Dana Evans was named the ACC Women’s player of the year after an impressive season. With her contributions and leadership to her team, Evans was a big reason behind Louisville’s best record in the Conference along with being ranked #6 in the AP Poll. Despite the NCAA Tournament being cancelled due to COVID-19, Evans had a season that became one to remember.
Coming into the season, both Evans and the Louisville Cardinals wanted to put the world on notice. The team fell short of their dreams a season ago after falling to a well organized UConn team in the Elite Eight. After a bitter loss that occurred, the team wanted to come back into this season with a stronger will and wanted to let people know that they weren’t done yet. Their hard work over the summer was what motivated them to take another attempt at a National Championship.
Looking at Evans the first two years of her college career, she’s taken big leaps and has improved tremendously each season. The more she displays her ability to play in big moments, the more Head Coach Jeff Walz began to trust her with running the offense. And this season just even better for the young prospect. Evans became more of a leader than she already was and wanted to make a group of girls that was around her successful.
Evans was a beast for the Cardinals and competed at the highest level on both ends. She became a much more efficient shooter this season as well as creating opportunities for others as well. Her energy really fed off on her teammates as they were able to provide each game to cap off a win. With Evans leading the way, this team at times would look nearly unstoppable.
Throughout the season, Evans numbers improved by averaging 17.9 PPG while shooting 42% from the field. Through the course of the season many could see her confidence go up prior to her first two seasons with the school. She was a leader of her own being in attack mode going to the basket and knocking down perimeter shots. Her energy and focus carried throughout the entire season and she improved game after game as the year went on.
Evans had many notable games this season that many people can look back upon. One of them was torching Clemson for 27 points on January 2nd to secure a win. During this game, Evans was able to make the defense pay by not making adjustments to their defense. She went on to shoot 10-20 from the field along with 7-13 from three point land. It was definitely her night from behind the arc and it resulted in her team securing a blowout win.
Another huge game for Evans was against their ACC rivals in North Carolina. The Women Tar Heels were known as a good defensive team all year so Louisville had to be prepared to have a lot on their plate going up against a very well orchestrated roster. In a tough matchup, Evans led her team to a victory scoring 22 points and dishing out 7 assists. Her assertiveness on the offensive end gave energy to her teammates as they went on a hot spree in the 2nd and 3rd quarter to give their team more momentum going forward. And they luckily kept things going in order to secure the game.
Despite falling to Florida State in the ACC Tournament, Evans and the Cardinals had a season to remember. They competed every matchup and fought til the end no matter the result. With everything that took place during this season for the team, there is without question that they want to carry the same momentum and set the tone at a much higher level going into next year.
For Evans, it was just another much improved season for the Junior Guard. And in all honesty, she should more likely return for her Senior season as well. With her development and the team thriving as a collective, Louisville can shake the world next year and could possibly become champions of the world for women’s to cap off her college career.