Dana Evans' breakout built from trust


Trust allowed Dana Evans to have a breakout junior year.

The 5-foot-6 guard for Louisville women’s basketball seemingly collected every individual accolade possible in the past month. Evans was named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year, selected as a Second Team All-American by the Associated Press and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) along with being picked as a finalist for the 2020 Wade Trophy.

After averaging 10.4 points and 4.0 assists as a sophomore, Evans elevated her game. She became the first player in ACC history to be named sixth player of the year and player of the year in back-to-back seasons.

Evans averaged 18.0 points and 4.2 assists as a junior as Louisville went 28-4 and won the ACC regular season title outright for the first time in program history. Evans made 90 shots from behind the arc while shooting 43.1% on 3-point attempts.

She said trust was built with the coaching staff and her teammates.

“I think building trust from Coach [Jeff] Walz, once he saw me put the time in and what I was able to do in the big games, he was able to trust me more,” Evans said.

Becoming an All-American was always a dream Evans had, but became possible because of the work she was willing to put in.

“It was a matter of me doing it,” Evans said. “I knew I was capable of it, I envisioned it, I always knew that I was able to do it. It was me taking action and going for it.”

With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the season abruptly ended before the NCAA Tournament. Evans is spending time with her family during a time that traditionally would be reserved for postseason play.

“It was a reminder that you can never take things for granted,” Evans said. “You have to live in the moment, you never know when something like this will happen. It was rough, but you have to move on.”

Evans isn’t yet ready to decide on if she should enter the WNBA Draft. She said she will speak with her parents and Walz before deciding.