A couple weeks ago, I started a series profiling the players on the basketball teams. I got through the freshmen before the flu grabbed me. While there are definitely women to watch in that class, the sophomores have been tearing up the court this season. The team now has a 16-4 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten record. Sunday’s game sported the largest attendance at a game so far this season, and it was the 14th best attendance in the history of Michigan State’s women’s basketball program.
There are five sophomores on the team this season. Some of their names you will be quite familiar with. Without further adieu, I present the sophomores on the women’s basketball team.
#0 Kiana Johnson, Guard
This 5’7″ guard from Whitney Young High School in Chicago Illinois has been looking good on the court this season. In her freshman 2011-2012 season, Johnson made the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. She started in 28 of the 32 games she appeared in, and she ranked top-ten in the big ten. She lead the team with 129 assists, allowing her to rank number 7 in the Big 10 and number 10 nationally.
This year, Johnson is no stranger to standing out. She missed the first nine games following NCAA rules violations, so she had a slow start to the season. Once she started joining in the games, she was soon scoring in the double digits. In the game against Indiana on January 20th, she led her team to victory, scoring 15 points and appearing in the game for 36 minutes. In Sunday’s game against Purdue, Johnson led her team in scoring for the fifth straight game – she took home 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. She’s definitely someone to keep an eye on in the coming games.
#4 Jasmine Hines, Center
Jasmine Hines has been tearing up the court this season. She’s under the bucket, grabbing the rebounds. This 6’3″ center from Central Lake High School in Central Lake, Michigan just started her first game in the Purdue match-up and grabbed her career high game minutes (22). Hines led MSU with 11 rebounds during the game and a career high 3 steals. She is really blossoming this season, and in December, she was named to the All-Tournament Team.
In her 2011-2012 season, Hines had to adjust from being a Class D high school superstar to being a Division 1 college player for a Big Ten school. She averaged only 5.1 points in just over 10 minutes per game. She admittedly had to learn over 100 different plays. She’s gone from a low game point average to an average in the double digits this year, proving that she’s a Spartan to watch.
#14 Anna Morrissey, Guard
The 5’10” Spartan woman hasn’t been on the court all that much. Her freshman year, she only played in three games, and she scored her career first basket. During her sophomore year, she scored her second career basket and made her first career triple attempt in a game against UT Arlington earlier in the season. She’s probably tired, at this point, of being referred to as Jim Morrissey’s daughter. Her father was a four-year letter winner in football for the Spartans, and then he went on to play for the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Anna was snagged for her defensive ability. She’s a walk-on and serves her role as a backup player for the other women on the team.
#40 Madison Williams, Center
Madison Williams, a 6’7″ red shirt sophomore from Detroit Country Day in Berkley Michigan has been having a tough time with injuries. She had to sit out the 2010-2011 season after tearing the ACL in her right knee. In the 2011-2012 season, Williams missed the final 29 games of the season due to tearing her ACL once again. This injury has kept her out of the 2012-2013 season entirely. She came into the Spartans’ team as quite the high school star. Let’s wish her a strong recovery from her injuries. I’m looking forward to seeing her on the court.
#52 Becca Mills, Forward
In the game against Purdue, this 6’4″ Midland Dow High School graduate, scored 11 points in 9 minutes of play. Unfortunately because she was sent to the bench in the second half with her fourth foul, we didn’t get to see her really tear up the court. Her career high points are at 20, set in the 2011-2012 season.
During her Freshman year, Mills was honored with the Sixth Player Award. She was fourth on the team in scoring and second on the team for rebounds. This season she’s scoring an average of 8.9 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game. Like the other women on the Spartans’ team, she received many accolades during her High School tenure. Like many of the women on the team, she has a career worth following.