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Upset of the Year

 
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PickledGinger



Joined: 04 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: 01/10/21 4:27 pm    ::: Upset of the Year Reply Reply with quote

Picked to finish last in the Pac-12, WASHINGTON STATE just took down #7 Arizona in overtime.

After hitting the bucket that sent the game to overtime, freshman Charlisse Lager-Walker won it on a very contested drive and scoop with her off hand. She is LEGIT! And, I never thought I would say this, so is WSU.

Absolutely a Top 25 team.


tfan



Joined: 31 May 2010
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PostPosted: 01/10/21 10:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I noticed that Washington State was 5-1 in the PAC-12 and went to look at their roster to see what level recruits they had gotten recently. Their roster is mostly from outside the country (maybe a record for a D1 school) so can't be looked up on HoopGurlz : [Australia, New Zealand, New Zealand, Turkey, Israel, Canada, Australia, Estonia, Rwanda].

Grace Sarver (Seattle, WA) was ranked #107 by Prospects Nation (#26 at guard). Celena Molina (Kealakekua, Hawaii) was #87 rated guard (not overall) in 2017. Chanelle Molina (Kealakekua, Hawaii) was #17 rated point guard (not overall) by ESPN HoopGurlz in 2016.


calbearman76



Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: 01/10/21 10:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Certainly based on preseason projections this was a major upset. But based on what has happened so far this year it isn't quite so surprising. Arizona has been a disappointment so far. Aari McDonald has played well but not up to expectations based on the last 2 seasons. She is a high volume shooter who hits just over 40% and only 30% from 3. Cate Reese has not progressed the past two seasons. Sam Thomas has been a defensive stalwart, but elevated to starting status this year she is an offensive liability. Perhaps the most intriguing stat is that Thomas shot her first FT of the season today, even though she plays more minutes than anyone other than McDonald.

As for Washington St, this a very talented team. All 5 starters for the Cougars are foreign and there are only 2 players from the Continental US, both of whom average less than 3 points per game. Krystal Leger-Walker is a senior transfer from Northern Colorado who last played 2 years ago. She and her sister, freshman Charlisse, hail from New Zealand. Krystal is their leading scorer (19ppg) while Charlisse is their top 3pt shooter (48%). A third starter, Johanna Teder, is from Estonia and played last year for South Plains CC. The two starters who return are Ula Motuga from Australia and Bella Murakatete from Rwanda. Motuga played well down the stretch last season, but the team was completely centered around Borislava Hrtiskova and Chanelle Molina. I don't really remember Muratakete. She started every game in the Pac 12 regular season, but in the Pac 12 tournament (the only time I saw them last season) she played only 13 minutes.

Given the nearly completely new roster it was hard to know how talented this team is but it appears they are the 5th best team in the Pac 12 which should be good enough to make the NCAA tournament.

You might wonder when was the last time the Cougars made the Tournament. I did. Answer in two hours


PickledGinger



Joined: 04 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: 01/11/21 12:42 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

calbearman76 wrote:
Krystal Leger-Walker is a senior transfer from Northern Colorado who last played 2 years ago. She and her sister, freshman Charlisse, hail from New Zealand. Krystal is their leading scorer (19ppg) while Charlisse is their top 3pt shooter (48%).


Other way around. Freshman Charlisse is leading the team, and the Pac 12, in scoring. While she hasn't been particularly efficient as a shooter, she is THE reason why the Cougs are experiencing this renaissance. Her teammates wouldn't be playing up to this level without her, including her older sister. She is also the youngest player, at 16, to play for the New Zealand's senior national team. Their mother, Leanne, was an Olympic point guard for the Kiwis. She is the type of elevatory player every coach prays for. Unlike Char, Krystal isn't a future WNBA player, but she'll have a nice career in Australia.

I'd also note that there hasn't been a foreign born WBCA/Kodak All-American born outside the USA since Svetlana Abrosimova. Charlisse Leger-Walker might change that.


