This is the second part of my pre-season look at the Lady griz basketball program. You can find Part 1 here.
Sarah Ena 5-11 PF/C – Ena is a load inside and with the big void left from the graduation of Morales and Rogers look for her to improve on her 11 points and 7 rebounds a game average in 2008-09. I see her starting at either the center of forward spot depending on who wins the other starting spot, but she will play both positions for the Lady Griz. She and Beck should be the bed rock for this young team as it develops. Ena excels using her quickness underneath so look for the Lady Griz to try to take advantage of that more this season.
Jessa Loman-Linford 6-1 PF/C – Linford, seem to me, to be one of the players who showed the most improvement from the time last season started until the end. If she carried that momentum on through the off season she really could be a major factor in the Lady Griz in any case I expect her to be one of the main contenders for a starting role at the center spot. She averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds a game last season in 14 minutes of action.
Ali Hurley 6-0 SF/PF – Ali is coming off a freshman redshirt and I hear will be playing the power forward spot as well as the small forward. This is a move from the wing where she has played most of her carrier, but Selvig must feel this is where she fits in best now. An excellent shooter as well as a strong interior player, she should be able to take advantage of her perimeter and ball skills against inside players. She is also in the hunt for a starting spot.
Shadra Robison 6-3 C – The only true center on the team this year I would expect he to get some looks at a starting spot, but will most likely, end up filling the role that Guardipee did off the bench last year. She averaged 1 point 2 rebounds a game.
Katie Baker 6-0 SF/PF – Baker is the freshman I am hearing the most buzz about winning a starting spot this year. She is a very aggressive rebounder, who has very good post up moves, but can also shoot the ball out to the three point line. She should primarily play the power forward spot this year but could see some time at the small forward. Baker is going to be a very good player for the Griz.
Alyssa Smith 6-0 PF – Smith has also been mentioned as a possible starter this year. She is not as explosive as fellow freshman Baker and De Boer but she has the entire package. She is a strong rebounder, solid scorer and most likely the best defender of the freshman, which always endures a player with Selvig.
Selvig has said he does not expect to redshirt any of the freshmen. I am not sure if that includes walk-on Hildal or not, but does that mean he would go with 13-14 active players? I do not think there are a lot of opportunities to redshirt some upper class man, but the Griz could go deep into their bench this year.
Projected Starting Five
This is really difficult to project. Unproven lettermen, Hot shot freshman coming on board, and a lot of players changing positions. This could go down in a lot of different ways. This is my out on a limb starting line up. It might not be the starting line up at the first game but, by Conference time I think the freshman are going to shine.
PG – Johnson
SG – De Boer
SF – Beck
PF – Baker
PF – Linford
PF/SF – Hurley
PG – Ferda