Louisville's nonconference schedule based around regional opponents


Athletic departments budgets across the country have been affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the University of Louisville’s is no different. Travel costs are an expense that has been reduced in budgets for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Athletic Director Vince Tyra has said Louisville teams will take busses instead of flights as a way to reduce travel expenses.

The nonconference portion of the schedule for Louisville women’s basketball for the 2020-21 season is complete with just one planned air trip. Louisville’s game against UConn for next season planned at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York was agreed to be postponed for a year due to concerns about COVID-19.

Louisville will begin its season with a road trip to Bowling Green to play Western Kentucky, followed by another road trip to face Cincinnati, Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz said.

Walz said Louisville will also play in a game in Gary, Indiana, the home of senior Dana Evans. The guard won ACC Player of the Year in 2019-20.

Walz said Louisville’s trip to the Genesis Center in Gary was originally intended to host four teams, but was reduced to two teams. Walz expects to play Valparaiso.

“We are fortunate enough to where we are located to have enough of those games that are also good RPI games,” Walz said.

Louisville is slated to fly to Dallas to play TCU the Saturday following Thanksgiving in the Maggie Dixon Classic, an annual tournament that was first played in 2006. Walz said Louisville’s trip to Dallas is the team’s only flight trip in the nonconference schedule.

Walz plans to continue to schedule nonconference opponents that allow current players’ families and friends to watch close to home. He hopes to the team can travel to Washington in the 2021-22 season, the home state of incoming freshman Hailey Van Lith, along with playing in California, Kianna Smith’s home state.

“Most of our trips are to try to take a player back home to play in front of her family and friends,” Walz said.

Last season, Louisville competed in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands in late November. The Cardinals had road trips to Ohio State, Northern Kentucky, Kentucky and UT Martin in December.