#9 Louisville Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Louisville Cardinals
Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
Louisville Logo
Louisville won 32 games in 2018-19, won 14 games in ACC regular season play, and drew the wrong number two seed in the NCAA Tournament.  The Cardinals were seeded second in the Albany Region of the NCAA Tournament and lost to UConn 80-73 in a hard-fought battle. Louisville had to say goodbye to a senior class of Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring, and Arica Carter that posted an outstanding record of 123-23 in their careers, which is the best in program history.
2018-19 Record: 32-4, 14-2
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jeff Walz
Coach Record: 331-100 at Louisville, 331-100 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Asia Durr, Guard, 21.2 ppg
Sam Fuehring, Forward, 10.8 ppg
Arica Carter, Guard, 8.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Jazmine Jones, Senior, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Bionca Dunham, Senior, Forward, 7.6 ppg
Dana Evans, Junior, Guard, 10.4 ppg
Kylee Shook, Senior, Forward, 7.1 ppg
Yacine Diop, Grad Student, Guard, 6.3 ppg
Mykasa Robinson, Sophomore, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Molly Lockhart, Redshirt Freshman, DNP last season
Key New Players
Ramani Parker, Freshman, Forward
Norika Konno, Freshman, Guard
Nyah Green, Freshman, Guard
Elizabeth Dixon, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Georgia Tech
Kianna Smith, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Cal
Elizabeth Balogun, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Georgia Tech
The Cardinals will have some reloading to do this season, but they do have a few returning starters in Bionca Dunham, Jazmine Jones, and Dana Evans who started five games last year and is primed to take a bigger role in 2019-20. Evans averaged 10.4 points per game and had over a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio last season with 145 assists and just 66 turnovers. Dunham and Jones are good shooters as they both were well over 50 percent last season and collected just under five rebounds per game apiece. The transfer market was very successful for head coach Jeff Walz and his staff. Elizabeth Balogun was the 2018-19 ACC Freshman of the Year at Georgia Tech and should provide an instant offensive boost to the Cardinals as she averaged 14.6 points per game for the Yellow Jackets last season. Elizabeth Dixon is a double-double threat down low in the post. She collected four double-doubles last year playing at Georgia Tech. Kianna Smith should not have much of a transition after coming over from Cal and will be in the backcourt rotation this season for Louisville.  On November 30th, the Cardinals will get a shot at Oregon on a neutral court down in the Virgin Islands. That game will give Louisville a great early season gauge to see where they are at nationally. The conference schedule has a couple of landmines at NC State and Notre Dame that could trip them up. Overall, look for the Cardinals to win the league if they can get everything rolling chemistry wise in a timely fashion.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.9(17th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.5 (56, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.7 (12, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.9 (80, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (53, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.7 (36, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.6 (38, 5)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (134, 10)
Assists Per Game: 16.8 (21, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.1 (11, 6)
Madness 2020 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#24 Kylee Shook
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#13 Nyah Green
#24 Ramani Parker