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2022-2023 Player Previews

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  • 2022-2023 Player Previews

    From "The Slipper Still Fits":

    First up = Kaylynne Truong

    2022-23 Player Preview: Kaylynne Truong
    Time for both Truong twins to shine.
    By Peter Woodburn@wernies Sep 20, 2022

    To a certain extent, Kaylynne Truong has operated slightly one step behind her twin sister, Kayleigh Truong, by virtue of their skill sets. While Kayleigh has been the starting point guard for the past two seasons, Kaylynne has been the first player off the bench.

    Last season, that equation was mixed up a bit. A knee injury to Kayleigh thrust Kaylynne into a starting role. After a couple of nervous-nellie turnover-filled games, she settled in nicely, and in the process, demonstrated that whenever Lisa Fortier wants, she will be able to run an offense featuring two point guards.

    However, perhaps the most important hole to fill will be the departure of Cierra Walker, the Zags’ prime sharp-shooting threat from beyond the arc for the past two seasons. Kaylynne was the second-best three-point shooter on the team last season but came in at just 35.1 percent (compared to Walker’s 42 percent). The addition of Brynna Maxwell should help alleviate that concern, but it would be nice to see an uptick in Kaylynne’s three-point shots, especially if she is playing off the ball alongside her sister.
    You can read the rest of the article here: 2022-23 Player Preview: Kaylynne Truong - The Slipper Still Fits


  • #2
    From "The Slipper Still Fits"

    Next up Maud Huijbens

    2022-23 Player Preview: Maud Huijbens
    The minutes are there for the sophomore center to grab.
    By Peter Woodburn@wernies Sep 22, 2022

    With the departures of some familiar faces in the front court, there are a lot of minutes available for grabs, and sophomore center Maud Huijbens might be one player to see a sizable role increase.

    Huijbens, a sophomore who transferred from Syracuse after her freshman year, doesn’t have a whole lot of collegiate tape to go off of. In very limited minutes last season, 21 games and just 6.5 minutes per game, she averaged 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds. However, extrapolating beyond such shallow amounts of playing time isn’t a fruitful endeavor.

    Luckily for us, Huijbens, a native of Netherlands, has international playing experience—both with the U18 and, more recently, with the U20 national team. In the European Championship games this summer, Huijbens averaged 8.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game. Nothing eye-popping per se, but more than serviceable numbers to fill a role of head coach Lisa Fortier’s squad.

    To a certain extent, as opposed to its men’s counterpart, it is important to acknowledge one of the key coaching differences Fortier employs—a deep bench. Fortier often runs, at minimum, nine players, if not more. Last season, six players averaged more than 20 minutes per game, with Anamaria Virjoghe nearly making it seven (18.9 minutes per game).

    With the departures of both Virjoghe and forward Melody Kempton, as well as forward/guard Abby O’Connor, the front court needs a bit of retooling. Yvonne Ejim will definitely step into a starting role, and she will largely be the focal point for the Zags in the post.
    You can read the rest of the article here: 2022-23 Player Preview: Maud Huijbens - The Slipper Still Fits



    • #3
      Sorry Guys, posted on the wrong board.

      Mods, go ahead and move the topic to the Wbb board.

      Thank You,



      • #4
        Always wondering how you defend two point guards that are identical twins.


        • #5
          Originally posted by daskim View Post
          Always wondering how you defend two point guards that are identical twins.
          Double team, I assume.


          • #6
            Originally posted by jazzdelmar View Post

            Double team, I assume.


            • #7
              Originally posted by jazzdelmar View Post

              Double team, I assume.


              • #8
                Originally posted by daskim View Post
                Always wondering how you defend two point guards that are identical twins.
                If they run a pick and roll it looks like something out of 'The Matrix'.
                'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
                - Gandalf the Grey


                Foo Time


                • #9
                  Thanks for moving the thread Kitzbuel.



                  • #10
                    Next in line, Utah transfer Brynna Maxwell, from "The Slipper Still Fits".

                    2022-23 Player Preview: Brynna Maxwell
                    Meet the sharpshooting transfer from Utah.
                    By Peter Woodburn@wernies Sep 24, 2022

                    The Gonzaga Bulldogs women’s basketball team landed a key transfer to fit the squad this past season in Utah graduate-transfer Brynna Maxwell.

                    Maxwell, a native of Gig Harbor, Washington, was the third-leading scorer on the Utes last season, and her style of play should fit the Bulldogs’ puzzle perfectly.

