By Matt Bradshaw —
One of the biggest concerns for women’s basketball this season involves the replacement of Myisha Hines-Allen. The senior left a gaping hole in both the offense and defense after her departure as she averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game in her final season.
“It’s the same as I have always said when Angel McCoughtry graduated and Shoni Schimmel graduated,” head coach Jeff Walz said. “No one is going to come in and do what Myisha did. It’s a matter of trying to figure out what two or three players can make up for her performance.”
Alongside senior player of the year candidate Asia Durr, the Cardinals feature a talented array of guards. Here’s a preview of the Louisville backcourt and what each player brings to the table.
Jones returns from a stellar sophomore season in which she started all 39 games. Hines-Allen was the only other player to do so.
Speedy on the wing and deadly with the midrange jumper, Jones averaged over 10 points and five rebounds per game in the NCAA tournament.
So far, Jones has started both of U of L’s opening matchups. With Durr, Yacine Diop and Dana Evans also starting as guards, Walz will likely use Jones on the wing to attack the rim and gather rebounds.
“When we go small to be more athletic, Diop and Jones will play the four [the forward position] for me,” Walz said.
Evans is the only sophomore on an upperclass-heavy team. She logged significant minutes off the bench last season and earned All-ACC freshman honors.
This year, Evans will take on a more prominent role and start more games. The guard has improved her shooting abilities and is sure to have a bright three years ahead.
“Fans will be really impressed with what Dana Evans is able to do this year,” Walz said. “She’s improved her game. Her three-point shot is much more consistent.”
Diop is a redshirt senior who played her first three years of collegiate ball at Pittsburgh. She was the only Panther to start and score in every game and led in scoring with 15.7 points per game.
“She’s really now just starting to get back into things,” Walz said on Diop. “She missed the entire month of September because she was with the Senegalese National Team playing in the World Cup.”
Two games into the regular season, Diop has proven her versatility with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Carter stepped into a leadership role as starting point guard in 2017-18. The redshirt senior was named to both the ACC All-Tournament team and Lexington Regional All-Tournament team.
With the arrival of Diop and Evans in a larger role, Carter has a lot more help at the guard position. Expect her to continue facilitating the offense and draining long-range jumpers.
Robins finished her career at Mercer County high school with over 2,500 points. She was named Kentucky’s Miss Basketball in 2018 and signed with U of L, marking the second straight season that the award winner plays for the Cards.
The freshman has already logged minutes against Western Kentucky and Chattanooga. She’ll deepen her role from the bench as the season progresses.
Robinson led the Ashland Blazers with 17.4 points per game as a senior in high school. She was named Co-Player of the Year in the 16th region and became a finalist for Kentucky’s 2018 Miss Basketball.
Like fellow freshman Robins, Robinson will add passing and rebounding ability off the bench. The pair are great additions to an already loaded backcourt.
“You guys are going to love these two freshmen that are going to play this year,” Walz said of Seygan Robins and Mykasa Robinson. “They run around with their heads chopped off, at times, but you’ll never question their energy or their effort.”
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File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal