• Hunter Phillips

Be Blue Season Review: Freshmen

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

September is almost in the rear view, which means we are one step closer to basketball! While there is still so much in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can still look ahead to what will no doubt be another exciting season of Drake Women's Basketball.

I'll be previewing the upcoming season by taking a look back at the 2019-20 campaign. We'll dive into each class and each player, and now it's time to preview Drake's freshmen class.

Courtney Becker

One of the exciting additions to Drake's roster this season is Courtney Becker. Hailing from Fountain City, Wisconsin, the 6'0" forward brings a fun attitude, multi-sport background and winning pedigree to the Bulldogs.

Becker played her prep ball at Aquinas High School in La Crosse, and they were dominant. The Blugolds appeared in three WIAA state championship games, winning back-to-back crowns in 2018 and 2019. Aquinas went 81-2 in those three seasons. Becker's career numbers in high school were not too shabby either. She scored 1,284 points, shot 73.1 percent from the floor, collected 799 rebounds and recorded 242 career steals. In addition to basketball, Becker was a standout in volleyball and track and field.

Becker's senior season, however, presented an unexpected challenge. In February, a PCL injury would bring an abrupt end to Becker's final campaign at Aquinas. She averaged 13.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.7 steals per contest before the injury occurred. The setback, however, would not define Becker, who continued to provide a strong, positive and upbeat presence for her teammates. As the La Crosse Tribune put it, "she did it all with a smile". We know that she'll fit right in at Drake.

On the court, Becker's rebounding ability will immediately help the Bulldogs. She never averaged fewer than 7.5 rebounds per game in her high school career. Becker is not afraid to mix it up in the paint either, and shot a very high percentage from the floor in high school. And even before suiting up for her first college game, we already know she'll be a great teammate. Becker is healthy and ready to go! Drake fans should be excited for Courtney Becker's debut season as a Bulldog.

Taylor McAulay

Although we only caught a brief glimpse of Taylor McAulay in her first season at Drake, there were certainly impressive flashes. In just her third appearance of the season, McAulay grabbed a season-high four rebounds in 10 minutes of action in Drake's victory over Maine at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Florida. A week later, the Lino Lakes, Minnesota native wasted no time cracking the points column in the 'Pack the Knapp Game'. The 5'11" guard dropped seven quick points while handing out three assists. Her first official bucket as a Bulldog was a three-pointer in transition in Drake's win against Waldorf.

Unfortunately, an injury limited McAulay's initial season to just four games and would later redshirt. The setback did not affect McAulay's spirit, however, as she provided tremendous support for her teammates both on-and-off the court.

There's no doubt that McAulay has a great skillset. In her senior season at Centennial High School, the guard averaged 19.5 points per game and has an unlimited range on the floor. In addition, McAulay averaged over three assists and three steals per contest. She also knows what it takes to win, helping guide her squad to a third place finish at the 2019 Minnesota Class 4A State Tournament.

McAulay adds depth, versatility and scoring power to an experienced, and well-rounded Bulldog backcourt. In her limited time last season, she displayed her ability to knock down three's and thread through the lane and finish. McAulay's return will be fascinating to watch, because we know that she has all the tools to be very successful, especially in Drake's system. We also know that she is hungry to make a strong comeback. Don't sleep on Taylor McAulay.

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