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2020-21 Player Preview: McKayla Williams

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The lone top 100 prospect in the class

Instagram @m.williams21

The Gonzaga women were in the midst of a historic season a year ago and were likely going to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Spokane this past March before the world turned upside down. They lose two incredibly talented senior guards in Jesse Loera and Katie Campbell. But like always, the cupboard is not bare. On paper, this Gonzaga roster is probably the most talented in school history.

With the departures of Loera and Campbell, there are now roughly 53 minutes to replace in the back court rotation. The Truong twins will take a step forward in their development and Vanderbilt transfer Cierra Walker should slide into the starting lineup. But that likely still leaves minutes up for grabs. One of those fighting for them is top 100 freshman McKayla Williams.

Williams is ranked 87 by espnW and is the lone top 100 recruit in Lisa Fortier’s versatile three player class. At 6’1”, Williams played both guard and forward spots in her high school career. She helped lead Winward to a Division 1 state championship in California and a top 20 national ranking in 2019. The Los Angeles native averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists her senior season and her team went 110-19 in her time there.

Williams might be the best pure athlete on Gonzaga’s roster this season. She won a Junior Olympics gold medal in track and was an all-league volleyball player in high school as well.

As for basketball, she is a very long and agile player who can be used all over the court. Her rebounding capability is a huge asset and her length will make her a menace on defense. She can score at all three levels, though she is best attacking down hill with exceptional ability to finish in traffic. Her handle is decent, but it’s likely she will see most of her time at the wing rather than picking up lead guard duties. With her size and ability, she can be a match-up nightmare for any defense.

With a plethora of experience returning to this Bulldogs’ roster, it may be tough for any of the three freshmen to play a ton of minutes right away. But Coach Fortier loves playing 9-10 players if she’s got the bodies to do so, and Williams looks to be the most ready of the bunch. Whether or not she sees a ton of action this season, Williams will be a key cog in this system her final three years in Spokane.