Five Thoughts on the 2022-23 Kansas State Women’s Basketball Season
The Kansas State Wildcats finished 19-17 in 2022-23 in Big 12 women’s basketball and here are five thoughts on the team and the future with the season concluded.
I’m not sure anyone knew quite what to expect from Kansas State without center Ayoka Lee, who missed the season due to knee surgery. Kansas State announced it was just fine with its 84-83 win over Iowa at home in the season’s third game. Kansas State was 1-0 against ranked teams and 3-1 against Power 6 teams going into Big 12 play. It’s the only ranked team the Wildcats played, but they carry a 3-1 record against Power 6 opponents into league play, along with a win over future Big 12 rival Houston.
Kansas State certainly struggled in Big 12 play. The Wildcats started 1-5 in the first third of the season, but did manage a couple of wins over the league’s traditional powers, Baylor and Iowa State, the latter of which was ranked at the time.
Despite the struggles, the Wildcats remained better than .500, defeated Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament and earned a berth into the Women’s NIT. There, the Wildcats won their first two games before falling to Washington in the third round.
Turns out it was transfer Gabby Gregory that picked up the scoring slack left by Lee. The former Oklahoma Sooner averaged a team-leading 18.5 points, along with 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists
She joined two holdovers in double figures. Guard Serena Sundell, an All-Big 12 Freshman a year ago, averaged 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.0 steals. That earned her All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection. Guard Jaelyn Glenn averaged 11.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a team-leading 2.5 steals.
Guard Brylee Glenn averaged 8.3 points and 2.8 rebounds, while forward Sarah Shematsi added 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds.
Three other Wildcats — guard Emilee Ebert, forward Eliza Maupin and forward Heavenly Greer — played in 30 or more games. Guard Rebekah Dallinger and center Taylor Lauterbach played in more than 20.
Honestly? Not much. Shemasti was a grad transfer and should be out of eligibility. Ebert is a senior but has a COVID waiver if she wishes to use it. Lee is listed as a senior but has already announced she will return next season.
Who’s Staying and Who’s Coming In?
Lee will be back and Ebert has a decision to make. The rest of the roster is eligible to return, barring transfer decisions.
Gregory announced this week she would use her COVID waiver and play another season. Beyond that there’s Sundell, Brylee Glenn, Jaelyn Glenn, Dallinger, Greer, Lauterbach, freshman guard Ja’Mia Harris, freshman guard Mikayla Parks, freshman forward Eliza Maupin, freshman guard Mimi Gatewood, sophomore forward Gisela Sanchez.
Put it all together and that’s 14 players.
Then there are the two players coach Jeff Mittie signed in November during the early-signing period. That includes guard Alexis Hess of Fleetwood, Penn., and guard Taryn Sides of Phillipsburg, Kan.
That’s 16 players, potentially. Some players are going to have to be patient.
If you’re Mittie, just keep this thing together. Gregory is the leading returning scorer in the Big 12 for next season. Pairing her with a returning Lee, along with Sundell and the Glenn sisters and this team will be impossible to deal with in Big 12 action. As for the rest of the roster use the summer to keep developing and getting better. Next season could be something special.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard