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Wednesday, June 22, 2016



The heavenly stars may be out over Louisville, KY skies this evening...but the girls' high school basketball version of stars were certainly on display in Cardinal Arena Wednesday afternoon at the Jeff Walz Elite Skills Camp.

A "tired" but raptly involved Coach Walz was on hand to preside over the drills, skill-tests, scrimmages and interaction of over seventy rising high school basketball players...coming in from as far as Honolulu, HI and Shiprock, NM to learn from the Cardinals' staff, players and instructors. 

All the Cards assistant and associate coaches were on hand to monitor and organize the players Myisha Hines-Allen, Briahanna Jackson, Arica Carter, Brianna Jones, Cortnee Walton, Jessica Laemmle, Sam Fuehring (as a blonde!), Ciera Johnson, Kylee Shook, Taylor Johnson and Sydney Zambrotta...the latter using a leg scooter because a slight foot fracture.

In addition to the Cards players and staff, UofL greats Asia Taylor and Dez Byrd were also covering the five courts in use...Taylor still with the boundless energy and dominating court-presence that we all came to love and admire during her years here. It's always great catching up with my buddy and Sonja's all-time favorite Cardinal "A-Tayy" and the girls under her instruction were gaining valuable knowledge on the skills and needs for playing in the paint. 

Byrd, still looking like she could put up a double-double in points and assists, is back in the 'Ville while also busily involved in her Byrd's Basketball Evolution organization. I highly recommend that you check out their activities at:

I also got a few minutes of "air-time" with Dez that we'll play on our Saturday radio show...THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. You won't want to miss these four minutes of classic, fun and inspirational "Dez"!  

Ah...yes...the players. I knew we were needing to discuss something else in this article...

Headlined by top ranked 2019 prospect Zoe Evans, top ranked 2020 prospect Sarah Andrews, 2017 powerhouse Lindsey Duvall, rising Chattanooga junior Elizabeth Balogun and many other top-flight players from the 2017-2021 classes...there was plenty of great basketball on display for the spectators. 

Upon arrival, I spent my first moments observing the post players. Steph Norman led them through ball-handling, positioning, one and two handed passing, shooting and driving skills. Over the next four hours, I watched a variety of drills, scrimmages, question and answer sessions and instructions with these eager and hard-working campers. 

A recruiting service or professional evaluator of high school girls basketball talent...I am not. I will share with you, though, my observations on some players who did catch my attention.

-- Zoe Young. 5'10". Urbandale, IA. 2019. It's easy to see why she's one of the top-ranked in her class. She moves effortlessly up and down the court, shooting with accuracy and getting her teammates involved. She's got an incredibly quick first step that was fun to watch and she's not afraid to mix it up inside, either. It's hard to believe she's just a rising sophomore with her skill set. 

-- Sarah Andrews. 5'8" Irving, TX. 2020. Andrews drives well to the basket and finishes very effectively. A ball-hawking defender, she creates her share of steals and can usually finish them off with a layup. She's not afraid to take the rock down the lane and can score with either hand. I didn't see a lot of outside shooting from her..but her mid-range game is very solid for just a freshman.   

-- Lindsey Duvall. 5'8" Mt.Washington, KY. 2017.  Scouts have raved about her ability to bury the mid-range jumper, attack the basket and distribute the ball very effectively and all that was on display on Wednesday. She worked well with the "bigs" she was teamed up with (Diamond Forrest, Grace Berger) and her and Zoe Young working together on the same team was a delight to watch. 

-- Elizabeth Balogun. 6'3" Chattanooga, TN 2018. She showed some very strong and polished inside moves and is a dangerous shot-blocker. Can score easily inside or from mid-range and runs the court very well...finishing effectively on fast breaks. A veteran observer and I agreed she looks like a young Asia Taylor with her multiple skills and court domination. 

-- Tatyana Wyatt. 6'2" Columbus, GA 2017. This smooth-as-silk forward is an all-over-the-court player who can beat the defense inside with deceptive moves or post a foe up from outside and punish them all day. Wyatt understands the flow of the game very well and is very capable of making big defensive stops. Watching her and Jorie Allen ( 6'1" - Bedford, IN 2019) go against each other in one of the scrimmages was an exciting and well matched duel of skilled players pushing each other to play their best. Allen has the court sense and scoring ability to become a great one and is just a sophomore...look for her to be one of the best in the Hoosier state by her senior year. She goes to the boards with aggression and has a soft, inside touch. 

Diminutive Dakota McCaughhan. 5'2" Secane. PA 2020 was a pleasant surprise to watch at point guard. Torching the competition with her three, she also drives the ball down the court at a ferocious pace with accuracy and confidence. A very skilled defender...this "attack Yorkie" won my heart over with her fearless play and more-than-held her own with players easily six or more inches taller than her. 

Others I made notes on...Jordan Brock 5'8" Harlan, KY. 2017 passes the ball well and had great up and down the court quickness. Can knocked the lights out of it from three range if left unguarded. Kayla Kirtley 6'2" Arcadia, IN 2018 has a very nice outside jumper for her height and position...could be a definite wing threat for someone down the road. Ajah Stallings 5'9" Indianapolis 2018 has a nice outside touch and drives to the basket well...give her a step and you're not gonna contain her. Meghan Walz 5'9" Fort Thomas, KY 2018 is Jeff Walz's niece and has a nice overall game...steady on defense and displaying a nice shooting touch. 

