ASIA MAKES FINAL FOUR FOR WADE TROPHY
Hopefully, it's the first of several Final Fours in store for senior Asia Durr.
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced yesterday that Durr is one of the final four for the award that signifies the best player in women's college basketball. Joining her on the list are Megan Gustafson (Iowa), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon) and Teaira McCowan (Mississippi State).
What! (you say)...Not one player from ESPN darlings Connecticut squad or NCAA favorite Notre Dame? Surely this can't be right! (First off...don't call me Shirley and, yes...it is correct). Sorry Arike and Katie Lou...this bus hasn't room for anymore passengers.
The announcement of the winner to come Thursday April 4th. in Tampa at the Final Four's 2019 WBCA Convention.
So, how did they get to the last four standing?
Sabrina Ionescu. She has a team "still dancing" in the Sweet Sixteen and she was the Pac 12 player of the year. Twice in a row she's garnered that honor and she was first team ESPNW All-American. She also holds the NCAA DI record for career triple-doubles (for both the women and men). Her Oregon Ducks are the #2 seed in Portland and will take on upstart #6 seed South Dakota State at 11 p.m. Friday night on ESPN 2.
Megan Gustafson. You can catch her in action Saturday in the Greensboro Regional action when she leads her #2 seed Iowa Hawkeyes in a 11:30 A.M. tilt against #3 seed North Carolina State. She has a pretty good resume, too. Big Ten Conference player of the year, ESPNW's National player of the year and led the nation in scoring. She's also the all-time leading scorer for the Hawkeyes.
Teaira McCowan. The Mississippi St. powerhouse was the SEC Player of the Year, SEC Tournament MVP, ESPNW First team selection and will lead her #1 seeded Bulldogs against #5 seed Arizona State on Friday night at 9 p.m. in the Greensboro Region on ESPN 2. McCowan averaged 13.5 rebounds per game and is the MSU all-time leader in field goal percentage.
Asia Durr. "Nite-nite" was the ACC Player of the Year for the second straight time and averaged 21.3 points per game. She was First Team ESPNW and is second in school history in points scored with 2447 behind Angel McCoughtry. #1 seed UofL faces #4 seed Oregon State in the Albany Regional at 9:30 p.m. Friday night on ESPN. The Cards are 123-22 since Durr arrived on campus. So graceful on the court, so talented and so very confident.
So...a west coast representative, mid-west player, south-eastern star and south contender. Four different conference represented. Two players from #2 seeds and two from #1 seeds.All still dancing. All legends in their fan-bases hearts and minds.
It should be interesting. My pick? ASIA DURR. Not just because I'm a Cardinal fan. The Cards were consistently ranked higher than any of the three other contestant's squads and Durr was the main reason Louisville had the success they did. That spells "best player" to me.
I've heard opposing coaches all season long gush about Durr, laugh when asked how to stop her and say she's the best they've seen this year.
And, that sums it up.
WORRIED ABOUT WALZ?
Feeling uncertain about the future and having anxiety attacks when you think about the status of Louisville's head coach? You are not alone.
I've fielded a ton of worried and concerned e-mails about Jeff Walz leaving for Tennessee. Some make very good points. There are conspiracy theorist I have heard from among you. Many wanted to hear Walz say these 11 words yesterday in his press conference:
"I am not taking the Tennessee job. I am staying at Louisville".
He did not say those exact words in a fun, informative, slightly silly and revealing Wednesday presser. He danced around the issue, pointing out that Tennessee still had a head women's basketball coach. He goes through this every year. It's getting old on his side. It's his players' fault...they are so good that they make him look good...and desirable to other programs. He wants the Lakers job and to hit Powerball. Jeff answering for nearly 30 minutes the sometimes moronic questions from media who have never been to a Walz presser. People who wouldn't know Asia Durr from Asia Taylor. Self-important television bozos who are all about their own image and getting their voice heard. And, somehow, he made it fun.
Yeah. It was that kind of day.
|"Rut row... Phil's walking our way."|
Holly Warlick had been let go. That set off a renewed panic in the Louisville fan base and unmitigated glee among Vols fans. I trolled a few message boards lie night. Not only are the Tennessee fans confident Walz is coming, some are thinking he'll bring Dana Evans with him.
We, as Cardinal fans, go through this every year, it seems. Jeff gets linked with more openings than the help wanted board down at the local unemployment center. has posted
Take a step back. Breath. Come back to reality. UofL women's basketball fans. Jeff Walz has one thing only on his mind right now. Beating Oregon State. He is excited that Sam Williams got the EKU job, proud of Asia's recognition and maybe dismayed he didn't hit Powerball last night. (I got one of the six numbers, in case you're interested, on my solo ticket). And, somewhere in Coach's thought-process is the need to find a board game that he can occasionally win against Lola and Lucy.
Cardinal fans. Please read carefully below.
Focus on the game ahead. There will be no "John L.Smith going to Michigan State" surprises at the halftime of the Louisville women's basketball games. No one needs to track air-flights out of Knoxville to the Louisville or Southern Indiana airports. Sightings of Phil Fulmer in town can be related to the fact that the Vols A.D.'s #2 ranked Tennessee men's team is playing in the Louisville Regional of the NCAA Sweet Sixteen tonight at the KFC YUM! Center against Purdue at 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate the current.
I even heard..."Walz rhymes with Vols". (Putting hands over ears and loudly chanting... "LA.LA.LA.LA.LA"!) Walz is on several "top 10 replacement for Holly" lists and Mechelle Voepel seems to think is he the #1 candidate. I'm a little disturbed about those lists. I looked at several of these lists and didn't see "Paulie" on any of them. I did see Michelle Clark-Heard, though, on a couple of lists and I think "MCH" would be a fine fit in Knoxville.
Set it aside, this worry and fretting about "WWJD" (What will Jeff do) and join me in celebrating that the Cards are in the women's Sweet Sixteen, that Sam Williams got the EKU head coaching job and Asia is up for the most prestigious player award in WBB.
Celebrate the positive going on with UofL WBB right now. I guarantee you Coach Walz and the players are...and I want to go to Tampa. How about you?
One day at a time. One game at a time. Beat the Beavers Friday, Cards.