#18 Penn State Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Penn State Lady Lions

Overall Rank: #18
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten
#18 Penn State Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Penn State Team Page


Coach Coquese Washington has turned Penn State into a consistent national contender and that will not change with Maggie Lucas back for her senior season. However, the Lady Lions do lose three starters and will have to find a lot of new pieces to build around their All-American candidate.

2012-13 Record: 26-6, 14-2
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Coquese Washington
Coach Record: 118-73 at Penn State, 118-73 overall

Lucas averaged 20.1 points per game during her junior campaign and shot 90.0 percent from the charity stripe, 46.2 percent from beyond the arc and 44.1 percent from the floor. Lucas can do it all and can create her own shot off of the dribble. That was often the case last season as Penn State ranked 13th in the nation in scoring offense and 216th in assists per game. It is not a good statistic, but it does bring home the point that Lucas can carry this team. But Lucas will get help from Dara Taylor. Taylor, a 5-8 senior guard, is not a major scoring threat, but she could develop into one with a little more consistency on her outside shot. More importantly, Taylor can create things offensively and lead the defensive effort.

Nikki Greene and Mia Nickson were staples in the frontcourt. They were Penn State’s best interior scorers and easily the strongest rebounders on the squad. Replacing them will not be easy, but Coach Washington does have size and options to work with. Ariel Edwards, a versatile 6-3 senior who can knock down the long ball, will step into the starting lineup after spending much of last year as a reserve. Talia East is the only other returning player besides Lucas, Taylor and Edwards that averaged over ten minutes per game in 2012-2013. Another 6-3 senior, East could step into the starting five. With 6-5 junior Tori Waldner, 6-6 sophomore Candice Agee, 6-3 freshman Alex Harris and 6-3 freshman wing Peyton Whitted, the Lady Lions have plenty of size. But are any of them ready to step up and fill the void left by Greene and Nickson?

Final Projection:
This is a team with plenty of talent. Lucas alone would make this team compete for a Big Ten title. If the pieces come together, Penn State will be shooting for more than just competing for a conference crown; they will be thinking about a serious NCAA Tournament run. For that to happen, a couple freshmen will have to at least add depth to the frontcourt and others, most notably freshman point guard Lindsey Spann, will need to give Lucas and Taylor a break in the backcourt every once in a while. In the end, it will come down to the seven freshmen on the roster and how quickly they can adapt to the grinds of the Big Ten.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Dara Taylor, Senior, Guard, 7.0 points per game
Maggie Lucas, Senior, Guard, 20.1 points per game
Peyon Whitted, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Talia East, Senior, Forward, 2.2 points per game
Ariel Edwards, Senior, Forward, 7.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.6 (13th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.1 (103, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.6 (40, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.7 (68, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.8 (182, 9)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.2 (2, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.5 (53, 7)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (46, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.1 (216, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (70, 5)

Madness 2014 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#12 Maggie Lucas


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