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2021-2022 Player Review: Maud Huijbens

The freshman forward should see an opportunity next year.

NCAA Womens Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs San Francisco Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When Maud Huijbens transferred from Syracuse to Gonzaga, there was always going to be a year of waiting in the process. Such is the case with the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball program.

Head coach Lisa Fortier loves to run a deep bench, but benches can only run so deep. This season, with senior starters Anamaria Virjoghe, Melody Kempton, and Abby O’Connor in the rotation, Huijbens had to compete with Eliza Hollingsworth and Yvonne Ejim for the remaining minutes.

She got her few, occasionally, throughout the season, averaging 6.2 minutes in 21 games. Next year, that should look a bit differently. With Virjoghe, Kempton, and O’Connor all graduating, Ejim should finally slot into one of the starting forward positions. That leaves Hollingsworth and Huijbens battling for the other.

Whereas Hollingsworth has a tendency to operate a bit more out on the wings and has shown an inclination for attempting three pointers, Huijbens game is entirely in the post—and that is exactly what the Zags are going to need to replace. Ejim should be able to replicate Kempton’s offensive production down low, the Zags will need someone to replace Virjoghe’s defensive presence.

Hopefully, Huijbens is up for that task. She showcased adept rebounding instincts in her limited minutes, and she has the height to block shots and help protect the rim. Either way, there will be plenty of opportunity for Huijbens to earn her minutes.