After finishing 10th in the WAC last season, Seattle University Women’s Basketball continued a streak of less than impressive seasons since their championship year in 2018. By the end of the season, the Redhawks had a record of 11-19 overall. They were also one of three WAC teams with a conference record of 6-12.
Obviously looking to improve for the coming year, Coach Suzy Barcomb and her staff hoped to have an eventful offseason.
However, the result was probably not what they had in mind. Three of the Redhawks’ best players transferred away from the school, including Georgia Kehoe going to WAC rival California Baptist and Bree Calhoun leaving for Power 6 school Ole Miss.
Due to a fairly unexciting recruiting result, Seattle is expected to struggle yet again this season. One of the only true bright spots was picking up transfer Kari Kyrkjebo. With any luck, she and returners like Irena Korolenko can help the Redhawks move up in the conference standings.
Suzy Barcomb (7th Season)
2021-2022 Season Record:
Lost in 1st Round of WAC Tournament to UTRGV
Jadynn Alexander – Graduated
Bree Calhoun – Grad Transferred to Ole Miss
Chinwe Ezeonu – Graduated
Georgia Kehoe – Grad Transferred to California Baptist
Courtney Murphy – Grad Transferred to Long Beach State
Barbara Rangel – Graduated
McKenzi Williams – Graduated (?)
Kari Kyrkjebo 6-2, So., From Norway (Previously with UC Riverside)
Julianna Walker 5-6, So., Transfer (Syracuse)
Irena Korolenko 6-0, Jr., F
Peyton Howard 5-9, Jr., G
Taliyah Clark 5-11, So., G
Projected Starting Lineup:
G- Julianna Walker
G- Peyton Howard
G- Taliyah Clark
F- Irena Korolenko
F- Kari Kyrkjebo
If the Redhawks have one thing going for them it’s post-play. Despite the huge losses at this position during the off-season, Irena Korolenko and Kari Kyrkjebo are going to be extremely difficult to defend. Pairing that with the facilitating and scoring ability of Walker, Howard, and Clark makes this Seattle squad an interesting one going into the 2022-23 season.
In our Way Too Early rankings, Seattle U found itself at the bottom in last place. Frankly, the already struggling roster had too many losses this offseason to be anywhere near the championship conversation.
The team lost its top four offensive producers. Last season, Bree Calhoun, Courtney Murphy, McKenzi Williams, and Georgia Kehoe combined for 37.1 points per game. The team as a whole averaged 62.6 points, meaning these players typically scored more than half of the Redhawks’ points. Now that they’re gone, Seattle U finds itself searching for one of their returners or newcomers to fill the holes.
One player that Suzy Barcomb believes can step into this role is Taliyah Clark. In one of her few starts in the Redhawks loss in the WAC Tournament, Clark had 13 points and pulled down five boards. Barcomb spoke about Clark and her development in the most recent podcast episode.
Barcomb is also excited to have hometown hero Julianna Walker in a Redhawk uniform. Walker was the 2020-21 Gatorade Washington Girls Player of the Year before signing with Syracuse and spending one season with the Orange in 2022-23.
The team is filled with young talent to perhaps be built around in the future. 3 out of the 5 projected starters are only sophomores. As they develop, Seattle may eventually return to its championship ways. For now, the best this team can hope for is avoiding last place.
Areas of Improvement:
It’s no secret that Seattle struggled offensively last season. They were in the bottom half of the conference in almost all shooting stats, which was a huge reason they struggled in WAC play.
This is definitely something Barcomb is focusing on improving this offseason. When we talked to her about the team, she said they are taking extra time this offseason to change their approach on offense and be “more up-tempo”, which could enable the squad to get more opportunities on the offensive side of the court. The team is heading to Greece this week to test out their new system, so that will be our first look at if it helps the team’s struggles.