Basketball is a dynamic sport. Players have to move and adjust to situations quickly and be able to make plays on a quick turn. Katy Winge is a dynamic player who has recently shifted from her role as a shooting guard, and moved inside.
Hailing from Eden Prairie, Minn., Winge started playing basketball at a young age. When her youth team needed someone who could dribble the ball, she played a point guard. As she got older, she became a shooting guard and played that position through high school and the first two years of her college career. This year, however, she has taken on a new role as a forward.
“I’m still kind of getting acclimated with how that works, that style of play. But it has been a great transition for me and I’m excited,” Winge said. “I love how versatile I’ve been able to be on the court, how I’ve basically been able to play a two through a four. So that makes the game a lot more fun.”
With each position comes different roles and responsibilities. Winge acknowledges the positives and negatives of each of these, from the excitement and momentum shifts that come from draining three-point shots as a guard to the teamwork and variety that comes with playing at the post.
Being able to set screens and allow her teammates to get open, as well as being able to get involved in rebounding and taking shots closer to the basket, the junior marketing and journalism double major said the new role is reminiscent of her days playing at Minnetonka High School, in Minnetonka, Minn.
The new role inside has been working for Winge. She pulled down a career-best 11 boards in last Friday’s game against Evansville. So far this season, Winge has pulled down 36 total rebounds making Friday night’s performance nearly one third of her season’s work. She says that it has a lot to do with timing. That, and being able to muscle her way through some of the bigger girls — at 5’11, she’s far from being the biggest girl on the court.
“Everyone was like ‘Where did that come from?’ and I was like ‘Well I don’t really know!’ It’s like I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Winge said. “A lot of it is just being smart about it. And trying to figure it out. A lot of times if the shot goes up, the rebound is going to be on the weak side. So it’s just hustling over there and getting there before anybody else.”
The move to this new position came roughly a month ago, with a decision from head coach Barb Smith. Winge says that she feels as though her career-high night last Friday comes from being more comfortable and free in this less familiar situation, after having spent a bit more time in the post as of late.
Despite the changing characteristics and opportunities, Winge was not willing to say that her game had changed dramatically since making the switch. Freedom, in the ability to move around the court, “crash the board,” and “pick and pop,” she says, is what makes her new role unique.
If you watch her closely, Winge does not only take on many faces in her game, but also more literally. She says she has not noticed, but is not surprised, that she makes a lot of faces and shows a lot of emotion when she’s on the court. And others have taken notice as well.
“Coach was actually just talking [on Wednesday] about how during our game at Southern we were in overtime and she just saw this look on my face that I was determined that we weren’t going to lose that game,” Winge said. “We’ve been talking a lot about having hunger and determination in our eyes. She said she definitely saw that … especially when we came back to our bench to regroup before overtime.
“I’m definitely an emotional player. I’m just so passionate about everything that I do in every aspect in my life. And I kind of wear what I’m feeling on my sleeve. So that doesn’t surprise me at all that [people would notice the expressions I make]. I get fired up when big plays happen, and I get even more determined when things aren’t going our way. I really pride myself on playing with a lot of energy.” - Katy Winge, ISU women’s basketball player