This has been a long time coming, relatively speaking, but here it is – a look at the forwards of the upcoming version of the Twister Sisters.

This is a position with returning players and some new added to the mix. Let’s chat about the later first. Jordan Jensen is going to be an “x” factor this year. She was a real power for her high school and AAU squad before exploding her knee a year ago. So, she hasn’t played basketball in 12 months. The questions I have are going to be (a) how will the rust impact her play and (b) how will missing a year of development impact her development as a college player. We are essentially adding someone jumping from her junior year to college freshman. So what do we know? She’s tall (6’3”) for a forward and is used to playing the post. She might see some time there, but I think she will get time outside of the post so I included her here. She is strong and moves both directions well. Unlike our other forwards her outside shot is unproven. I like her athleticism, but its hard to say much with the mysteries that surround her. I know she’s working hard, but currently “banned” from getting on the court for games with the other players.

Everyone else at the 4 is a returning player and the list is short – Hal and Brynn. Hal developed tremendously last year. Her conditioning was superb and unlike the year before when she faded late, last year she was a powerhouse all the way to the end. Every aspect of her game from defense to three point shooting improved. So much so that she was selected as a unanimous All Conference selection. Hard to imagine how she missed out on the national team. So what to expect this year? More leadership for one. She is one smart cookie and this team will revolve around her. The game is going to run through her as well. Not that she will be a black hole, but she is the top proven scorer on the team. She should also serve as a good distraction to open up other players in the middle. The nice thing is that if she drives, she will pull double teams and she can dish very nicely to whoever comes open. So what do I expect from her this year? More of the same. If she can perform at the same level as last year (which will be a challenge with Pop and Anna gone) it will lead to success for the team.

So what about Brynn? At times last year she showed flashes of brilliance from deep, but she had some of Kelsey Bolte’s non-senior habits such as setting up in set spots waiting for a pass. She needs to learn how to get her self open to create her shot. The real thing that emerged last year was how she became the team’s defensive stopper. That role has usually fallen to a smaller guard in the past and having a 6’ stopper is a good thing. So what about this year? Here is what I think we need from her. First, create her 3 point shot from all over the court. Second, score more. I’d like to see her improve here by about 4-5 points per game minimum. Third, get to the free throw line more. That means she is going to have to drive if she is hounded at the line. She is an 80% shooter so that is a good thing. She is going to get called on to play D again, but I’m hoping one of the guards – Moody, Johnson, or Buckley – step up to handle defensive stopper chores more.

Overall, this is the position with the most proven strength on the team. With consistent play from Hal and mild improvement from Brynn it will be a solid part of the team. Then we just hope to get some depth out of Jensen while hoping she gets the year to grow. Thoughts?