Two games in three nights and your Hoopscribe saw the future of MAAC women's basketball.
The games, Canisiius at Siena and Siena at Iona, allowed your scribe to see what has to be the best of the best women's freshmen on conference rosters this season.
The players ...
- Kayla Hoohuli, a 5-foot-7 guard for Canisius. Your scribe saw her play at Siena on Monday. Hoohuli, believed to be the first MAAC player ever selected for Parade magazine's prestigious 40-player All-America team, lived up to her billing with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-3 from three-point range. The last trey, coming with her team trailing by five with about 30 seconds left came from all of 30 feet out, in perfect rhythm and touched nothing but net. She is an intelligent court presence, can handle the ball and definitely as long-range ability. On the year Hoohuli is averaging 8.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and has 19 assists against 20 turnovers.
- Tehresa Coles, a 5-9 guard for Siena. She has been a starter for just four games, and has used that time to be the conference's Rookie of the Week for the past two weeks. She is arguably the quickest end-to-end player in the conference, and her stats don't begin to measure her impact as a defensive pest and high-octane offensive catalyst. In her four starts she averages 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and has 10 assists against 10 turnovers.
- Damika Martinez and Aleesha Powell, a tag-team backcourt from Iona. Your scribe saw their game against Siena on Wednesday in New Rochelle and they combined for 48 points (28 by Martinez and 20 by Powell). The guess here is that no two MAAC freshmen teammates, men or women, have ever combined for more points in a game. Please let me now if it has ever happened before.
Martinez is a 5-7 guard who not only is the MAAC's leading scorer among freshmen but is fifth on the conference scoring list for all players. She averages 13.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Powell, a 5-6 guard, has only been getting extended minutes in the absence of senior forward Kristina Ford (minor knee injury). In Iona's last three games she has averaged 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.0 steals per game. Both Martinez and Powell are extremely quick, have long-range shooting ability and turn the corner against defenders and get to the basket with regularity.
It's still very early in the league season and much can still happen. But, this blogger would be highly surprised if these four young ladies don't comprise four of the five-member All-Rookie team when post-season honors are announced.