It was Hawaiian night at the Yum Center and Louisville started the game like they might be on island time. They scored their first basket on a Jazmine Jones layup 3 1⁄2 minutes into the action. However, in the second half they caught the scoring wave and surfed to an easy victory.
Senior Kylee Shook got two quick fouls in the WKU game last Tuesday, and it seemed to negatively affect her play. Tonight was a different story. She played strong and finished the game with a double-double: 13 points and 12 rebounds. Jazmine Jones led Louisville in scoring with 14 points and 5 assists. Dana Evans had 12 points.
After the game when asked what the difference was between Tuesday and tonight Kylee said, “I was just more aggressive, and I went for the ball....The Western game I didn’t give my full like I should’ve for the team and this game I tried.” When Coach Walz was asked the same question about Kylee he said, “They’re 18 to 22 year-olds. That’s what it is....Some days they have good days. Some days they have bad days.” He added, “ As fans of the game as you’re sitting out there watching and you’re expecting that everything’s perfect in these kid’s lives.....They aren’t professionals. They’re still maturing into young women who can handle a ton that’s thrown at them.”
With so many new players Coach Walz seems to be experimenting with different combinations to see what works. Liz Dixon (6’5”) and Bionca Dunham (6’2”) started the game but then there were times the tallest player on the floor for Louisville was 6’1” guard Elizabeth Balogun. Kylee said, “I feel like our chemistry is really good outside of basketball so inside of basketball we just need to figure out what clicks.” Jazmine Jones agreed, “It’s not gonna happen overnight. It never happens overnight especially with six new people....We just have to get more comfortable together and we’ll be ok.” She added, “When Myisha left one person couldn’t do what Myisha did. It took a collective effort to do that. The same thing with Asia leaving. One person can’t go out there and score 35 points and make it look easy like that. We’re just going to have to come together and share the basketball and get a collective group of us scoring in double figures.
Part of getting comfortable is learning how to communicate. Coach Walz said, “It takes being a good teammate. Because when you talk on the floor you’re helping your teammates out as well as yourself....There were times on the offensive end not one person said a word and then we throw it to the other team and act surprised.” This lack of communication led to 21 turnovers. When asked what they need to work on Jazmine Jones said, “Not passing it to the other team. Passing it to the team in the white jersey would be a very good idea.”
Next up for the Cards they take on a good Central Michigan team on Thursday the 14th at 6PM. The game can be seen on ACC Network. It’s also 70s night so dust off your polyester suit and platform shoes.