Louisville signees Van Lith and Cochran named to Naismith list


Hailey Van Lith and Olivia Cochran were named to the 2020 Naismith Trophy for Girls High School Player of the Year 25-player Midseason Team by the Atlanta Tipoff Club Jan. 14. The signees for Louisville women’s basketball 2020 recruiting class were two of 23 seniors selected to the list.

Van Lith and Cochran both signed with Louisville in November.

“I am really excited for both of them to be on the Naismith list for National Player of the Year,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “They are playing really well. They are having a really nice senior year. We are excited about them, I think both of them can come in here and compete and really give us some depth and help push the players that we currently have.”

Van Lith, a 5-foot-7 guard, is the second-ranked prospect in the nation by Prospect Nation and eighth nationally by espnW HoopGurlz. She was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Washington last season after averaging 34.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.2 steals per game for Cashmere High School.

Cochran, a 6-foot-3 forward, is the 18-ranked player in the Class of 2020 according to espnW HoopGurlz.

Merissah Russell, a 5-foot-11 guard from Ontario who signed in November, has also impressed Walz this season.

“Merissash Russell is also having an outstanding year,” Walz said. “She is playing really well, so I’m excited for her.”

Walz thinks the four-member recruiting class, which also includes Ahlana Smith, will add depth to the team. Smith played at UCLA for her freshman year before transferring to Gulf Coast State junior college this season.