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Northwestern women’s basketball 2022-23 player reviews: Paige Mott

A huge leap for the junior.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

As Inside NU continues with its reviews of how each Northwestern women’s basketball player performed during the 2022-23 season, we move on to the player who arguably made the greatest strides of any Wildcat last season: junior forward Paige Mott.

After not starting a game in 2021-22, Mott blossomed into a star in 2022-23. She came off the bench for the first five contests of the year, but then proceeded to start the final 25 games of the campaign. Her production skyrocketed with these increased minutes, as her scoring average nearly tripled from 3.4 points per game in 2021-22 to 8.9 points per game in 2022-23. Additionally, she was tied for third on the team with 4.4 rebounds per game. If Mott can maintain her same level of production from last season, she could be poised for for a monster senior year in 2023-24.


Here’s a screenshot of Mott’s stats from the past year, as well as percentiles of where her marks ranked in Division I, courtesy of CBB Analytics:

As is clear from these stats, Mott had a very productive offensive season. Her 52.7% effective field goal percentage was the highest on the team by almost five percentage points and was good enough to fall into the 78th percentile nationally. This represents a jump of almost 13 percent from 2021-22, when she had just a 39.4% effective field goal percentage. This improvement can be connected with a much improved low-post game from Mott, as she got to her spots and time and time again utilized a left-handed scoop shot to get easy baskets. She was also active on the offensive glass, grabbing almost two offensive rebounds per game.

Furthermore, Mott’s passing out of the post cannot be glossed over. Her 1.4 assists per game were among the top 15% of all players at her position in the country. It is also worth pointing out that these assist numbers would likely be even higher if the team had not had the poor shooting year it did. Mott is very good at distributing from the post to open looks from around the arc, so look for her assist numbers to jump next season if the team’s shooting improves.

Shot Distribution

Here are a few of Mott’s shot charts, also per CBB Analytics.

As one would expect for a power forward/center type player such as Mott, she lived around the rim. 83.1% of Mott’s shot attempts came either at the rim or in the painted area, and she attempted just one three-pointer on the year. She was particularly lethal on paint shots not directly at the rim, with her 51% shooting clip on those shots ranking in the 86th percentile nationally.

As Mott backed out of the paint, her shooting started to decline. She shot just 23.5% from midrange on 1.1 attempts per game, placing her in the bottom quarter of the country. Interestingly, looking at the bottom chart, Mott had a lot more success from the right side of the court on mid-range shots, with her most effective shots from that distance coming from the right side corner.

The Good

As hinted at above, Mott was one of the team’s most consistent offensive contributors last year. In a 13-game stretch running from a Jan. 19 matchup on the road against Ohio State through the end of the season, Mott scored in double figures 10 times. Overall, she posted 14 double-digit scoring outings, with her best performance of the year being a 23-point, nine-rebound effort against Wisconsin on Jan. 29.

Also, outside of her tremendous statistical impact, it is worth mentioning Mott’s growth as a leader over the course of the year. Mott brought energy every game of the year, was very vocal on the floor and constantly gathered her teammates on the floor between whistles to draw up plays. Even when she was on the bench, she was always the first one to hype up her teammates when they made a big play or shout encouragement when they needed a boost. Look for Mott’s leadership role to continue to grow as she heads into her senior year next season.

The Bad

Overall, Mott had a tremendous year, but there are still a couple of areas where she can improve for next season.

First of all, turnovers were a problem for the entire Northwestern team this year, and Mott’s stats reflected that issue. She turned the ball over 1.8 times per game, a mark which placed her in the bottom third of the country. Additionally, she found herself in foul trouble a few times, particularly in stretch run games against Nebraska and Purdue in which she was limited to just 14 and 19 minutes, respectively. For someone who contributes as much to her team’s offense as Mott does, she cannot afford to be picking up early fouls that put her on the bench for extended periods.

The Bottom Line

Very few people would argue with you if you claimed that Mott’s performance was the most encouraging development to come out of the 2022-23 season for Northwestern. She has put herself in great position to be a force in the Big Ten next season, especially if she can begin to develop a consistent midrange presence to complement her already well-rounded post game. Look for Mott to build off this year’s success and be one of the stars of this team next year as she returns to Evanston for her senior campaign.