2011-12 Cardinals Outlook
alz enters his fifth season at Louisville with a roster full of
top-quality athletes and high expecta-
tions. On paper, it’s the most talent
and depth he has ever coached. His
latest edition returns nine letterwin-
ners from a year ago, including four
starters, as well as two other Car-
dinals who have at least 10 starts
on their stat sheets. And even more
importantly, there are two experi-
enced seniors that played important
roles in the Cards’ last Final Four
appearance to provide leadership.
Is this the makeup of a champion-
ship team, a team that could win it
all? Only time will tell.
This year’s talent combines great
athletic ability with superb talent.
Add a coach with a track record of
getting the best out of his teams and
two national championship appear-
ances, and Louisville is capable of
winning a national title. But molding
the talents of this team may be the
biggest challenge that Walz has faced
as a head coach.
Louisville got a jump on molding
as a team with a trip to Canada in
August. The players visited Whistler,
Canada and went zip lining, canoe-
ing, four wheeling and lawn bowling.
More importantly, Walz used the
practice time, as well as the three games, as
a chance to improve his returning players
and tinker with different lineups.
The strength of this team could be the
guard position, which is loaded with talent.
Headlining the returning guards is Freshman
All-American Shoni Schimmel. Schimmel
shined in the NCAA Tournament, specifi-
cally the second-round upset of No. 2 seed
Xavier in Cincinnati. She became an emerg-
ing star at the point with a flare that makes
her game as fun as it is prolific.
Schimmel lived up to all expectations in
her first season, averaging 15. 1 points and
4. 9 assists per game. She scored a career-
high 33 points against Xavier, including
the first nine points in a deciding 21-5 run,
propelling the Cardinals back to the Sweet
16. She led the team and all freshmen in
scoring in the NCAA Tournament with 23. 3
points per game. She finished the tourna-
ment shooting 51. 9 percent from the field
and 39. 3 percent from behind the arc while
Senior forward Monique Reid, a first team All-
BIG EAST selection, led the Cardinals in scoring
and rebounding the last two seasons.
dishing out three assists per game.
Last season Schimmel was a unanimous
selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman
team and earned BIG EAST Honorable men-
tion honors. She was named BIG EAST
Freshman of the Week four times and was
named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Feb.
14. She led the league and was ranked 24th
in the nation in three-point field goals made
with 2. 8 per game.
Complimenting Schimmel in the back-
court was Tia Gibbs. After sitting out the
previous season due to NCAA transfer rules,
Gibbs made an immediate impact on the
Cardinals starting in all 35 games. Gibbs led
the team in steals, collecting 95 on the year,
ranking her sixth on the all-time season list.
She finished the year ranked third on the
team in scoring with 8. 8 points per game.
Gibbs scored a career-high 19 points
in the first round of the NCAA Tour-
nament against Vanderbilt. She also
ranked third on the team in rebound-
ing with 3. 9 boards per game.
Senior Becky Burke provides the
Cardinals with a lot of experience
at the guard position. Burke finished
the year ranked fourth on the team in
scoring with 7. 9 points per game. She
was also second on the team in three-
point field goal percentage, connect-
ing on 38. 8 percent. Burke scored a
season-high 21 points against Ken-
tucky and St. John’s and knocked
down a season-high six 3-pointers
Late in the season Charmaine Tay
emerged as an option to run the point
for the Cardinals. Tay scored a career-
high 11 points against Xavier in the
second round of the NCAA Tourna-
ment. She knocked down a career-
high seven free throws against Xavier,
including some in the final minutes to
help the Cards advance.
Shelby Harper will also give the
Cardinals depth at the point guard
position this season. Harper once
again proved her importance to the
team is first-rate last season. Harper
saw action in 27 games and saw
action as the back-up point guard
early in the year. She came off the bench
against Kentucky to give the Cardinals a big
lift in their 78-52 victory. She dished out a
season-high four assists against the Wildcats.
Sophomore Antonita Slaughter will give
the Cardinals more depth on the wing.
Slaughter proved to be a threat from long
range last season, knocking down some big
shots for the Cardinals. She saw action in
34 games, scoring a career-high 11 points
against Mississippi Valley State. She led the
team in three-point field goal percentage,
connecting on 39. 5 percent.
Freshman Bria Smith will make an imme-
diate impact in the Cardinal lineup. Smith
was ranked as the No. 8 player in the nation
by ESPN HoopGurlz, finishing her senior
year averaging 21. 1 points, 7. 5 rebounds
and 4. 7 assists per game. Smith was named
a McDonald’s All-American and a WBCA
All-American. She was also selected as New
York State’s Miss Basketball. She scored
season-high 31 points in a win over Naza-
in this issue
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