This post could be endless. That is because Coach Versyp has the luxury of playing 8 guards in a 3-guard or even 4-guard lineup. Uconn and ND have shown the past few years that elite teams can run with 3- or 4-guard lineups. Maybe we don't have top 10 or top 20 guards (yet), but we definitely have a lot to work with. Expect our guards to play fast, faster, and fastest on offense, and play respectable defense as well. With our experience level and several excellent 3-point shooters, we should also do well in the half-court game.
At the 1 position, the point guard, expect KK Houser to start. She ran track in high school. At times she has gotten ahead of herself, but with so much experience, she has continued to improve, cutting down on turnovers, nailing big shots, getting steals. Houser is a true team leader, and is very vocal in her leadership role. Right behind her will be April Wilson. Played with poise last year from day one. She can do pretty much everything Houser does, maybe just a slight bit slower. Both are great shooters in addition to good dribblers and passers. Long range, whatever. If need be, true freshman Ashley Morrissette could fill in at the 1 as well. More on her later.
At the 2 postion, shooting guard, Courtney Moses will be a 4 year starter. She never ceases to amaze me. Just an absolute basketball junkie who could also run the point, but when she gets in a shooting zone, look out. Anyone who is Indiana Miss Basketball who averaged over 32 points a game her senior (in high school)season, well, that speaks for itself. Her defense has continued to improve every year. Also, she and Houser can probably think for each other. That tandem experience cannot be overstated. Hayden Hamby came in as a pure shooter, and you would think would be the first backup here. But she still needs to speed up her game to the college level. She has solid fundamentals, just not quite fast enough. Anyone who played 6 years of varsity (yes she started in 7th grade) and scored over 4000 points in high school must have something going for her. However, I would push her back to the third option here as I think Ashley Morrissette might just be the first backup at the 2. She may be the best pure athlete at guard, even with all we have. From all I have read and heard about her, I really think the sky is the limit with her. I expect major contributions from the get-go from Morrissette. And, what a cool name. True freshman Bridget Perry could also play at the 2, if we are in need of a tall shooting guard. Sometimes the past two years we have struggled against other teams with very tall guards such as Michigan. She can take care of that at 6-2.
At the 3 guard, look for Dee Dee Williams to start. I covered her game more or less in the last post on the post positions. So far not a true scoring threat, she has worked on that and in one game last year drained 4 threes to shock the other team. But she just does so many other things. She can play the point if needed. She always plays exceptional defense. At 6-0 she has those long arms that can drive her opponent crazy. Also she has a ton of experience alongside Houser and Moses. This gives Coach V a solid starting lineup at the 3 guard positions, assuming we run a lot of that. Backing her up will be Torrie Thornton and Bridget Perry. Perry in particular is going to create a lot of matchup problems for other teams. A 6-2 player with guard skills definitely adds a great deal to our team. Ashley Morrissette could probably play here too but I would expect her more at the 1 or 2 positions. Also as I covered with the posts, I expect Perry might get some time as a 4 guard. Something Purdue hasn't really had since, maybe Katie Douglas.
I will make at least one more preseason post on the overall prospects for the team, but I need to mention some of it in relation to the guards. Many are thinking this might be a down year due to our loss of experience in the post. Not so fast, my friends. If we can keep our turnovers to a manageable level, we should have a team that is very fast on offense and very tenacious on defense. That is a winning formula. We have enough depth at guard that we should be able to wear some opposing guards out throughout the course of a game. We also have what I would call maximum flexibility at the guard positions. This should allow our coaching staff to be able to make so many different in-game adjustments to keep us in games that otherwise would have gotten away from us. I for one am a fan who can't wait to see all these guards combine for a fantastic season. Our posts will be the biggest question mark, but our guards will shine. And we will make a lot of 3-pointers this season. Bank on it.