Ellis’ extra opportunity produces growth

AUSSIES continued to hit the court in the NCAAW during the 2022/23 season, with the number growing on a yearly basis and that trend rolling on over the past 12 months.

Although some have to bide their time on the bench for their first couple of years, they often reward coaches whenever they are given the opportunity to hit the court. A perfect example of this is Grace Ellis, who has just completed her third season in the college system.

She joined the Wyoming Cowgirls in 2020, just after the COVID affected season, with a new batch of players coming through. Ellis showed promise during her younger years in Australia, but on a stacked Wyoming roster, she was forced to play limited minutes over the course of her freshman and sophomore campaigns.

Although she did not receive as many minutes as her teammates, Ellis’ determination was still an eye-catching feature of any game, and the more opportunities she got, the more her skillset shone through, albeit in short spans of court time.

However, Ellis was called upon much more during her junior campaign, which resulted in a career-high 25.5 minutes per game, which is over six more than last year.

Her experience on the Wyoming team made her a reliable figure within the team’s lineup, having fully adjusted to college basketball over her first three years in the system.

She delivered career-best numbers across the board, with Ellis truly able to show what she was capable of if given ample opportunity. She averaged 8.7 points per game across 34 appearances, boosting her shooting efficiency from both the field (48.3 per cent) and from three-point territory (36 per cent). Both of these were a result of an increase in cohesion with her appearances on the court, so she looked much more comfortable shooting the ball.

He notched up double-digits in the points column on 14 occasions and demonstrated her ceiling with a season-high 19 points (8/14 FG) in the win over the Lobos in January.

The Brisbane native was also at her best on the glass as well, pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game in a consistent performance in this domain.

With her senior season just around the corner, Ellis appears as ready as ever to take on a big role as a member of the Cowgirls. She stepped up in the 2022/23 season for her best ever campaign, and seems destined to continue that progression into her final year with Wyoming and in the NCAAW.

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