KaCee Kyle and UTRGV had a rough week, losing two home conference games. Courtesy UTRGV Athletics.

WBB: Competition, Freshman Highlight Week One Notes

It was a wild and wacky week one of the conference season. Competition is heating up in the WAC as there is a lot of parity in 2022-23. And there have been some big performances by Freshman in the WAC thus far especially this past week.

Here are some notes from last week along with a quick look ahead.

Competitive Balance:

All across the conference last week you saw some pretty competitive matchups. On opening night, the average margin of victory conference wide was 11.5 points. And that’s with two wins by 15 and 20 points. Saturday the average margin of victory was 9.7 points. And that was with the 24-point win by UTA over Tarleton. The average margin of victory in the first week of WAC play was 10.6 point.

If this is what opening week was like, I can’t wait to see what the next few months are like.

Home Sweet Home:

Home teams were a combined 8-4 last week. Remember, due to the new WAC resume seeding system, winning at home becomes even more important. A loss at home means a more significant loss of value points. Just ask UTRGV. The Vaqueros lost both of their conference home games this week. And in the process, the Vaqueros lost over 1.50 points. Teams must win at home so that will be something to keep an eye on.

Freshman making big impressions early in ’22-’23:

If the non-conference slate and week one of conference play has been any indication, we’re going to have one heck of a battle for WAC Freshman of the Year over these next few months.

Stephen F. Austin has a pair of contenders for the award in Kyla Deck and Jordan Harrison.

Harrison, averaging 10.4 points, 4.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game, has won three Freshman of the Week awards so far. She had 14 points and was a perfect 2-2 from 3-point range as the Ladyjacks survived a test from Abilene Christian on Saturday.

Kyla Deck has not yet broken through and won a WAC Freshman of the Week honor but has impressed early on. Deck singlehandedly kept the Ladyjacks in their big game against No. 23 with 22 points in a loss. On Saturday, Deck had 18 points and knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in her team’s WAC opening win at home. So far in 2022-23, Deck is averaging 8.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 13 games without making a start.

CBU’s Grace Schmidt will almost certainly be a contender, too. So far the freshman from Ixonia, Wisconsin has impressed big time averaging 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 12 games with eight starts. In WAC play last week, Schmidt averaged 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game as the Lancers split games with a home win against UT Arlington and loss to Grand Canyon in Phoenix.


About the author

Derryl Trujillo

Derryl Trujillo is a Southern California based sportswriter who won the 2019 Inland Empire Baseball Coaches Association's Supporter of the Year award. He joined the WAC Hoops Digest staff in 2020 and also covers local sports for Inland Sports and the Valley News. Before transitioning to media Derryl was a high school, collegiate and club volleyball official along with serving as a high school basketball scorekeeper for ten years.

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