#35 Northwestern Women's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Northwestern Wildcats
Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #6 Big Ten
 Northwestern Logo
Northwestern won the Big Ten in 2019-2020. Unfortunately, they never got a chance to take that team to the NCAA Tournament. They followed it up with another good season, but dropped to fifth in the Big Ten. They won a tournament game and will look to build off that success in 2021-2022. Losing Lindsey Pulliam and her 15.5 points per game and Jordan Hamilton and her 9.0 points hurts, but Coach Joe McKeown has talent on this roster and a few players who should be ready to step up and fill the lost production.
2020-21 Record: 16-9, 11-7
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Joe McKeown
Coach Record: 223-186 at Northwestern, 732-360 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Lindsey Pulliam, Guard, 15.5 ppg
Jordan Hamilton, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Veronica Burton, Senior, Guard, 16.2 ppg
Sydney Wood, Senior, Guard/Forward, 10.8 ppg
Courtney Shaw, Senior, Forward, 7.4 ppg
Paige Mott, Sophomore, Forward, 3.6 ppg
Lauryn Satterwhite, Senior, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Anna Morris, Sophomore, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Laya Hartman, Junior, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Jasmine McWilliams, Sophomore, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Kaylah Rainey, Junior, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Jess Sancataldo, Senior, Guard, dnp last season
Key New Players
Mercy Ademusayo, Freshman, Forward
Jillian Brown, Freshman, Guard
Melannie Daley, Freshman, Guard
Caileigh Walsh, Freshman, Forward
Hailey Weaver, Freshman, Guard
Veronica Burton could take even more of the scoring load on her shoulders after tallying 16.2 points and 4.9 assists a season ago. Obviously, she has proven that she is capable of dropping 30 points on any given day. Wing Sydney Wood added 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds. She will be the team’s top scoring threat inside the paint. Courtney Shaw and Paige Mott split starting time in the frontcourt last season. Shaw was the most productive, averaging 7.4 points and a team high 6.3 rebounds. Some younger players like Anna Morris and Jasmine McWilliams will look to step into larger roles this year. The return of Jess Sancataldo, along with players like Lauryn Satterwhite and Laya Hartman, should add plenty of options. Coach McKeown has also brought in a very good recruiting class, highlighted by three top 50 recruits Hailey Weaver, Jillian Brown and Caileigh Walsh. Coach McKeown should be able to find eight or nine players that can provide enough depth and keep Northwestern competing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.4 (126th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.1 (85, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (165, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (221, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.2 (291, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 26.8 (299, 14)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.9 (268, 14)
Rebound Margin: -3.5 (267, 14)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (29, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (9, 2)
Madness 2022 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#15 Veronica Burton
Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#37 Hailey Weaver
#42 Jillian Brown
#43 Caileigh Walsh