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Thread: 2021-2022 Player Previews from The Slipper Still Fits

  1. #26
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    The current level of play in English women's hoops is, putting it kindly, uninspiring, the program not even considered among the top twenty-five in the last FIBA rankings. The fact that Esther raked in an astounding 19.5 rebounds per game vs Ipswitch's league competitors is an indication of that fact. She overpowered undersized opponents whose skills were equivalent to those on display in the Cashmere WA, CYO. Can she use her first year at GU and upgrade? Absolutely. What's her ceiling though? High enough to eventually crack the lineup and play a meaningful team role sometime further on up the road? Hopefully, but considering from where she's starting, that slope looks pretty steep.

    She's seems a hard worker, and a team player as well, though, so, as always, I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    The current level of play in English women's hoops is, putting it kindly, uninspiring, the program not even considered among the top twenty-five in the last FIBA rankings. The fact that Esther raked in an astounding 19.5 rebounds per game vs Ipswitch's league competitors is an indication of that fact. She overpowered undersized opponents whose skills were equivalent to those on display in the Cashmere WA, CYO. Can she use her first year at GU and upgrade? Absolutely. What's her ceiling though? High enough to eventually crack the lineup and play a meaningful team role sometime further on up the road? Hopefully, but considering from where she's starting, that slope looks pretty steep.

    She's seems a hard worker, and a team player as well, though, so, as always, I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.
    Odd mentioning Cashmere. While it isn't a CYO league, Cashmere HS is at the 1A level in Washington, not where you expect to see top level talent. Hailey Van Lith didn't seem to have too much trouble transitioning to playing NCAA D1 bball. For that matter Jill Townsend played at Cashmere's league rival Okanogan and we all saw how her career turned out. If you have the skills and talent, it really doesn't matter where you came from .

  3. #28
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    SeaCat: Certainly not trying to diminish Cashmere. Threw it in as a tribute to the late, great Jerrard Cote, a friend and one of several great athlete/human beings Cashmere has sent to excel at GU over the years.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    SeaCat: Certainly not trying to diminish Cashmere. Threw it in as a tribute to the late, great Jerrard Cote, a friend and one of several great athlete/human beings Cashmere has sent to excel at GU over the years.
    Ah, that explains the Cashmere reference, I didn't know if that was random or not.


    International players are certainly hit and miss. I'm not making any bold predictions about Little or anyone else.

  5. #30
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    Couple of thoughts on EL….

    I believe the GU staff have been after her for a number of years… in fact I believe she spent an extra year in England and thanked CLF for waiting for her.
    I have to believe the GU staff saw something in her that we will see in the future.
    Last… I think her boyfriend came with her and will be playing for EWU.

    Go Zags!!

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    The current level of play in English women's hoops is, putting it kindly, uninspiring, the program not even considered among the top twenty-five in the last FIBA rankings. The fact that Esther raked in an astounding 19.5 rebounds per game vs Ipswitch's league competitors is an indication of that fact. She overpowered undersized opponents whose skills were equivalent to those on display in the Cashmere WA, CYO. Can she use her first year at GU and upgrade? Absolutely. What's her ceiling though? High enough to eventually crack the lineup and play a meaningful team role sometime further on up the road? Hopefully, but considering from where she's starting, that slope looks pretty steep.

    She's seems a hard worker, and a team player as well, though, so, as always, I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.
    The good thing is that while poor competition may lead to elevated statistics, it has little to do with a person's ability to shoot the ball and dribble the ball, which are talents EL certainly appears to have in spades. Can she be physical enough to play inside or be fast enough to guard the wings on the perimeter we will see.

    Her HS boyfriend was offered and accepted a scholarship to EWU. I have no idea if they are still dating or not, but it still would be nice to have somebody you know from home to hang out with.

