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Thread: The Starting Five

  1. #1
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    Default The Starting Five

    Here is an article on who "The Slipper Still Fits" thinks will be included in the starting five, who will be first off the bench and who will be fighting for minutes on this year's Lady Zag Team:

    Projecting the Women’s Starting Five
    How do they fill the void of three graduated seniors?
    By Steven Karr Oct 15, 2019, 11:40am EDT

    With Laura Stockton, Chandler Smith, and Zykera Rice all graduated, the Gonzaga women have to fill three spots in their starting line-up. Luckily, their depth last season was so good that there are ready-made solutions at Lisa Fortier’s disposal. They also got a head start by going to Europe for a successful 4-0 foreign tour this summer.

    Last season, the Bulldogs were two brutal late-season injuries away from a potential Sweet 16 berth. Their last minute loss to Oregon State in Corvallis in the second round of the NCAA Tournament highlighted their need for perimeter shooting that they sorely lacked all season.

    Jill Townsend, one of their more capable shooters, was injured in the WCC semi-finals and could not play. She’s back and approaching 100 percent as the 2019-20 season gets going. Katie Campbell, the team’s leading shooter, is also back. Jessie Loera, who played both alongside and in place of Laura Stockton, is ready to take over the point guard position full time. She won the three-point contest at FanFest last weekend.

    All of that is to say the backcourt seems pretty much set. The front court might be where there is a question. The Wirth twins are back for their junior seasons, and seem like the logical choice to take both forward spots, but AnaMaria Virjoghe is a legit center and could steal a starting spot. Either way, all three players will hold down the paint. The Wirth twins, especially Jenn Wirth, have started to expand their range to the three-point line. If they can hit deeper shots consistently, whoever is playing post will end up get easier shots.

    Projected Starters
    Point – Jessie Loera (senior)
    Guard – Katie Campbell (senior)
    Wing – Jill Townsend (junior)
    Forward – Jenn Wirth (junior)
    Forward – LeeAnne Wirth (junior)
    6th – AnaMaria Virjoghe (center)
    7th – Louise Forsyth (wing)
    8th – Kayleigh Truong (point)
    9th – Melody Kempton (forward)
    Fight for minutes: Kylee Griffen, Eliza Hollingsworth, Kaylynne Truong, Gillian Barfield

    Kayleigh Truong is the more natural point guard of the Truong twins. She is expected to play right away to help alleviate Loera before taking over full time next season. Kempton received “fourth big” minutes last season and does a lot of little things well and should slot into that same role this year.

    The back-up wing spot is the interesting battle. Lou Forsyth is in her third year in the program and was one of the highest rated recruits in program history coming from Canada. She’s a fantastic three-point shooter, but hasn’t quite put it all together yet. Kylee Griffen missed all of last season with an injury, but has great size at 6’2 and great rebounding and slashing ability. Eliza Hollingsworth is a wild card as a true freshman. She has the ability to play at the wing or as a forward inside, but seems like a player to watch next season more so than this year.

    Last season, eight players averaged at least 20 minutes. There’s a good chance Gonzaga gets eight players to that mark again this campaign. Depth and versatility led them to their highest ranking in program history last year and they’re hoping a similar formula leads to more success this winter.
    Article Link (w/some video): https://www.slipperstillfits.com/201...-starting-five

    So, did "The Slipper Still Fits" get it right? The starting five? First off the bench? Fighting for Minutes?

    What say you Lady Zag Fans??

    ZagDad

  2. #2
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    I would guess the starting 5 as noted but CLF always seems to throw a little wrench in there sometimes......will she keep JT out of the starting lineup so she can get a little more time to ease back into the game..?..JT looked great at the fan fest but who knows....

    there is no way Melody is going to be fighting for playing time at 9......Melody will see lots of time....I would't be surprised if we saw both Wirths and melody in at the same time...Wirths are shooting from distance now and Melody seemed to be able to handle other bigs pretty well...

    there is not a single player last year or this year that I don't have full confidence in....not one player......so starting 5 and subs to me are almost meaningless......when someone sits down, another good player comes in....

    I want some pure shooting this year, with Katie, LF and whoever else getting open looks...BYU feasts on getting open 3 pointers.......that should be our goal....to make sure somebody with a little consistancy gets a fair shot at making threes.....

  3. #3
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    The starting five is a well deserved group that have put their time in.
    The rotation... I think will be fluid. At least at the start of the season.
    One question may be the 3 spot... and do they go big or small? We have seen the men test the waters... and with the personnel on the women’s team... I think they have options and I would love to see them try some different lineups in their rotation.

    Go Zags!!

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    Agree with Sylean - Melody is not the 9th player. I think the order of the bench players will be largely situational, but Melody gave us good minutes last year and I'm confident she will again.

    I agree with the starting 5, at least for the beginning of the season. We'll see how everyone develops as we move forward.

    Hoping to see Lou put it all together this year.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I agree with the crowd, as long as JT is healthy, the starting 5 is pretty well set.

