The Zags welcomed 6’3 forward Maud Hujibens this offseason. She was one of the many in a recent exodus from the Syracuse Orange program, and she will retain a full four years of eligibility in a Gonzaga uniform.
Unfortunately, that is largely where the player preview can stop. Already, the discrepancy between information on men’s vs. women’s basketball players is a huge gulf, and that becomes even wider when the player is international. So, here is the limited information of what we know:
- Hujibens spent almost the entirety of last season injured, playing one game against Miami.
- She arrived at Syracuse with some pedigree: Hujibens was ranked the No. 12 post player in the Class of 2020.
- She averaged 11.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 0.5 assists at the U18 Women’s European Championship.
Realistically, that is all we can go on for who Hujibens is, so now we can try and pivot to what role she will play in the future.
Hujibens is tall. At 6’3, she is the second-tallest player on the team. However, as we have seen with Anamaria Virjoghe, tall does not necessarily equate to automatic playing time.
What is different this time around is the lack the Wirth twins and Jill Townsend on the roster. The Zags have a lot of talented players ready to fill in, but on the rest of the roster, only Melody Kempton, Yvonne Ejim, and Abby O’ Connor saw meaningful minutes on the court last season. Those three are largely expected to take on similar, if not larger, roles for this coming season.
That means the minutes are there, and those minutes are going to be earned at practice. If Hujibens is able to demonstrate an ability to score, rebound, and overall hold it down in the post, she will see playing time. However, if her learning curve is a bit steeper, as it has been with Virjoghe, then there are plenty of other players ready to see the court in front of her.