Who She Is
Senior; 5-foot-11; Indianapolis, IN; Guard.
30 games played (20 starts); 11.1 minutes per game; 2.7 points per game; 2.0 rebounds per game; 1.1 assists per game; 0.1 blocks per game; 0.3 steals per game; 28.3% FG; 10.0% 3PT; 69.2% FT.
In her first season as a true impact player (her freshman and sophomore seasons saw just three total starts), Jasmine McWilliams proved she could be a major factor to the Wildcats’ success. Though her stats may not jump out on the page, McWilliams was a keystone to Northwestern’s women’s basketball team. McWilliams was one of the most efficient rebounders on the roster – her two rebounds per game were good for fourth-best among returning players – despite only logging just over 11 minutes per game.
After two seasons which saw little meaningful action for McWilliams due to her being an underclassmen on rosters filled with a plethora of talent, head coach Joe McKeown gave her a chance to prove herself. She proved her worth as a rebounding guard, as well as a very talented passer (she finished third in assists per game among returning players).
Arguably the least developed facet of her game was her scoring. Though she only averaged 3.3 field goal attempts per game, McWilliams had less-than-ideal shooting numbers, posting 28.3/10.0/68.8 shooting splits. As she likely faces a bigger role this coming season, especially scoring wise, it will be crucial to the ‘Cats’ success for the Indianapolis native to be able to take advantage of the scoring opportunities she is bound to receive.
Though it may not necessarily look like it based on her raw numbers alone, McWilliams can definitely rebound. At 5-foot-10-inches, she is one of the biggest guards on the roster and can dominate the glass on both ends when matched up against other smaller guards or small forwards.
Now, as a senior, McWilliams will also be forced to step up as a leader of the team, and should see a major spike in minutes on the floor with top rebounders Sydney Wood, Courtney Shaw and Jillian Brown all gone from the squad.
Similarly, McWilliams will be of major value to coach McKeown as a player who is extremely versatile on the defensive end. Once again, her size is valuable because it allows her to be an effective defender both in the post and from the perimeter.
Unlike most guards who are almost always at the mercy of a bigger power forward or center when caught defending in the post area, McWilliams can hold her own. Her defensive ability, though it may not show up on many areas of the stat sheet, could potentially be critical to Northwestern’s defensive effectiveness this upcoming season.
On the simplest level, McWilliams needs to be more efficient on the offensive side of the ball. The poor shooting splits she has sported in each of her first three collegiate seasons have not been up to par.
Though there likely won’t be any expectation for her to carry the load scoring-wise, McWilliams will still need to be a solid contributor to the Wildcats’ scoring attack, which finished second-to-last in the conference a season ago. As a team, Northwestern has to improve its offense if the Wildcats hope to improve on their 9-21 record from last year, meaning each and every player will have to play their part, McWilliams included.
This season could go a lot of different ways for McWilliams, but one sure thing is a much more active role on both sides of the ball. Expect a stark increase in minutes per game, especially earlier on in the season as the Wildcats attempt to find their team identity. Though there probably won’t exactly be a gap at the position which McWilliams will be playing this year, her role will definitely be defined within their first few weeks of play.
Alongside an increase in minutes, expect an increase in all of her major statistics, including a rise in her assist numbers, which were already solid despite her limited playing time. Being one of just three seniors on the current roster, above all McWilliams will need to be a vocal leader, and the rock of this Northwestern team.