This is the second part of my pre-seson look at the Montana State Bobcat women. You can find Part 1 here.
Sarah Strand 6-1 PF – I am hearing that Strand is primed to have a very big year, and the Bobcat’s are going to need that to off set the loss of Garcia. Strand is a prototypical power forward in Binford’s system. She can run the court, slash to the post, or shot the ball from beyond the three point arc. Picking up her scoring average this year, should not be an issue for Strand, but she is going to need to really improve her rebounding (only 4.3 per game) if the Bobcats are going to compete with the top teams in the league.
Jamie Thornton 6-4 C – Thornton had a very good off season and maybe the leading candidate to start at the center position next year. She will need to improve on her 2 points and two rebounds a game from last year, but she does not need to star but fill the role of a center. She will need to play with a lot of energy when in the game as I suspect as with most true big girls we may only get 20 minutes or so a night off of her.
Beata Bak 6-2 PF/C – Bak, a JC transfer, will battle Thornton for the starting center spot, but regardless of who wins the starting spot Bak will share a lot of minutes at the center spot as well as possibly some at the power forward spot. Bak can play inside or step out and shoot from three point range. She had some huge games in the JC ranks, but is still struggling to get up to speed with D-1 ball. I would suspect she will get better and better as the season goes on. As a JC recruit, the Cats need her to be solid contributor in the paint by the time conference rolls around.
Ashley Albert 6-1 PF – Albert could be a major contributor for the Bobcats off the bench this season. She is best described as a Sarah Strand clone, but with a much better shooter (and that is saying something). Playing with and against Strand could really be boon to her development. With her range, I have heard that she may get some opportunities also at the small forward spot, but defending smaller quicker opponents are always an issue with taller girls. As a true freshman conditioning and wearing down late in the season also could become an issue.
Rachel Semansky 6-0 PF – Semansky’s game is ideally suited to give the Bobcat’s what they will need this season. She is a physical hustle player who can score and rebound the ball down low and is not afraid of contact. She could create a niche for herself if she is physically ready to go. She does not yet have the three point range Binford like in her power forward but that will come. I think she will be a fan favorite.
Chelsea Banis 6-4 C – Like Semansky Banis has an opportunity to fill a role for the Bobcats as a true freshman. I think filling the center spot will be by committee, and if she is ready she could earn her self a role, big or small. Now as you most likely know by now I am a big proponent of redshirt true big players their freshman year, so I may be bias to want to redshirt her. With Thornton putting in around 20 minutes at center, and Bak possibly splitting time at the center and power forward spot we may need another player play some minutes at the center spot. I have also heard she is pushing Bak right now.
The Lady Cats will have 13 players on their roster this season, which means they could Redshirt 1-2 player. Binford has mentioned that she want to get into the position where she can redshirt 2-3 players a year. Like I mentioned before I think Roben might be prime candidate for a redshirt year, given the depth at that position and her knee. I also think 6-4 Banis might benefit from a redshirt year as well as Semansky, but I doubt both big girls would redshirt.
Projected Starting Five
PG – Perry
SG – Bussey
SF – Seidensticker (by a hair over Jackson)
PF – Strand
SG – Jackson
PF/C – Bak
PG – Schmitt
PF – Albert