                    Maxwell led the Utes for 3PA per game, at 5.4. Overall, the Utes loved to shoot the long ball, ranking ninth in the country for total attempts as a team. Gonzaga, on the other hand, was a bit more pedestrian, slotting in at 86th in the nation.

                    For the Zags, that outside threat took a huge hit with the departure of Cierra Walker. In her final two years of college ball as a Zag, Walker led Gonzaga in both three-point percentage and in three-point attempts. Although the Truong twins have demonstrated decently consistent range from afar, neither player was up to the level of Walker.

                    Enter Maxwell. In her freshman season, starting every game, she shot an astonishing 47.2 percent from long range off of 5.7 attempts per game. Her sophomore season, the makes went up but the rate dropped significantly, falling to 33.6 percent. Last season, everything seemed to stabilize a little bit. Maxwell finished out her junior year averaging 5.4 attempts and draining 38 percent, which would’ve placed her second on Gonzaga last season behind Walker.
                    You can read the rest of the review here: 2022-23 Player Preview: Brynna Maxwell - The Slipper Still Fits



                    • #11
                      McKayla Williams is up next in the "Slipper Still Fits."

                      2022-23 Player Preview: McKayla Williams
                      The junior guard has earned minutes by being a reliable defensive disruptor, but being a more complete producer is her ticket to earning more minutes.
                      By Keith Ybanez@slipperyky Sep 26, 2022

                      ​When Lisa Fortier needed defensive reinforcements from the bench last season, she regularly turned to McKayla Williams. It may not have been the starring role that some envisioned for the former Top 100 recruit, but it was a consistent role and a solid step forward for Williams who was behind Cierra Walker and Abby O’Connor on the depth chart.

                      Now a junior, Williams represents one of the intriguing internal developmental storylines heading into the season. Williams has already proven to be a solid defender—her skills at that end of the floor earned her an appearance in every single game last season at an average of almost 13 minutes per game. It’s at the other end where a big step forward from Williams would be a boon for Gonzaga as Fortier looks to piece the puzzle together. Williams’ athleticism and length for the guard position gives Fortier options in how she crafts her rotations, as that skillset serves as a good supplement to the Truong twins and also allows Gonzaga to field a big backcourt when Williams plays alongside Bree Salenbien.

                      Williams hasn’t been a stretch-the-floor shooter through her first two seasons at Gonzaga (7-33, 21.2% 3PT), but she should be able to score in other ways and a consistent increase in her offensive production would help Gonzaga overcome some of the extended offensive droughts that have plagued the offense over the last two seasons. If Fortier considered taking a page out of the Mark Few’s playbook and dialed up the tempo a bit, Williams could be a more dynamic threat with the Truong twins who can also push the ball down the floor.​
                      You can read the rest of the analysis here: 2022-23 Player Preview: McKayla Williams - The Slipper Still Fits



                      • #12
                        Taking her turn in the spotlight is Calli Stokes:

                        2022-23 Player Preview: Calli Stokes
                        The redshirt freshman tries to find a way into the rotation this season.
                        By Peter Woodburn@wernies Sep 28, 2022

                        If you followed the women’s Gonzaga Bulldogs last season, there is a good chance you heard of/saw Calli Stokes and her redshirt partner in crime Payton Muma celebrating on the bench.

                        There was a lot to celebrate, and they had different moves for different actions, but those celebrations might be a bit more muted now that Stokes is seeking out playing time in the rotation.

                        Stokes entered Gonzaga with some nice pedigree. A combo guard/forward out of Redondo Beach, California, she averaged 21.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and 3.0 assists per game her junior season (senior year was a no-go due to COVID). She flashed her athleticism by returning to the softball diamond her senior season, partaking in a sport she had left on the side since entering high school.

                        As is the Gonzaga way, there is a process here, and part of that was redshirting in her first season. This season will be all about the incremental steps going forward, learning and growing as much as possible during practice, and making the most of the limited minutes available.

                        Between the senior Truong twins, Utah transfer Brynna Maxwell, McKayla Williams, Bree Salenbien, and Esther Little, the Zags are returning six players who saw minutes ranging from starting to limited from last season.
                        You can read the rest of the article here: 2022-23 Player Preview: Calli Stokes - The Slipper Still Fits



                        • #13
                          Moving to the Fron of the Line is Bree Salenbien:

                          2022-2023 Player Preview: Bree Salenbien
                          This season has the potential to be a breakout year for the two-way sophomore
                          By Tuck_Clarry Sep 30, 2022

                          Adjusting to the next level always takes time. There’s an age gap. A need for familiarity with speed and spacing. Often, reps and minutes are the clearest accelerators to getting over the initial hurdles and then developing your game.

