Given the slow week in Zags WBB (much deserved given the academic demands), there hasn’t been much to post about this week, but I wanted to take a step back and look at the teams performance heading before they head into their last three games before the new year.
I know music isn’t discussed here at all, but it’s an essential piece of my life and I want to abuse my power as writer to highlight someone I thoroughly enjoy that just dropped a new single that I think encapsulates Gonzaga Basketball as a whole:
I’m definitely into some weird stuff so I don’t expect everyone to like it (side note: hit me up on twitter and whatnot with your bops cause im always trying to explore new things; i’ll def share my spotify information with those interested), but I do think that this new track from London artist fits our program nicely because we get NO LOVE! Thank you for putting up with my indulgence. If it’s a total nuisance, let me know because I swear I’ll never get into this area again.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into how the Women’s team has done this year with their aims to enhance their NCAA Tournament seeding with a tough non-conference schedule.
- Currently, the Zags sit at #9 in the RPI rankings fueled by wins over top-ranked Stanford, #33 Cal, #36 Toledo, #63 Alabama, #70 Montana, #77 Eastern Washington, and #84 Liberty while their loses have come against #17 Washington State and #25 Louisville. These tough matchups have resulted in the current strength of schedule being ranked thirteenth overall
Her Hoops (link)
- This site has existed since 2017 and looks to provide some KenPom-like rankings for both college and professional Women’s Basketball. They currently have Gonzaga ranked #19 thats buoyed by the 8th best offensive rating and places them 9th in their “simple RPI” ranking. As expected, the defense ranks a bit lower compared to the offensive ratings and comes in at #54 in their rating. This site has a player’s win share rating that is obviously led by stars like Caitlin Clark and Cameron Brink, but also has the great Yvonne Ejim sitting at #6, which should come at no surprise given her dominance so far this season. Despite Yvonne and the offensive rankings, their site only has the Bulldogs predicted to achieve a 6th seed coming into the tournament, which is no different than the most recent ESPN predictions published on 12/12. This would sit just behind their highest ever seed of fifth achieved twice in the 18-19 and 20-21 seasons.
- While this site does require a subscription, it has some wonderful tools for those interested including team comparisons and game predictions so check it out!
- Aside from an interesting name, this site provides team rankings that use a variation of Elo based system and currently has the Zags ranked #12 overall with wins against four top-50 programs and their worst loss coming against #28 Washington State.
- Despite some of the analytics listed above, both the AP and Coaches polls have Gonzaga sitting at #21 in their most recent rankings. While this does represent a jump from #23 immediately after the Stanford win due to Florida State losing, it’s tempting to say that these may be underrating the Bulldogs particularly since their loses have come against #18 Louisville and a Washington State team that was previously ranked and is currently just outside the top 25 in both rankings. The NET rankings are a bit more in-line withe advanced stats and have Gonzaga sitting at #15.
So, as the team looks forward to their upcoming non-conference games, how do you feel about their status right now? Is the offense enough to carry the defense? Will Kayleigh be able to get out of her recent funk? Can Brynna Maxwell go 100% from the free throw line this year? Will Ejim’s propel her to a WNBA draft selection? Who will we see step up from the bench as the year moves forward? I’m interested to hear your thoughts so hit the comments below.