Katie Campbell’s loss is enormous for Gonzaga. Her shooting, defense, and leadership were all key components to their success the last two seasons. Cierra Walker looks to be the natural replacement to fill those shoes.
Walker transferred into Gonzaga from Vanderbilt last year and redshirted a season ago. At Vandy, she was a sharpshooter. Much like Campbell, her sweet lefty stroke helped her average nearly 40 percent from deep over her three seasons in the SEC and tied a school record, hitting eight threes in a game once. She was second on the team in scoring her junior year at 10.8 points per game. She went through a lot of losing and some coaching turmoil before deciding Spokane was her next destination.
It feels like Walker should slot into the starting lineup as the off-guard. Her scoring ability will be a massive boost given that Campbell was their best three-point shooter and second leading scorer. The biggest question is whether she can provide the defensive ability to match Campbell. Walker has the size and length to be a great defender, and she should be eager to play her senior season after taking a year off to learn the system.
Walker might be the biggest x-factor on the Gonzaga women’s roster this year. She was a starter and double-figure scorer in the SEC and now becomes a huge piece on a top 20 team. It would not be shocking to see Walker lead the team in scoring if she’s every bit as good as advertised.