Pac-12 12 Things: What injuries to Provo, Tudor, Fingall mean moving forward

SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 04: Oregon State Kat Tudor looks to pass during the women's Pac 12 college tournament game between the Oregon State Beavers and the UCLA Bruins on March 4th, 2017, at the Key Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Aric Becker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 04: Oregon State Kat Tudor looks to pass during the women's Pac 12 college tournament game between the Oregon State Beavers and the UCLA Bruins on March 4th, 2017, at the Key Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Aric Becker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

This past week in Pac-12 women’s basketball, several key players were lost to season ending injuries. Here are some notes on what they mean for the respective teams and which players will need to step up most in their absence.

1. Utah loses Provo

Daneesha Provo was off to a wonderful start to her senior season. Her true shooting percentage of 62.0 ranks in the 96th percentile nationally per Her Hoop Stats. She had connected on 38.7 percent of about five 3-pointers per game and was hovering near the top 100 in both steals per game (2.1) and steal rate (4.6 percent). She’s their best one-on-one defender and her energy fueled their occasional full-court pressure and transition attack.

Kiana Moore, who averaged seven minutes per game last season, replaced Provo in the starting lineup. She drilled five 3-pointers in Sunday’s convincing win over Arizona. Sarah Porter and Niyah Becker will likely see some more time off the bench.

2. Personnel to maintain style of play

The good news? This season’s Utah team has the personnel to maintain its style of play, all things considered. The players stepping into the majority of Provo’s minutes probably aren’t quite as capable yet driving to the rim, but all three names mentioned above will let it fly. Moore got a few of her 3-pointers in transition, one set up by a Dre’una Edwards push:

Plays like that can be tough to wrap your head around. That’s the point guard choosing to let the team’s freshman center lead the break instead. Edwards got by the two defenders in the backcourt, creating a 4-on-3 situation.

Andrea Torres logged 24 minutes Sunday. Her shooting helps them maintain their spacing. She can unlock a lot for Megan Huff to score more in pick and roll. When defenders lock in on the looming threat of a Huff roll or pop to a 3-pointer, Torres can slide right into an open triple of her own:

Dru Gylten and Erika Bean will need to knock down some more shots to account for this loss. This triple from Porter on a cross-court feed is exactly what the Utes need to punish opponents for showing their hand too early on Huff.

3. Torres, Edwards keeping you on your toes

Don’t put it past either to put it on the floor a few times to get all the way to the rim. Once apiece against Arizona they completely torched their defenders who were not expecting them to look to drive at all.

4. Gylten carves up the Wildcats

Utah ran all over the Wildcats with their ability to change ends in a hurry. Dru Gylten assisted five 3-pointers in the first half alone. The true freshman had three sweet dimes to Huff on a roll to the rim, a quick backdoor and a hard cut in transition.

5. Stanford loses Fingall

The Cardinal will play out the remainder of the season without starting forward Nadia Fingall. The ceiling of their defense took the biggest hit with this loss. Their other options don’t quite have the same combination of strength, mobility and reaction time to defend all over the court and cover up mistakes.

Maya Dodson has the tools to get there. But she isn’t comfortable spending so much time behind the 3-point line, which is what really unlocked their Princeton offense. Fingall was just 5-of-17 from deep on the season but was willing to take the open ones. They can still get some of that shooting from Alyssa Jerome and Shannon Coffee.

6. Having both Hull sisters

Lexie Hull returned to action Sunday after missing some time with a foot injury. Lacie Hull had been starting in her place, shooting 40 percent from deep and playing some sneaky good defense on the perimeter.

Pac-12 Network broadcast crews have joked that Tara VanDerveer has trouble distinguishing the two. Will she try throwing both of them on the court together more often? A lineup of Kiana Williams, DiJonai Carrington, Alanna Smith and the Hull sisters would be very tough to stop.

7. Williams hunting shots

It was exciting to see Williams hunting open 3-pointers over the weekend, getting up 20 attempts in two games. She flashed the range to be doing so almost immediately in her freshman season. If teams fail to find her in transition or duck under screens, 10 per game should be seen as a norm or even too low a number, if anything.

8. Most lethal two-player game in the conference?

Smith’s shooting makes this almost impossible for two defenders to navigate. Helping from the other side leaves an easy passing lane to an open spot up. Take a step or two away from her to wall off Williams and it’s an easy pass back for an open shot for Smith.

A handoff like that can function in the same way as a pick and roll. When they’re also cutting hard and zipping the ball around the perimeter, it’s even tougher to see coming.

9. Oregon State loses Tudor

The devastating news kept coming as a third key player in the conference was officially lost to a season-ending knee injury. Kat Tudor had been coming off the bench for the Beavers. Her status as one of the best and most versatile 3-point shooters in the conference is unquestioned.

OSU does happen to have another very skilled shooter in Aleah Goodman that can step into additional minutes. Each of the starters will need to give a little more. Freshman Jasmine Simmons may find her way into the rotation to provide some additional wing depth.

10. Consistency from Corosdale

What a shot this was in that moment by Taya Corosdale.

The ripple effect on the sophomore forward from Tudor’s injury is pretty straightforward. They need her to be a two-way presence more consistently. Without Tudor to fill so many minutes, Scott Rueck has fewer reliable combinations to use to slide Katie McWilliams to the four spot. As we saw in their near-upset of Notre Dame, Corosdale is the most important player for them to keep out of foul trouble.

11. Generating threes for somebody else

Tudor by far was the team’s most versatile shooter, as she was last season. She could run off of screens, quickly set her feet and hit difficult attempts over late-arriving defenders. Nobody else on the roster has proven to be quite on that level.

They did run back an old favorite to set a screen for a shooter to curl around toward the corner. Both Goodman and McWilliams got off clean looks out of that action against Washington State.

12. Winning plays from Slocum

Slocum hit the pull up jumper that likely would have sealed a victory over the Cougars. She outdid herself seconds later with how quickly she closed out to the corner and somehow managed, as a smaller guard, to block this 3-point attempt:

It’s no secret that this team needs her to ignite their offense and carry a bigger scoring load with Tudor out. The more important takeaway, to me, from that game was her defense matched up against Chanelle Molina, who really brought it in that point guard matchup in a game Washington State probably feels they should have won.

Previous editions of the column: Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1