To a certain extent, Kaylynne Truong has operated slightly one step behind her twin sister, Kayleigh Truong, by virtue of their skill sets. While Kayleigh has been the starting point guard for the past two seasons, Kaylynne has been the first player off the bench.
Last season, that equation was mixed up a bit. A knee injury to Kayleigh thrust Kaylynne into a starting role. After a couple of nervous-nellie turnover-filled games, she settled in nicely, and in the process, demonstrated that whenever Lisa Fortier wants, she will be able to run an offense featuring two point guards.
However, perhaps the most important hole to fill will be the departure of Cierra Walker, the Zags’ prime sharp-shooting threat from beyond the arc for the past two seasons. Kaylynne was the second-best three-point shooter on the team last season but came in at just 35.1 percent (compared to Walker’s 42 percent). The addition of Brynna Maxwell should help alleviate that concern, but it would be nice to see an uptick in Kaylynne’s three-point shots, especially if she is playing off the ball alongside her sister.
College basketball is all about the natural pecking order, as players come and players graduate. The Zags are replacing Melody Kempton, Anamaria Virjoghe, Abby O’Connor, and Cierra Walker. Although the already mentioned Maxwell transfers in as a senior, this year’s squad is unmistakably owned by the Truong twins. After three years in the Gonzaga system, it is the year for them to leave their mark.
That means a continuation of the hard-nosed team defense the Zags have become known for in recent years, and it also means making sure they don’t encounter the equally frustrating (on the other end) lapses of offensive ineptitude, an issue that has periodically plagued the Zags over the past couple of seasons.
Kaylynne Truong will be one of the keys in that regard. As a presumed starter in the backcourt alongside her sister, they will be the keys to the Gonzaga engine. All around smarter, faster, and better offensive play is required for success and a trip deeper into the NCAA Tournament.
Kaylynne showcased that progress from her sophomore to junior seasons. She increased her two-point percentage from 39.0 to 45.1 and her three-point from 33.3 to 35.1. Albeit, she shot from long range 43.9 percent clip her freshman season. If she is able to boost that three-point percentage up, as one of the major outside threats for the Zags, she can push her offensive rating up from 114, and that will be a major boost.
The Zags enter the season with hype. There are a lot of really good returning pieces to set the stage for a stellar battle with BYU for the WCC crown. The spotlight will be partially centered on Kaylynne Truong throughout the season, so it is finally her time to shine.