On Sunday night, the Huskies announced the commitment of Emma Grothaus of Lehigh to the Washington Huskies Women’s Basketball program.
Grothaus, a 6’3″ forward, was Lehigh’s team captain and averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds for the 2021 – 22 season.
Lehigh’s record was 19-11 last season.
Reviewing her most significant competition of the 2021-22 season, Grothaus recorded 11 points and nine (9) rebounds for Lehigh against Missouri in the championship game of the Christmas City Classic — losing 88-67.
Last season, Grothaus also faced Villanova; where she recorded 16 points and eight (8) rebounds in that contest.
A year earlier, Lehigh won the 2021 Patriot League conference championship, winning a bid to the 2021 NCAA Tournament, where Lehigh faced West Virginia in an NCAA First Round game.
Grothaus finished with 14 points and seven (7) rebounds for Lehigh but they were routed by West Virginia, 77-53.
Recently, the Huskies lost significant offensive firepower in the paint when graduate transfer Nancy Mulkey exhausted her eligibility (66.7% shooting within four feet of the rim and 41.2% on shots in the paint); and Alexis Whitfield entered the NCAA Transfer Portal (50% shooting in the paint and 52% at the rim).
Fortunately, a look at her shot chart shows that Emma Grothuas is most effective scoring in the lane; as well as, on the straightaway three-pointer.
Grothaus shoots 46.4% in the lane and 55% within four (4) feet of the rim.
The real question is, whether Emma Grothaus can be equally efficient against PAC-12 competition?
In reviewing some game tape, Grothaus seems to rely on the “up and under” as her go-to post move, which causes some concern because PAC-12 post play is much more sophisticated — offensively and defensively.
PAC-12 bigs often need a combination of 2-3 moves to score in the paint.
In the game against West Virginia, Grothaus started fast with a couple of up-and-under scores in the paint, but then West Virginia adjusted and that move was mostly negated.
Grothaus did move to the perimeter and knock down a three-pointer (she was 1-3 from deep), which is some good news for Huskies fans.
Of some concern, Grothaus seems to lack physicality on defense and on the boards, relying more on quick feet and finesse. This could be a problem against PAC-12 bigs who all tend to be very aggressive and physical.
It is unlikely that Patriot League competition alone could prepare Grothaus for the gauntlet of PAC-12 bigs.
She will need to continue to develop her game during the offseason.
However, Emma Grothaus shows inside-outside versatility that fits the PAC-12 style of play.
Can Grothaus defend nightly against players who are just as big and (sometimes) more athletic? We’ll see.
Ultimately, is she better all-around than 6’4″ Darcy Rees, the only remaining big from last season? No.
But Grothaus will provide Huskies head coach Tina Langley some intriguing lineup options, including playing alongside Rees and Van Dyke in the frontcourt.
Overall, Grothaus is a solid pickup for the Huskies to add depth and size to the frontcourt.
The Huskies get a solid “B” grade for this move but they should keep looking for more talent.