SPRINGFIELD–Ain’t it crazy how fast time flies? Nearly 5 months ago, the Missouri State women’s basketball season came to an end. Head Coach Beth Cunningham went from walking into a job essentially seen as a complete rebuild, and yet, helped turn the Lady Bears into a postseason team.
Well Thursday afternoon, Coach Cunningham and the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference women’s head coaches got together to give an update on the state of the program, what to expect for the upcoming campaign, and which new faces may turn some heads this winter.
For fans of the maroon and white, there’s a lot to be excited about.
Sure, the team lost key veterans Sydney Wilson and point guard Aniya Thomas, but they still have the front court trio of India Green, Kennedy Taylor, and Jade Masogayo, who’s dominance on the glass helped the Lady Bears lead the valley with 16 offensive rebounds per game. Their growth and maturity coming into this season will play a paramount role in the unit’s success.
“They were, obviously, young last year,” said Lady Bears Head Coach Beth Cunningham. “Kennedy Taylor had been a transfer from Colorado had just gotten a ton of experience last year, and really, I think things started to click with her. You look at Jade Masagayo who was a freshman, no experience, having that freshman year under her belt was huge. I think she’s really picked up where she left off. And then you look at someone like India Greene who was such a force for us on the boards. I’ve actually moved her a little bit to a guard position to be honest to see if we can work her into the three. I’ve been really pleased with the progress of India just being able to be more of a guard than stuck inside where she has most of her career.”
Taylor averaged 12.3 points per game and led the team with 8.5 rebounds per game. She ranked 13th nationally and 1st in the MVC with 4 offensive rebounds a game.
Green was one of two players to start all 32 games for MSU. She averaged 7.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Green finished the season ranked 6th in the MVC in offensive rebounds per game (2.5), 7th in total boards per game and 9th in defensive rebounds per game (4.7)
Masagayo earned Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year honors and was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team. She played in all 32 games as a true freshman, earning three starts, while averaging 8.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, while leading the team with a .526 field goal percentage.