WBB: My Kingdom for a Point Guard

If one feels good about State's women's basketball team beating Presbyterian on Saturday 76-30 stop; just stop. Two years ago State beat this same school's women's basketball team 74-27, and State did not even make the WNIT. The Hose just does not have at this time an ACC caliber player. Early in the game it looked like number 22 Sonda Burnside, a six-three freshman, was of that caliber, but as the game progressed it was clear that she was not-at least not as a freshman.

With Markeisha Gatling being taller, bigger and better than any inside player for the Hose and "bustin" her "hiney" to get position, it would have been nice if at least one State guard could have made a number of decent entry passes to her. But alas, it was not so. At one point after Goodwin-Coleman attempted such a pass, a vocal fan of hers voiced a loud negative at the poor entry pass she made. I was hoping after watching Len'Nique Brown in the Auburn game because she has more offensive ability than Goodwin-Coleman would take over the point, but after watching her play in more games, it is clear that she is a "shoot first type of girl" better suited to the number two guard. However, defensively and offensively challenged five-nine Krystal Barrett maintains that position. While Barrett's defensively liabilities are often apparent, her offense seems good until one watches her do something like she did Saturday. What she did was drive to the hoop against the Blue Hose for what should have been an easy bank shot and shoot the ball over the backboard.

The 2010 State women's team did not take off until Marissa Kastanek took over the point. After Kastanek did that State played in the ACC tournament championship game and went to Harper's only NCAA appearance. I was hoping that Kastanek would remain at point guard even though she had some ball handling deficiencies. With Kastanek's high basketball I.Q. and her overall talent, I feel that she could have overcome those deficiencies and by this time be one of the best point guards in the conference. Too late now for that.

How about five-eleven Ashley Eli. She played some point late in the game Saturday. Eli might have some ball handling problems at first, but again, with her talent she could overcome them. I wrote earlier that she does play good defense and Harper agrees in a GoPack article:

"I thought Ashley Eli's defense was really strong. She did a really nice job on Ali Ford. I don't think she scored when Ashley was guarding her in the second half."

Additionally, Eli has good offensive skills and is not turnover prone.

If Harper is released in the near future, whom (or is it who) would make a good coach for women's basketball. How about Gail Goestenkors who recently resigned at Texas. I am curious. Due to the success of Duke's men's teams, a half decent women's coach should be successful. Goestenkors was successful at Duke, but could she be at State.

Despite Harper's lack of success at State, I could support her getting an extension of a few years to find out if she can better recruit, recruiting being her problem, in view of the recent success of the men's team. Having a successful men's team enables a women's coach to better recruit. UNC, Duke, State and Maryland are examples. Maryland had one of the best women's teams when their men's team was dominate in the 70's and 80's. The Maryland women's team faltered when the men's team faltered, and rebounded when Williams led Maryland to a national championship. Everyone knows how good UNC's and Duke's men's teams have been and likewise their women's team. It is an indicator of how good a coach Yow was in that some of her best teams happened when the men's teams were very bad, but she had been an outstanding coach for a long time by the time the men's teams faltered. So, Harper could improve if the men's team continues their climb in men's college basketball.

One More Thing:

I would love to see Marissa Kastanek be good selfish like Kody Burke. Kody is going to get her shots and points, and State needs her too. State also needs Marissa to get her shots and points. She needs to be more selfish in this regard. Twice Saturday with the shot clock running out, Marissa had to point out to her guards where to set the pick so that she could use the pick to drive into the lane and hit her deadly short jumper. Kody and Marissa are State's All ACC players, and each needs to score well into double digits for State.

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