#34 BYU Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

BYU Cougars
Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast
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BYU had an amazing 2018-2019 campaign. The Cougars went 26-7 overall and 15-3 in WCC play. However, that was not quite enough to win their first regular season title since 2015-2016, finishing a game back on Gonzaga, but the Cougars earned a seven seed in the NCAA Tournament and beat Auburn before falling to second seeded Stanford. That was a great season, but this one will be even better. BYU returns their top eight scorers, which is all but one player from their regular rotation, and this is a very experienced and talented team that will be among the best mid-majors in the country.
2018-19 Record: 26-7, 15-3
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jeff Judkins
Coach Record: 367-176 at BYU, 367-176 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Caitlyn Alldredge, Guard, 2.5 ppg
Ashley Beckstrand, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Shaylee Gonzales, Sophomore, Guard, 17.0 ppg
Paisley Johnson, Junior, Guard, 14.5 ppg
Brenna Chase Drollinger, Senior, Guard, 12.8 ppg
Shalae Salmon, Senior, Forward, 5.6 ppg
Babalu Ugwa, Sophomore, Forward, 3.3 ppg
Jasmine Moody, Senior, Forward, 5.7 ppg
Sara Hamson, Junior, Center, 4.6 ppg
Maria Albiero, Junior, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Malli Valgardson Perri, Sophomore, Forward, 1.0 ppg
Key New Players
Kyra Beckman, Freshman, Forward
Lauren Gustin, Sophomore, Forward, JC Transfer
Leilani Otuafi, Freshman, Guard
Kaylee Smiler, Freshman, Guard
Shaylee Gonzales had an amazing freshman campaign, averaging 17.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Like Gonzales, Breanna Chase Drollinger is a very good ballhandler who dished out 3.88 assists per game. And also like Gonzales, Chase is a good shooter and overall scorer who averaged 12.8 points per game and connected on a team high 88 three-pointers. Paisley Johnson rounds out the starting backcourt after averaging 14.5 points per game. Those three were the consistent starters last season and Coach Jeff Judkins will rely on those three to carry a bulk of the scoring load. But there are lots of other players who, even if they are not scoring, will fill an important role for the Cougars. Shalae Salmon and Sara Hamson bring plenty of size to the frontcourt. Hamson led the team with 5.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks and is a massive force on the defensive end of the floor. With Babalu Ugwa, Jasmine Moody and junior college transfer Lauren Gustin adding more frontcourt options, BYU has more than enough depth. This should be another very good season for the Cougars and, if the younger players can develop more consistency, this could be a special season for BYU.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.2 (91st in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.1 (136, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (65, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.1 (46, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (90, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (63, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.5 (181, 8)
Rebound Margin: 0.0 (182, 5)
Assists Per Game: 15.2 (66, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (62, 4)