Exciting News: Olivia Cochran already impressing the Louisville staff over……

Exciting News: Olivia Cochran already impressing the Louisville staff over….

The University of Louisville women’s basketball team is loaded with talent, including five newcomers that coach Jeff Walz said are battling for playing time.

And one freshman has really impressed the staff since she arrived on campus.

Walz said Columbus, Ga., Carver High School forward Olivia Cochran is already the best back-to-the-basket player on the roster and he noted that she’s vying for a starting spot. The 6-foot-3 Cochran was ranked as the No. 18 player in the Class of 2020 by ESPN.

“Her strength and her ability to finish around the basket with contact, even though she is 6-foot-2 she’s by far the best back-to-the-basket player we have had here as a freshman in my 14 years,” Walz said. “She doesn’t necessarily have the same face-up game that Myisha Hines-Allen had when she came in or that Sam Fuehring had but back-to-the-basket, she finishes so well around the basket and she embraces contact.”

Cochran is listed at 6-3 on the school’s roster and only three other players on the team are taller, including freshman Malea Williams, who is expected to redshirt this season.

Walz said because of her ability and her size that Cochran will see the floor a lot for the Cardinals.

“Olivia is someone that is really going to be able to give us a dimension that we haven’t had in a few years,” Walz said.

Cochran, who is a three-time first-team Class 4-A first-team All-State selection by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, committed to U of L in July of 2019 after Walz and his staff tracked her the entire month with her AAU squad. She was a member of the USA women’s 3×3 U18 World Cup Team that won a gold medal in June of 2019 at the FIBA 3X3 World Cup in Mongolia and had a stellar career at Carver.

As a junior, Cochran led Carver to the Class 4-A state title. She averaged 26 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocked shots a game and had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the state title game to cap a 32-0 season. She was named City Player of the Year after her junior season.

During her senior season, Cochran was named a sixth-team All-American by MaxPreps and was named a McDonald’s All-American. Carver finished 25-5 and Cochran averaged 22.8 points, 14 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks a game.

Cochran has an athletic pedigree. Her mother, Tara Williams, was a second-team All-SEC guard as a senior at Auburn in 1997 and played two seasons in the WNBA. Her father, Antonio Cochran, was a defensive lineman at Georgia and was a fourth-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He played five seasons for Seattle and one season for the Arizona Cardinals.

U of L opens the season on Nov. 25 at Middle Tennessee and will play at home the first time on Nov. 29 against Eastern Kentucky.

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