Walz, Durr review Tokyo trip and USA U23 Experience
Who would have figured it wold take Jeff Walz three days to find sushi rolls in Tokyo? What did Asia Durr think of the total experience? What's a 12 hour flight (twice) like? What did coach think of the FIBA based rules for the event?
These were some of the many things Walz and Durr discussed with the media Monday afternoon at the "Little Yum" conference room on Floyd St....shortly before the eclipse.
For Durr, it was an incredible experience start to finish. To be able to compete against the best of the women's college basketball world, to make the squad and get the chance to travel to Japan and soak up the sights and culture...while playing an integral role in the USA's three game sweep during the round-robin affair will be memories she'll never forget. Jet lag? Yes, she is experiencing a bit of it, and....coupled with the first day of classes on the Belknap Campus...she's been going full tilt, non-stop for quite a few days. As she put it, though...she wouldn't have it any other way...it's what she signed up for and why she came to Louisville.
Walz relayed in great detail what he experienced on the trip. You can catch the interview (including the "fake" start) at the bottom of today's column. The three visiting squads shared the same hotel and a common dining facility that featured "Westernized" food...but at night, Coach, his wife and the staff hit the town to check out some of the local cuisine. He found it strange that the restaurants didn't feature sushi rolls...commenting that you can find them on just about any street corner in America but that he didn't find a place that offered them until the third night there. That particular restaurant had a three-hour wait to be seated...so they passed on it and went back the next day for lunch. As it turned out, sushi rolls weren't on the lunch menu.
Temples, shrines and scenic views were all a part of the trip...but the reason they were there was to compete and USA U23 rolled through their three game round-robin undefeated. Walz commented that he thought Asia looked her best in the final game...against Japan. He thought she looked more into the flow of the action -- she was the leading scorer in that win and also in the first game of the tournament.
No trophies or awards were handed out at the completion of play...but Japanese jackets (known as sukijans) were given to the participants. Unfortunately, Walz didn't bring his for us to see.
Coach is also a big fan of the FIBA based rules for games. A shorter shot clock, a timed clock after an offensive rebound and the fact that a coach or player can't stop action with a time-out. The request for one has to be made at the scorer's table and then it is granted at the next stoppage of play.
After it was all over, another 12 hour flight to return stateside. Asia related that there wasn't much to do expect watch movies and sleep but was grateful that the flight wasn't jammed full of people and the seats were spacious.
|Volleyball's Tess Clark is ISO and ready to go!|
Walz invited the media to the second floor balcony in the women's basketball offices to see the eclipse and tour the facilities...I passed on that... but women's hoops got a "heads up" on the men's program...having the southern exposure on their side of the building and a full view of the event. I wonder if Pitino and his staff sauntered over? Would the NCAA investigate this eclipse viewing as extra benefits?
For Cardinal women's basketball on a Monday afternoon, the future is so bright...Coach is wearin' shades.
ASIA AND COACH DISCUSS JAPAN, USA U23 HOOPS