Cards close to landing JUCO All-Americans?

Fresh off a national championship game appearance, Jeff Walz and the Louisville women's basketball program could be close to landing a pair of junior college All-Americans.

Jeff Walz' UofL women's basketball program hosted a pair of first-team JUCO All-Americans last weekend – Jefferson (MO) College teammates Danielle Adams, a 6-foot-2 forward, and LaToya Johnson, a slick 5-foot-7 point guard.

Adams, the WBCA Junior College Player of the Year, led her team to a remarkable 34-1 mark this season and a 66-4 record during her two seasons at Jefferson College. She averaged 22 points and nine rebounds and ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in blocks per game (2.8). Adams led her team to the NJCAA national championship game, finishing with 25 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in a losing effort.

"They had a good visit and everything went well," Jefferson coach Kevin Emerick said. "The enjoyed it. They are talking with their parents (today) and trying to decide what they're going to do. They told me they had not made a decision and were still talking about it with their family.

"They really liked Louisville and the fact that it was a (nice) town. ‘A lot to do,' they said."

LaToya Johnson

Emerick told Monday that the two would like to play together next season and wanted to check out Louisville first before exploring other options. According to Emerick, Adams has a tentative official visit scheduled with Texas A&M this weekend. Mississippi State and Oklahoma are also still on her "radar," according to Emerick.

"Whether she goes to (Texas A&M) or not, I'm assuming that she will," Emerick said. "I don't know that for sure.

"They wanted to go to Louisville first and see what they found there," Emerick said Monday. "I think each of the kids had a top three or four schools and because of all the things Louisville offered, including a chance to play together, I think they wanted to visit there first."

Adams could help ease the loss of starting forwards Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham for Louisville. Both players were recently selected in the WNBA Draft with McCoughtry the first overall pick by Atlanta.

"She really doesn't have a position on the floor. She can play just about anywhere," Emerick said. "She's a matchup problem. She can play inside and outside. If she's got a smaller defender on her she can go inside..a bigger kid she can pull outside and shoot the jump shot or drive. She's still learning how to work in the gym but she's (an) extremely skilled player."

Johnson was the starting point guard and averaged 14 points and five assists. She was also second on the team with 64 three-pointers and 51 steals.

"She's a true point guard and a straight A student," Emerick said. "She sees the floor, delivers the ball, pushes the ball really well and she shot it about 44 percent from three this year. She averaged about six assists for every turnover…..which is a crazy number. She had a great year."

Johnson was impressed with the academic opportunity at UofL, according to Emerick.

"For LaToya, she really likes the access to the medical facilities and campus majors at Louisville," Emerick said. "She's thinking about going into physical therapy or some type of medicine. So that really appeals to her academically.

Though Deserre Byrd filled in admirably at the point guard position this season, helping the Cards to the NCAA national championship game, Johnson could be the true lead guard Walz is looking for.

"Louisville has been on her the whole season but they didn't decide to offer her until after the first of the year," Emerick said.

Johnson also holds an offer from Oklahoma State and has interest from North Texas, Mississippi State, and Iowa State.

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