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Early season grades for the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team

Photo Courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

It’s the end of the fall semester, so it’s time to hand out grades. No, not for history class, but for the women’s basketball season to this point. Here are our Q30 women’s basketball beat reporters’ grades for the Quinnipiac Bobcats:

TRICIA FABBRI & QUINNIPIAC COACHING STAFF

Schwartz: B+

It’s tough to grade the coaching staff too harshly given such a strong out-of-conference schedule to start the season. Balancing playing two top 20 teams in the country and two key injuries is no easy task. The coaching staff deserved an A+ for their run to the Sweet 16 last year, and will undoubtedly get back to that A grade once they advance into Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

Silverman: A

As I have said on Q30 & QBSN’s Bobcat Breakdown, I think Tricia Fabbri’s scheduling of a tough out of conference schedule will do wonders for this team. Year in and year out, barring multiple injuries, the ceiling of this team is not the MAAC Championship. That means that when they’re not blowing teams out in the MAAC regular season they need to be going up against opponents they could potentially see in the NCAA Tournament. This year’s out of conference schedule did that and I think it will only benefit them come March.

Dennehy: B+

Tricia Fabbri and her staff’s goal every season is to make the NCAA tournament and in order to prepare for those caliber teams, Fabbri scheduled tournament-caliber teams. Fabbri proved that even though two of her top players are done for the season her team is still capable of winning games against tough opponents. Only one thing will will allow Fabbri and her coaching staff to receive an A+ and that is a second straight appearance in the NCAA tournament.

CHIARA BACCHINI

Schwartz: B

The Italy-native has shown signs of strong play, including a seven-point performance in Quinnipiac’s win over Hampton. Look for more minutes to be played for Bacchini as the season continues. A bigger role will give Bacchini more of an advantage to show why she can be a force in the future for the Bobcats.

Silverman: Incomplete

I am not sure how my fellow beat reporters are grading someone that has barely played. Her 85 minutes and 19 points aren’t a big enough sample size. She has played well in her small spots and will continue to grow, but for now there isn’t enough to give her a grade.

Dennehy: A-

Bacchini’s minutes have increased early on due to the injury to Vanessa Udoji and she has impressed. Bacchini is deceivingly athletic and her athleticism has made her one of the best defensive guards on the team. Bacchini also has the ability to make a three-pointer consistently with the three-point line being closer in American than it is in Italy.

DANELLE BRADLEY

Schwartz: C

This grade is more of an “incomplete” for Bradley. The freshman has not gotten the chance to play much yet, only appearing in five games. The Ohio-native is still searching for her first collegiate point, but it may take a while as she does not look to be in the rotation now for the Bobcats. Though, with another injury, she could be just one call away off the bench.

Silverman: Incomplete

Same goes for Bradley as it did for Bacchini except for the fact that Bradley has played even less than her freshman counterpart. Her 11 minutes aren’t enough of a sample size to grade her, but her time will eventually come.

Dennehy: C

You cannot give a grade to someone who does not go to class and the same goes for someone who does not see the court often. Bradley, like freshmen before her, have not seen the floor much, but with Quinnipiac’s options limited down low, Bradley may get an increase in playing time during the season.

CARLY FABBRI

Schwartz: B+

In Fabbri’s senior season she has started every game and has been tasked with a much bigger role. With no Adily Martucci, Fabbri is now the prime facilitator. Her assist numbers are up from last season (3.3 assists per game in 2017). The point guard could make a bigger impact shooting the three-point ball a bit more consistently (shooting 31% this year, while she shot 37% last season). Her senior leadership does not go unnoticed.

Silverman: A-

Carly Fabbri continues to develop as the point guard for the Bobcats. This year her shot looks improved and that stats show that she is constantly improving her shot. It also seems like her court vision has gotten even better and she will continue to be one of the most important players on the Bobcats.

Dennehy: A-

Fabbri is scoring the ball consistently this season after she struggled to score last season. Fabbri brings leadership both on and off the court. It is especially on the court as Fabbri is the orchestrator of the Quinnipiac offense and her defense continues to improve every season.

JEN FAY

Schwartz: A

Jen Fay has clearly improved her game from last season, where she broke out after a knee injury. The forward already has five games with over nine rebounds. Her scoring is slightly down, but once MAAC play starts, those numbers will rise. Fay is a leader, and should be a first-team all-conference selection once the season concludes.

