This season, Head Coach Jody Wynn welcomed the arrival of three talented freshman to the University of Washington Women’s Basketball program, i.e., Ali Bamberger, JaQuaya “Quay” Miller and Nia Lowery.
Ranging from 5’11” to 6’3″ these young women bring some much-needed skills to the Huskies program that will give Washington’s roster more flexibility and depth.
Let’s take a look at what each of these new players bring to the Huskies program.
Nia Lowery, a 5’11” athletic Guard, is an intriguing addition to the Huskies roster.
The Sacramento(CA) native is a smooth dynamic athlete that can handle the ball in transition, giving the Huskies another player that can put pressure on defenders by pushing the offensive pace.
Coach Jody Wynn’s offense uses multiple players with ball-handling skills (such as, Missy Peterson, Amber Melgoza, Mai-Loni Henson, T.T. Watkins and Khayla Rooks), Lowery fits right in with that group.
Lowery demonstrates a good shooting form and is a solid mid-range shooter, either off-the-dribble or catch-and-shoot.
Lowery’s lanky frame should help her to easily increase her range to three-point distance; and she will likely develop and fine tune her three-point shot with the help of the UW coaches.
Lowery has a high ceiling as a player, particularly if she continues to develop her all-around game.
Looking at game film, there is a noticeable progression from Nia’s junior year in high school to her senior year, which suggests she has a good work ethic.
Most importantly, Lowery comes to the UW with a reputation as a good defender, which should earn her playing time early on as an additional defender with length.
Based on her strengths, expect Lowery to make an early impact for the Huskies on defense and in their transition offense, with possibly an expanded role by late season.
Expect Huskies coaches to help Nia to continue developing her offensive versatility in preparation for the rigors of PAC-12 competition.
Long term prospects for Lowery are high, especially if she can become a three-level scoring threat (dribble-drive, midrange, 3-point shot) within a couple of seasons.
Nia Lowery should be an integral part of the success of Huskies women’s basketball in the near future.
Ali Bamberger (Concord, CA/Carondelet HS) is a physical 6’3″ big with an effective low post game, using solid footwork and body positioning.
Bamberger’s high school game film demonstrates excellent court vision, feeding her teammates passes from wherever she is on the court.
Bamberger demonstrates a relentless motor both offensively and defensively; and shows a willingness to run the court in transition.
Ali has sufficient size and athleticism to compete for a spot in UW’s frontline rotation as a freshman.
However, she will likely need to improve her strength and lateral quickness to raise her game to the level of a PAC-12 starting big.
Ali Bamberger’s freshman season could follow the arc of sophomore Darcy Rees — who earned early playing time last season due to an advanced post game; and later developed the ability to stretch the floor from the 3-point line.
Bamberger’s long term prospects will likely improve substantially after a year of UW strength and conditioning.
Jaquaya “Quay” Miller is a local talent from Kentridge High in Renton, WA.
The 6’3″ Miller can be an intimidating and forceful presence on the court, but she is also a nimble athlete with surprising finesse aspect to her game.
Quay is a tough offensive match-up as a modern “position-less” big that can play a face-up game out on the wing, as well as work comfortably at the high post and in the low post.
Miller’s presence creates offensive flexibility for Head Coach Wynn and her staff.
Defensively, the Huskies have struggled against talented bigs, often lacking height and strength to defend the low post and baseline actions.
Quay will give the Huskies much needed defensive depth against PAC-12 bigs because of her unique combination of size and agility, rugged enough to defend multiple spots and rebound.
Miller demonstrated she can hit the open three in high school. If Quay can improve her three-point shooting consistency, she will be a valuable addition on offense as a versatile three-level scoring threat.
ORE LENGTH, MORE ATHLETICISM, MORE SUCCESS
In Quay Miller, Ali Bamberger and Nia Lowery, Coach Wynn and her staff brought in talented 2019 recruits that best fit her program’s style.
This group of talented freshman will have an immediate impact on the program by providing quality depth.
Huskies center Darcy Rees improved defensively late last season, however, the Huskies lacked depth and would sometimes even play under-sized guards, Jenna Moser and Mai-Loni Henson, along the frontline
The addition of Bamberger and Miller should allow returning players to play their natural positions, and no longer require under-sized players to fill-in the frontline.
Alia, Nia and Quay were all leaders at their winning high schools programs and bring a winner’s commitment and attitude that will enhance the culture of the UW Women’s Basketball program.