CRAWFORD | Louisville's Hines-Allen stands tallest as ACC Player of the Year
At 6-2, University of Louisville sophomore Myisha Hines-Allen often is out-sized in the post. But she is rarely out-played. On Wednesday, league coaches and media named her the 2016 ACC Player of the Year.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — There are two ways to look at Myisha Hines-Allen’s size. You could say she’s an undersized post player for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, and at 6-2, there’s no argument.
She’s out-sized almost every night.
But she does not get out-played. The sophomore’s improvement and excellence this season was rewarded on Wednesday when she was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the year, as chosen by ACC coaches, sports information directors and media members.
She is just the second Louisville women’s basketball player to win conference player of the year honors, joining Angel McCoughtry.
Allen has become an ACC matchup nightmare. She has a great scoring touch around the basket, but can range out into mid-range territory. She averaged 18 points and 8.1 rebounds a game in conference play, shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 77.2 percent from the free-throw line.
After Hines scored 25 points on 11 of 14 shooting in the Cards’ regular-season finale, U of L coach Jeff Walz said she’s hurting opponents with efficiency.
“She's not taking bad shots,” he said. “She's a very good shooter, she stays within herself; she's been shooting the ball really well from 12-15 feet, which then brings people out. Her ability to drive and finish, she's just a real tough matchup right now for a lot of people. If you're getting 25 points on 14 shots, that's pretty darn good. She's been scoring in the twenties, but she hasn't been taking 20 shots. She's 12 of 16, 10 for 14; when you're able to do that, your teammates don't get too upset either because it's not like you're shooting it every time.”
Hines’ success is no surprise. She came to U of L from Montclair (N.J.) High school as one of the most highly rated players in the nation, and a McDonald’s All-American. She started her U of L career with double-digit scoring in her first 10 games, the first Cardinal player to do that since 2003. She led the Cardinals in scoring in the postseason a year ago as a freshman.
She followed that up by trying out for the U.S. teams in the Pan Am Games and World University games, but did not make either team. The experience of playing against that competition, however, including Connecticut forward Brianna Stewart, was important for Hines-Allen.
Walz said she came back with a hunger she hadn’t had before. She improved her conditioning. She became a better ball-handler.
And though she wasn’t picked for a single preseason award this season, Walz knew she was a different player. As a freshman she was good. As a sophomore she was special. She proved that this season.
“She gives them so much energy,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “I mean she is a really, really good player. She is somebody that, she'll take charges, she will get rebounds, she'll go to the basket, she will get big baskets for them and she is really playing well this year.”
Her success has become commonplace for the Cards. And she’s had a lot of success in basketball. But she said she hasn’t lost appreciation for what she is able to do.
“I don't take it for granted,” Hines-Allen said. “For instance, last game (at Miami) I could not hit a jump shot, it was just free throw line basically and that's how I was getting all my points,” she said. “This game, I came out and was hitting jump shots; it's a lot easier when I'm hitting jump shots. You can't really take anything for granted, because you don't really know what can happen.”
Nobody predicted this kind of run for Hines-Allen. But looking back on it, maybe they should have.
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