#20 Green Bay Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Green Bay Phoenix

Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #1 Horizon
Green Bay Women's Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Green Bay Team Page


Green Bay now has 14 regular season Horizon League titles in a row. That streak began back in 1998 when Coach Kevin Borseth was in his first year with the Phoenix. Coach Borseth left to take the Michigan job in 2007, but the streak went on. Now he is back to lead his old team to conference title number 15. The Phoenix only lost two games all of last season, the most notable coming in the second round of the NCAA Tournament when they lost 65-62 to second seeded Kentucky.

2011-12 Record: 31-2, 16-1
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kevin Borseth
Coach Record: 216-62 at Green Bay, 303-135 overall

Green Bay returns four starters to a team that was very tough to beat. Lydia Bauer, Sarah Eichler, Adrian Ritchie and Megan Lukan are a great group for Coach Borseth to lead in his first season back in Green Bay. Bauer, a 6-0 senior, should step up her scoring after tallying 11.1 points per game during the 2011-2012 campaign. Bauer, like most forwards on Green Bay’s roster, can shoot the long ball very effectively. In fact, Bauer led the Phoenix with 1.7 three-pointers per contest. She is a good shooter, but Bauer can score inside the arc too. Eichler is more of the unsung hero for this group. She is a tough, 5-11 forward who has turned into a leader on the floor. She can score and shoot, but it is her work on the defensive end and off of the ball that makes her such a valuable piece to the puzzle. Ritchie is a senior guard who was second on the squad with 12.3 points per game during the 2011-2012 campaign. Ritchie also was second on the team in rebounding and third in assists and steals. Ritchie can flat out do it all. Lukan, who will be joined on the team by younger sister Kaili, started 23 games as a freshman. The fact that she averaged over 30 minutes per game during her first year suiting up for Green Bay. After averaging 6.6 points, 2.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals, do not be surprised if Lukan steps into the national spotlight in 2012-2013.

The obvious concern for Green Bay this year is replacing all-everything Julie Wojta. During her senior season she averaged 19.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.8 steals. Those are some impressive numbers. Scoring will not be a problem as players like Bauer and Ritchie are more than capable of picking up the slack. But the fact that a wing led the team in rebounding and blocked shots leaves a couple major holes to fill and no proven players to fill them. With Wojta leading the way, Green Bay had a negative rebounding margin last year and ranked 288th in the nation with 2.3 blocks per game. That is how the Phoenix play. They make up for their lack of rebounding and blocked shots by creating steals and having offensive mismatches with shooting post players. This is a team that usually is among the best in the nation in turnover margin after all. But the rebounding and blocked shots could be more of an issue this year than usual. Ritchie can be like Wojta and lead the team in scoring and rebounding, but the frontcourt needs to help out some too. With Stephanie Sension and Jenny Gilbertson returning standing at 6-3 and 6-2, respectively, Green Bay does have some experience in the frontcourt. Nobody on this team needs to grab as many rebounds as Wojta did, but everybody will likely need to be a bit more effective on the glass in order to prevent that rebounding margin from negating Green Bay’s advantage in the turnover department.

Final Projection:
The Phoenix will have no problem winning another Horizon League title. The talent on this team is impressive and a group of quality freshmen will help the program continue to dominate. But for this program it really does come down to March. They deserved more than a seven seed last year and ran into a tough Kentucky team very early in the tournament as a result. This time around Green Bay may not do much better when it comes to seeding because what else can you ask from a team with one loss heading into the tournament? Yet, this could be a more dangerous squad by March of 2013 than they were in March of 2012 and no top seeded team wants to see the Phoenix sitting there as a seven or eight seed in their bracket.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Megan Lukan, Sophomore, Guard, 6.6 points per game
Adrian Ritchie, Senior, Guard, 12.3 points per game
Sarah Eichler, Senior, Forward, 9.9 points per game
Lydia Bauer, Senior, Forward, 11.1 points per game
Stephanie Sension, Senior, Forward, 6.0 points per game