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What to expect from the CSU women’s basketball team this season

The 2013 tentative starting lineup for the CSU women’s basketball team is filled with new faces. This is a trend not only for the starting lineup, but for the team as a whole. There are a total of six new players and there are high hopes for what they will bring to the table. One of the biggest advantages that this roster has over the previous years is the sheer depth that they have in their players. In their first exhibition game against the Colorado School of Mines, 13 of the 15 girls on the roster saw playing time on the court and each revealed that they had something to prove.

Tentative starting lineup:

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Point Guard AJ Newton 5-foot-3: Newton is a junior transfer from Foothill College in her home state of California. Newton might be the smallest of the team, but her playing is quick and explosive. She is one of the most agile players and has a strong shooting percentage that makes her a threat both on the perimeter and in the paint.

PPG: 20.7 APG 3.0  

Shooting guard Gritt Ryder, 5-foot-10: Ryder is a junior, originally from Denmark, who transferred to CSU from Western Nebraska. Even though the Rams haven’t seen her full potential on the court, Ryder proved herself to be a tough player who can successfully visualize and execute plays. She is a versatile player that can put up numbers across the board.

FG%: .475  PPG: 13.6  APG: 4.9   RPG: 5.5

Forward Ellen Nystrom, 5-foot-11: This freshman came over from Sweden and is one of the many girls on this year’s lineup who traveled from Europe to be part of the team. Nystrom is an all-around player and has a presence on both the offensive and defensive end. Nystrom made a statement in her first two exhibition games and will be one of the CSU’s breakout players this year.

FG%: .453 PPG: 7.3 RBG: 4.3 APG: 2.4 SPG: 2.3

Power Forward Elin Gustavsson 6-foot-3: Another freshmen that has come to play for the Rams from Sweden, Gustavsson is a first-year player to watch out for. Her strong ability to shoot in addition to her height give her a huge advantage on both the offensive and defensive side.

FG%: .478 PPG: 6.3 RPG: 4.0

Center Sam Martin: 6-foot-2 Martin is the only veteran starter in the starting lineup. This is Martin’s last year on the court and she assumed a leadership role. With her solid shooting percentage and rebounding, Martin consistently proved herself  as being a great piece for the Rams to have in the lineup.

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PPG: 12.8  FG%: .434 RPG: 6.7

Key Reserves:

Guard Hayley Thompson 6-foot-1: Thompson is one of the returning players on this year’s team and is a Colorado native, originally from Denver. Thompson brings much-needed experience and seniority to the team that has a lot of new and young faces. Thompson’s solid leadership and her ability to play good defense and get much-needed rebounds will make her a huge asset coming off the bench.

PPG: 3.6 RPG: 4.0

Forward Kara Spotton 6-foot-2: Kara Spotton will be starting her third season with the Rams after playing for Rocky Mountain High School. Her experience with this Rams team coupled with her ability to put extra points on the board will benefit this Ram’s depth.

RBG: 2.6 PPG: 5

Guard Caitlin Duffy 5-foot-11: Entering her second year playing for the Rams, Duffy brings an element of toughness and ferocity to the court. She is able to put up points coming off the bench, but the tough playing style that she brings to the court is a huge asset for the Rams to have in their reserves.

RPG: 3.8 PPG: 10.5

Forward Alicia Nichols 6-foot-0:  Another returning member to the lineup and another Colorado native who played for Brush High School. Nichols played in all 30 games last year and had the second highest shooting percentage on the team. This, in addition to her ability to get rebounds, will allow her to be yet another major addition for the Rams coming off the bench.

RPG:3.2 PPG:5.7 FG%: .432

Key matchups:

Nov. 12 vs. University of Colorado:

The Rams will be tested in their camaraderie and have to prove their standing in the state early in the season as they take on a major in-state rival and are currently ranked as the No. 19 program in the country.

Dec. 8 at University of Denver:

CSU will face another home state rival with this program that his consistently proven themselves to be placed in the “elite” category.

Jan. 11 at Fresno State:

One of CSU’s most consistent conference rivalries will prove to be a huge test for the Rams. Fresno has been picked to win the Mountain West Conference and this game will give the Rams an opportunity to have their name placed back in the conference title conversation.

Feb. 22 at Wyoming:

This game will serve both as a major rivalry game as well as another in-conference test. The Cowboys are ranked number two in the conference and this game will come at a point where it will be crucial for the Rams to get a win and put themselves in a good position going into the conference tournament.

Collegian Staff Reporter Hannah Cornish can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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