ISU WBB practice 2020-9

On Wednesday Redbird men and women's basketball had their first official practice of the season. 

Illinois State University’s women’s basketball is set to make their expected return this week. However, without a non-conference schedule officially announced and the men’s program opting out of the Golden Window Classic, the return of Redbird sports continues to appear uncertain. Nonetheless, the fifth-ranked Illinois State women’s basketball team looks to continue its history of finishing higher than their preseason ranks.

ISUvsUNI_women's basketball_ redmond shooting

While not a starter JuJu Redmond made a huge impact for the Redbirds.

A new team landscape:

The Redbirds suffer some heavy losses due to graduation this year, which will drastically affect the makeup of the program. TeTe Maggett, Megan Talbot and dual-sport athlete Lexi Wallen have all graduated and moved on from Illinois State. The three-alumnae accounted for half of the team’s points production during the previous season. Needless to say, the landscape of the team is anticipated to be much different for the upcoming season.

“I think it is going to be a more well spread-out offense. We are going to have different people each night be the leading scorer, which will be a nice change,” head women’s basketball coach Kristen Gillespie said.

Gillespie believes that transfer senior Juliunn Redmond will step in to fill some of the gaps left from those seniors. The reigning Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year averaged 11.1 points per game in her Redbird debut season. Redmond is expected to lead a talented group of upperclassmen to help guide the program’s success.

“JuJu will probably be at the face of our program right now — that lead scorer,” Gillespie stated. “I thought that Paige Saylor scored the ball really well down the stretch, she has to do that for us. Mary Crompton is one of the better shooters in the league. Mary has gotten much better; she was good last year, and she has added a lot to her game.”

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Gillespie’s eye for new talent:

Gillespie is known for having a keen eye for scouting talented transfer players. It has helped the program bring in players with experience who have a quicker impact on team chemistry and efficiency to win games. This year, the Redbirds welcome more freshmen and lowerclassmen faces than transfers this year, hoping the new, talented blood will help fill the gaps left by the departure of key senior players. Three new signees to look out for who could push the development of winning culture for the program:

DeAnna Wilson is a 6-foot-2 forward and sophomore from St. Louis. Wilson previously attended Moberly Area Community College. As a freshman, she led the Lady Greyhounds to a NJCAA National Tournament. Wilson averaged 15.6 points per game, 52.5% from the field and 9.7 rebounds. With her ability to score and play well defensively, Wilson can deliver for the Redbirds on both ends of the court.

Kate Bullman is a 6-foot-2 forward and freshman from Grayslake. Bullman attended Grayslake Central High School, where she earned three Daily Herald All-Area selection and named captain of the 2020 All-Area Team. In her senior year, Bullman averaged over 19 points and 10 rebounds per game and averaged a double-double for two consecutive seasons. She’s Grayslake Central’s all-time leader in rebounds and blocks and finished top five in points, steals and assists. Bullman is a two-way player that brings height, scoring ability and leadership well suited for Gillespie’s team.

Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor is a 6-foot-3 forward and freshman out of Westside High School from Omaha, Nebraska. McGinnis-Taylor averaged 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds during her senior year. She made the 2020 Super-State Third team, All-State Second team, All-Metro First team selection and is Westside’s single-season record holder in number of rebounds and second all-time in rebounds. McGinnis-Taylor will add to the list of many recruits from Nebraska, comparable to former Redbird and Nebraska native Simone Goods. McGinnis-Taylor will come up big in the paint as far as scoring and getting the ball for the Redbirds.

Women's basketball @ North Dakota State 18

Mary Crompton (3) gets a high five from a teammate after making a basket on Wednesday might's home opener.

Key Returners:

Gillespie is known for having a keen eye for scouting talented transfer players. It has helped the program bring in players with experience who have a quicker impact on team chemistry and efficiency to win games. This year, the Redbirds welcome more freshmen and lowerclassmen faces than transfers this year, hoping the new, talented blood will help fill the gaps left by the departure of key senior players. Three new signees to look out for who could push the development of winning culture for the program:

DeAnna Wilson is a 6-foot-2 forward and sophomore from St. Louis. Wilson previously attended Moberly Area Community College. As a freshman, she led the Lady Greyhounds to a NJCAA National Tournament. Wilson averaged 15.6 points per game, 52.5% from the field and 9.7 rebounds. With her ability to score and play well defensively, Wilson can deliver for the Redbirds on both ends of the court.

Kate Bullman is a 6-foot-2 forward and freshman from Grayslake. Bullman attended Grayslake Central High School, where she earned three Daily Herald All-Area selection and named captain of the 2020 All-Area Team. In her senior year, Bullman averaged over 19 points and 10 rebounds per game and averaged a double-double for two consecutive seasons. She’s Grayslake Central’s all-time leader in rebounds and blocks and finished top five in points, steals and assists. Bullman is a two-way player that brings height, scoring ability and leadership well suited for Gillespie’s team.

Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor is a 6-foot-3 forward and freshman out of Westside High School from Omaha, Nebraska. McGinnis-Taylor averaged 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds during her senior year. She made the 2020 Super-State Third team, All-State Second team, All-Metro First team selection and is Westside’s single-season record holder in number of rebounds and second all-time in rebounds. McGinnis-Taylor will add to the list of many recruits from Nebraska, comparable to former Redbird and Nebraska native Simone Goods. McGinnis-Taylor will come up big in the paint as far as scoring and getting the ball for the Redbirds.

Illinois State University’s women’s basketball is set to make their expected return this week. However, without a non-conference schedule officially announced and the men’s program opting out of the Golden Window Classic, the return of Redbird sports continues to appear uncertain. Nonetheless, the fifth-ranked Illinois State women’s basketball team looks to continue its history of finishing higher than their preseason ranks.

DARNYSHA MITCHELL is Sports Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at dmitch3@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @DarnyshaM 


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