Shooting By Class
Coach mentioned in the post game he really thought Hurst wore down over the final 3 weeks of the season and it appeared Jayla did too, as both struggled to shoot over the last few weeks and especially the final two games without Aisia and all the defensive attention Aisia demanded.
tonight's shooting by class:
Sr's 12-17 70.6% (3)
Jr's None played (Aisia was the only active Jr on this year's roster)
Sophs 10-28 35.7% (3)
Frosh 7-29 24.4% (5)
If you notice, even though our Sr's doubled the shooting %'s of any other class, they did not get near as many shot attempts as the other classes.
The good news, this was a very young team, which bodes well for the future, and even moreso after Aisia's injury and experience was out of the line-up. Next year, we get another bumper crop of frosh. However, one caution we have seen this year, if you overplay the frosh throughout the season, they are bound to run out of gas toward the end. Hopefully, next year, if we truly have a deeper team, which seems to be the indication, coach will be able to manage minutes much better and hopefully, come post season next year, we won't have any injuries (crossing fingers) and have a much fresher and more experienced team. Ldlbfn voiced concerns about how many minutes both Hurst and Jayla were playing in the OOC and sure enough, it did seem to come back and bite us in the end.
It will be hard to replace Jaisa's offensive firepower in the middle though, with another 26/12 game tonight.
Best of luck to all the Sr's in all their future endeavors.
Jaisa's graduation creates a huge offensive hole to fill, but the "senior" numbers are a little misleading. Jaisa 10/14, the other seniors, 2/3. We had a huge void to fill last year with Cherise, not even counting the other three starters. I believe they are capable of doing it, though the team will look different yet again for Mike's 4th season.
Inconsistency was the biggest problem. Inconsistency on who would be shooting well from outside, and inconsistency in how the FR and SO played. AT, Shai, Madi, Ahlise, Jayden all had good games and mediocre ones and some bad ones. They all have the physical ability to improve both the consistency and the peak level. The effort of the summer will determine how much that is realized.
next year, we very well "could" have 3 major Sr contributors with Aisia, Bride and Najala.
"IF" all of those 3 are major contributors, it should help smooth out the inconsistencies of next year's frosh and soph classes.
Also, this year's soph class with another summer under their belts, should be much improved and provide a lot more consistency next year, along with the 3 Sr's. Next year's soph class should be much improved with a full summer, just like Jaedyn and AA came back much improved this year.
Point is, there is hope for next year, even though we are losing one of the best players in program history. It also points to more shot attempts at the upper class-men level as opposed to the frosh/soph levels where the only consistency is inconsistency.
Next year's upper-classmen (Aisia, Bride, Najala, Jaedyn, AA & Madi)
Had no real info, so I looked back at articles on Bride. Looks like she had some academic issues at jc, but was rated #1 jc big after her second year. Came to ISU late due to academic questions, arrived in very poor condition and hurt her foot, but kept improving over the first 21 games when injury finally forced her out. With a year off to get healthy physically and academically, I think Bride can be a key to next year's success. Jaisa will be hard if not impossible to replace with one player, but with Bride, Najala, plus the Alaska freshman, improved Shai and Antonia, we could be stronger than this year. I loved Nike's play, but hard to hide her lack of offense on a poor shooting squad, yet she and her block parties will be missed. And all the guards are back, plus the kid from Texas who was state tourney MVP.
Looking forward to next season
She had some physical issues early this year, but seems to be doing/moving better now.
She will NOT be a Jaisa clone, nor a Nike clone. She should be a quality post player, but a different type of one. Defensively she is much closer to Jaisa, but certainly not Nike. Nike is the best defensive post I can remember since Timi E-Nunu who shut down every opposing post she guarded all season (including Dionne in practices). Nike will be seriously missed for her D and for her awesome personality that was a huge part of the team chemistry. Though the fans did not see it because she didn't play, Bride is a big personality too, and will be part of filling that void as well.
Offensively she has a broad set of skills. Hands and low post scoring are all good but not in Jaisa's class. Rebounding could be comparable, but will likely play outside more so the numbers will probably be a bit less. More comfortable shooting from outside. Offensively I would say more along the lines of a Jordan Adams set of tools--not saying she will be that good, just that she is more that kind of center.
Naj plays much more like a good rebounding 3-guard than a post. I doubt she will be the second "big". Assuming it's someone on the current roster + signed FR, Whoever "replaces Nike" will not do it the same way. AT, Shai, Bre, Aziria, and Autumn are all smaller, faster kinds of players. No idea who WILL win the starting spot, but I would guess AT is the most likely to get a first run at it based upon experience and PT the second half of this season.
PS: Bride likes to talk, and has interesting things to say about her journey through American college basketball, both good and bad. If you get an opportunity to talk with her, it's worth the time.
This year Bride was one of if not THE best cheerleaders I've ever seen on the bench. When other players were down at the end of the last game, she was cheering on Emily when she made her last career basket.
I haven't seen as much of Najala as Joe has, but considering how weak our guard rebounding was this year, her 5-10 height and 6.3 rebounds per game average last year will be very welcome next year. And 36% from 3-point range is better than anyone on this year's team did.