    ZagDad

  7. #32
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    From the Slipper Still Fits:

    Up Next, the Romanian center Anamaria Virjoghe.
    Does the blocking machine make a big impact this season?
    By Peter Woodburn @wernies Oct 10, 2021

    Link: https://www.slipperstillfits.com/202...maria-virjoghe

    ZagDad

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    International players are certainly hit and miss. I'm not making any bold predictions about Little or anyone else.
    Interestingly, we looked at the lady zags and international players in the not to far back past. The lady zags have been much more hit or missed with their Canadian players than they have been with their players from overseas. Recently Yvonne appears to be a very solid player for the zags but Louise Forsythe and Kacie Bosch were not as good as advertised or given a chance to flourish.

    Internationally, most of the players Gonzaga Wbb have given scholarships to have eventually earned starting spots on the Lady Zags. Sunny (Germany), Emma (Germany), Georgia (Australia) from the recent past with the only real pass was Lily (Australia) who did not stick around after her first year. I did not include Grace, who had some personnel issues and left before the season started.

    Lots of international players on the current Zag roster including Yvonne (Alberta), Eliza (Australia), Anamaria Virjoghe (Romania), Esther Little (England), and Maud Huijbens (Netherlands). Yvonne looked great this summer, Eliza showed flashes of good ball in the limited minutes she got to play last year. AV needs to show a big step up this year to live up to her billing. Esther is an incoming freshman with some pretty impressive skills (against questionable opposition) and Maud is a transfer from Syracuse where she played behind one of the Top centers in the country.

    Hopefully the Lady Zags will continue the good luck with international players.

    ZagDad

  9. #34
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    From the Slipper Still Fits.

    Up next from Colorado is Payton Muma
    The freshman guard fits the mold, but will have to bide her time.
    By Keith Ybanez @slipperyky Oct 11, 2021

    Link: https://www.slipperstillfits.com/202...ws-payton-muma

    ZagDad

  10. #35
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    And the last shall be first. Not quite sure why the Troung twins, when recruited, were projected to move quickly into starting roles with the Zags, while Payton, who is faster, more athletic, a proven winner against high-level competition, and was as good a playmaker and scorer as either Kayleigh or Kaylynn were in HS, is being disregarded by the Slipper Still Fits. The profiler, in relegating her to the end of the bench for the entire season, has made yet another puzzling assessment (see Calli Stokes).

    Yes, of course, there's a gap in experience, but Payton, a consummate gym rat, will be quick to learn the ins & outs of Div I college hoops. Did I see somewhere that she's nineteen? If so, she already has a physical maturity advantage on her fellow freshmen. Watching Payton's videos, she reminds me of a cross between Jesse Loera and Katy Campbell -- not a bad place to be. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't GU already had great results recruiting a guy who played at Highland Ranch HS, CO? It's one of the top Bball schools in the state.

    If the young woman doesn't get minutes, it won't be because of her skillset. It'll be because of the coaching staff's established (see ZD's constant comments) anti-freshman bias (Bree's minutes will be a tell-tale measure of that). If that's the case, and Payton gets little floor time this year, GU will rue the day next spring when she transfers out and becomes an immediate success at whatever school she chooses to attend.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    And the last shall be first. Not quite sure why the Troung twins, when recruited, were projected to move quickly into starting roles with the Zags, while Payton, who is faster, more athletic, a proven winner against high-level competition, and was as good a playmaker and scorer as either Kayleigh or Kaylynn were in HS, is being disregarded by the Slipper Still Fits. The profiler, in relegating her to the end of the bench for the entire season, has made yet another puzzling assessment (see Calli Stokes).
    I don't know that the Truongs were projected to move quickly in the starting rolls. I think the starting rolls at the guards were pretty well established with Katie Campbell and Jessie Loera. The Truongs benefitted from a couple of things. First, there were only 11 players on the team and as far as straight guards go, after KC and JL we only had LF and she did not handle the ball very well. Thus, the Truongs benefitted from the Lady Zags shortage of true guards (point and shooting) on the team. Lack of competition provided them with lots of playing time in their freshman year. Secondly, KayLeigh (K-11) did not start until KC was injured in the game against BYU and then KayLeigh started the next game against Pacific. Lack of competition and an injury led to K-11 starting some games during her freshman year.

