Louisville women’s coach Jeff Walz praises Michelle Clark-Heard

I caught up with Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz at Wednesday’s Cardinal Caravan event at the National Corvette Museum.

I asked Walz about his former assistant, new WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard. Walz discussed Heard’s first recruiting class, her coaching style and just when the Louisville-Western Kentucky series will be renewed.

Jeff Walz

Heard’s success with her first recruiting class: “There’s no surprise to me. Michelle’s a great recruiter. She’s going to go out and evaluate what she needs. It’s not all about going out and getting the best player. You’ve got to get players that fit what you’re trying to do, and I think she’s doing a great job of that. It’s going to take them a little bit of time, but I know what are her core beliefs are and what her system will likely be. She’ll do a great job.”

On Heard’s eye for under-the-radar players: “I know what Michelle can do by evaluating players. She does a really good job of seeing a kid that might not be ranked in the top 15, top 20, and she can get them and develop them into great players.”

On the future of a Louisville-WKU series. Walz says it’s a go in the coming years once both coaches adjust for larger conference schedules: “Once we get that taken care of, I know Michelle wants to play. I want to play, so it won’t take long until we’re back on the schedule.”

Louisville’s Chane Behanan returns to BG on Cardinal Caravan

The University of Louisville hosted its Cardinal Caravan on Wednesday at the National Corvette Museum.

Among those in attendance was sophomore forward Chane Behanan, who played his junior and senior seasons of high school at Bowling Green.

Among the others there were senior guard Peyton Siva, women’s senior guard Shelby Harper – an ACS grad, women’s coach Jeff Walz and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Below are a few of the comments from Behanan, as well as from Siva and BG boys’ basketball coach D.G. Sherrill, who coached Behanan for two seasons.

Chane Behanan

What’s going on right now? “Right now, I’m just working on ballhandling on my own. Getting more in shape, trying to get a lot of strength on me. It’s just focus and school work. That’s my life.”

What kind of shape are you in? “We had our first little practice, and I didn’t get tired. (Pitino) didn’t take me out the whole practice. He didn’t take me out until the last few minutes, so I think my conditioning standpoint is tremendous. I’m looking forward to where it is when the season starts.”

On not getting too high after Final Four run: “We can’t let the past dictate our future.”

Being back in Bowling Green: “I love it. I’m taking control with it. I’m having fun and enjoying myself.”

On Bowling Green’s success this year: “I’m happy for them. I hope they keep it going. The football team’s always been good, and coach Sherrill and the basketball team pulled out that Fourth Region championship. I hope they keep it going.”

Practices right now with everyone healthy: “Real fun. A lot of people get dunked on.”

“We’re all healthy. If we stay healthy the whole season, I think we can be really good. … Now we’ve got people coming back, ready to fully go.”

Peyton Siva

On being on the Caravan: “It’s great, just to get out here. We don’t get to see a lot of these fans, so it’s great to interact with them. It’s nice to venture out.”

The growth of Behanan: “He’s a very talented kid. He grew a lot. You see it on the court and how much more mature he got. He takes good shots now and doesn’t force anything. He has a high motor, and he’s relentless on the glass. He’s paying attention a lot more, he wants to watch film, he wants to work hard.”

Practices right now: “It’s very competitive. Everybody’s having fun out there, but everybody gets something out of it. We’re all enjoying the experience.”

D.G. Sherrill

What do you think, watching people line up for Behanan’s autograph? “It’s rewarding to see a former player and what he’s making out of himself. You see how he handles people and how he’s grown as a young man.”

What did you see from him throughout his freshman year? “At the end of the year, he was probably a top-20 freshman in the country. Now, I think he sees it. All of the things you try to tell a guy as a young player, it takes something like going to the University of Louisville and getting a Hall of Fame coach like Pitino telling you. Now, he’s bought in hook, line and sinker. The future this kid’s got is amazing.”