There are quite a few quality post players in the Big Sky Conference this year. We wanted to determine who are truly the best post players in the Big Sky Conference based on a variety of categories. We sifted through a lot of film, stats, and data to identify who we felt were the best of the best on the block in the Big Sky Conference.
To start we had to determine exactly what the criteria is for a Big Sky Conference post player. We relied heavily on 2 categories for this. Those two categories were Post Poss/Gm and the percentage of their offensive touches in the post. Once that was established, we looked into other categories to determine 2 tiers of post players in the Big Sky Conference. Those categories are: Points in the post, PPP, FG%, rebounding, blocked shots, assists, FT%, total FTA, and used our BSB# (POS STATS / NEG STATS = BSB#). We also evaluated other areas such as P&R Possessions per game and percentage of time in that action, PPP, ability to stretch the floor 3FG and Post Def PPP.
Because we used Post Poss/Game and percentage of touches in the post we wanted to provide you the Top 5 Nationally in those two categories for context to this study.
TOP 5 POSS/GAME POST PLAYERS & %
1. Ayoka Lee Kansas State 16.2 Poss/Gm 79%
2. Naz Hillman Michigan 11.1 Poss/Gm 57%
3. Ashley Burube Cent Conn 9.9 Poss/Gm 54%
4. Elizabeth Kitley Va Tec 9.6 Poss/Gm 50%
5. Josie Williams Utah Valley 9.5 Poss/Gm 58%
We also dove into two other categories to separate the players into tiers. The first category was Synergy's P&R Roller Numbers. Here are the Top in the BSC based on Poss/Gm, % of time in this action and Synergy (national ranking in parenthesis)
1. Darri Dotson 1.9 Poss/Gm, 16% .68 PPP (21)
2. Tiana Johnson 1.7 Poss/Gm, 19% 1.259 PPP (33)
3. Milly Knowles 1.7 Poss/Gm, 19% .818 PPP (38)
4. Elle Smith 1.6 Poss/Gm, 22% 1.11 PPP (44)
5. Isnelle Natabou 1.5 Poss/Gm 12% 1.52 PPP (51)
6. Abby Anderson 1.3 Poss/Gm, 10% 1.15 PPP (88)
7. Lizzy Williamson 1.3 Poss/Gm 10% 1.0 PPP (89)
Who are the Shooters in the group? Gfeller and Dhaliwhal are really the only true threats from beyond the arch. However all five of these players shoot enough to keep you honest in our opinion.
1. Carmen Gfeller 15/30 50%
2. Savannah Dhaliwal 10/26 38.5%
3. Kola Bad Bear 6/19 31.6%
4. Emma Torbert 11/52 21.2%
5. Jaydn Matthews 4/24 16%
We also evaluated these players post defense and took under consideration their defensive post PPP. Post Defense Possessions per game, and % of time defending the post. Below are the top 5 in the Big Sky Conference (tie for 2nd). Individual Post Defense PPP numbers are posted in the chart below.
1. Emma Torbert 3.7 Poss/Gm .525 PPP 47%
2t. Kurstyn Harden 1.2 Poss/Gm .667PPP 37%
2t. Darri Dotson 2.0 Poss/Gm .667PPP 36%
3. Isnelle Natabou 1.9 Poss/Gm .714PPP 38%
4. Kola Bad Bear 2.4 Poss/Gm .825PPP 52%
5. Abby Anderson 3.5 Poss/Gm .83 PPP 55%
Before we reveal or discuss this the results of our deep dive, we want to state we consider Beyonce Bea an outlier in this study and to an extent her teammate Tiana Johnson as well. They match up defensively with post players, but offensively they are more perimeter oriented. If there was a top player in the Big Sky Conference for Hybrid Forward(a mix of both small and power forward) Beyonce would be at the top of the list. However, we felt based on the first two qualifiers in our study (Poss/Gm & %) we would consider Bea a “post player” for this deep dive.
|(NR) Player||Poss/Game (total)||%||Points in the Post||PPP||FG%||BSB#||Def PPP||Reb(off)||Blk(total)||Assists (total)||TO's||FT % (total)|
|(19)Isnelle Natabou||6.4(90)||46||83||.922||59.4||1.47||.714||143(65)||1.3 (17)||NA||17||61.8(59)|
|(77)Kola Bad Bear||4.5(72)||39||61||.847||47.2||1.05||.825||86(35)||NA||NA||24||74.4(43)|
|(NR) National Ranking Poss/Gm||(NA)Non Applicable|
Isnelle Natabou 6’5 SO
Natabou has burst onto the scene in this her first year in the BSC. The sophomore from Ceska Lipa, Czech Republic by way of Iowa Western JC is quite possibly the most physically imposing player in the Big Sky . Big and strong Natabou feasts in the paint and has a knack for offensive rebounds and low post position. Natabou also has the ability to catch and finish in the P&R game as a diver and benefits from playing along side of L. Tillman . Natabou will only get better as she gets more polished on the block offensively and potentially adds range up to 15 feet.
