Clearly, Miles, Citron & Westbeld Will Be the Core ...
In reply to: You could probably argue for any of the three. I choose posted by MountainMan
..and will be expected to expand their games and/or improve going forward.
- It took a very long time for Maddy, IMO, to get used to having Maya become a focal point of the low paint action. However, by the playoffs, she shot 60% and was on top of her game. I suspect she'll come back with some more moves in her toolkit.
- Ebo and Watson will be expected to do what Niele thought Maya was going to do for us: defense, rebounding, guarding the lane. They can do that. As pointed out, Vic Schaefer started Ebo at Texas and he is known for demanding the lane is protected. I saw Watson play quite a few times in high school and she patrols the lane. Not the same competition, obviously, but she patrols the lane.
Of course, Maya ended up giving us offensive options, too. Can Ebo/Watson match that? If they can come close while giving ND the defense and rebounding, good enough.
- Niele is apparently putting her talks about "position-basketball" into practice, ready or not. Remember, she's talked about having a post surrounded by four players who can play most other positions. Of course, that's easier to say when one of them - Miles - is among the best PG's in the country.
-- Jenna Brown, knock on wood, can spell Miles for 'Liv to rest a bit and get perspective. But if Brown does it better than expected, I wouldn't be surprised to see both in the backcourt, leaving 'Liv to get spot-up jumpers and/or attack from the wing.
-- KK Bransford will probably be looked upon to spell both Dara and Soni, while adding her particular talents to the mix. We'll have to see what those are at the collegiate level, but slashing comes to mind.
-- Soni, of course, is Ivey's ultimate Swiss Army Knife. She can play the 1, 2, 3 and even the 4 and I expect her to play all but the one this year, but wouldn't be surprised to see her take a spell running the half court.
However, she'll also be expected to "be more selfish" and add outside shooting and drives to the hoop. Will she get worn out filling at the other positions? Will Niele modify her offense to make things easier for her to get looks? You can't create all the time.
- If -- and it's an if -- Nat comes back, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see her spell Maddy from time to time. She's agile, has a fine jumper, passes well and, of course, has height.
- That said, there's a lot of "if's" in this conditional house of (court) cards. Will the connect?
I would've liked to have seen one more player on the squad for many reasons mentioned over the many threads we've had. Preferably this player could've spread the floor with some dependable mid-range (a must) or long-range (even better) shooting. Or, a great athlete would could match up with another team's star and wear them down.
- Maybe there's one more player out there. Or, if Jewell Spear doesn't like the new Wake coach and transfers, call her immediately.
But I'm thinking we're going to see a reliance on post and four going forward.