Silverman: B+

The only reason Fay has a B+ and not an A is because of the fact that she had such a great year from behind the arc last season that it is now expected. Last season, she was knockdown from behind the arc and this year the stats just don’t say the same. She will continue to get better and I’m not worried about her production come conference play, but out of conference could’ve had more production.

Dennehy: A

Fay is now in her second full season after tearing her ACL prior to her sophomore season and it shows in her play because despite being only six feet tall Fay is the Bobcats top rebounder with 8.6 rebounds per game. Fay is struggling to  find consistency with her three point shot, but when she is knocking down her threes, she shows why MAAC coaches made her an All-MAAC first team selection.

KATIE GRANT

Schwartz: C

Grant is tough to grade as she has only appeared in three games. Standing tall at six foot, four inches, the sophomore center has the physical size to be dominant in the conference. She has played a total of four minutes. With another year of development, Grant could become an important piece of the Bobcats rotation.

Silverman: Incomplete

She has played four minutes.

Dennehy: C

Four of the five Quinnipiac sophomores have seen an increase in playing time with Grant being the lone exception but Grant has the potential to be a big time player with her size. Grant needs to continue to work on her game if she wants to break into Tricia Fabbri’s rotation.

TAYLOR HERD

Schwartz: B+

Starting in three straight games for the first time in her career, Herd has become a consistent part of the Quinnipiac rotation. The sophomore guard has impressed, scoring four points per game and shooting 38% from beyond the arc. With the injury to Vanessa Udoji, the Bobcats needed another guard to step up, and it has been Herd. Look for her game to continue to develop as she becomes comfortable playing key minutes.

Silverman: A-

I really like what Taylor Herd has done filling in for Vanessa Udoji the previous couple of games. Though she isn’t athletic as Udoji on the court, Herd still brings a ton of athleticism to the Bobcats. I really like her shot from behind the arc and I believe she can become one of the best shooters on the team. She will continue to grow in the starting lineup and will surprise some people come conference play.

Dennehy: A-

Herd did not play her final two seasons in high school due to two torn ACL injuries and she played only 47 minutes in her freshman season at Quinnipiac. This season though Herd saw her playing time improve significantly and now she is in the starting lineup following the injury to fellow sophomore guard Vanessa Udoji. Herd showed that she has the ability to score against top teams when she scored a career high 10 points against ninth ranked Ohio State in the third game of the season.

BRITTANY MARTIN

Schwartz: C-

Martin has been disappointing to this point this season. She is the only member of the junior or senior class to average under 20 minutes per game (averages 2.8 minutes per game). Martin averaged three points per game and an assist per contest in 27 games last season. The numbers are noticeably down, as it seems she has fallen out of the Quinnipiac rotation.

Silverman: C

Martin exploded onto the scene her freshman year and hasn’t done much since. Her 11 minutes this season are the second least on the team and it doesn’t look like that number will be increasing anytime soon. However, I do like the energy and enthusiasm she constantly brings to the team.

Dennehy: D+

Jasmine Martin was a standout for the Quinnipiac Bobcats and it seemed that her younger sister Brittany was also going to be a standout for the Bobcats when she got MAAC Rookie of the Week after she scored 16 points in her college debut. This season Martin has struggled to carve out a spot in Fabbri’s rotation despite the injury to Udoji and it seems that both Bacchini and Herd have hopped over Martin in line for playing time.  

ARYN McCLURE

Schwartz: A-

The MAAC preseason player of the year has lived up to the hype, for the majority of the season, which is why she receives the minus. The one big blemish is the two-point performance against Providence. Other than that, McClure is Quinnipiac’s leading scorer (after Sarah Shewan, who is now out for the rest of the season). McClure is clearly the go-to player for the Bobcats, and will only be a bigger piece to the puzzle of another MAAC championship.

Silverman: A

Aryn McClure is the best player on the team and the best player in the MAAC. When Quinnipiac gives her the isolation it completely opens up the court. McClure is able to work down her defender enough to either go up and score or pass for an easy assist. There is no one in the conference that can guard her one-on-one and the fact that she added shots from behind the arc to her tool box, something she wasn’t able to do last season, will only make her more dangerous.

