#43 Green Bay Women's Basketball Preview

Green Bay Phoenix

Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #1 Horizon
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Green Bay put together an absolutely fantastic run to the Sweet 16 knocking off giants like Minnesota, Penn State and number 4 seed Michigan State in the second round and giving Baylor and Brittney Griner all they wanted in the Dallas Regional coming up just short of the Elite Eight. However, the Phoenix, along with Gonzaga out west, set the tone for more mid-majors to begin to penetrate the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds of the NCAA tournament on a greater scale moving forward into 2011-12. Moreover, Green Bay finished the season ranked at number 9, the highest in school history.

2010-11: 34-2, 18-0
2010-11 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Matt Bollant (117-17 at Green-Bay, 249-52 overall)

Who’s Out:
Kayla Tetschlag and Celeste Hoewisch will be very difficult to replace as individual players as both have gone overseas to play professionally in Belgium and Poland respectively. But Green Bay has always been built as a team and with 11 returners with Sweet 16 experience that will be an invaluable asset for the Phoenix moving into 2011-12.

Who’s In:
Eleven players return including a couple of redshirts in guard Megan Lukan and forward Breannah Ranger. The competition for playing time should be fierce as coach Bollant will play virtually everybody. Incoming freshmen Taylor Thomas and Ellen Edison will have plenty of opportunity to come in and contribute even if it is off the bench as role players. But make no mistake, returning point guard Hannah Quilling who has nearly a two to one assist to turnover ratio and is the heart of this team, will be a huge security blanket for Green Bay.  

Who to Watch:
It’s going to start with Julie Wojta as she is the only double figure scorer coming back from last year’s squad. She will set the tone with her ability to get to the free throw line, crash the boards, and cause havoc on defense as she had 81 steals last season. Adrian Ritchie will be counted on heavily to step up and grow into a full time starter in the backcourt. Last year she had 16 starts and averaged 9.4 points per contest. Also watch for Sarah Eichler, Breanna Ranger, and Katie Bushman to increase their minutes and battle it out down low in the post.  The trio will create an inside presence to open up the driving lanes for the guards and wings to penetrate to the basket and get to the free throw line.

Final Projection:
Seniors Hannah Quilling and Julie Wojta will be counted on heavily to set a strong leadership tone starting from preseason workouts. Quilling is the more vocal leader while Wojta is the more lead by example personality. So far the early returns are excellent as they have gotten the new freshmen on board and the team is working hard preparing to defend the Horizon League Championship and a deep run again in the NCAA Tournament.  Lydia Bauer was voted most improved player by her teammates after last season and look for her to expand her role from the perimeter and get more playing time to take some pressure off of Quilling and Wojta.  Head Coach Matt Bollant should continue to be a hotly pursued commodity by BCS Conference schools after another strong season with his leadership and the team’s dominance of the Horizon League should not end anytime soon.  A 13th consecutive 20-win season is definitely in the cards for the Green Bay program.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Hannah Quilling, Senior, Guard, 4.8 points per game
Adrian Ritchie, Junior, Guard, 9.4 points per game
Sarah Eichler, Junior, Forward, 6.7 points per game
Julie Wojta, Senior, Forward, 13.6 points per game
Breannah Ranger, sophomore, DNP last season