Can Eliza Hollingsworth continue her upward trajectory? That’s one of the primary questions waiting to be answered by the redshirt junior.
Last season, Hollingsworth earned her first truly meaningful action of her collegiate career. The Australian forward featured in 32 of 34 games, all off the bench, and showed off a versatile skillset with plenty of runway for more development.
Lisa Fortier and Gonzaga fans will be hoping that Hollingsworth turned the confidence and experience she gained last season into a productive summer and is now ready to compete for a starting spot. The opportunity will be there with vacancies in the frontcourt due to the departures of Melody Kempton and Anamaria Virjoghe. One of those starting spots is assuredly earmarked for Yvonne Ejim, but the other is up for grabs and Hollingsworth makes the most sense to fill it. However, Hollingsworth still has to go earn it.
Hollingsworth has the game to stretch the floor as a pick-and-pop shooter with range to the three-point line, though she’ll need to be slightly more efficient from the paint and around the blocks. In order to win a starting spot and play a bigger role in the rotation, Hollingsworth will need to do the work on the glass to improve her rebounding numbers and also commit to the intensity needed to be consistently good at the defensive end of the floor.
Ejim will be the star in the frontcourt, but there will be plenty of opportunities for Hollingsworth, Maud Hujibens, and newcomer Destiny Burton. Hollingsworth will have the inside track to the biggest role of that trio, but she can’t rest on what she did last year. The jump from role-player playing 11 minutes per game to starting and at least doubling that is a big one.
If Hollingsworth is ready to make that jump and seize her chance, Gonzaga will have a much easier transition fielding a new starting frontcourt in 2022.