By: Lauren Rosenberg
Missouri women’s basketball team is entering its ninth season under Head Coach Robin Pingeton with high hopes of going far in the 2019 NCAA Women’s basketball tournament, after losing in the first round to No. 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast last season.
Missouri has an ample amount of guards that will keep the backcourt safe in case of injury. However, the frontcourt is now razor thin with only four forwards listed on the roster.
The Tigers lost key components to last years team to the graduation, including forwards Kayla Michael, Bri Porter and Jordan Frericks and the medical retirement of Cierra Porter. Despite losing them, the Tiger brought in two recruits, Grace Berg and Brittany Garner. They brought back junior Hannah Schuchts and sophomore Emmanuelle Tahane.
All of the guards from the 2017-2018 team are back for the Tigers as well. Haley Troup is back off of her redshirt season. Missouri also brought in Akira Levy after she decommitted from Western Kentucky University. The addition of Levy means 10 totals guards on the roster.
Returning are sophomores Kelsey Winfrey, Nadia Green, former Rock Bridge star Elle Brown, juniors Jordan Roundtree, Amber Smith, Jordan Chavis, and seniors Lauren Aldridge, and of course the “Mayor of Columbia,” Sophie Cunningham.
KCOU Sports’ Lauren Rosenberg takes a deep dive into each player before offering her predictions of the depth chart.
#2 Akira Levy-Guard (Fr., Baxter, Tn.)
Levy comes to Missouri from Upperman High School in Tennessee where she led her team to three straight state finals and led the team to two titles, in 2017 and 2018. Levy originally committed to Western Kentucky University, but flipped her commitment to Missouri in early May. Levy, a four-star recruit, she boasted a stat line of 25 points, 9.4 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game as a senior.
#11 Haley Troup-Guard (RS-Fr., Gadsen, Al.)
Troup joined the tigers squad in late August 2017 as a transfer from Missouri rival, South Carolina. She wasn’t allowed to play last season after already being enrolled and taking classes at South Carolina. Once a three-star recruit, she averaged 19.4 points and seven rebounds per game as a senior in Alabama.
#43 Grace Berg-Forward (Fr., Indianola, Ia.)
Berg comes to Missouri from Indianola High School, where she led the Indians to an overall 86-12 record in her four years there. Considered a five-star recruit and 2nd overall player in Iowa, she averaged 20.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3 steals per game as a senior.
#45 Brittany Garner-Forward (Fr., Philadelphia)
Garner was a late addition to the tigers freshman squad. Garner comes to Missouri from Winslow Township High School (New Jersey) where she was selected as an Olympic Conference Player of the Week twice. Considered a four-star recruit, Garner averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds per game her senior year.
#1 Kelsey Winfrey-Guard (So., Lebanon, Mo.)
Winfrey saw the court in only 12 games during the last minutes of blowout wins. Winfrey averaged 0.8 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.3 assists over 2.4 minutes per game. Expect her to see some more minutes this season and get off the bench in majority of the games but the bulk of her minutes will be just like last season, in the final minutes of blowouts.
#10 Nadia Green-Guard (So., Chicago)
Green appeared in 19 games last season in the last minutes of blowout wins, just like Winfrey. She averaged 1.1 points, 0.3 assists and 1.1 rebounds over 6.4 minutes per game. Expect to see her get some more minutes but to remain coming off the bench in the last minutes of blowout games.
#12 Elle Brown-Guard (So., Columbia)
Brown appeared in 12 games last season in the last minute of blowout wins, like Winfrey and Green. She averaged 1 point, 0.5 assists, and 0.4 rebounds over 4.6 minutes per game. E Brown to surpass Winfrey and Green on the bench and earn more minutes and significant play time.
#34 Emmanuelle Tahane (So., Bondy, France)
Out of all of the players in her class, Tahane saw the most game appearances and the most minutes. She appeared in 26 games averaging 1.2 points, 0.3 assists and 0.9 rebounds over 5.6 minutes per game. Due to the lack of forwards, expect to see Tahane get a bulk of minutes and be the sixth or seventh player off the bench.
#13 Hannah Schuchts-Forward (RS-Jr., Tallahassee, Fl.)
Schuchts appeared in 31 games last season averaging 2.4 points, 0.4 assists 1.5 rebounds per game over 7.8 minutes per game. She is a very efficient 3 point shooter and gave Missouri a boost from beyond the arc whenever her name was called. Due to the lack of forwards, Schuchts will more than likely be starting for Missouri this season.
#22 Jordan Roundtree-Guard (Jr., St. Louis)
Roundtree appeared in all 32 games last season averaging 1.6 points, 0.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game over 8.8 minutes per game. During exhibition, Roundtree earned significant minutes and started in the second game against Washburn. I expect to see Roundtree to be tossed between starter and 6th/7th person off the bench.
#23 Amber Smith-Guard (Jr., Shreveport, La.)
After a breakout second half of the 2017 season, Smith secured her spot as a starter for Missouri. Last season, she started in all 32 games averaging 9.3 points 1.9 assists and 5.3 rebounds over 25.4 minutes per game. Smith is a lock to start once again for Missouri.
#24 Jordan Chavis-Guard (Jr., Lexington, Nc.)
Chavis appeared in all 32 games and started 1 game for the tigers averaging 5.5 points, 1.5 assists and 2 rebounds over 20.2 minutes per game. Chavis proved to be a vital bench piece for Missouri as she was able to step up and produce whenever her name was called which allowed for her to start a game in place of the then injured Sophie Cunningham. Expect her to continue to be a huge piece off the bench again this season.
#3 Sophie Cunningham-Guard (Sr., Columbia)
Cunningham is a no brainer to be starting and starring for this team. She is the unquestioned leader of this young Tigers squad, and has every reason to be. Cunningham started in 31 games last season, was out for one game due to injury, and averaged 15.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 32.7 minutes per game. She was the sole player in the nation to shoot over 50% from the field, 45.7% from beyond the arc and 80% from the charity strike. Specifically, she averaged 54.2% from the field, 45% from beyond the arc and 83.6% from the charity stripe. Cunnigham was named to the Preseason All-SEC First team in October.
#5 Lauren Aldridge-Guard (RS-Sr., Marshfield, Mo.)
Before becoming a Tiger, Aldridge excelled as a guard for the Kansas Jayhawks from 2014-2016. After sitting out the 2016-2017 due to NCAA transfer rules, she solidified herself as a fantastic floor general for Missouri. She started all 32 games for Missouri and averaged 6.7 points and 3.5 assists in 32.1 minutes per game. Aldridge is known for being a court analyzer as she penciled herself into the program record book for the lowest assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2. She is also a lock to start this season for Missouri.
Depth Chart Prediction
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Akira Levy||Lauren Adridge||Amber Smith||Sophie Cunningham*||Hannah Schuchts|
|Jordan Roundtree||Haley Troup||Grace Berg||Emmanuelle Tahane|
|Elle Brown||Jordan Chavis||Brittany Garner|
|Kelsey Winfrey||Nadia Green|
Edited by Garrett Jones | email@example.com