From the Basketball Preview published by the Spokesman Review:

Did Gonzaga really lose three starters from last year? Officially, the answer is yes: Zykera Rice, Chandler Smith and Laura Stockton are gone.
However, it doesn’t feel that way, thanks to head coach Lisa Fortier’s habit of playing deep into her bench. Eight returnees averaged at least 20 minutes last season, and two of them – forward Jenn Wirth and wing Jill Townsend – came off the bench so impressively that they made this year’s West Coast Conference preseason team.

Backcourt
Katie Campbell was one of the best 3-point shooters in the land last season (hitting 63 of 140 shots for a 45% average). Close behind at 44% was Townsend, whose ugly leg injury this past March in the WCC Tournament left many wondering about her future. Complementing them both is senior point guard Jessie Loera, who ranked third in minutes played last year while backing up Stockton. Quick to push the ball upcourt and with an improved sense of the half-court game, Loera also shot 33% from long range and her assist-to-turnover ratio was almost 2:1.

Frontcourt
“I learned a lot from Zykera, especially her toughness,” said the 6-foot-3 Wirth (8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg), who will inherit a lot of scrutiny along with Rice’s starting spot. “It’s different when you get all the attention,” Fortier said. “It’s brutal in the post, but Jenn is practicing very strong, very assertively – like a better version of Jenn.” Wirth will be joined by twin sister LeeAnne, who started every game last year and made a big impression on the defensive end while averaging 6.5 points and 4.6 boards. The wild card in the paint is Anamaria Virjoghe, a 6-foot-5 transfer from NAIA Northwest Christian. “She learned a lot last year while redshirting,” said Fortier, who also got big minutes off the bench from former Post Falls star Melody Kempton.

Bench
There’s plenty of talent on the bench. Junior Louise Forsyth is a strong spot-up shooter (46% from beyond the arc last year) with high energy but needs to cut down on her fouls. Fortier also will count on the Truong twins, Kayleigh and Kaylynne, freshmen who may be the backcourt of the future.

Coaching
Five years after being promoted from assistant, Fortier not only has been a consistent winner, she’s managed to keep her young staff intact.
Last year’s season was one of the best in school history: a 29-5 record, fourth straight West Coast Conference regular-season title and a program-best No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Entire Article written by Jim Allen @ The Spokesman-Review Here: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...epth-in-run-t/

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