This season poses a great opportunity for sophomore McKayla Williams. After a freshman season of learning and growing, the 6’1 wing is returning perhaps under the radar as a player to make an immediate impact on a reshuffled Gonzaga roster.
Williams played limited minutes in 20 games her first season in Spokane, impeded by upperclassmen and leader Jill Townsend. She averaged about 4 minutes per game and didn’t have the luxury of getting into an offensive flow, but showcased plenty of moments that highlighted why she was a top 75 recruit her final high school season and how she could impact the game.
The Los Angeles native had five steals and a block in her 80 minutes on the court last year. She appeared to be the best athlete on the court in those minutes and it’s entirely likely that her steal and blocks averages improve with more opportunity. She poses incredible potential as a two-way player and could help elevate Gonzaga’s defense. A rotation with her and Yvonne Ejim could lead to plenty of fast breaks and stifling offensive possessions for their opponents.
Williams will look to continue to grow her offensive game this season with more opportunities. She is a solid perimeter shooter who possesses an elite speed to get to the cup. If she can limit her turnovers, she could also serve as a secondary ballhandler and passer to help spell the backcourt (she averaged 4 assists per game her final high school season).
If her game continues to grow, it’s incredibly fun to think of the matchup nightmares a rotation with Williams, Ejim and Salenbien could be. The Gonzaga defense could really be formidable with any combination of those wings. If Williams can further develop her collegiate rebounding skills, it will be incredibly tough to take her off of the court.