For the second time in three years, University of Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz has landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. The Cardinals announced the signing of three players on Wednesday evening.
The Class of 2017 includes Bullitt East guard Lindsey Duvall, Gary, Ind., point guard Dana Evans and California post player Loretta Kakala.
The class is the fourth straight top 10 class and the sixth in eight years for the Cardinals. The No. 1 ranking is per ESPNW's HoopGurlz.
The 5-foot-9 Duvall comes to Louisville as the No. 22-ranked player in the class of 2017, according to espnW HoopGurlz. The five-star prospect is tabbed as the seventh-best player at the guard position and is a leading contender for Kentucky Miss Basketball.
Duvall eclipsed 1,000 career varsity points during her sophomore campaign in 2014, averaging 23.7 points and 7.5 rebounds that year. While missing most of her junior season after having a tumor removed from just below her left knee, she returned to produce 18.7 points and 8.1 rebounds in seven contests, while leading her program to the Sixth Region title game.
"Lindsey brings the hometown flair to our talented line-up," Walz said. "She is a great open court player with an uncanny ability to score off the bounce or dial it up from long range. She plays hard and can create her own shot as well as distribute in transition.
"She’s a proven winner with an ability to carry a team on both ends of the floor."
The 5-foot-6 Evans attends Gary West Side and is a top 10 prospect in the '17 class. She's tabbed as the No. 7 player overall and the No. 3 point guard by ESPN. She averaged 35.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in her junior season.
The No. 3-ranked player by ProspectsNation was named a Naismith High School All-American in 2016. In the summer of 2016, Evans helped USA Basketball to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U-18 championship in Valdivia, Chile.
"Dana is perhaps the quickest point guard that I’ve recruited," Walz said. "On defense, she can change the game with her ball-hawking pressure and ability to lock down the opposition’s best player. Offensively, she’s an explosive scorer from all points on the floor.
"Her ability to accelerate and create in the open court separates her from her peers. She comes from one of the top AAU programs in the country and has been exposed to high level competition."
The 6-foot-3 Kakala attends Manteca, Calif., High School and is ranked No. 25 by ESPN and the No. 2 post player. She's also a top 25 player by two other scouring services.
Kakala averaged 16 points and 8.5 rebounds as a junior.
"Loretta brings a tough, physical presence to the low block," Walz said. "She’s got some of the best footwork, agility and counter-post moves in the game. She brings added size and mobility to the interior as well as being able to stretch the defense with her perimeter shooting. Defensively, she creates mismatches with her size in the paint and will be able to have a dominant presence down low."