#30 Missouri State Women's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Missouri State Lady Bears
Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #1 Missouri Valley
 Missouri State Logo
Missouri State has turned into one of the most consistently dangerous mid-major teams in the country. The Bears have reached the Sweet Sixteen in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments and are finally getting the respect they deserve from the selection committee. Last year Missouri State was 21-2 heading into the NCAA Tournament and earned a five seed. With four starters back and a solid crop of newcomers, Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton should have the Bears right back in the mix for a high seed come this March.
2020-21 Record: 23-3, 16-0
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Amaka Agugua-Hamilton
Coach Record: 49-7 at Missouri State, 49-7 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Elle Ruffridge, Guard, 9.7 ppg
Emily Gartner, Center, 5.8 ppg
Sydney Manning, Guard, 4.9 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Brice Calip, Senior, Guard, 13.3 ppg
Jasmine Franklin, Senior, Forward, 11.8 ppg
Abby Hipp, Senior, Forward, 9.2 ppg
Sydney Wilson, Senior, Guard, 7.7 ppg
Abi Jackson, Senior, Forward, 4.7 ppg
Mya Rhinhar, Senior, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Paige Rocca, Sophomore, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Key New Players
Lindsey Byers, Freshman, Guard
Isabelle Delarue, Freshman, Guard
Jennifer Ezeh, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Duke
Ifunanya Nwachukwu, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Mariah White, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Cleveland State
Taylor Woodhouse, Freshman, Guard
Brice Calip has been the leader of the Lady Bears for the last two seasons. In 2020-2021 she led the squad with 13.4 points and 4.1 assists. Calip is not a great outside shooter, but she does do enough to keep the opposing defenders honest. But Calip is at her best attacking the basket and finishing or finding one of her teammates. Sydney Wilson will rejoin Calip in the starting backcourt. Wilson does a lot of the dirty work, but she is a decent shooter and can score some points. The starting senior duo of Jasmine Franklin and Abby Hipp will return to the starting lineup. Franklin can dominate the paint against most MVC opponents. She averaged 11.8 points and 9.7 rebounds last season. Hipp added 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds. Add in Abi Jackson and transfers Jennifer Ezeh and Ifunanya Nwachukwu, and the Missouri State frontcourt should be in great shape. Ezeh was a top 100 recruit, but barely saw the floor due to injury during her two years at Duke. Nwachukwu is one of the top junior college transfers in this class and she should at least make an impact on the defensive end. Coach Agugua-Hamilton needs some more options on the perimeter. The freshmen can help, but Cleveland State transfer Mariah White is coming off a great season with the Vikings where she averaged 19.6 points per game. White should be able to pick up the scoring slack left behind by Elle Ruffridge and that will give Missouri State more than enough depth to continue their domination of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.2 (85th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.2 (29, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (110, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.7 (63, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (197, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.4 (115, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (112, 3)
Rebound Margin: 10.8 (10, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (44, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (35, 2)