Last season, Gonzaga freshman Jill Townsend knew the way to get more minutes was to do whatever the coach asked of her. She did just that, playing in all 33 games, averaging 13.2 minutes per game, third among the non-starters.
That meant that during a period of time while Jill Barta was injured, Townsend, traditionally a guard through high school, found herself down low battling it out in the post. When the time came for a move up to the top of the point, she was there as well. Her versatility is a boon for the Gonzaga women’s squad, and will be relied upon even more this season.
Townsend was a top-100 recruit in the class of 2017. She was a former Washington state Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American nominee. She grew up in Okanagon on her family’s ranch, and that probably lends itself to a willingness to do anything, anywhere, anytime. As a high school guard, she averaged 24 points per game her senior year, as well as almost double-digit rebounds per game.
On the court, Townsend made the most of her minutes. She averaged 4.2 points per game, but it was more of her glue woman personality that shone. Townsend grabbed 1.4 offensive rebounds per game, tops for any of the non-starters on the squad. She showed she is a more than capable scorer, hitting a career-high of 11 points against a then No. 21 DePaul.
Last season, Townsend did exactly what any good first year player does: Do everything the coach tells you to do. She laid the groundwork to be a key cog in this machine, and now it is time to capitalize on the opportunity.