Area women’s hoops must be on the rise because the mail is starting to trickle back into the in-box — and it’s not all asking for someone to be fired. We’ll get to a breakdown of how Washington reached its 6-2 status and Seattle University’s three-game win streak later.
First, a reader named Bo sent this e-mail over the weekend:
“I attended the last two UW women’s bb games and I’m surprised that Marjorie Heard hasn’t been playing. She dresses for the game and warms up. She doesn’t appear to be injured. Is Marjorie in the coach’s “doghouse”? After seeing her play last season, I thought she’d be an impact player this year so this is a real mystery to me.”
Personally, I was waiting for this question. Heard didn’t see a minute in a 61-49 win against Portland on Friday and played just six in an 80-46 win versus Long Beach State on Dec. 4.
Heard did suffer from a cold that pulled her from the lineup on the road at Idaho on Nov. 30. But it’s not lingering symptoms nor a “doghouse” that has her playing less than expected this season.
A 6-foot-1 F, Heard averaged an impressive 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds as a freshmen under former coach Tia Jackson. She, like the rest of the team, is learning a new system under coach Kevin McGuff and he is also still determining rotations while trying to win games.
According to McGuff (and what I’ve witnessed), its mere depth that causes Heard to get lost in the shuffle. Currently upperclassmen Mollie WIlliams (senior), Mackenzie Argens (senior) and Jeneva Anderson (junior) are more productive in the post with leading scorer Regina Rogers (18.9).
Heard, who’s averaging 2.3 points on 25 percent shooting and 2.5 rebounds this season, can appear lost in the schemes and to force her shot, drawing fouls or turning the ball over. Those are aspects Heard will have to improve if she wants more court time. But it still won’t guarantee minutes, especially as versatile freshmen F Talia Walton (knee) returns to the mix.
McGuff said last week he’s going to give Walton a chance to compete for time on the floor. And he likes a 10-player lineup, so someone will have to sit. For now, it appears to be Heard.
The good thing for Heard, and anyone seemingly stuck on the bench, is McGuff is willing to mix it up in a flash and rewards hard work in practice. So, you may not see Heard now but could come Pac-12 play.
Washington, which is riding a three-game win streak, returns to action on Sunday when it hosts Houston (1-9) at Edmundson Pavilion.
“That’s a hard position right now because Jeneva, Mollie and Marjorie are all competing, said McGuff of the posts. “You’re going to see stretches where one person is not playing as much as the other. Marjorie missed a day last week because she was sick and that hurt her a little bit…It’s not like she’s way behind. She’s right there in the mix with everybody else. I just think game to game, depending upon who plays well, is who we’re going to go with.”
*PHOTO CREDIT: UW F Marjorie Heard takes a shot courtesy of Washington athletics