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  1. Default MNDaily: Bell Leads with Her Offensive Play

    http://www.mndaily.com/article/2017/...offensive-play

    Kenisha Bell:


    She moved to Minnesota in middle school after growing up in Chicago, where she started making a name for herself on the basketball circuit. She played at Bloomington Kennedy High School, where she led the team in her senior season to a runner-up finish at the 2014 Class 4A State Tournament. That year, she was named to the Associated Press’ All-State First Team and the Star Tribune’s All-Metro First Team, averaging 20.5 points per game in the process.

    Bloomington Kennedy's head coach, Quintin Johnson, said he noticed something special about Bell from the moment he saw her play.

    "Her competitive drive, her passion, for not only the game of basketball, but the position she played," Johnson said. "She just won’t quit, and she’s 100 percent serious about what she’s doing."...


    ...Bell said her teammates have been huge contributors to her early success, citing that the work they put in the over the summer has only made her better.

    “We spend a lot of time in the gym together,” Bell said. “In the summer time, we were all going to shoot late at night. We’ve been building a bond with each other, finding the strengths and weaknesses within each other in order to get better and build confidence."

    Bell has been described as serious and mature on the court. The sophomore said her ability to finish off the contact has helped fight off plays that did not go her way.

    “I don’t show too much emotion,” Bell said. “Sometimes when things don’t go my way, I just brush it off and think about the next play."


  2. Default

    Thanks for posting the link to this article. Once again, I find it interesting that the writer and the coach are talking only about Bell's offense and not her defense. I think that goes a long way in showing the mentality of the coaching staff as they continue to emphasize offense and not defense. I've said it before...Stollings will not be successful here with that mentality. Yes, I love the up-tempo offense and I'm sure the ladies love to play it. But unless there is some defense to accompany all that offense, this team will not be successful in the BIG and they will not be an NCAA tourney team. On a related note, Bell might be the Gophers best defender; she's certainly the team's best perimeter defender.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
    On a related note, Bell might be the Gophers best defender; she's certainly the team's best perimeter defender.
    Which would pretty much make her our best player. Kiki is strong in so many categories. In an unrelated note, looking at the stats I noticed Gadiva is 16-16 from the foul line.

  4. #4

    Default

    I've liked her play so far up to the last couple of games. She's been getting into early foul trouble, which she can't do... plus she's starting to turn the ball over more like last year.

    And speaking of reverting, why are the Gophers reverting back to the zone defense? I was filled with so much hope early in the season that Stollings finally saw the light and realized that the best transition offense comes from good defense and getting deflections. I know the scout on some teams is that they struggle with a zone defense, but rarely does a team struggle with the Gopher zone. We have the guard depth to expend the extra energy on defense, so let's do it! I like to see more full court press and traps, especially if they know the opposing team has freshman PG's or poor ball handlers. No more Minnesota Nice defense.

    As far as talk of "best" player, why even go there.... what purpose does it serve? It just creates divisiveness. We should be talking about how well the Gophers play together as a team and how they can get better.

  5. Default

    Shades, you're right to say that Bell has hurt herself with charging fouls. I recall that she has at least 4 charging fouls in the last two games. And the turnovers have increased in those games, partially due to the charging fouls. She's so fast and so aggressive that she has to walk a fine line between that and being too aggressive. And you're right again in saying that the Gophers seem to be reverting back to the zone defense more and more. Old habits are hard to break? And I was hoping that the full-court press would be a major part of their arsenal this year, but apparently not, based on the past couple games. They have the depth to employ a full-court press all the time, especially with Brunson (who appears to be a decent defender) coming off the bench. I'm hoping that Bello can continue to show some outside shooting touch as she did last game, as I think she could be a good defender as well. Has anyone else noticed how poorly this team reacts to rebounds? They have some key players who seem to wait until the ball bounces of the rim or the backboard before they start to go for the ball. That includes 2 of the 3 post players. Bello, Bell, and Pitts seem to be exceptions. And also, what has happened with Kaposi. She's gone from starting games at the beginning of the year to MIA. Injury? Maybe not. I don't care either way, as Pitts has earned the minutes she is getting, but I do find it curious.

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