#6 Louisville Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Louisville Cardinals

Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: Big East #2
Louisville Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Louisville Team Page


The news remains good at Louisville entering the sixth season under head coach Jeff Walz, who has the Cardinals on an upswing following a rare off year in the 2009-10 season. Louisville reached the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in Walz’s five years, but Louisville had the misfortune to go up against Maryland and the team suffered its earliest tournament exit with a second-round loss. The team was picked to finish third in this year’s Big East preseason poll, behind Connecticut and Notre Dame.

2011-12 record: 23-10, 10-6
2011-12 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jeff Walz
Coach Record: 123-56 overall

One name stands out above the rest: Shoni Schimmel. Already voted as one of the preseason top 25 players to watch nationally, Schimmel is only a junior and will continue to get better over the next two seasons. Monique Reid, who was one of the top players on the team before a knee injury cut her season short, earned a “medical hardship” grant from the NCAA, and she gets to come back for one more year. Reid led the Cardinals with 13 points in an exhibition romp over Eckerd College. The return of sophomore guard Bria Smith is also a plus, and freshman Megan Deines looks like she will be a standout right out of the gate.

Only one thing really stands out, but it is a big statistic. Louisville’s assist-to-turnover ratio is way underwater. The team had 417 assists last season but turned the ball over 591 times. Schimmel, while a great scorer and overall team leader, tends to cough up the ball too much. Smith is the second-leading turnover player on the team, so Walz needs to tell his top players take better care of the ball. Another minor nitpick is a lack of 3-point shooting specialists. With Becky Burke, the team’s leading perimeter shooter, having graduated the Cardinals need another outside threat.

Final Projection:
Burke is gone but Reid returns, and that will help Louisville as it has two legitimate double-digit scorers. If Deines develops like many believe she will, then the Cardinals could exceed expectations. Right now, a season of 25 victories and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance looks easily reachable, but if Reid’s knee balks and Deines regresses it could be a longer season in Louisville. Still, don’t rule out the Cardinals, in part due to Walz’s crafty coaching.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Shoni Schimmel, Junior, Guard, 14.3 points per game, 146 total assists
Bria Smith, Sophomore, Guard, 9.2 points, 4.4 rebounds
Monique Reid, Senior, Forward, recovering from knee injury
Megan Deines, Freshman, Guard, 10 points in exhibition game (Eckerd)
Sheronne Vails, Junior, Center, led team with 33 blocks

Madness 2013 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#17 Monique Reed

Madness 2012 Women's Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#56 Cortnee Walton