In 2022-23, the Seattle U women’s basketball team was just 6-20 with five wins in WAC play. However, they were competitive in a majority of their games with 15 of 26 games being played to a margin of 10 points or less.
Stellar play in the WAC tournament with an upset win over preseason favorite UT Arlington and a scare of back-to-back tournament finalist Grand Canyon was not enough for school administrators to keep Suzy Barcomb as Redhawks coach.
Skyler Young, a longtime Division I assistant with a number of stops (Portland, Weber State, Bradley and Western Michigan) and former equipment manager for the Seattle Storm, was named Barcomb’s successor on April 19, 2023.
With a coaching change usually there is a lot of portal activity, However, that’s not the case in the Pacific Northwest as nearly all of last year’s roster returns minus Taliyah Clark, who went to UT Arlington and Kari Kyrkjebo.
Let’s take a look at the Redhawks and Young’s first team as a Division I head coach.
Skyler Young, First Season
6-24 Overall/5-13 WAC
Defeated UT Arlington in opening round of WAC Tournament before falling to Grand Canyon
- Taliyah Clark – Transfer to UT Arlington
- Kari Kyrkjebo – Unknown
- Peyton Howard – 5’9, Senior, G
- Julianna Walker – 5’6, Junior, G
- Sareya Hicks – 5’6, Junior, G
- Asta Blauenfeldt – 5’6, Sophomore, G
- Noemi Bariteau – 5’7, Sophomore, G
- Ramona Jagger – 6’2, Senior, F
- Mya Moore – 6’0, Sophomore, G
- Sheridan Liggett – 5’9, Sophomore, G
- Erin Tarasow – 5’9, Senior, G
- Makayla Moore – 6’0, Sophomore, G
- Irena Korolenko – 6’0, Senior, F
- Lisa Michaelsen – 6’1, Sophomore, F
- Aannah Interrante – 5’9, Graduate, G – Bradley
Young believes last year’s experiences will be beneficial going into 2023-24 and is looking to implement a more uptempo brand of basketball in the Pacific Northwest.
He inherits 93 combined makes from behind the 3-point line in Irena Korolenko and Julianna Walker and an offense that averaged less than 60 points per game a season ago.
“They’ve been in those battles,” Young said on the Straight Outta WAC Podcast. “But now we have to put them in position to see the victories from those battles and we do that through attention to details. They’re invested in the process of getting better.”
Two other areas where the Redhawks will have to improve are in turnover margin and defensive points per game allowed. Last season, Seattle was -6.3 in turnover margin with an average of 20 turnovers per contest while opponents scored an average of 70 points per game.
Young’s tenure begins with four road games in the first 16 days of the season including two Big West stops at Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine. The Redhawks WAC schedule will begin with a home date against Utah Valley before finishing that first week with a trip to defending champion Southern Utah. In their lone matchup with the Thunderbirds, Seattle went step for step with the champs before falling, 75-62.
Check out Young on the Straight Outta WAC Podcast here