                          For Bree Salenbien, her freshman season was largely getting her bearings surrounded by older, veteran backcourt pairings. She played an average of 8.3 minutes in 29 of the Bulldogs’ 34 games, eventually getting her season curtailed by a knee injury heading into the conference tournament. Her minutes would bob from the low teens to under five, depending on the competition. Understandable when you have a cast of upperclassmen throughout your backcourt depth chart.

                          And frankly, a player’s offensive game is one of those components that calls for experience and familiarity for its consistency. With those fluctuating minutes and limited role, Salenbien wasn’t quite able to turn the corner and become the player that her recruiting profile and high school career showcased. And that is part of being a freshman in a winning program.

                          Salenbien’s shooting numbers fluctuated as much as her minutes would. A player known for her three-level offensive skills would go 1-for-5 against Pacific in one game and then 4-for-4 the next. Her high usage when playing suggests a trust from the coaching staff that at some point the shots would fall consistently.

                          The Michigan native did, however, consistently show ball control and a decision-making skill set that makes her development essential for Gonzaga to take the next step as a team in the NCAA tournament.
                          You can read the rest of the write-up here: 2022-2023 Player Preview: Bree Salenbien - The Slipper Still Fits



                          • #14
                            Coming up, our Australian Lady, Eliza Hollingsworth.

                            2022-23 Player Preview: Eliza Hollingsworth
                            The Australian forward should have the inside track to join Yvonne Ejim in the starting frontcourt.
                            By Keith Ybanez@slipperyky Oct 2, 2022

                            Can Eliza Hollingsworth continue her upward trajectory? That’s one of the primary questions waiting to be answered by the redshirt junior.

                            Last season, Hollingsworth earned her first truly meaningful action of her collegiate career. The Australian forward featured in 32 of 34 games, all off the bench, and showed off a versatile skillset with plenty of runway for more development.

                            Lisa Fortier and Gonzaga fans will be hoping that Hollingsworth turned the confidence and experience she gained last season into a productive summer and is now ready to compete for a starting spot. The opportunity will be there with vacancies in the frontcourt due to the departures of Melody Kempton and Anamaria Virjoghe. One of those starting spots is assuredly earmarked for Yvonne Ejim, but the other is up for grabs and Hollingsworth makes the most sense to fill it. However, Hollingsworth still has to go earn it.

                            Hollingsworth has the game to stretch the floor as a pick-and-pop shooter with range to the three-point line, though she’ll need to be slightly more efficient from the paint and around the blocks. In order to win a starting spot and play a bigger role in the rotation, Hollingsworth will need to do the work on the glass to improve her rebounding numbers and also commit to the intensity needed to be consistently good at the defensive end of the floor.
                            You can read the rest of the article here: 2022-23 Player Preview: Eliza Hollingsworth - The Slipper Still Fits



                            • #15
                              Now, from Colorado, Payton Muma:

                              2022-2023 Player Preview: Payton Muma
                              No longer redshirting.
                              By Peter Woodburn@wernies Oct 4, 2022

                              Without her playing a single minute, you probably became familiar with Payton Muma if you followed the Gonzaga Bulldogs women’s basketball squad. Muma and fellow redshirter Calli Stokes, were the enthusiastic leaders of the bench mob, helping bring a special celebration to each Gonzaga victory.

                              Now that the redshirt year is over, what can we expect from Muma? The answer very well might be not much more, at the moment. A 5’8 true point guard, the redshirt freshman’s path to playing time is blocked by the Truong twins, and it remains to be seen how the rotation is going to spell out after that.

                              Much of that is the life of college basketball, however. Muma had the history in high school to potentially warrant spelling some minutes at the point this season. She was the second-highest rated recruit out of the state of Colorado in 2021 after all.

                              However, last season, while Kayleigh Truong was sidelined with an injury, Lisa Fortier turned the point guard duties over to her twin sister Kaylynne Truong. The latter Truong, after a couple of rough outings, settled nicely into the role. Presumably, both Truong twins will be starting the game, but it is still easy to see Fortier sliding Kaylynne over to point to spell Kayleigh at times. And with the addition of Brynna Maxwell in the backcourt, the Zags’ guards have a lot of experience in the coming season.
                              You can read the rest of the review here: 2022-2023 Player Preview: Payton Muma - The Slipper Still Fits