    Payton (and Callie) have a couple of things going against them. First, there is lots of experience starting in front of them with CW in her 5th year and K-11 along with K-14 in their 3rd year. If you carry it out further AO is in her 6th year and McKayla Williams is in her 2nd year. Secondly, as opposed to the Truongs, who had almost no competition, there is lots of competition for the minutes in spots #1 thru #3 this year. It is going to be a tough nut to crack to get some serious playing time at the guard and wing spots.

    Regardless, of who starts, the players that earn the most playing time should be the players who demonstrate with their actions in practice and in the games, that they have earned it. Particularly this year, when the Lady Zags have lost almost 50% of our scoring and almost 50% of our rebounding, we need people to step up and make-up this loss and if those ladies happen to be freshman, great.

    ZagDad

  12. #37
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    As your quote illustrates, ZD, my quarrel is with the SSF writer who has relegated both Callie and Payton to bench players before they've barely stepped on campus. Neither Cierra nor Abby, in my opinion, has demonstrated, thus far, that they should be handed major roles on the team by virtue of their "experience". Ditto the Troungs. Need to see more from them. Ana Maria has a lot of experience, right? Let the best players play, sure, but if newcomers are going to be handicapped by low expectations, they may never be given a chance by the coaching staff to compete fairly. And that's the hashtag the SSF profiler has saddled them with: will gain experience through late-game mop-up minutes.

    Having earned it "in practice", I hope Callie & Payton overcome the coaching staff's prejudices & get the floor time they deserve. Hopefully starting with the upcoming Kennel exhibition.

  13. #38
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    Interesting UP…..

    I’m not sure if “prejudice” is even close to the right word…

    “Successful”,in so many ways, might be better. As you have seen, the coaching staff has a lot of respect for the upper class players. Remember that most of our all conference players didn’t start until their junior years…. They played a lot off the bench… respected and believed in team play.

    With 15 players on the team which I believe is a couple to many, there will be a couple either redshirt or ride the pine. That doesn’t mean that there would be a freshman redshirt as we saw a few years back when KK did I believe between her junior and senior year.

    This is a pretty good frosh class… and all should, in their time at GU, make the starting lineup. But more important, I hope all will contribute to a very good team.

    As for Payton… I hope by her sophomore year she will be getting considerable time off the bench winning the starting spot by her Junior year.

    Go Zags!!

  14. #39
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    Not asking or expecting either Callie or Payton to start. Wouldn't be surprised if Bree doesn't start. Believe, however, since this year's upper classmen are all team players with not a single unanimous all conference player among them, that game minutes should be shared based entirely on performance, not . . . upper classmen preference by the coaches. There are plenty of game minutes to be shared. Give the kids a chance to play. Hope it doesn't take after our "experienced" players getting blown out by Stanford or Utah to make it happen.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    Hope it doesn't take after our "experienced" players getting blown out by Stanford or Utah to make it happen.
    Getting blown out by Stanford would be one thing (defending National Champs who lost only 1 player). There's no way the Zags should be blown out by Utah. GU also plays Washington St., they should be better than the Utes. Utah returns a veteran core that just wasn't good last year, don't really see much reason to think there's going to be a big jump w/ most/any of their players. They did add several low profile transfers. Were 10th in the Pac 12 last year, expect about the same this season. St. Mary's plays the Utes 10 days before GU does, that might give some idea what to expect.

  16. #41
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    This year will be a growth year… and if handled correctly and without high expectations, will be… not a great year but a good year.
    This team has a lot of talent, not a lot of floor time at the D-1 level. This team will loose some games but will be in them. Talent and winners on this team. If you look at the bench… one player in the rotation last year. The rest were spot players.
    As this team moves through the season, you will see a better team.

    Go Zags!!

  17. #42
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    Regarding the issue of how much "experience" counts in Gonzaga's fielding a winning team this season, I suggest a novel way of evaluating it: In the Numerica Fan Fest game this Saturday, the Blue team could be comprised entirely of underclassmen: Yvonne, Esther, Maud, Eliza, Bree, Payton, McKayla & Callie). The White team would consist of upper classmen: Abby, Ana Maria, the Troung twins, Ciera, Melody, and Kylee). The lineups would certainly add some spice to the proceedings, and, as an added bonus, possibly shut me up for good on the subject.

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