#42 Utah Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Utah Utes

Overall Rank: #42
Conference Rank# 6 Pac-12
Utah Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Utah Team Page


The Utah Utes took advantage of their opportunity last year in the WNIT tournament in a big way by going on a run all the way to the finals before falling to Drexel in the championship. The run included several road victories that should give the Utes a ton of confidence heading into this season and have them prepared to take on the gauntlet of life on the road in the Pac-12 Conference.

2012-13 Record: 23-14, 8-10
2012-13 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: Anthony Levrets
Coach Record: 56-47 at Utah 56-43 overall

Utah was a very tough match up defensively for pretty much everyone in 2012-2013. The Utes limited teams to just 54 points per contest. They also did a great job of limiting their opponent’s offensive explosiveness by not conceding too many easy baskets and holding teams to just over 35 percent shooting from the floor.  The offense did a nice job of taking care of the basketball by limiting turnovers and being efficient offensively. Senior Michelle Plouffe can beat you from the perimeter and down low, which makes her very difficult to stop consistently. Redshirt senior Taryn Wicijowski joins Plouffe in the post.  She averaged over 14 points per game last year and provides critical experience for Utah heading into this upcoming season. Also, incoming freshman Emily Potter brings international experience to the team.  She played for Team Canada in the U17 World Championships and helped lead Canada to a bronze medal finish in that tournament. Potter should compete for a starting role right away.

The Utes were not explosive offensively last season, scoring just about 59 points per game. It is critical that they do not fall behind early in games, as it becomes a tall task for the Utes to come back offensively. They also need to generate more turnovers at the defensive end of the floor. This will create easier opportunities in transition and take the pressure off the offense for Utah. The backcourt also will need to step up offensively so teams do not simply collapse down low on the Utes. The sophomore combination of Danielle Rodriguez and Paige Crozon will need to hit shots from the perimeter and help force turnovers on the defensive end as well.
Final Projection:
The schedule for Utah has a couple of good out-of-conference tests leading into Pac-12 play. Big Ten power, Nebraska, comes to Salt Lake City on November 15th. In addition, Utah gets an intersectional matchup on a neutral floor against Marquette in Las Vegas at the end of November. The conference schedule is tough right out of the gate with a trip to Los Angeles to take on UCLA and USC, followed by the Bay Area schools coming to Salt Lake City. The key will be finding a way to try to win two out of those first four as the schedule after that settles down a little bit. If Utah can pick up from where they left off at the end of last season defensively, they will be in every game. The unknown is the scoring production from the backcourt. If the Utes can get some production from the guards as well, it should allow Utah to push through and secure a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Danielle Rodriguez, Sophomore, Guard, 2.6 points per game
Paige Crozon, Sophomore, Guard, 4.0 points per game
Taryn Wicijowski, Redshirt Senior, Forward, 14.3 points per game
Michelle Plouffe, Senior, Forward, 17.2 points per game
Emily Potter, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 59.0 (230th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.0 (30, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (69, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.6. (35, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  5.6 (102, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.3 (21, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.5 (123, 3)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (118, 6)
Assists per Game: 12.2 (207, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (39, 3)


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