Kola Bad Bear 6’2 JR
Tough, physical, and plays with a solid motor. Attacks the glass on both ends of the floor and is not afraid to mix it up down low. Can go both left and right shoulder with back to the basket. Has ability to space the floor to 15 feet and getting more comfortable playing without her brace. Has been very consistent this season providing rebounding, toughness, and a low post-scoring threat to the Bobcats.
Abby Anderson 6’2 SR
Long, athletic, shot-blocker, and great rim runner. If there was a stat for someone that altered or changed shots of their opponent, I am sure Anderson would be top 10 in the country. Currently, Anderson is number one in the conference in blocked shots. Proven scorer although her shooting percentage is down this year. Draws a lot of fouls and converts from the FT line at a 72% clip. Anderson rebounds out of her area and cant switch to a guard on P&R which makes her valuable in a lot of defensive schemes.
Carmen Gfeller 6’1 JR
Fundamental is a word that comes to mind when thinking this two time BSC POW award winner. Gfeller has fundamental feet down low on the block, a fundamental her face-up, jab series in the short corner or elbow areas, and even fundamental with her text book space you with depth three point stroke. We have spoken about her efficiency before and she is backing that up again this year with another solid season. If she continues to improve on the glass in our opinion she could be an MVP calliber player in the Big Sky. (PLAYER PROFILE LINK https://youtu.be/uf9YhFFf16k)
Lizzy Williamson 6’5 SO
Lizzy has emerged as one of the elite post players in the conference just this season. The 6’5 Sophomore from AUS is not your prototype post as she gets more done from other areas in the paint such as cutting and P&R actions. However, she is one of the best offensive rebounders in the conference and shoots a fantastic percentage from the floor. When she does get the ball down low she can attack you with her power mover over her right shoulder and can counter that with an off hand jump hook to keep defenses honest. (PLAYER PROFILE LINK https://youtu.be/qEYWcwoiBYE)
Kurstyn Harden 6’3 JR
Big and physical Harden has a knack for getting deep post position. Based on our two qualifying categories alone (Poss/Gm & %) Harden could be the number post in the Big Sky Conference. Soft hands and good feet allow her to get in really good scoring positions down low. A majority of Harden's scoring comes from the paint or the free-throw line. (PLAYER PROFILE LINK: https://youtu.be/5rZoCtPel4s)
Savannah Dhaliwhal 6’0 SR
Dhaliwal was the surprise of this group. Undersized and crafty with her post moves. Dhaliwal is able to use both hands, and give you a mix of shoulder wiggles and step-through moves to find a way to score over bigger defenders. Because PSU plays the zone defense every possession she really only mixes it up down low on the offensive end of the floor. Nice to see her having a healthy senior season.
Jaydn Matthews 6’0 JR
Another undersized, high motor post player. Loves to play face-up and will use her body to create contact and use leverage to score over bigger defenders. She has developed her game to the 3 point line as an off-the-dribble threat. Her percentage is not good but she will shoot the 3 and does so enough to keep defenders honest. Also, very effective without the ball in her hands attacking defenses with hard cuts to the front of the time and she loves to rebound.
Khiarica Rasheed 5’11 SR
Not afraid to throw her body around Rasheed has seen success in the Big Sky Conference knowing how to score on bigger defenders. Soft touch from 15 feet, the ability to put the ball on the floor and finish with either hand is also a bonus for the shortest player in our deep dive. Rasheed like a few others on this list will shoot the 3, but has not shot consistently enough from distance to be considered a big threat from distance.
Emma Torbert 6’2 SR
Other than Natabou, Torbert is one of the more physically imposing post players in the Big Sky Conference. Torbert does a great job of taking up space on the defensive end of the floor, blocking shots, and rebounding. She has soft hands and touch, decent feet, and can finish with either hand down low. She will shoot the three as she has gotten up 52 attempts this year. However she is not shooting at a high enough clip to be considered a threat.
Darri Dotson 6’1 SR
Tough, physical, and hard-working Darri Dotson gets her work done with pure grit and determination. Can hit the 15 footers, but is more known for her hard-nosed physical play on the glass and in the paint. Dotson is arguably the best 1 on 1 post defender of the group and seems to enjoy physical challenges. (PLAYER PROFILE LINK: https://youtu.be/uRCGwyscWJI)
Beyonce Bea 6’1 JR
Like we mentioned we don’t see Beyonce as a typical post player based on her game and the Idaho offensive scheme. However, while researching for this deep dive we noticed Beyonce was tops in certain areas we looked at. Solid from 15 and in, can go hard and counter with ether hand. Solid feet and ability to finish with finesse or use her body to create contact and get to the FT line. The preseasons player of year pic has started to pick her game up as of late. (PLAYER PROFILE LINK https://youtu.be/d5H_bOnZLmk)