BOZICH | Schimmel passing WNBA Test; Hancock preps in Indy - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Schimmel passing WNBA Test; Hancock preps in Indy

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Shoni Schimmel set a WNBA rookie record with 21 assists in her first two games. Shoni Schimmel set a WNBA rookie record with 21 assists in her first two games.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Notes Written With A Behind The Back Pass:

Skeptics wondered how Shoni Schimmel’s flashy game would translate to the WNBA. They better find something else to question.

It’s only been two games, but guess which player is leading the WNBA in assists and is also featured on the WNBA.com main web page Tuesday?

Shoni Schimmel, the former University of Louisville ace point guard. She’s taken her Pete Maravich impersonation to Atlanta, the same city where Maravich started his NBA career.

Schimmel backed up the 10 assists she dropped on San Antonio in her season debut for the Dream with 11 more at Indiana Saturday night. She’s also averaging 12 points per game while making four of 11 three-point shots. The 21 assists in two games are a WNBA rookie record. 

Skylar Diggins, one of the WNBA’s top rookies last season, is averaging nine assists. Schimmel’s average is 10.5.

Her team is 2-0. Winning and entertaining is always a good formula.

“I don’t think it’s a surprise to any of us,” said Louisville coach Jeff Walz. “Offensively she’s doing some great things. I’ve been really impressed with how she’s run the offense. She’ll get even better as she gets more comfortable in the league.”

Walz said that Schimmel is passing more and shooting less than she did at U of L for one obvious reason – she is surrounded by great players, starting with another former Cardinal, Angel McCoughtry.

“Everybody she’s playing with was the best player on their college team,” Walz said. “So she’s able to distribute the ball instead of having to look to shoot. To play more than 30-plus minutes in your first two games shows how much confidence they have in her. I think she’s in the best shape since her freshman season.”

Schimmel also paused for an interview with Kristen Ledlow of NBA TV, which you can watch by clicking this link. Word is she is making about $50,000.

*Walz is also proud of Asia Taylor, who has played 18 minutes in her first two WNBA games for the Minnesota Lynx. “For her to make one of the best teams in the league after she was the last player drafted is phenomenal,” Walz said.

Guard Antonita Slaughter, the third U of L player drafted in April, did not make the Los Angeles Sparks, but Walz said that Slaughter might play professional basketball in Europe in the fall.

*Luke Hancock is making a connecting flight in Indianapolis as he tries to work his way into the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. Hancock is one of eight prospects training for the draft at St. Vincent’s Sports Performance in Indy.

The competition in Indianapolis is superb. Hancock is working out with former Michigan State guard Gary Harris, Glenn Robinson III of Michigan, Trevor Releford of Alabama and Niels Giffey, who helped shoot UConn to the 2014 NCAA title.

Hancock is not listed as one of the Top 60 players by DraftExpress.com. Chad Ford of ESPN.com does not rank him as one of his Top 100 prospects.

*If the college baseball season ended Tuesday, Louisville, Indiana and Kentucky would all make the NCAA Tournament. But the Hoosiers are the only team in the group that is a lock to host a regional next week.

In fact, as the fourth-ranked team nationally in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index, the Hoosiers should also be a national seed, which would allow them to host a Super Regional the following week if they win a four-team regional.

Louisville will begin the American Athletic Conference Tournament ranked 20th in the RPI while Kentucky is 22nd as Southeastern Tournament play opens. The 16 first-round sites will be announced next Monday.

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