Walz: 'The trip was fantastic'
The University of Louisville women's basketball team returned from its trip to Cuba last weekend and coach Jeff Walz said everything about the week-long journey - including the basketball - went well.
"The trip was fantastic," Walz said. "We have film now. We played three games against the Cuban National Team and it was great competition. So, now we have film and can break it down and show our kids.
"We can show the freshmen what we have to do better at."
Walz said the trip where the Cardinals went 2-1 against the Cuban National team "a wonderful experience and very educational." U of L played a game the first three days it was in Cuba and then had four days for sight-seeing.
The coach noted his team had a blast away from the hardwood, including learning how to Salsa.
"It was great for the girls and it was just a lot of fun," Walz said. "We had a blast."
Cardinals farther along now
Walz said his players went home for a few days after the trip to Cuba but will be back on campus early next week to start classes and then begin practice for the new season.
But with the 10 days of practice before the Cuba trip, Walz said it puts his team in a much better place than the past.
"The 10 days of practices changes everything for us," Walz said. "We are further along. We have put a lot of things in, a lot more than we would have had in the past, and now they know what to expect. It's a huge help."
Lofty expectations for the Cardinals
Louisville is ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation in some early preseason polls.
The Cardinals didn't have a senior on the roster last season and have one of the top five recruiting classes in the country coming in. Walz said he's excited to get going with this bunch.
"It's going to be fun," Walz said. "We're going to have a lot of competition."
Added junior All-American Myisha Hines-Allen: "(The trip) is going to help us a lot this season. We're getting better all the time and I think it's really going to pay off for us during the season."
U of L's schedule loaded
Louisville recently released its non-conference schedule and it's loaded.
The Cardinals will play 10 teams that reached the postseason last year, including NCAA participants South Carolina, South Florida, Kentucky, Belmont, Middle Tennessee State and Maryland.
U of L will play nine teams that won 20 or more games last season.