#41 Santa Clara Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Santa Clara Broncos
Overall Rank: #41
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast
Santa Clara returns five starters to a team that went 13-5 in West Coast Conference play a year ago. The Broncos had to settle for a trip to the WNIT, where they lost to Fresno State in the first round. The Broncos hope to take the next step and reach the NCAA Tournament, but they will have to do it with a new coach. Bill Carr takes over the program, but the continuity on the roster should make the transition go relatively smoothly.
2015-16 Record: 23-9, 13-5
2015-16 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: Bill Carr
Coach Record: 0-0 at Santa Clara, 0-0 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Devin Hudson, 7.3 ppg
Brooke Gallaway, 3.1 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Lori Parkinson, Senior, Forward, 11.6 ppg
Marie Bertholdt, Junior, Guard, 11.3 ppg
Morgan McGuire, Junior, Forward, 10.1 ppg
Savannah Hanson, Sophomore, Guard, 7.7 ppg
Taylor Berry, Junior, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Kayla Martin, Junior, Guard, 4.8 ppg
Dru Toleafoa, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Andraya Flor, Sophomore, Guard, 0.9 ppg
Beth Carlson, Senior, Forward, 0.9 ppg
Emily Wolph, Sophomore, Guard, injured last season
Key New Players
Ruobing Bai, Freshman, Guard
Tamia Braggs, Freshman, Forward
Ashlyn Herlihy, Freshman, Forward
Naomi Jimenez, Freshman, Guard
Carleigh Patrick, Freshman, Forward
Nicole Vander Helm, RS Freshman, Guard
Once again Santa Clara should have a balanced scoring attack. Forward Lori Parkinson led the way with 11.6 points and fellow forward Morgan McGuire added 10.1 points per game. While the Broncos have a slew of players who can shoot the long ball, including Parkinson and McGwire, the team lacks a consistent, dangerous shooter. Savanna Hanson could emerge as that player. The 6-0 sophomore guard averaged 7.7 points per game last season and likes to take three-pointers. She just needs to connect on more than 26.5 percent of her attempts. With better shooting, it will open up the offense to do a little bit more. But this team is built around defense, so it will not take much of an offensive improvement for Santa Clara to compete for a WCC title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.5 (137th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.4 (53, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.7 (164, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.7 (39, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.8 (307, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.5 (269, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (178, 10)
Rebound Margin: 7.2 (29, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (137, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 20.1 (340, 10)