If Lane Kiffin is the Portal King, I am telling you right now that Coach Yo is the Portal Queen. She has put Ole Miss Women’s basketball on the map like never before. Her personality shines through everyday and has made this a place for top players to now consider. She was in on the No. 1 overall recruit y’all.
The season ended in a somewhat disappointing showing, but their season overall was no disappointment. With the departure of Shakira Austin to the WNBA Draft (now with the Washington Mystics), who will the Lady Rebels depend on this season?
Most importantly, Angel Baker is back. Let’s just get that out of the way. One of the best guards in the conference is still here and still just as important to the success of the team. Also poised for a breakout season is Madison Scott. Often overshadowed by the dominance of Shakira Austin, it is now Scott’s turn to lead the Rebel frontcourt.
The team’s leading three point shooter* returns in Snudda Collins. The 6’1 forward should remain in the starting lineup as her all around impact and energy is vital for the Rebels.
*only 44 made threes on 30% shooting
Destiny Salary is also back for Coach Yo. She had a 15 point 8 rebound game against Cincinnati last season, but only averaged 14 minutes per contest. With the number of transfers coming in, it will be interesting to see her role play out. Senior Jordan Berry also returns to the program.
The New Girls
There are only two incoming freshman this season as the Rebels look poised to “win now.” Marta Ostojic comes to us all the way from Croatia. She is a 6’1 wing that played for the Croatian National Team and averaged 16 points per game in Croatia’s top league. Will be an unique fit on this roster.
The other freshman is Ayanna Thompson from Desoto, TX. She is a 6’0, four star guard that will spend her freshman year learning the ropes and preparing to take over once the likes of Angel Baker and Myah Taylor depart.
Speaking of Myah Taylor, the only three-time Gatorade Player of the Year winner in Mississippi history is finally where she belongs. After spending four years at Mississippi State, the SEC assist leading point guard from last season will be in the Red and Blue this year.
Joining Myah are two former Razorbacks, Marquesha Davis and Elauna Eaton. Both are 6’0 wings that have patiently waited for their chance to have an impact on the court. I believe they are going to get that chance and excel here at Ole Miss, especially Davis as a senior.
Also coming in via transfer are Tyia Singleton (Rutgers), Rita Igbokwe (Pittsburgh) and Brooke Moore (Purdue). That makes SIX power five transfer for this staff. Outside of Myah Taylor as the point guard, I am most interested in seeing 6’4 Rita Igbokwe slot in beside Madison Scott. She was 20th in the country in blocked shots and averaged 7.4 rebounds per game.
There is so much depth on this team it is hard to predict how Coach Yo is going to roll out all of her new pieces. Will Angel Baker be the spark plug off the bench or will she assume a full time starting job? Can Scott and Salary take steps forward in their development? Is this team a Sweet 16 kind of team?
We are about to find out...