Women’s basketball group heads into season with optimism
Head females’s basketball coach Jeff Mittie is beginning off the season with a “moneyball” mindset.
After losing three seniors to graduation– Angela Harris, Peyton Williams, and Jasauen Beard– Kansas State understood it ‘d take effort to replace them. Mittie knows it’s going to take more than effort to change Williams though, who averaged 11.0 rebounds per game.
” Rebounding is an area we need to improve. We lost a terrific rebounder in Williams,” Mittie stated in a press conference recently. “She averaged 11 a game. We are not going to replace that player. We are not going to replace Williams with one gamer. I have returned and rewatched Moneyball and we are not changing Giambi. We are going to have to replace Giambi with about three gamers and I have actually done all the math I can do however I don’t understand if it deals with basketball however I like the film anyhow so it is a terrific excuse to view it.”
The primary focus will be on sophomore post player Ayoka Lee who is coming off of a season in which she averaged a double-double– 15.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Lee comes into the season on three noteworthy award watchlists: Lisa Leslie Award (provided to the leading center in college basketball), Women’s Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy and Wade Prize.
Mittie thinks his center is among the group’s main strengths.
” I believe the strength is we have an excellent end of offense player in Ayoka Lee,” he stated. “She developed herself as a gamer we could throw it to and complete at a young age and I believe she has had an excellent solid offseason. I believe the difference in her game will be. Last year we actually didn’t facilitate offense through her as much as we tossed it to her when she was in a scoring position.”
Mittie is looking likewise forward to incorporating Lee more into the group’s pick-and-roll offense.
The Wildcats are anticipated to see enhancements with their three-point shooting also. Redshirt junior Rachel Ranke, who is a near 35 percent shooter behind the arc, will be back in the lineup for K-State after missing 21 video games, 20-straight to end the season, last year. K-State also brings in Texas Tech transfer senior Sydney Goodson who knocked down 68 3s last season alone.
” I believe we have actually improved our 3-point shooting,” Mittie stated. “We get Ranke back. I believe Chrissy Carr has actually had a really great offseason. The addition of Goodson, who knocked down 68 two years earlier in the league. I think she led the league in 40-minute games dipped into the guard spot. Those things are all improvements. In 2015’s team simply might not make an outside shot consistently and things just got extremely crowded around both Lee and Williams.”
Mittie feels like the spacing on this season’s group will be much better than last season, which will permit more offensive production. He truly wanted to deal with offering Lee more space to operate in the post.
” We entered into the offseason actually wishing to do the very best we could to produce space for Lee in there and I believe we have done that,” he stated.
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Weaknesses up until now for the Wildcats are headlined by the rebounding, however also a struggle to handle the basketball. Irritating injuries have actually also injured K-State early in the year, something Mittie believes a lot of groups are “handling.”
Up until now, sophomore Emilee Ebert has missed time due to injury, in addition to junior Savvy Simmons who missed time with a stretched quad last week. Goodson has missed out on time with a stretched achilles, and an undisclosed gamer missed time with plantar fasciitis.
Heading into the start of the season’s schedule, K-State is aiming to simply remain healthy. With COVID-19, staying healthy is more vital than ever.
” We are just grinding our method through it (COVID-19),” Mittie said. “I think the greatest issue with basketball, while we haven’t had a lot of cases, the contact tracing is generally the problem and I think that is what you are seeing with other programs. Definitely, we dealt with that throughout the fall similar to everyone else.”
The NCAA is anticipated to make a choice on the minimum amount of gamers groups can have fun with for this COVID-plagued season. The anticipated minimum number is 6 gamers, something Mittie likewise pointed out.
The Wildcats were picked to end up 4th in the Big 12 Conference preseason poll– the highest projection since Mittie took over the program in 2014.
K-State is anticipated to win a bulk of their non-conference games. A lone power 5 match-up with SEC’s Kentucky awaits at the back-end of the non-conference schedule. The Wildcats ended up last season No. 16 in the AP Women’s Survey.
A win against Kentucky would likely provide the Wildcats a perfect record and a nationwide ranking heading into conference play.
K-State is slated to start the season unofficially with an exhibition at Fort Hays State in Hays, Kansas, on Nov. 25. The official season begins with a home video game against Southern on Nov. 29 in Bramlage Coliseum. That video game is set up to tip-off at 1 p.m. with audio through K-State Sports Network.