Durr, Cardinals Could Be Perfect Foil for Huskies

Durr, Cardinals Could Be Perfect Foil for Huskies
UConn doesn't ever back down from a challenge, but Asia Durr and the Cardinals are sure going to give them one. (Photo: Graham Hays/ESPN.com)

Recently, the Connecticut Huskies’ women’s basketball team has become synonymous with winning. They don’t back down from challenges, facing the best competitors and regularly brushing them aside. They should be careful, however, that they don’t overlook what Asia Durr and the Louisville Cardinals are capable of.

Durr and the Lady Cards will head up to Storrs, CT this Monday night for a battle that will see two of the NCAA’s top four ranked women’s programs squaring off. Sure, UConn has earned its reputation of excellence, with an enviable resume that includes 11 National Championships, 22 conference titles, and 10 winners of various Player of the Year awards. Sure, head coach Geno Auriemma is basically the John Wooden of women’s ball. And yeah, it’s not likely that Huskies guard Katie Lou Samuelson is going to come up short in clutch situations. Still, Cards coach Jeff Walz is in an enviable position for this one.

Looking around the national landscape, it’s pretty clear that this will be the best opponent that the Huskies have faced all season. Durr, a junior guard, is the only player on either squad currently averaging at least 20 points per game, and her smooth left-handed shot is something no defender–male or female–ever gets fully used to seeing. Meanwhile, Louisville senior forward Myisha Hines-Allen is the only player on either team putting up double-digit rebounds per game, giving Louisville a prime opportunity to create more possessions for Durr to take advantage of, while simultaneously creating fewer opportunities for Samuelson. On top of all that, both players are midseason finalists for this year’s Wade and Wooden Trophies, and the list of true finalists will be announced during the game; what better way to prove themselves worth of inclusion than a prime performance on the highest stage?

If either player has a case to collect a bunch of trophies this season, it’s Durr by a wide margin. She’s a truly elite scorer who has drawn comparisons to legends like Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore–both Huskies alums–and has already bagged upset victories against elite squads like Notre Dame and Ohio State this season, dropping 35+ points in both games. This season is the best opportunity that Walz and Co. have had at a National Championship in a long time, thanks largely to her efforts. While most Cardinal fans are loving the fact that former men’s team star Donovan Mitchell is stealing the national spotlight as a rookie for the NBA’s Utah Jazz, real fans of the game are going to want to pay close attention to Durr, who could very well wind up as the #1 pick in the WNBA Draft some day very soon.

For right now, her attention is focused on UConn. And if they aren’t ready, she’s going to spoil their unbeaten season before March even starts.

 

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About Derek Hutton 105 Articles
I’m Derek Hutton, proud Indiana sports fan. Born in Indianapolis and raised in New Albany, IN, I’ve wanted to be in sports media since I used to read the sports page while watching ESPN as a six-year old. I’m dedicated to keeping you up to date on all your teams in both Indiana and Kentucky. Also, as a former play-by-play broadcaster, I’m excited to take my skills into the digital age as the cohost of Blue HQ Media Live.

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