My two candidates for Worldwide's ALL-NAME team were Treasure Hunt (5'11" Chattanooga, TN 2020) and Diamond Forrest ( 6'4" Smyrna, TN 2017). 

Obviously, there are merits, accolades and appreciation for any and all who attend a prestigious skills camp like this one has become and I didn't get a chance to watch any set of players or teams too long...since I was trying to get an overall feel for the camp and maneuvering around the five courts. Congratulations to all the girls who put out great effort Wednesday! 

All of you were a pleasure to watch with your skills, hard work, spirit and competitive nature. As I mentioned to Louisville director of women's basketball operations Kate makes me want this 2016-17 basketball season to start...tomorrow! 



  1. Diamond DeSheilds and Mercedes Russell can go to WNBA early after this year if they choose to

    1. Wouldn't that just please Holly to no end...


  2. Nice write up Paulie! Did you see any of Beatrice Culliton? I heard she was attending. At 6'2" and in the class of 2022 just wondered how her skills were? A very nice website you have here and a pleasure to find.

    Rock Chalk Jayhawk Doc

    1. Wow...I had to check that again...she's just a seventh grader! My notes were "good dexterity, finished strong underneath, rarely missed inside.".

      Thanks for checking out the site, Doc! I'll be keeping my eyes on her career.


  3. Great write up Paulie. Glad you made it there.
    Really enjoyed the individual player summaries. Great to have Asia Taylor back in the house. Dez Byrd I heard of and saw on You Tube in the title game vs UConn.

  4. Great to read that Grace Berger (2018) was there. No doubt one of the best players in the state. Lindsay Duvall (2017) and Blair Green (2018) also at the camp and the top of the state of Kentucky talent pool.
    Liked a tweet I saw from Blair Green:
    "Great day at Louisville with some of my favorite coaches".
    Gotta love that.
    We were not able to get Erin Boley, but I sure hope we are able to sign one or two of these great in state prospects.

    1. I did not get to watch either very extensively...unfortunately. I think Louisville is on Green's short list, not sure about Berger.



    2. If I could have one class from 2016 it would be the 2 player Boley/Young Notre Dame class easily.
      You can't get everyone. Notre Dame getting Boley instead of Louisville is why Notre Dame will continue to beat Louisville for the next 4 years. Notre Dame gets that extra level player we can't consistently get. Only top ten player we have ever gotten is Asia Durr. I don't include Bria Smith in that group because that group of players was soooooo inferior that year.
      So much so the top two picks in the WNBA were Jr's from another class leaving early.

    3. Tell us how you really feel. ND will continue to beat Lousiville for the next four years? While you're predicting the future, can you give me the winning lottery numbers too?

    4. That's not a slight on us. I should have included the whole entire complete ACC in that prediction not just Louisville. Boley and Young are better than any 2016 freshman in the ACC. When a team who doesn't lose to you gets more productive players every year what happens? They go undefeated in conference play even when they had a down year. ND with this class only leaves the rest of the conference tasting their dust. Young and Boley are better than any other forwards on ND s team right now. They are better than any other forwards in the conference except for one - MYISHA HINES-ALLEN.

    5. Losing Boley to ND will haunt us for years


  5. Notre Dame's ACC record over 3 years
    56 wins and 1 loss

    3 regular season first place finishes (47-1)

    3 ACC tournament championships (9-0)

    Overall the ACC is weaker than when Notre Dame joined the conference 3 years ago.

    Maryland was replaced by Louisville (this has benefited ND. Maryland has been better than Louisville the last two years)
    Duke and NC are no longer winners
    Florida State and Louisville biggest competition

    1. Jeff Walz coaching record vs Notre Dame while at Louisville including Big East and ACC tournament games
      1 win 10 losses
      Win came in 2009 at Notre Dame let by Angel and Candace!!!1 Awesome. I was surprised and thrilled to see this in the record.

    2. Walz winning percentage vs Notre Dame as Louisville coach 9%

    3. Walz losing percentage vs Notre Dame as Louisville coach 91%
      I would say to predicting 4 more losses in a row is not exactly the same as predicting lottery numbers

      In fact with these percentages to work with I would love the opportunity to pick a lottery number

    4. Walz current losing streak vs Notre Dame is 9 games
      Walz current losing streak vs Kentucky is 5 games
      Walz current losing streak vs UConn is ?

  6. UConn and ND can outrecruit us. Kentucky just outplays us. I'm not willing to say Matt Mitchell outcoaches us.

  7. Notre Dame wins 98.3% of the time verse ACC competition since joining the conference 3 years ago sample is 58 games

  8. Coach Walz 2 yr ACC record winning percentage is 78.3% (37 game sample)
    27-5 regular season
    2-2 ACC tournament
    0-1 NCAA tournament vs ACC team

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Over the past 5 years Coach Walz combined record vs Notre Dame Kentucky and UConn is 0-16


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