#14 Louisville Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Louisville Cardinals

Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
#14 Louisville Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Louisville Team Page


It was an agonizing end to the 2013-14 season for Louisville as the Cardinals were not able to parlay their home court advantage in the Elite Eight against Maryland into a trip to the Final Four. Louisville moves forward now into their inaugural season in the very difficult Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cardinals may take a slight step back during the regular season with the increased schedule difficulty but do better in the postseason and possibly get back to the Final Four.

2013-14 Record: 33-5, 16-2
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Jeff Walz
Coach Record: 181-70 at Louisville, 181-70 overall

The overall balance for Louisville is always a tall task for teams to deal with on a nightly basis. Senior guard Bria Smith returns as the leader in the backcourt and will have to score a little bit more early on this season. In addition, senior forward Sara Hammond is back and is the leading returning scorer for the Cardinals as she scored 10.4 points per game last season. Hammond was also very strong on the boards as she averaged just under six rebounds per game.  Another strength for Louisville is their ability to take quality shots and make them. They shot almost 46 percent from the field last season. This is going to be a challenge early on for the Cardinals to equal that percentage, but with the addition of incoming McDonalds All-American’s up front like Myisha Hines-Allen it could happen by the end of the season.

This is going to be a very young team at the start of the season with only two starters returning, but without question will be very talented. Thus, it will take some time for the Cardinals to come together chemistry wise. But, when they do come together, the rest of the nation will need to look out as Louisville will be a very dangerous team once again. Two other key things that need to be addressed is the free-throw shooting and replacing Shoni Schimmel. The free-throw shooting will needs to go up, especially during ACC play. Schimmel was one of the most clutch players in the nation last season and led the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 17.4 points per game. It will be up to talented incoming players such as guards Arica Carter and Ariana Freeman to help pick up the slack.

Final Projection:
Louisville should be able to get off to a fast start as the schedule in November is not overly difficult. The game against Iowa on December 4th at home in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge followed by a visit from Kentucky will be great tests for this young team. A road trip to Berkeley to play California on December 21st will be a perfect opportunity for the Cardinals to get ready for the hostile road trips of the ACC. The conference schedule is fairly balanced for Louisville as they have three road games at Florida State, Duke, and Notre Dame that will go a long way in determining if they contend for an ACC Championship. Overall, this will be a team that most likely peaks towards the end of the regular season and with the right draw will be back in the Elite Eight conversation during the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Bria Smith, Senior, Guard, 7.6 points per game
Arica Carter, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Myisha Hines-Allen, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Sarah Hammond, Senior, Forward, 10.4 points per game
Sheronne Vails, Redshirt Senior, Center, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.9 (20th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.3 (32, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (15, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.7 (29, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (66, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.5 (35, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (227, 7)
Rebound Margin: 6.7 (29, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (22, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.7 (158, 5)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#15 Sara Hammond
#21 Bria Smith

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#28 Myisha Hines-Allen
#36 Mariya Moore
#43 Sydney Brackemyre
#78 Arica Carter


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