#23 Gonzaga Women's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #23
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast
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After four straight West Coast Conference titles, there is little doubt who just about everybody expects to finish on top of the standings again in 2020-2021. Gonzaga went 28-3 last season including a stretch of 21 straight victories spanning nearly three months. With seven of the nine players in Coach Lisa Fortier’s rotation coming back, the Bulldogs have the depth and talent to not only win the WCC, but make a push towards their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 2015.
2019-20 Record: 28-3, 17-1
Coach: Lisa Fortier
Coach Record: 155-43 at Gonzaga, 155-43 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Katie Campbell, Guard, 11.0 ppg
Jesse Loera, Guard, 7.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Jill Townsend, Senior, Guard, 12.3 ppg
Jenn Wirth, Senior, Forward, 10.8 ppg
LeeAnne Wirth, Senior, Forward, 8.7 ppg
Melody Kempton, Junior, Forward, 7.0 ppg
Kayleigh Truong, Sophomore, Guard, 6.0 ppg
Kaylynne Truong, Sophomore, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Louise Forsyth, Senior, Guard, 3.5 ppg
Anamaria Virjoghe, Junior, Forward, 1.5 ppg
Gillian Barfield, Senior, Forward, 0.5 ppg
Key New Players
Yvonne Ejim, Freshman, Forward
Kylee Griffen, Sophomore, Guard,
Eliza Hollingsworth, RS Freshman, Forward
Abby O’Connor, Senior, Guard/Forward, Transfer from Loyola Chicago, not eligible
Lily Scanlon, Freshman, Guard
Cierra Walker, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Vanderbilt
McKayla Williams, Freshman, Guard
Jill Townsend is back to lead the team for one more season after averaging 12.3 points and 5.6 rebounds as a junior. The versatile 5-11 senior is a consistent outside shooter who is equally comfortable attacking the basket. Sophomores Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong are ready to explode onto the national scene. Kayleigh will likely take over most of the point guard duties with the departure of Jesse Loera and Kaylynne has the talent to turn into a dynamic scorer. Louise Forsyth should remain a three-point shooting threat off the bench. A pair of sisters will dominate the backcourt and another pair of sisters will do the same in the frontcourt. Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth were both starters last season and are poised for big senior seasons as well. Both are efficient scorers in the paint, solid rebounders and capable shot blockers. With depth provided by junior Melody Kempton, this is a tough and talented frontcourt. The addition of Cierra Walker from Vanderbilt and incoming freshman McKayla Williams will give Coach Fortier more options on the perimeter. Finding another shooter to replace Katie Campbell will be important for this team since she was a huge reason why Gonzaga ranked second in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage. They may not shoot 39.5 percent from beyond the arc again in 2020-2021, but this group has plenty of options on the perimeter to at least come close to reaching that mark.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.1 (111th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 51.9 (3, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (26, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.3 (14, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (143, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.5 (2, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.9 (85, 4)
Rebound Margin: 6.6 (32, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.8 (31, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.5 (100, 4)
Madness 2020 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#117 McKayla Williams