#33 Georgia Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Georgia Lady Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #8 SEC
Coach Joni Taylor had a solid debut season for Georgia, leading the Lady Bulldogs back to the NCAA Tournament. This season will be a reloading season though with their top three scorers and their starting point guard gone. Replacing Tiarria Griffin, Shacobia Barbee, Merritt Hempe and Majorie Butler will take some time, yet there is enough talent here for Georgia to win 20 games again and go back to the NCAA Tournament.
2015-16 Record: 21-10, 9-7
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Joni Taylor
Coach Record: 21-10 at Georgia, 21-10 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Tiarria Griffin, Guard, 14.7 ppg
Shacobia Barbee, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Merritt Hempe, Forward, 9.3 ppg
Majorie Butler, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Mackenzie Engram, Junior, Forward, 8.2 ppg
Caliya Robinson, Sophomore, Forward, 8.0 ppg
Pachis Roberts, Senior, Guard, 7.0 ppg
Halle Washington, Senior, Forward, 3.7 ppg
Haley Clark, Junior, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Shenea Armbrister, Senior, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Key New Players
Simone Costa, Junior Guard, JC Transfer
Kortney Eisenman, Freshman, Forward
Stephanie Paul, Freshman, Forward
Bianca Blanaru, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Washington State, not eligible
Taja Cole, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Louisville, not eligible
Part-time starters Mackenzie Engram and Halle Washington will need to step up and emerge as leaders of this team. Engram missed the second half of last season due to an illness, but averaged 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in the games she did play. Washington is the senior leader in the frontcourt and Caliya Robinson had a very good freshman campaign. Robinson shot 48.0 percent from the floor and averaged 8.0 points and 5.7 rebounds. Having Engram, Washington and Robinson in the frontcourt is a great place for this team to start. Pachis Roberts earned a handful of starts last season too and will have to play a bigger role on the perimeter. This team has a lot of different players who can shoot the ball, but nobody who is really a shooting specialist on the perimeter. Roberts is the best returning option, but only hit 18 three-pointers last season. Junior college transfer Simone Costa could step into that shooting role as well.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.9 (168th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.1 (18, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.3 (141, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.0 (13, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (164, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (133, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.7 (308, 12)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (57, 6)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (36, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.5 (143, 7)
Madness 2016 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#65 Stephanie Paul