"OUR STYLE...IS TO WIN THIS YEAR." -- UOFL WBB
Tuesday was the annual Louisville women's basketball media day and it also happened to be the day before Jeff Walz's 50th birthday. As he gathered to meet with media representative in the media room of the Kueber Center Planet Fitness practice facility, he was pleasantly surprised by his 2021-22 squad with a small birthday cake, singing of "Happy Birthday" and funny glasses to wear. You may say Coach was a bit surprised, genuinely pleased and caught a bit off guard.
As for the nearly 30 minute questiion and answer session that ensued after the birthday celebration, Walz addressed a variety of subjects. You can hear the entire presserr at the link below:
Some of the topics Walz covered:
-- Coming to Louisville 15 years ago with newly appointed director of operations Becky Bonner, who he brought with him from Maryland, staying in the Galt House and wondering to himself "just what have I got myself into?". Wondering how to change the culture of a team that had never been to a Sweet Sixteen.
-- The contract extension. Having seven years is a huge benefit to recruiting -- being ableto tell prospective high school recruits and the parents that he'll be there for their entire collegiate time and how grateful he is to have the contract extension.
-- The depth. Walz spoke of how recent additions Chelsie Hall, Peyton Verhulst and Emily Engstler will add to the already deep squad and that they'll need to see significant minutes on the court. On Hall, he spoke of her ability to not only score, but get the ball to other players where they can score. He and the staff were impressed with her skills at Vandy, but even more impressed now that she is a Card.
-- NIL. He sees it as a great opportunity for the players who will play in front of fans who own or run businesses as potential opportunities' for them to connect. Granted, there isn't much he can do as a coach, per NCAA regulations, but there are some very influential season ticket holders in the fan base.
-- Hailey Van Lith. He sees the sophomore as the hardest worker on the team and the expectations go up on her to have an even better season than her break-out freshman year. It's a challenge she's eagerly accepted...now it's time to put expectations and hopes into results and positive ones.
-- Mykasa Robinson. She's shooting well and scoring more in practice She and Emily Engstler are glad to be on the same team instead of having to guard each other another year.
-- The need to have four or five players who can consistently contribute 15+ points a night.
The presser is a good and informative one, and I recommend you take the time to listen to it. Walz goes into much more than the few topics I've highlighted in today's recap.
It's getting closer. The WBB luncheon takes place Friday at The Galt House. It's nice to have events like these back, after last year, when COVID curtailed them.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!