2020-21 Abilene Christian Women's Basketball Preview

Photo by Abilene Christian Athletics

Preseason MVP: Anna McLeod had a breakout season for the Wildcats after transferring from Louisiana Tech and will be counted on to produce every night for ACU.

The Ceiling: ACU could challenge for the Southland title this year and a spot in the NCAA Tournament if they can get big-time play from Anna McLeod, Makayla Mabry, Alyssa Adams and Madi Miller. Head coach Julie Goodenough expects Adams to average nearly a double-double this year.

The Floor: It’s always tough to replace three players who meant so much to a program as Breanna Wright, Dominique Golightly and Lexie Ducat did, and any early struggles in conference-play could drop ACU out of a top seed for the Southland Conference tournament come March.

Game of the Year: New Mexico

Impact-First Year Player: Sarah Griswold

 

Projected Starting Five:

Anna McLeod 
G | 6-0 | R-Sr. | Houston, Texas

Madi Miller 
G | 5-9 | Jr. | Wylie, Texas

Alyssa Adams 
F/C | 6-1 | Sr. | San Antonio, Texas

Makayla Mabry 
F/C | 6-1 | Sr. | San Antonio, Texas

Sarah Griswold 
C | 6-1 | R-So. | Okarche, Okla.

Julie Goodenough 
Head Coach

 

Season Preview

One could be forgiven to view the 2020-2021 season as a rebuilding year for Abilene Christian. That view would be a bit short-sighted for a program that has posted four 20-win seasons in the last five years.

"We're calling it a reloading year,” ACU head coach Julie Goodenough said. “We have some new players that we're going to count on, and we have two good starters returning."

The Wildcats will have a different look on the floor this season after losing Breanna Wright (18.1 pts, 5.1 ast, 36.6 minutes per game), Dominique Golightly (15.4 pts, 5.8 reb) and Lexie Ducat (10 pts, 5.2 reb) to graduation.

"It's going to be different,” Goodenough said. “It's been a long time since I coached a game and Breanna Wright wasn't our starting point guard. She started all four years for us, and we didn't have a healthy backup for her."

As Goodenough was quick to point out, ACU has two solid starters returning from last year’s squad and six newcomers challenging for playing time.

Anna McLeod will see an increased role in the ACU offense this year after averaging 10.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and led the team in free-throw percentage (81.3 percent) last year.

"I felt like she would've been the Southland Newcomer of the Year last year if she hadn't been on the same team with Dominique Golightly and Breanna Wright,” Goodenough said. “She's going to have to step up for us and score 15 points a night if we are to reach our potential and she's definitely capable of doing that for us."

Makayla Mabry also returns for the Wildcats after leading the Southland Conference in 3-point percentage (43.4 percent) and registering 23 blocks on the defensive end.

"She's a post player for us so she provides a mismatch for our opponents. I think she will be a bigger part of our rebounding game this year as well.

Goodenough brought in another outstanding recruiting class to Abilene and she has been excited with what she has seen from Northern Oklahoma College transfer Sarah Griswold.

Griswold was an All-American as a freshman at Northern Oklahoma and redshirted last season after suffering an injury. She has three years of eligibility for ACU.

"She's a 6-foot-1, athletic post player and she's really done a nice job in practice,” Goodenough said. “She's a sophomore for our team but she has the maturity of a college junior."

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