#40 Saint Mary's Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Saint Mary’s Gaels

Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #2 West Coast
#40 Saint Mary's Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Saint Mary's Team Page


It has been a season of transition for this West Coast Conference program, with most of the change happening off the court. The Gaels hired a new director of basketball operations, promoted one of the team’s assistant coaches (Tracy Sanders) to associate head coach, and welcomed a new transfer in Devyn Galland (Oregon), who has to sit out the 2013-14 season due to transfer rules. They won’t need Galland right away, fortunately, as all of the big weapons that guided the Gaels’ offense are back for more action in 2013-14.

2012-13 Record: 23-11, 11-5
2012-13 Postseason: WNIT (lost to Utah 58-55 in quarterfinals)
Coach: Paul Thomas
Coach Record: 127-95 at St. Mary’s, 360-253 overall

Saint Mary’s was an especially strong program in terms of rebounding, thanks to an edge of 8.2 rebounds over its opponents. This is in part due to the tandem of Danielle Mauldin and Jackie Nared, who had an average of 19.5 rebounds per game combined. Mauldin, in particular, was a terror to face on the basketball court with her 13.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Of her 356 total rebounds, 145 came off the offensive glass. That’s not quite 50 percent (in fact, it’s closer to 40 percent), but it still demonstrates Mauldin’s ability to clean the glass both on offense and defense. The Gaels also showed an ability to win at home and on the road, and that’s always good.

Saint Mary’s showed a weakness last season in two distinct areas. Although Nared and Mauldin combined for 88 season steals, the Gaels averaged just 6.2 steals per game, a number that placed the Gaels near the bottom of the NCAA Division I school list. The Gaels recorded 388 assists and 590 turnovers, putting the team deep in the hole in terms of assist-to-turnover ratio. This needs to change if the Gaels are to record 25 or more victories and get their way into the NCAA tournament. Adding to the problem is the loss of Morgan Hatten, the team’s top assist person, who graduated.

Final Projection:
The Gaels should be a better squad in 2013-14, and it is in part due to the return of Mauldin, Nared and Kate Gaze, who spent the summer in Australia and China trying out for the World University Games. Eventually she toured China with a group called the Emerging Opals, which is the second tier of top women’s basketball players from Australia (Gaze is a Melbourne native). This threesome returns, as do four of the top five scorers, and that should help the Gaels hold court in the WCC and in an eventual NCAA berth.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Jackie Nared, Senior, Guard, 16.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game
Danielle Mauldin, Senior, Forward, 10.8 rebounds per game (led team)
Kate Gaze, Senior, Guard, 11.0 points per game
Carli Rosenthal, Junior, Forward, 43 percent field-goal shooting
Lauren Nicholson, Sophomore, Guard, 76.7 percent free-throw shooting off bench

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.3 (120th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.8 (178, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 38.9 (160, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.5 (105, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  4.3 (218, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.7 (75, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.6 (49, 1)
Rebound Margin: 8.2 (12, 1)
Assists Per Game: 11.4 (248, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.4 (198, 5)


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