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2020-21 Player Preview: Anamaria Virjoghe

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 08 Women’s Gonzaga at St Mary’s Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Gonzaga is a place that attracts athletes who are eager to develop their skills and be part of a strong community. That’s what prompted Anamaria Virjoghe to jump at an offer to transfer to Gonzaga after playing her freshman year of college basketball at the NAIA level.

Virjoghe earned that offer by impressing the Gonzaga coaching staff during an exhibition game in the fall of 2017 when she played for Northwest Christian College of the Cascade Collegiate Conference, before going on to earn all-conference honors and earning the CCC Freshman of the Year award.

It’s a big step up from Northwest Christian to Gonzaga, and Virjoghe was assuredly aware that she was walking away from a place where she could be the go-to player and exchanging it for a long wait and a lot of hard work to possibly earn a rotation spot. Virjoghe put in the work, and after redshirting the 2018-19 season, appeared in all 29 games last season.

More will be expected from Virjoghe, however, if she wants to build on last year’s campaign and play a larger part in the rotation now that she’s facing added competition for minutes from redshirt freshman Eliza Hollingsworth. Virjoghe possesses excellent size at 6’5” and it is her rebounding that earns her minutes on the floor. She showed glimpses of that ability at times, highlighted by an 9 rebound effort against Pepperdine in 18 minutes. However her offensive game held her back, shooting 28% from the field which is too low of a figure for a post player.

With the Wirth twins firmly entrenched in the starting lineup, and Melody Kempton producing in the frontcourt, Virjoghe doesn’t need to be a star for Gonzaga. But if she has made strides from last season, she could certainly provide Lisa Fortier with a different option off the bench and further strengthen Gonzaga’s impressive depth.