    Last year CLF had 8 players that averaged over 20 minutes and a 9th player that averaged over 15 minutes. It would not surprise me if this year is very similar with AV, MK, LF joining the starting 5 in averaging over 20 minutes. K-14 will get time simply by spelling JL at the point, but it would not surprise me to see KG, K-11 and EH get some significant minutes. The Lady Zags have to have a more consistent, 3-point shot to break the opposition out of their zone defense. If KG and K-11 are hitting their shots, don't be surprised to see them get more minutes than expected.

    ZagDad

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    Been thinking about the rotation...

    Would there be a time where you could play both Wirths and AV at the same time with an offense for two posts and a center?

    Any thoughts?

    Go Zags!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipZag View Post
    Been thinking about the rotation...

    Would there be a time where you could play both Wirths and AV at the same time with an offense for two posts and a center?

    Any thoughts?

    Go Zags!!
    Probably not and almost certainly not in the WCC. Defensively, almost nobody in the WCC could match up the height the Wirths and AV would bring to the table and almost certainly would counter with a 3- or 4-guard offense against that line-up. The 3- or 4-guard offense would be designed to pull the Wirths and/or AV out of the middle, away from the rim negating the height advantage GU would have. While the Wirths are very athletic, they don't have the foot speed to match up with most guards on the perimeter (ie see the BYU games from last year).

    With the above being said, if JW and/or LW got their 3-point shooting percentage up to Jill Barta range or better, then sure, go for it.

    ZagDad

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    With 2 bigs that could shoot the 3... it would be fun to have the opponent have to figure out how to defend us. One big rotating out to the 3 while the other two bigs covering inside. Cover that with 4 guards. You see, making your opponent have to deal with your lineup is part of controlling the game. I also think the Wirth’s length could cause them problems... LWs covering of the top scorer in the league last year shows that length can be intimidating.
    We saw BYU control their games with us... and we saw how that worked.

    Might be fun in the rotation....

    Go Zags!!

  9. #9
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    You have to have some tough players on your team to survive in the WCC. We still have two tough players that I know of they are standing shoulder to shoulder in this years poster. You guessed it Jill Townsend and Melody Kempton.

    Someone going to have to replace Laura Stockton toughness as guard and ability to drive up the middle. Heard tale Truong twins were doing it in Europe.

    Can't wait to see Anamarie, Kylee, Kayleigh, Kaylynne, and Eliza getting minutes and experience in a Gonzaga uniform.

    Don't care who starts its a good deep rotation that matters. Thats why am so excited to see the 5 new players develop as quick as possible and to be contributors to the team success. Defining moments last year Katie lighting Stanford up the beginning of the game and Jill gutsy 3 in a big moment same game. Melody big game against the Irish. Defining moments that showed what those 3 players were capable of prior to the WCC season.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 10-29-2019 at 02:21 PM.

  10. #10
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    From Jim Allen at the Spokesman-Review:

    The Zags have good reason to expect a season that could match or better last year’s 29-5 record, one of the best in school history.

    They lost three starters but return two full-timers in Campbell and LeeAnne Wirth, plus the experienced Jenn Wirth, Jessie Loera and Jill Townsend. Townsend and Jenn Wirth made such an impression last year in the West Coast Conference, they were named to the 10-player preseason all-conference team.

    Those five got the start against UCLA.

    “And I think that barring injury, I think that’s what we’re going to go with,” Fortier said.

    Fortier threw out three more names – sophomore forward Melody Kempton, junior guard Louise Forsyth and freshman point guard Kayleigh Truong – as “having played very well” during fall camp.
    ZagDad

  11. #11
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    Looks like CLF has her first 8 figured out for the rotation... which I hope becomes 10 if not 11.
    As we saw with LF, the lack of playing time for a player can cost you when playing a 30+ game schedule.
    AV, K14, and EH need time figured in. To much bench time for players that are use to playing is not good on a couple of fronts... both mental and physical. Remember that these student athletes were the best of the best and deserve time in front of their fans.
    Better get off my soap box before I fall.
    Only a few days...

    Go Zags!!

  12. #12
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    I'm looking at a 11 player rotation in the exhibition against Warner Pacific and against Cal State Bakersfield in the 1st real game of the year.

    Annmarie coming off her active redshirt should be primed to play.

    Kayleigh was mentioned, as impressive in practice by CLF. Jessie said both Truong sisters are asking lots of questions and coming along nicely in practice. Might be a 10 player rotation going into 3rd game against Tennessee Martin.

    Two different inserts in Spokesman review one features men Zags BB team entirely and the 2nd insert features the Lady Zags BB team on a couple of lead in pages. Good job by Spokesman Review.

    Woman Zags BB broadcast schedule is out and 14 Nov. 7:30 PM game will be on SWX along with 22 Nov. game against EW. An additional 5 games will be on SWX check out the Lady ZAGS website.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 10-31-2019 at 04:43 PM.

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