Associated Press
Jude Schimmel

Cards Star Jude Schimmel Begins Season Without Big Sister Shoni


On Wednesday, the Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team held their first practice of the season, and for the first time in four years Shoni Schimmel was not with the team. But, Jude Schimmel, Shoni’s sister is on track to help lead the team.

“A couple of us are going to have to step up and make a significant impact if we want to make a run in the NCAA tournament,” Jude told ICTMN in April about the 2014-2015 season. “I want to be more of a scoring threat and my shot needs to come quicker. Those are my biggest goals right now and obviously, being a senior, I want to be one of the team leaders that everyone can look up to and listen to.”

Several letter-winners are returning from last season’s squad, including Sara Hammond, Jude Schimmel and Bria Smith, who helped the team go 33-5 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. Five seniors are currently on the team’s roster.

Coach Jeff Waltz is likely to heavily rely on Hammond, who started all 38 games last season, averaging 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds; and Smith, who started 32 times, averaging 7.6 points and 1.6 steals per game. Jude started just five times and played in 33 of 38 contests in the 2013-2014 season. She averaged 5.5 points and 3.5 assists per game, but finished second on the team in steals, with 54.

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Rick Schimmel, Jude and Shoni’s father, told ICTMN that Jude has the ability to take the reins for the team.

“She knows how to lead,” Rick said in a previous interview with ICTMN. “She really sees things; even when she’s on the bench. I think she’s constantly analyzing things. She watches film different than the average player. She’s seeing things others won’t see and she recognizes it instantly on the court. That’s the intelligence side of her.”

Taking an intellectual approach to the game works well for Jude, who has excelled on and off the court. She was recently named to the Louisville Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

“Jude’s basketball IQ is as good as there is,” Waltz says. “She always wants to learn more. The intricacies of the game are what Jude really prides herself in.”

With less than 40 days to prep for their first game in Indianapolis, it will be interesting to watch how Shoni’s absence affects the team. Rick Schimmel has said that it won’t affect Jude’s game because she was in a similar position when Shoni left for college when Jude was in her final year of high school. And it appears that Jude is not letting the pressure get to her.

On Twitter, a day before the team’s first practice, Jude Tweeted:


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