4 In Early Signing Period for Cards WBB
The Cards WBB have four in the 2024 early signing period class.
5'9" guard Izela Arenas, 5'10" guard Tajianna Avant-Roberts, 6'4" forward Isla Juffermans and 6'4" forward Anaya Hardy have announced UofL as their college choices. And, the Cards might not be through with recruiting, either. With only six of the current roster (as far as we can tell) able to come back and play next season, Walz could add a couple more in the regular signing period.
What he and the Cards have landed so far, though, look very impressive.
Arenas comes in from Sierra Canyon (CA) who consistantly has powerhouse squads in California. Arenas is a four star prospect and ranked 93rd overall by ESPN HoopGurlz. Walz identifies her "as a scorer, great facilitator on the fast break, proficient from the three-point line and her toughness and grit are unmatched". She chose UofL over Oregon, Arizona and Iowa State (and others).
Avant-Roberts is a five-star prospect, ranked 25th overall by ESPN HoopGurlz. Walz on Avant-Roberts: "Taj is one of the best guards in the country. She helped err club win the Nike National Championships this summer. She had great size, her range is unlimited on the perimeter and her length and agility will be aid in being a menace on the defensive side of the ball." The Cards beat out Kentucky, Duke, Cal and Virginia Tech for her services.
Hardy comes out of Detriot Renaissance H.S. and led them to the state semifinals with a 24-2 record. Per Walz: "Anaya is full of potential and athletic ability. She thrives in the up-tempo pace, loves to rebound and get out on transition. She has a long frame which adds to her ability to alter and block shots on the defensive side of the ball." She picked the Cards over Michigan, Michigan St and Syracuse.
Juffermans is out of Coffs Harbor, Australia and has an impressive production record with the Aussie National teams. She was named MVP of the 2022 FIBA Under 18 Asian Championships. "She brings a wealth of experience versus top-flight talent across the globe. She is a very efficient scorer with her back to the basket and will provide us with a true low post game." -- Jeff Walz.
OLIVIA COCHRAN ON WOODEN AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Yeah, I know, the season is already underway, sio preseason awards seem a bit tardy, but UofL's Olivia Cochran is one of 50 on the first release of contenders for Wooden award.
And, she has started the season quite impressively. At Cincinnati, she posted 10 rebounds and seven points in the Cards win. In the contest against DePaul, "O" went for 21 points and five rebounds leading the Cards to the victory over DePaul..
The list drops to 15 shortly before the NCAA Tournament begins and a final ballot of 10 is presented to voters.
Last year's winner Caitlin Clark is, of course, back and on the list and Angel Reese and Liz Kitely are considered up there in the top 10. Paige Bueckers returns for UConn, Kamilla Cardoso has gotten off to a huge start at South Carolina and some will make an argument for a little blonde-haired girl in her first season at LSU.
This should be a fun race to watch, and a fun season of DI hoops!