Stormeo



Joined: 14 Jul 2019
Posts: 1910
Location: Seattle, WA


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PostPosted: 01/11/21 12:49 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

tfan wrote:
Celena Molina (Kealakekua, Hawaii) was #87 rated guard (not overall) in 2017. Chanelle Molina (Kealakekua, Hawaii) was #17 rated point guard (not overall) by ESPN HoopGurlz in 2016.

Chanelle is the eldest sister of the 3, but she graduated last year. The one who went unmentioned here and is currently on the team is Cherilyn, the youngest sister (at least as it relates to the 3 of them; I wouldn't be surprised if they had more basketball-playing siblings lol). Between Cherilyn and Celena, Cherilyn is the one who's actually in WSU's guard rotation this season. Cherilyn was the #27 rated point guard (not overall) by ESPN HoopGurlz in 2018.

All these sister acts are not easy to keep track of on this team. If Chanelle Molina hadn't graduated last season, then both sets of sisters (including the two Leger-Walker's) would be on the team all at the same time. Razz



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calbearman76



Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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Location: Carson City


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PostPosted: 01/11/21 2:37 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Washington St has only 1 appearance in the NCAA, an 82-62 loss to Northwestern on March 13, 1991. And another example of the futility of the Cougars, their record against ranked teams coming into this season was 18-175. This year the Cougars are 2-1 in ranked games, having beaten Oregon St and losing to Oregon earlier. The win over #7 ranked Arizona is only the second time the Cougs have beaten a team as high as #7 (UCLA was also ranked 7 when WSU beat them in January 6, 2017.)


calbearman76



Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 4480
Location: Carson City


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PostPosted: 01/11/21 2:42 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PickledGinger wrote:
calbearman76 wrote:
Krystal Leger-Walker is a senior transfer from Northern Colorado who last played 2 years ago. She and her sister, freshman Charlisse, hail from New Zealand. Krystal is their leading scorer (19ppg) while Charlisse is their top 3pt shooter (48%).


Other way around. Freshman Charlisse is leading the team, and the Pac 12, in scoring. While she hasn't been particularly efficient as a shooter, she is THE reason why the Cougs are experiencing this renaissance. Her teammates wouldn't be playing up to this level without her, including her older sister. She is also the youngest player, at 16, to play for the New Zealand's senior national team. Their mother, Leanne, was an Olympic point guard for the Kiwis. She is the type of elevatory player every coach prays for. Unlike Char, Krystal isn't a future WNBA player, but she'll have a nice career in Australia.

I'd also note that there hasn't been a foreign born WBCA/Kodak All-American born outside the USA since Svetlana Abrosimova. Charlisse Leger-Walker might change that.


Thank you for the correction.


GEF34



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 13756
Location: Los Angeles


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PostPosted: 01/11/21 6:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

calbearman76 wrote:
Certainly based on preseason projections this was a major upset. But based on what has happened so far this year it isn't quite so surprising. Arizona has been a disappointment so far. Aari McDonald has played well but not up to expectations based on the last 2 seasons. She is a high volume shooter who hits just over 40% and only 30% from 3. Cate Reese has not progressed the past two seasons. Sam Thomas has been a defensive stalwart, but elevated to starting status this year she is an offensive liability. Perhaps the most intriguing stat is that Thomas shot her first FT of the season today, even though she plays more minutes than anyone other than McDonald.

As for Washington St, this a very talented team. All 5 starters for the Cougars are foreign and there are only 2 players from the Continental US, both of whom average less than 3 points per game. Krystal Leger-Walker is a senior transfer from Northern Colorado who last played 2 years ago. She and her sister, freshman Charlisse, hail from New Zealand. Krystal is their leading scorer (19ppg) while Charlisse is their top 3pt shooter (48%). A third starter, Johanna Teder, is from Estonia and played last year for South Plains CC. The two starters who return are Ula Motuga from Australia and Bella Murakatete from Rwanda. Motuga played well down the stretch last season, but the team was completely centered around Borislava Hrtiskova and Chanelle Molina. I don't really remember Muratakete. She started every game in the Pac 12 regular season, but in the Pac 12 tournament (the only time I saw them last season) she played only 13 minutes.

