Jeff Walz was tired and exhausted after Louisville women’s basketball’s first conference win of the season.
The Cardinals defeated Syracuse 62-58 at the KFC Yum! Center Dec. 29 despite shooting 34.9 percent from the field and relinquishing a double-digit advantage. The Louisville head coach joked that his players make him work too hard during the game against the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent.
Louisville led by 11 points late in the third quarter before Syracuse methodically trimmed its deficit to striking distance. Amaya Finklea-Guity scored with 2:37 left to give Syracuse a 58-57 lead, but Jazmine Jones, who finished with 24 points, made a pair of free throws to return the lead to Louisville with 1:19 left.
Walz said people outside of the program don’t see the relationships the coaching staff has with its players, something that he values as a head coach.
“I love what I do, the thing about these young women is this, I push them as hard as I can because I want them to be great. Deep down I think they all know I love them and care about them like they are my own kids,” Walz said. “That’s why I am able to do what I do the way that I do it because a lot of people if they just come to the games they’re probably like ‘man he is crazy, I wouldn’t want to play for him.’”
Walz enjoys the development of players as they spend time with the program.
“It’s even more rewarding to watch them grow as young women because I know when they are finished here they’re going to be successful because there is no boss they will work for that is a bigger pain in the ass than I am,” Walz said.