#7 Louisville Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Louisville Cardinals

Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #2 AAC
#7 Louisville Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Louisville Team Page


It is a new era for the Louisville women’s basketball program after it split from the Big East for the new American Athletic Conference. It is only fitting that the team picked by many to finish above Louisville in the AAC (Connecticut) was the team that beat the Cardinals in the national championship game. Could Louisville make it back to another national final? With the loss of such talented national players like Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins and Brittney Griner, is this the year Shoni Schimmel becomes THE player to watch nationwide?

2012-13 Record: 29-9, 11-5
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA (lost to Connecticut in national championship game, 93-60)
Coach: Jeff Walz
Coach Record: 148-65 at Louisville, 148-65 overall

Shoni Schimmel is on the preseason Wooden Watch as one of the top 30 players in the country. That is a no-brainer. Schimmel averaged 14.2 points per game, shot 96 3-point field goals last year and had a team-high 136 assists. She will be the glue that holds this Louisville team together. She and Odyssey Sims (Baylor) may be the two best players returning from teams that made it deep into the postseason. Schimmel is not the only reason to watch this Louisville team, however. The top four scorers return, including Sara Hammond, Antonita Slaughter and Bria Smith. These four combined for close to 45 of Louisville’s 71 points per game, and that will help the Cardinals get a deep foothold on a return visit to the Final Four. Oh, don’t forget Shoni’s younger sister, guard Jude Schimmel, who should again play a significant sixth-player role off the bench.

You know you have a deep roster when the assist-to-turnover ratio is the only thing to quibble about (555 assists, 618 turnovers). Forget finding a weakness on this team. There aren’t any. All right, maybe Louisville needs to improve its 6-5 road record of a year ago. Still, that’s getting nitpicky.

Final Projection:
The preseason WNIT will give Louisville some good tests early on, as will an early non-conference matchup against Kentucky. However, there won’t be much room for non-conference games, and the AAC is certainly less of a test than the tough Big East was. Louisville will get two late tests against Connecticut, and by that time the Cardinals might have a great head of steam built up toward a strong 2013-14 campaign. Louisville could easily reach 30 victories and possibly 35 if the AAC schedule proves easier. A more realistic goal is 30 wins and another deep run into the tournament. By the way, Louisville also hosts a regional this year, so the Cardinals will have more incentive to reach the top.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Shoni Schimmel, Senior, Guard, 14.2 points per game, 136 assists for season
Sara Hammond, Junior, Forward, tied for lead with 34 blocks
Antonita Slaughter, Senior, Guard, 64 3-point field goals in 2012-13
Bria Smith, Junior, Guard, 9.5 points per game
Shawnta Dyer, Junior, Forward, recovering from ACL tear last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.7 (20th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.6 (93, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.0 (19, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (196, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (80, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.1 (86, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.3 (134, 6)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (117, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (59, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.2 (125, 7)

Madness 2014 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#7 Shoni Schimmel
#23 Antonita Slaughter

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#42 Emmonnie Henderson
#91 Janelle Cannon
#151 Starr Breedlove


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