University of Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz was all smiles on Thursday as he announced his Class of 2015 signing class.
And for good reason.
The Cardinals five-player haul has been ranked No. 1 in the country by two major outlets and is far and away the best class Walz has ever signed at U of L.
The class includes the No. 1 player in the country - Dougaslville, Ga., guard Asia Durr. New York guard Brianna Jones, Virginia point guard Taja Cole, New Jersey forward Samantha Fuehring and Texas center Erin DeGrate are now Cardinals.
But Walz said with the class comes greater expectations.
"We have exceeded expectations in the past," Walz said. "A lot of the players we have recruited weren't ranked in the top 10 or 15, but what we do a very good job of here is developing our players. Now, we have to develop these players.
"We have to make them better than when they get here. We have to do our jobs."
The 5-foot-10 Durr has won two gold medals with U.S. Basketball and averaged 25 points and 7.5 rebounds a game as a junior at St. Pius X as a junior.
"The kid's talented," Walz said. "She can get to the rim like Angel (McCoughtry) could, but she's able to shoot like Shoni (Schimmel) can."
The 5-9 Jones is from North Babylon, N.Y., and averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds as a junior. She was named to the MaxPreps All-American team.
"Brianna is a strong bodied guard who may be one of the best pull-up jump shooters in the game," Walz said.
The 6-3 Fuehring is a "blue collar" player that Walz said every team needs. She averaged 20.9 points and 7.8 rebounds as a junior and is just 400 points shy of 2,000 points for her career at Immaculate Conception.
"She's a blue collar player who can play multiple positions," Walz said. "Her upside is tremendous. She will be a matchup problem for most defenders we encounter."
The 6-5 DeGrate gives Walz and his staff the "elite post player we have been looking for," with the coach noting she has 1,400 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
"Every year, Erin continues to evolve and expand her game," Walz said. "She is highly skilled and understands how to play the game."
The 5-7 Cole is a left-handed guard who was the first to commit and "get the ball rolling," according to Walz. She has 987 points, 407 assists and 210 steals in 71 career games at Bird High School in Richmond, Va.
"Taja is a consummate point guard with a flair for hustle and dynamic play," Walz said.