Green Bay Phoenix WBB 2023-24 Season Preview

0
974
Photo courtesy of Green Bay Athletics

The Phoenix look to return to NCAA Tournament play in 2024

The 2022-2023 UW-Green Bay women’s basketball season was by all accounts a success. They resumed their championship ways, compiling a 28-6 record overall and going 18-2 in conference. That record was good enough to earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tourney and the outright Horizon League regular season title, the first for the Phoenix since 2018.

While the campaign was a step in the right direction for a program with a championship pedigree, the team came up one game short of winning their 17th Horizon league tournament, and you can bet reigning Horizon League Coach of the Year Kevin Borseth isn’t satisfied with the way the season ended. UWGB’s accomplished and veteran coaching staff will no doubt be aiming to build on last season’s success by once again winning the conference championship tournament and returning to NCAA Tournament play.

The surest path to the big dance is by winning the conference tourney, though, it is possible to receive an at large bid, but to do so Borseth knows they, and the rest of the league will need to have some success in their non – conference schedule. “I thought we had a great year, I was proud of our kids last year and hopefully this year we can build on that, get a little further down the road because I think the goal is to get into the NCAA tournament. Right now for our league it’s winning the tournament, but back to your question how do you get an at large tournament, well we play Maryland, we play Washington State, so we will find out how we stack up there right off the bat but our non-conference schedule is obviously extremely important if we are going to have any opportunity, all of us, to get any post season consideration.”

Lineup

Bailey Butler – Since arriving on the Green Bay campus Butler has exceeded expectations. Her stellar freshman campaign saw the dynamic point guard from South Wayne, Wisconsin named Freshman of the Year, Sixth Player of the Year, and earning a spot on the All-Freshman Team. In 2022 Butler picked up right where she left off being named Second Team All-Horizon League as well as a member of the All-Defensive Team. She averaged 8.5 ppg and 3.9 rebounds while leading the league in assist to turnover ratio. One of the top perimeter players in the league, Butler’s playmaking and defense have been key factors in the Phoenix returning to the top of the League. Expect Butler to take another step forward this season.

Cassie Schiltz – A solid contributor and every game starter last season for the Phoenix in 2022-2023, Schiltz shot 39.6 percent from the field and 86.4 percent from the free throw line while averaging 9.3 ppg and 5.1 rebounds per game. The versatile wing also has playmaking ability and a team first mentality. With 1st team All-Horizon League sniper Sydney Levy graduating, Schiltz has the opportunity and the ability to step into a big role this season.

Maddie Schreiber – Similar to Butler, Schreiber has been excellent since making the short trip from Kimberly to Green Bay, WI. In her first season she shot an impressive 49% from the field, 40% from 3 and 88% from the charity stripe resulting in a selection to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team. While an injury shortened sophomore campaign was disappointing, the injury was the only aspect of her game that disappointed. Schreiber averaged 10 ppg, nearly 4 rebounds and shot 63% in the paint while being a willing facilitator, playmaker and a strong defender. The sky is the limit for Schreiber, don’t be surprised to see her getting player of the year votes in the Horizon League soon.

Jasmine Kondrakiewicz – If Butler is the calming force for this squad, Kondrakiewicz is the spark plug. Whether she is taking charges or blocking shots, since arriving on campus Jasmine has brought passion, tenacity, and toughness, to the Phoenix. She started 22 games averaging 7.5 points and nearly 4 rebounds per game as a true freshman. The last few seasons have seen Kondrakiewicz continue to excel on the court as well as the classroom being named to the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll multiple times. For all her intelligence and toughness she is just as skilled. Kondrakiewicz is a 3 level scorer (she shot 37% from 3 last season) while averaging 8.5 ppg and 4.5 rpg. With the emergence of Jenna Guyer as a true post threat it could free Jasmine to continue playing more of stretch 4 role in which she should thrive.

Jenna Guyer – Following a red shirt freshman campaign, Jenna played in 26 games averaging 14 mpg her sophomore season quickly proving she not only belonged in the Horizon League, but she can be dominant. Guyer is a force in the paint with good size, soft hands, and excellent touch, who can also step out and comfortably knock down mid-range looks.  Guyer shot 53% in the paint and a blistering 94% at the free throw line. She could be in for a big season as she is an excellent fit in a UWGB offense that looks to get the ball in the post early and often.

Key Reserves

Natalie McNeal – McNeal, a Senior from Germantown, WI, and former Billiken standout, transferred to the Phoenix from St. Louis University last season immediately producing in a valuable role off the bench for the Phoenix. She appeared in all 34 games playing nearly 18 minutes per game while averaging 6 ppg and 5 rpg. McNeal gives defenses fits by getting two feet in the paint and creating her own shots in the lane. Natalie shot 45% from the field and posted double doubles in 2 contests. Expect her to play a large role this season by replacing some of the scoring that left with Hailey Oskey and Sydney Levy.

Callie Genke – The athletic and versatile Junior from nearby Wrightstown, WI showed some serious potential in her freshman season. She started 9 games while averaging 3 ppg and shooting 44% from the field with a season high 15 points against Purdue Fort Wayne. Her sophomore season showed growth as Genke took on a larger role after Schreiber’s injury. She played in all 34 games, starting 18, and playing 20 mpg. Callie proved she is a capable shooter from deep and impacted the game with playmaking, defense, and rebounding. Genke could take a big leap this season as her experience from last season should pay dividends going forward.

New Additions

Maren Westin – A 5-8 Freshman guard from Becker, MN is a savvy and crafty lead guard who is dangerous with the ball in her hands, Maren has a history of making big shots and looks to be an important part of what could be an electric recruiting class.

Sophie Lahti – A 6-1 Freshman forward from Pine City, MN. In high school Lahti was a standout multi-sport athlete in Track and Field as well as Basketball. Sophie excelled in AAU on the Nike EYBL circuit playing for North Tartan and appears to have the athleticism, size, length, and skill to be an immediate contributor for the Phoenix.

Meghan Schultz – 6-4 Center from Waukesha, WI. Meghan had an acclaimed high school career at New Berlin West where she holds the schools record in points, rebounds, and blocks. In addition to being a problem on the block, Schultz is mobile with good footwork, defends well and is an excellent rebounder. Schultz could also be a day 1 contributor in this system.

Natalie Anderson – Anderson is a 6-0 Grad Transfer from IUPUI. The Mukwonago native played a large role for the Jaguars last season starting all 30 games averaging 9.4 ppg and 4.5 rpg. She is a good shooter (48% from the field, 36% from 3 and 89% from the free throw line) and was named to the Horizon League Honor Roll.

Outlook

Similar to last season, the expectations for the Phoenix will be championship or bust as they have the talent, depth, and coaching, to be among the top teams in the Horizon League. While they have lost some key pieces from last season, the core of this group is strong enough and ready to once again win a conference tourney solidifying themselves as one of the top mid major women’s basketball programs in the country.

HoriZone Roundtable Prediction

1st Place

Miss anything from Preview Week? Check it all out below:

Predictions

Preseason Poll | All-League

Podcasts

Preview Week Recap Part 1 | Preview Week Recap Part 2

Team Previews

IUPUI | Green Bay | Cleveland State | Milwaukee | Robert Morris | Detroit Mercy
Youngstown State | Wright State | Oakland | Northern Kentucky | Purdue Fort Wayne

Leave a Reply