Cincinnati Basketball: Michelle Clark-Heard looks ahead to season opener at Louisville

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Michelle Clark-Heard leads team against UConn Huskies. Getty Images.
Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Michelle Clark-Heard leads team against UConn Huskies. Getty Images. /
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The Cincinnati Bearcats women’s basketball team is set to open the season in about three weeks with a highly-anticipated trip to Louisville. During media day, Michelle Clark-Heard discussed the upcoming matchup via the American Athletic Conference.

Coming off a second consecutive disappointing year, Clark-Heard believes the Bearcats can compete at a high level with most of the production returning from a year ago alongside a couple of transfer additions and a revamped coaching staff behind Clark-Heard.

After finishing in 11th place in the AAC standings last season, Cincinnati was slotted at 9th place in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Although it would be a slight improvement, the Bearcats hope to blow past those expectations.

Cincinnati Basketball: Michelle Clark-Heard looks ahead to season opener at Louisville

Despite moving to a new position in the offseason, junior forward Jillian Hayes earned All-AAC Second Team preseason honors and is projected to have a dynamic season. Seton Hall transfer Mya Jackson, plus Jadyn Scott, Malea Williams, Caitlyn Wilson and others will be key to the Bearcats success as well.

Cincinnati starts the season in a tough environment against Louisville on November 7. The Cardinals are fresh off a Final Four berth and Hailey Van Lith will be difficult for the Bearcats to contain. Clark-Heard looked ahead to the opener per Cincinnati Athletics.

"“It’s going to be a huge test. I’m just grateful to Jeff Walz for always having the opportunity to play. I’m excited for our young ladies to be able to go into the Yum! Center and play in front of thousands of people. I feel like it’s one of the best crowds in the country. It’s not only just great for me but we have a couple players that are from Louisville. Taziah Jenks and Dais’ja Trotter being able to go back home. I’m excited about the challenge. I know our girls are too. We’re working every day to get ready for it.”"

Next. Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats announce intriguing non-conference schedule. dark