#35 Colorado State Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Colorado State Rams
Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #1 Mountain West
In late November, Colorado State lost 49-48 to Penn. The Rams then reeled off 27 wins in a row, including a perfect 18-0 record in Mountain West play. That undefeated streak lasted until the first round of the NCAA Tournament where the Rams lost 48-45 to South Florida. The return of Ellen Nystrom gives Colorado State hope for another amazing season. The senior point guard averaged 10.2 points per game and 5.6 assists in 2015-2016 and will again be the leader on the floor. Nystrom is not a great shooter, but she can attack the basket effectively and at least get to the free-throw line. With three starters gone, Nystrom may be asked to do more scoring this season and she is certainly capable of that.
2015-16 Record: 31-2, 18-0
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ryun Williams
Coach Record: 90-37 at Colorado State, 348-190 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Keyora Wharry, Guard/Forward, 10.7 ppg
Emilie Hesseldal, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Jamie Patrick, Guard, 13.0 ppg
Alana Arias, Forward, 6.7 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Ellen Nystrom, Senior, Guard, 10.2 ppg
Elin Gustavsson, Senior, Forward, 10.6 ppg
Stine Austgulen, Junior, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Sofie Tryggedsson, Sophomore, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Hannah Tvrdy, Junior, Guard, 4.0 ppg
Callie Kaiser, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 2.8 ppg
Veronika Mirkovic, Junior, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Amanda Kantzy, Sophomore, Forward, 1.8 ppg
Key New Players
Grace Colaivalu, Freshman, Guard
Liah Davis, Freshman, Center
Anna Dreimane, Freshman, Center
Jordyn Edwards, Freshman, Guard
Nathalie Linden, Freshman, Guard
Coach Ryun Williams would prefer to again have a balanced scoring attack couple with some of the best defense in the country. Senior forward Elin Gustavsson, who averaged 10.6 points and 4.2 rebounds, is the only other starter returning. However, the Rams do have a lot of roleplayers who are ready to potentially step into the starting lineup. Stine Austgulen should emerge as one of the team’s top shooting threats and Sofie Tryggedsson and Hannah Tvrdy can knock down shots too. Junior Veronika Mirkovic and sophomore Amanda Kantzy will need to play a bigger role in the frontcourt. Neither played much last season, but this team needs somebody who can hit the glass effectively and play solid defense in the paint. Colorado State has built a system that revolves around defense and taking care of the basketball. This group can still play defense and Nystrom will help keep the turnovers down again. That is a recipe for success and the Rams should be able to dominate the Mountain West yet again.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.0 (97th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 51.2 (6, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.4 (28, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 33.0 (2, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (97, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.4 (44, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.8 (133, 4)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (85, 4)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (55, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (9, 1)
Madness 2017 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#19 Ellen Nystrom