Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Louisville women's basketball -- Is Evans slight a possibly good thing? -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDINAL COMMIT DANA EVANS FINISHES SECOND IN INDIANA MISS BASKETBALL
She was chosen for the US U 18 team. She was picked for the McDonalds All-American and Jordan Brand Classic games. USA Today saw her as the best player in Indiana Girls High School Basketball. But, at the Indiana Sports Awards Banquet @Butler University...Dana Evans finished second in the voting from the state's coaches and media.
Karissa McLaughlin, who guided Ft. Wayne's Homestead High School to the state's 4A title and is headed to Purdue, received 155 votes. Evans...who averaged 35.8 for West Side High School (Gary, IN) received 91.
"When they announced it, I just looked up to God because I knew it wasn't my blessing. I knew God has something in store for me. It wasn't to win Miss Basketball. He has something bigger and better in store for me."
Like coming to Louisville and joining one of the best teams in college basketball.
Evans is ready to move on:
"At the college level, you get what you earn, what you deserve. Nothing will be taken away from you. You still have to work for it. You have to earn it, but it's fair.
The Jeff Walz philosophy works well for Ms. Evans. You earn your playing time by working hard every day. There are no guarantees, you create your niche and earn your minutes. You serve the unit and individual stats are secondary.
Evans will join a Cardinal squad that will have guards Sydney Zambrotta, Arica Carter, Jazmine Jones, Jessica Laemmle, Asia Durr and Lindsey Duvall on the roster. Most who look at this roster are seeing the point guard battle between Carter and Evans with Laemmle as a backup for 2017-18.
Her coach at West Side, Rod Fisher, has a different take on Evans second place in the voting:
"It's an injustice to her and the system is flawed in many ways. Players get votes sight unseen. People vote for players they've seen play or who play for schools close to them. To see her actually play is the key."
Fisher also points to the national perspective:
"Team USA, McDonald's Jordan Brand. They all chose her over McLaughlin. Dana's the #2 ranked point guard in her class in the nation. Dana's accomplished more than any female from Northwestern Indiana ever has. It's hands down."
McLaughlin was the tenth-ranked point guard in the nation.
So...is the slight a good thing? It is, in the perspective that it is a life lesson. Sometimes things don't turn out the way they should or as most perceive they should. You learn to accept it and move on to do better. Evans has learned this lesson. It will make her better and more competitive than she already is...in my opinion. You go get it, you don't wait for it to come to you.
The next phase. College is a whole different scenario. McLaughlin joins a Purdue squad that featured six players from the state of Indiana on their 12 player roster. Sharon Versyp also had four from Georgia and one each from Ohio and Kentucky (Assumption grad Nora Kiesler) on the roster. The Boilermakers were eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Notre Dame. McLaughlin had previously committed to Florida...but re-thought the situation after Amanda Butler was released as head coach.
Evans joins a Cardinal squad that has no Indiana players on the roster. A team that made it to the NCAA regionals. A team that returns nine players. Evans had Purdue in her final three.
Evans and McLaughlin will play a few games together. The Indiana Senior All-Stars will scrimmage against the Indiana Junior All-Stars before doing a home and away against the Kentucky All-Stars. The Kentucky game will be played at the Frankfort, KY Civic Center on Sunday, June 11th. The Indiana game will be on Saturday, June 10th at Indy's Bankers Life Field House.
It just may be worth the drive from Louisville to watch these. Evans. Duvall. McLaughlin.