Honestly, there are a number of players that could rationally make this list; some are locks, while others are mere speculation. Regardless, the starting five is going to be absolutely loaded.
G Dana Evans; Sr.
Evans is a no-brainer; the senior point guard will likely be the leading scorer for Louisville. The reigning ACC Player of the Year and second-team All-American averaged 18.0 PPG on a staggering 43.1% perimeter shooting clip, to go along with 4.2 assists per game. Her ability to run the offense, create her own shot, and play effective on-ball defense could land her in the national player of the year hunt. Whether or not that happens, she still will be the heart of the Cardinals, and an asset on both ends of the floor.
G Hailey Van Lith; Fr.
Very few freshmen have started for Walz in recent memory, but Van Lith certainly has the talent. The Washington native was ranked as the #2 overall player in the 2020 class (Prospects Nation) and rightfully so, she has extreme handles while being able to create her own offense at all three levels. Van Lith’s ability to create separation from stepbacks, euro-steps, etc is a skill that not many possess. Her playmaking is what will get her on the court early; the Evans/Van Lith duo in the backcourt will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
G Elizabeth Balogun; Jr.
After transferring in from Georgia Tech before last season, Balogun started all but two games in the 2019-20 campaign. She averaged 8.1 and 4.6 points and rebounds per game, respectively; Balogun will be a good compliment with her size and ability to get to the rim. She will also be called to more rebounding duties with her 6-foot-1 frame. On top of that, she’s an extremely good defender with active hands and the ability to block shots; her two-way identity will land her in the starting lineup until she graduates.
G Nyah Green; R-Fr.
After coming to Louisville as a McDonald’s All-American, Green redshirted last season due to the crowded depth chart. Admittedly, there were a couple of other names I considered putting in this slot, but Green’s ability to rebound will be very valuable in the somewhat smaller lineup. Like Balogun, Green’s size and ability to attack the rim will be good compliments to the perimeter shooting of Evans and Van Lith.
F Elizabeth Dixon; Jr.
Replacing Shook and Dunham will be a tall task, but Dixon has experience and will likely anchor down the middle. The 6-foot-5 forward saw limited action last season but showed flashes of being a more-than-capable scorer around the basket and solid rim protector. The Louisville frontcourt does not have much experience, so there is an increased emphasis on Dixon’s development, and she will get more than enough opportunities to prove herself.