#6 Louisville Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Louisville Cardinals
Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #2 ACC
Louisville got off to a very slow start last season at 1-4, but finished the season winning of 25 of 29 and just narrowly missed a fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16. Myisha Hines-Allen is the reigning ACC Player of the Year who can do it all at both ends of the court and she leads a very talented and deep Cardinals team into the 2016-17 season. Notre Dame will still be a tough obstacle to deal with, but Louisville is right there with them and can beat the Fighting Irish on any given day.
2015-16 Record: 26-8, 15-1
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jeff Walz
Coach Record: 234-85 at Louisville, 234-85 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Myisha Hines-Allen, Junior, Forward, 17.6 ppg
Mariya Moore, Junior, Forward, 14.1 ppg
Briahanna Jackson, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Cortnee Walton, Redshirt Senior, Forward, 5.9 ppg
Arica Carter, Junior, Guard, 4.1 ppg
Asia Durr, Sophomore, Guard, 11.0 ppg
Sam Fuehring, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg
Brianna Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 0.7 ppg
Key New Players
Sydney Zambrotta, Freshman, Guard
Kylee Shook, Freshman, Forward
Jazmine Jones, Freshman, Guard
Jessica Laemmle, Freshman, Guard
Bionca Dunham, Freshman, Forward
Ciera Johnson, Freshman, Forward
Taylor Johnson, Graduate Transfer from Loyola Chicago, Guard
This is a very deep, well balanced team that will cause matchup issues all over the place. Last season Hines-Allen averaged 17.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Mariya Moore is back as well and she brings a nice inside-outside game to the table to compliment Hines-Allen down low. Briahanna Jackson, Asia Durr and Arica Carter will take care of things in the backcourt. It will be very interesting to see if Jackson and Durr can surpass their offensive production from a year ago when they combined for 22.1 points per game. If Jackson can improve as a shooter and sneak past 40 percent from the field, then she should average closer to 14-15 points per game. Another key issue that has to improve in order for the Cardinals to make a run to the Final Four is field goal percentage defense. Teams shot 40.8 percent from the floor against Louisville last season and in the second round loss to DePaul in the NCAA Tournament the Blue Demons shot 47.2 percent from the field. So if the Cardinals can quickly improve defensively, as they have a tough early schedule playing South Carolina, Maryland and Kentucky, then they should be right on the edge of being the fourth number one seed and be a very dangerous threat to get to the Final Four.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.2 (45th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.4 (75, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (38, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.8 (233, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (159, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.7 (97, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.5 (115, 6)
Rebound Margin: 6.8 (36, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.1 (23, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.1 (108, 4)
Madness 2016 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#29 Jazmine Jones
#30 Kylee Shook
#63 Sydney Zambrotta