clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

From Beyond The Arc: Colorado WBB 2023 Preview

The Buffaloes are a good bet to see postseason play again

NCAA Womens Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Semifinals Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - North Carolina
Head Coach JR Payne
Photo by Peyton Williams/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Colorado women’s basketball is lead by head coach JR Payne, who is going into her eighth season leading the Buffaloes. Colorado (25-9, 13-5 Pac-12) has reached postseason play for the last three years. They were 3rd in the Pac-12 last season, and won their quarterfinal match against Oregon State before losing in the semis to eventual champion Washington State.

The Buffaloes were seeded #6 in the NCAA tournament, and defeated #14 Iona and #3 Duke before losing their Sweet Sixteen match against #2 (and runner-up) Iowa.

As a team, Colorado did very well both at home and away; they won about 85% of their home games and 66% of their away games. They shot 43.4% from the field, including 34.8% from distance, and 69% from the line. They also tended to outrebound their opponents at an average of 5.2 rebounds per game.

Colorado v Iowa
Quay Miller
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Four of Colorado’s five main starters were also their lead scorers. 6-3 C graduate Sr. Quay Miller started and played in all 34 games last season, averaging 13.1 PPG and nearly 9 rebounds per game. She shot 42% from the field, 33% from range, and 76.8% from the line.

Colorado v Iowa
Aaronette Vonleh
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

6-3 Jr. C Aaronette Vonleh averaged 12.2 PPG and 4.5 RPG. She shot 58.5% from the field (doesn’t really shoot threes and went 1-6), and 55.8% from the line.

Colorado v Iowa
Frida Formann
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

5-11 Sr. G Frida Formann averaged 12.0 PPG last season. She shot 39.2% from the field, 39.3% from distance (Formann was the principle long ball threat for the Buffaloes, making nearly twice as many threes as the next closest player), and at 89.3% is excellent at the line.

Colorado v Iowa
Jaylyn Sherrod
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

5-7 graduate Sr. PG Jaylyn Sherrod averaged 11.3 PPG. She shot 40.9% from the field, 30.9% from distance, and 68% from the line. Sherrod takes very good care of the ball, with 167 assists to 89 turnovers last season.

The other primary starter was 6-2 5th year Sr. W Tayanna Jones. She averaged 5.0 PPG and 4.2 RPG, shootingt 44.5% from the field (35.3% from range), and 66.7% from the line.

Jones does not return in 2023, of course, but the other four starters do return this coming season.

Colorado lost three players to the transfer portal, all freshmen: 6-2 F Ally Fitzgerald (UC Davis), 6-1 G Lizzy Holder (Navy), and 6-1 G Jada Wynn (Texas Tech).

The Buffaloes bring in four freshmen this coming season:

Jadyn Atchison is a 6-1 G from Cedar Hills, TX.

Kennedy Sanders is a 5-8 G from Chaska, Minn.

6-0 G Lele Tanuvasa hails from Eureka, CA.

Colorado also brought in 6-3 F Ruthie Loomis-Goltl, from Bridgeport, Neb.

The Buffaloes did not need much in the way of additions from the transfer portal, but did bring in a couple of upperclassmen to add depth:

5-11 G Maddie Nolan is a graduate transfer from Michigan. Colorado is picking up a veteran starter from the Wolverines. Nolan started in all 33 games that Michigan played, scoring in double figures 12 times. Last season she averaged a career-best 9.1 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 32.8 minutes per game. She shot 38.1%, 34.2% on threes, and 85.7% from the stripe.

6-1 Sr. G Sara-Rose Smith transfers in from Missouri. For the Tigers last season, Smith appeared in 31 games during the season with five starts. She led the team and ranked 14th in the SEC with 6.7 rebounds, and also averaged 6.7 points and 1.2 assists. Smith recorded six double-doubles last season, all of which came off the bench. She shot 43.8% (she doesn’t shoot threes, going 0-1 last season) and 75.4% from the stripe.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament Seattle Regional-Iowa vs Colorado Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Like Utah and Washington State, Colorado returns nearly all of their starters. This Buffaloes team will again be vying for the top of the Pac-12 in their last season with the Pac-12.