How Louisville Guard Dana Evans Went from Sixth Player of the Year to All-American

by | Feb 3, 2021 | NCAA Women's Basketball

Louisville Guard, Dana Evans, has quite the story in college basketball. Evans, who is a senior, has led the Cardinals to a 16-1 record through 11 weeks of play. 

Evans burst onto the national scene last season after a dominating junior campaign. Nobody expected much of her prior to her junior year, but she made a massive statement around the country going from the Cardinals’ sixth player to an All-American.

Five Star Recruit

Dana Evans was a Five Star prospect and the ninth overall recruit in the class of 2017. In 2017, she was named to the McDonald’s All-American Team. This tremendous honor capped off a sensational high school career for Evans. 

Dana Evans

Evans is the sixth on Indiana’s all-time scoring list with 2,832 points. She led West Side High School to back-to-back 4A Sectional titles averaging 35.8 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.8 steals per game as a senior. 
 
Dana Evans cemented her legacy as a high school athlete in the state of Indiana. She chose to spend her collegiate years at Louisville over Tennessee and Purdue. 

Early Career as a Cardinal

I don’t want to paint the picture that Dana Evans went from not being able to shoot a basketball to NCAA sensation because that wasn’t the case. Evans contributed as soon as she set foot on campus. However, Evans didn’t take over the program right away like we often see out of numerous Five Star recruits once they enter the collegiate ranks. 
 
Evans had a great freshman year. She was named to the Freshman All-ACC squad for her efforts. The guard only averaged 5.1 points per game, but she established herself as a solid performer off the bench. 
 
Coming in off the bench was Evans’ role once again as a sophomore in 2018-19. She played in all 36 games and made five starts for the Cardinals. Evans started the first two games of 2018, but she came in off the bench in 31 of the team’s final 34 games. 

Head Coach Jeff Walz liked her presence as the sixth player rather than being in the starting five. She embraced this role and ended up being named the ACC Sixth Player of the Year in 2018-19. Evans averaged 10.4 points and pulled down 2.4 boards per game. 

Coming into Her Own

Evans became Louisville’s go-to player as a junior. Evans had success as a sophomore coming off the bench, but she looked like a totally different athlete from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020. Evans dominated in the ACC and proved that she was one of the best scorers in the nation. 
 
Evans went from the ACC Sixth Player of the Year to the conference’s Player of the Year. She is the only player in ACC history to make this incredible jump from one season to the next. 
 
Evans averaged 18 points per game which garnered her notoriety at the national level as well. She was one of ten members on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American team. She was also named a second team All-American by the Associated Press. 
 
For the first time in her collegiate career, Evans had truly come into her own. 

The Senior Campaign 

Entering this season, Dana Evans was named to the Drysdale Award and the Naismith Trophy Watch List. The Drysdale Award is presented to the best shooting guard in the country. The Naismith Trophy is given to the best basketball player in the nation every season. 

In 17 starts, Dana Evans is averaging over 20 points per contest. She is playing better than she did as a junior. Evans’ growth from her freshman year to her senior year has been remarkable to watch. 
 
Her work ethic has been the biggest factor in her success. Evans is talented, but her growth from year to year is why she is going to be very successful at the professional level. 
 
Entering this season, Evans stated, “I want to be the first one to bring a national championship to Louisville.” Her play thus far makes this dream a very real possibility.  
 
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