#37 Gonzaga Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast

#37 Gonzaga Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Gonzaga Team Page


Four starters return to lead the Gonzaga Bulldog women’s basketball team on a quest to get back into the Sweet 16 and beyond in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs won the West Coast Conference but fell short in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on their home floor, losing to a hot shooting Iowa State squad.  The culture of winning under veteran head coach Kelly Graves is well established and the Bulldogs are going to be a team on a mission to atone for that loss on its home floor to the Cyclones last spring.

2012-13 Record:  27-6, 15-1
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kelly Graves, 13th season at Gonzaga, 16th overall
Coach Record:  287-131 at Gonzaga, 353-157 overall

The Bulldogs were a very balanced team offensively last season, which can be attributed to multiple factors. Gonzaga could go inside with Sunny Greinacher and Shelby Cheslek and also beat you with Haiden Palmer, who is the leading returning scorer.  Palmer averaged 12.5 points per game last season.  The defense was also very strong as they held opponents to just under 55 points per game. The ability to control the game on the boards will be another huge strength for the Bulldogs this season. Last year they out rebounded their opposition by just over four rebounds per game. This will be beneficial for Gonzaga as they will need to be able to hold their own on the boards  when they take on teams from power conferences that can match up with them size wise down in the post. The depth as a whole should be another key asset for Gonzaga this season as they should be able to go about ten players deep or more. This will allow them to wear down opponents in the second half of games.

The inability to be consistent at the free-throw line and scoring droughts where definitely an achillies heel for Gonzaga in 2012-13. The Bulldogs shot just over 62 percent from the free-throw line and that has to improve and get closer to 70 percent or higher in order for the Bulldogs to be able to win tight games in the NCAA tournament. The long scoring drought issue should be helped by Cal transfer Lindsay Sherbert, whose veteran presence in the backcourt will help Gonzaga maintain a good offensive flow throughout a full 40 minutes.

Final Projection:
The Bulldogs play another challenging out of conference schedule in 2013-14. It is highlighted by two road trips to play Ohio State on December 8th and a trip to Palo Alto to take on the always difficult Stanford Cardinal on December 14th. The increased depth of this Gonzaga team should allow them to be able to go toe to toe with both of these teams. Also, there will be a tough regional contest with Washington State as the Cougars are gradually getting tougher to beat under veteran head coach June Daugherty. The conference slate is highlighted by an opening contest with St. Mary’s, the only team to beat the Bulldogs last year in conference play. The ability to win in Moraga will go a long way in setting the tone for another run at the West Coast Conference Championship. Overall, if this team stays healthy and with the rabid fan support at the McCarthey Athletic Center, Gonzaga is primed to make another special run in the NCAA tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Jazmine Redmon, Senior, Guard, 6.1 points per game
Haiden Palmer, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 12.5 points per game
Lindsey Sherbert, Redshirt Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Sunny Greinacher, Junior, Forward, 9.2 points per game
Shelby Cheslek, Redshirt Sophomore, Center, 5.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.2 (40th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.9 (36, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.2 (49, 2)
Field-Goal Defense:  38.3 (152, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (86, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.6 (15, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 62.5 (322, 9)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (51, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (30, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (37, 1)

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#93 Bayli McClard


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