Green Bay Phoenix 2022-23 Season Preview

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Under the guidance of legendary head coach Kevin Borseth, the Green Bay women’s basketball team is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2017-18 season. The Phoenix returns their entire roster from a season ago, minus starting point guard Meghan Pingel.

This year, Borseth will have what is likely to be his deepest roster in several years. He returns 92% of scoring from last year’s team, which finished 19-8 (14-4, and 3rd place in the Horizon League). After starting the season 6-5, Green Bay went on to win 12 of their final 13 regular season games, and then bounced Milwaukee in a Horizon League quarterfinal game at the Kress Center. The red-hot Phoenix were then stopped dead in their tracks in a HL semi-final game by a Cleveland State team that nearly upset IUPUI to go to the NCAA Tournament. The Phoenix were knocked out of the first round of the WNIT by Minnesota.

Green Bay has traditionally been successful thanks to a “win by committee” style – the Phoenix assisted on over 64% of their field goals last year, and had seven players average at least five points per game. “The Green Bay Way” has never centered around one superstar, and with a roster as deep as this, that is unlikely to change.

Lineup:

Hailey Oskey – First-team all-Horizon League choice, averaged 12.5 points per game last year, Oskey will be the go-to player for the Phoenix as she enters her fifth year in Green Bay

Bailey Butler – Last year, Butler was the Sixth Player, and Freshman of the Year in the Horizon League, and will be competing for starting point guard duties (more on that below)

Maddy Schreiber – Schreiber returns for her second year in Green Bay after emerging as a critical piece to last year’s young roster. She was also named to last season’s all-freshman team in the Horizon.

Sydney Levy – Levy buried a team-best 48 triples a season ago. The Phoenix has struggled with zone defenses at times, and a sharp-shooter like Levy can quickly shoot a team out of a zone.

Cassie Schiltz – Schiltz is an all-around player for Borseth who does a little bit of everything. She has a lot of length and can score inside and out. She was the team’s second leading scorer at 8.2 per game last season. Look for her to build upon a solid season this coming year.

Brooklyn Blackburn – Blackburn went down with a season-ending injury last year, just as she seemed to catch a stride in Green Bay’s offense. Once she is back to full strength, she could be a breakout player on the Phoenix roster this year.

Other Key Returners:

Julia Hartwig – In a post-heavy conference like the Horizon League, Hartwig provides Green Bay with another option in the front court, and has showed that she can put up solid numbers on the offensive end, like her performance in the HL quarterfinals against Milwaukee where she scored 11 points.

Jasmine Kondrakiewicz – Kondrakiewicz’s role in Green Bay is largely dependent on how much she can stay on the floor. Throughout her first two seasons, she has struggled staying out of foul trouble, but if she can find a way to consistently be out there for Green Bay, she can be a tremendous asset to the Phoenix.

Callie Genke – Genke started a handful of games last year before she eventually lost some minutes to Schreiber, but she is a Phoenix player capable of some breakout games.

Outlook:

Kevin Borseth is known for redshirting many of his first year players and typically develops his own from the ground up, but this year he does not have a true freshman on his roster. This offseason, Green Bay has instead looked to the portal, where Borseth has added three transfers to the roster. Tatum Koenig (Bradley), Natalie McNeal (Saint Louis), and Brehna Evans (St. Cloud State) all arrive in Titletown with impressive resumes. Koenig started all 28 games for Bradley a season ago, averaging 12 points per game. McNeal returns to her home state after playing two seasons at Saint Louis University where she was the team’s third leading scorer last year. Brehna Evans spent four years at St. Cloud State University where she earned NSIC defensive player of the year honors and led St. Cloud State to two consecutive NCAA Division II Tournaments. It is unclear exactly how Borseth will incorporate these individuals into the rotation, but they are likely to play a role in attempting to bring a Horizon League title back to Green Bay.

The most burning question is who will be taking over the role as starting point guard for Green Bay, after the graduation of Meghan Pingel? Will Borseth look to last year’s Horizon League Freshman of the Year in Bailey Butler to run his offense, or will he turn to a more experienced player in Evans or Koenig? Butler showed glimpses of greatness last season, while the veterans Koenig and Evans both bring starting point guard experience to the Green Bay roster. This could be the final and most critical piece that a very talented Phoenix squad needs to rise to the top of the Horizon League once again.

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