Dennehy: B+

McClure put a lot of work in over the summer and that work has shown early on as McClure’s three-point shooting has improved to 37.5 percent which is the best on Quinnipiac. The other thing that McClure has improved on his her faceup play as she is now sometimes dribbling right at her defenders instead of always backing them down. McClure played a career high 37 out of 40 minutes in Quinnipiac’s lose to Princeton and it will be interesting to see if she continues to play over 30 minutes every game.

PAULA STRAUTMANE

Schwartz: A-

One of three players to start in every single game, Paula Strautmane has been an important piece for this Bobcats team. She becomes even more essential without Sarah Shewan for the remainder of the season. The Latvia-native has scored at least 11 points in five of the last six games. Strautmane’s rebounding numbers are a bit down from last season, though still has played solidly. More minutes down low will improve those numbers. Look for the junior to improve her play even more as conference play begins.

Silverman: A

The Biggest improvement for me has been that Strautmane has been able to cut down on her fouls. In order to be efficient you have to say in the game and she has been able to do that. Her shot has also improved this season and she currently leads the team in field goal percentage. Playing smarter basketball this season, Strautmane has only become more effective and a bigger asset to the defending MAAC champions.

Dennehy: A

I said earlier this season that Strautmane needs to stay out of foul trouble if she wants to be able to make an impact for her team and since the injuries to both Udoji and Shewan in the Richmond game she has done that. Strautmane scored double digit points in the past three games. If Strautmane continues to stay out of foul trouble she will see her stats improve after experiencing a sophomore slump last season.

EDEL THORNTON

Schwartz: B-

Edel Thornton is one of the tougher players to grade to this point because of the lack of development clearly seen in her game. She has not played as much as expected, especially without Vanessa Udoji at the guard position. Due to the emergence of Herd and Bacchini, Thornton still averages 17.2 minutes, but really has not been able to take advantage of that playing time yet. She will get the minutes as the first guard off the bench, but she needs to earn that time on the floor by scoring more.

Silverman: C+

I really like what Edel is able to do from the point in terms of facilitating the offense and getting back on defense, but scoring is a serious problem. Despite playing the fifth most minutes she is only 10th on the team in points and most of that is due to the fact that she doesn’t take many shots.

Dennehy: C+

Thornton struggles to consistently score the basketball despite averaging 17.2 minutes per game as Thornton is only averaging 2.1 points per game. Thornton is an experienced guard who can handle the ball and give Carly Fabbri a break and her teammates can trust her not to turnover the ball.

JADEN WARD

Schwartz: C

This is almost an incomplete grade. Ward has not played much, and when she has gotten on the floor, it has mostly been in blow-out contests. The forward did show signs of strong play against Providence, scoring nine points and grabbing five boards. There is skill there, but more development is needed. Still just a sophomore, Ward has room and plenty of time to grow.

Silverman: C

Ward has become a better player this season and I believe we will see her more down the stretch, but there isn’t too much to grade her on and unfortunately the lack of minutes work against her.

Dennehy: C

Ward played the best game of her career when Quinnipiac beat Providence this past week when she scored a career high nine points and it was surprising to not see her play against Princeton. Ward should see her playing time increase with Tricia Fabbri’s options limited in the frontcourt.

PAIGE WARFEL

Schwartz: B-

Warfel has been one of the most important players in this sophomore class. Averaging the most minutes of any of the four active sophomores (minus Udoji), the Pennsylvania-native averages just over three points and three rebounds per game. Without Shewan, Warfel is another player that should benefit with more playing time. Expect those numbers to increase as the Bobcats begin to face lesser opponents during MAAC play.

Silverman: B

I like what Warfel is able to do coming off the bench. She isn’t a star player but can come in and make shots when it counts. Her size is valuable to Quinnipiac and she will show in conference play.

Dennehy: B-

Warfel’s best skill is her rebounding and Warfel has been inconsistent this season when it comes to getting rebounds. Warfel showed in the win over Richmond that she is capable of getting a double-double when she scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds. In Quinnipiac’s win over Providence she had eight rebounds, so if Warfel can rebound more consistently will continue to get significant playing time once conference play starts.

SARAH SHEWAN/VANESSA UDOJI

Incomplete – Injuries

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