Eliza Hollingsworth took the step forward in 2021-2022 that Gonzaga was hoping for as she stepped into a rotation role off the bench. The Australian forward earned a ten-fold increase in minutes from 36 minutes across 10 games in 2020-2021 to 367 minutes while playing in all but one game during her redshirt sophomore season.
Hollingsworth did well with her opportunity and established that she can be a versatile pick-n-pop offensive option in the frontcourt, shooting 14-41 from the three-point line and 38-102 overall from the field. She was particularly impressive in some of the bigger games of the season, scoring 12 points and 2 rebounds against the Stanford Cardinal in just 11 minutes in the first game between the two teams. Hollingsworth also scored in double figures against Pepperdine, Pacific, and LMU, while posting a season high 7 rebounds against Utah.
While her overall season averages may not be eye-popping, Hollingsworth played her role well and showed the confidence and willingness to take the shots that opened up for her in the offense which is a good sign for the future when she will be leaned on more.
A bigger opportunity will be on the table for Hollingsworth next season with Melody Kempton’s graduation creating a frontcourt vacancy in the starting lineup. Hollingsworth has the inside track to a starting position, and has a good skillset to pair alongside Yvonne Ejim. However, she’ll need to take another big step forward with her game during the offseason to consistently produce what will be required in that role if Gonzaga is to return to the NCAA Tournament.
Hollingsworth has shown signs of having the requisite desire to develop and work on her game, so should be a good bet to make those needed strides. Where her game is this fall will be one of the big storylines going into the 2022-2023 season, and will be one of the biggest factors that determines how good Gonzaga will be.