When a shot is missed, what happens next can have a massive impact on determining the outcome of any basketball game. Is the team that’s shooting grabbing their own miss and getting another shot? Or is the defense grabbing the ball and taking it the other way?
Often times in women’s college basketball, great rebounding can take teams a long way. With Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox, Baylor led the nation in defensive rebounding and it helped them win the national title. Megan Gustafson’s strong play on the boards was one of the factors powering Iowa to an Elite Eight appearance, and Napheesa Collier’s 10.8 boards per-game helped UConn extend its Final Four streak.
Much of the top rebounders from last season have graduated, but there’s a few exceptional glass cleaners returning. Let’s take a look at them.
Bayley Plummer, Senior, Appalachian State
Plummer was sixth in the nation in rebounds per game last season with a 12.9 mark and is the leader among all returning players coming into this season. Plummer broke App State’s single season rebounding record with 463 boards last season.
A 6-foot-4 native of Thomasville, North Carolina, Plummer was seventh in the nation and first in the Sun Belt in rebounds per-40 minutes with an average of 25.9. Her stellar play helped the Mountaineers win 22 games last season and a WBI championship. If Plummer’s strong frontcourt play continues, she could help App State reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999.
Beatrice Mompremier, Redshirt Senior, Miami
Mompremier was talented enough to leave school early for the WNBA draft, but has chosen to return for her senior campaign with the Hurricanes. She’s an early ACC Player of the Year candidate after having averaged 12.2 rebounds and 16.7 points per game last season.
The 6-foot-4 Miami native already owns the school’s single season and single-game NCAA tournament rebounding records. The game that she was most dominant on the glass last season was against then-ranked No. 19 Marquette, where she pulled down 21 rebounds.
Miami was top 20 in the nation in defensive rebounds per game last season and Mompremier was a big reason why.
Evelyn Adebayo, Redshirt Senior, UConn
Last year at Murray State, Adebayo was a one-woman wrecking crew, setting the program’s single-season record for double-doubles with 19. She was a First Team All-OVC selection and led the Racers in scoring and rebounding with per-game marks of 18.2 points and 11.4 rebounds. Her rebounding average was the 11th best in the nation.
Adebayo transferred to UConn in the offseason and the 6-foot-2 native of London could play a big role in getting the Huskies back to the Final Four. With the departures of Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, the Huskies lost a combined 17.1 rebounds per game.
Lauren Cox, Senior, Baylor
Baylor led the nation last season in defensive rebounds per game, rebound margin and total rebounds. Their expertise on the glass helped them win another national championship. Leading the charge on that end in the frontcourt was Kalani Brown and Cox.
With Brown gone off to the WNBA, Cox will have more to do for Baylor in terms of rebounding, protecting the rim and scoring inside. Last season she was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, the Most Outstanding Player at the Greensboro Regional and a third team All-American. She averaged 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 13 points per game.
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The 6-foot-4 native of Flower Mound, Texas stepped up in big games too, grabbing double-digit rebounds in NCAA tournament wins over South Carolina, Iowa and Oregon. She had eight rebounds in the national championship game against Notre Dame before leaving with an injury in the third quarter.
If Baylor wants to get back to the national championship game, Cox will play a big role in paving the way.