you follow the coaches instructions and give it your best...you and he will get along quite well. Two classic Walz axioms:
"I have players that tell me they are shooters. I tell them that's fine...but I need makers."
"I have players come up to me during games and tell me that they are wide open. I tell them...there's a reason for that."
This year's team, according to Jeff, could have a different look. Gone are the three-point bombers Shoni, Nita and Tia. Returning and arriving on campus is a strong arsenal of post and paint players that will likely provide the team's best chances of scoring.
Walz also took time to catch the crowd up on the four graduated seniors. Shoni is touring the nation...passing up six figures to play EuroBall, to speak to Native American groups and conventions. Nita Slaughter is a graduate assistant at Drury. Tia Gibbs is the leading scorer in her EuroLeague. Asia Taylor has been the Player of the Week for two straight weeks in her EuroLeague.
I was able to get some great interviews with assistant coach Sam Purcell, Megan Deines, Syd Brackemyer, Arianna Freeman (our next possible intern at CC?) and we'll play those sound-bytes plus the pre-banquet interview with Walz and much more on the Saturday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO on Crescent Hill Radio at 11 a.m.
All in all, a great 90 minutes with the Cardinals and plenty of Cardinal fans on Tuesday. Thanks to Ira Green for the great pre-banquet debriefing for me and Worldwide and also thanks to Matt Andrews (admittedly not quite out of baseball mode yet) for handling the emcee duties with aplomb. And...it was good to see many of our CARDINAL COUPLE readers and listeners and chat about UofL sports.
Jeff Walz is a thankful man. As Cardinal fans, we should be thankful also. Thankful that he is our head coach.
31 days until the first game. 31 was Asia Taylor's number at Louisville and also freshman Syd Brackemyer's number.