Given the nearly completely new roster it was hard to know how talented this team is but it appears they are the 5th best team in the Pac 12 which should be good enough to make the NCAA tournament.

You might wonder when was the last time the Cougars made the Tournament. I did. Answer in two hours


Sam Thomas has started every game of her career at Arizona to this point and was the 3rd leading scorer on the team last year. When she has started slow this season I don’t see the “offensive liability” label and even if she were it wouldn’t have anything to do with being a starter. Also you don’t become one of the few people in program history to scorer 1,000+ career points by being an offense liability.



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calbearman76



Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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Location: Carson City


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PostPosted: 01/11/21 10:56 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GEF34 wrote:
calbearman76 wrote:
Certainly based on preseason projections this was a major upset. But based on what has happened so far this year it isn't quite so surprising. Arizona has been a disappointment so far. Aari McDonald has played well but not up to expectations based on the last 2 seasons. She is a high volume shooter who hits just over 40% and only 30% from 3. Cate Reese has not progressed the past two seasons. Sam Thomas has been a defensive stalwart, but elevated to starting status this year she is an offensive liability. Perhaps the most intriguing stat is that Thomas shot her first FT of the season today, even though she plays more minutes than anyone other than McDonald.

As for Washington St, this a very talented team. All 5 starters for the Cougars are foreign and there are only 2 players from the Continental US, both of whom average less than 3 points per game. Krystal Leger-Walker is a senior transfer from Northern Colorado who last played 2 years ago. She and her sister, freshman Charlisse, hail from New Zealand. Krystal is their leading scorer (19ppg) while Charlisse is their top 3pt shooter (48%). A third starter, Johanna Teder, is from Estonia and played last year for South Plains CC. The two starters who return are Ula Motuga from Australia and Bella Murakatete from Rwanda. Motuga played well down the stretch last season, but the team was completely centered around Borislava Hrtiskova and Chanelle Molina. I don't really remember Muratakete. She started every game in the Pac 12 regular season, but in the Pac 12 tournament (the only time I saw them last season) she played only 13 minutes.

Given the nearly completely new roster it was hard to know how talented this team is but it appears they are the 5th best team in the Pac 12 which should be good enough to make the NCAA tournament.

You might wonder when was the last time the Cougars made the Tournament. I did. Answer in two hours


Sam Thomas has started every game of her career at Arizona to this point and was the 3rd leading scorer on the team last year. When she has started slow this season I don’t see the “offensive liability” label and even if she were it wouldn’t have anything to do with being a starter. Also you don’t become one of the few people in program history to scorer 1,000+ career points by being an offense liability.


My bad. That was supposed to say star status, not starting status. I made this point because she was included as All Pac-12 in the preseason. But as to her offense, she has dropped off considerably this season. Her FG% is 36% and 3pt% is 29%, down from 42% and 34% for her first 3 years. And only 1 FT in 10 games means that she isn't even threatening on offense. She scored her 1,000th point in her 108th game which is good for a defensive player, but this year she is only averaging 6.3 points. I didn't mean to imply that Thomas isn't a solid player, but her offensive inneffectiveness this season is, in my estimation, one of the reasons Arizona has not lived up to their preseason hype.


Phil



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: 01/15/21 2:27 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It was an upset, and it was upsetting to Arizona fans (that would be me), but not because it was such a monumental upset because of how it played out.

Massey picked Arizona to win by two, which is a hairs breadth away from a pick 'em.

The upsetting part was that Arizona played decently early and built up a substantial double-digit lead which they maintained until late in the third period, then went cold and played poorly.


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