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MAC Women’s Basketball: Fab 5 Freshman to Watch

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These five ladies are making an impact, and will likely continue to do so for years to come.

Kenneth Bailey

These five freshman are likely stars of tomorrow. They all come in with different skill sets and varying levels of contribution to their respective teams. What they have in common is that they have started their careers off in impressive fashion. I chose 5 because it’s basketball, and that makes a team. I didn’t pick based off position, but by statistics and my own personal observations. There were a couple players that were difficult to leave off the list and I am sure there are some freshman that haven’t seen a lot of action that are future stars in their own right.

Here are my picks based on what I have seen this season, in no particular order.


Summer Hemphill, 6’1 Forward, Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo’s own, Hemphill was a high school star at Cardinal O’Hare. She was a 4 year captain on the basketball team, while also helping the 4x100 relay team win at the states.

Her overall athleticism shows on the court, where she is a solid scorer and fantastic rebounder. On the season, she is averaging 7.1 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Hemphill has been productive all season, but has really come into her own since being named a starter shortly after MAC play began. In conference play, she is averaging 10.6 points and 8.3 rebounds.


Jannae Poisson, 5’8 Guard, Northern Illinois Huskies

Poisson was an honor roll student and 3 sport star at Marian Catholic in Matteson, Illinois.

A point guard in high school, she is a scoring machine off the bench for the Huskies this year. One of only 2 freshman in the top 30 in the league, she is averaging 10.9 points per contest.

She already possesses one of the best mid-range games in the MAC, and has a career high of 27 points. If the Huskies weren’t already loaded, there is no telling how many points she would be averaging.

Scott Walstrom, NIU Creative Services

Lauren Dickerson, 5’3 Guard, Miami RedHawks

What she lacks in stature, Dickerson makes up for in pure spirit. A point guard’s point guard, she controls the action, averaging 14.9 points and 4 assists per game.

The most telling stat for me, though, is her 4.1 rebounds per game. She mixes it up, and is one of my favorite players to watch in the entire league. Pure emotion that sometimes reaches the boiling point. I have yet to see it boil over, and it’s something that I hope she never loses as she matures.

In High School, she had a 5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio, and shot 43% from beyond the arc. I truly believe she is a future player of the year candidate.


Mariella Santucci, 5’6 Guard, Toledo Rockets

Toledo went far and wide to find the Bologna, Italy native. Santucci played on the junior Italian national teams, and played well against the best in the world. She averaged 12.4 points per game in the U17 FIBA world championships.

She also is a true point guard that facilitates the action. She is currently 5th in the MAC, averaging 5 assists per contest.

Her shooting leaves a little to be desired, but I fully expect that will change as her career progresses.


Theresa Onwuku, 5’10 Guard, Buffalo Bulls

The future looks bright if you are a Bulls fan, as she is the second to make the list. The Nigerian native is athletic, and like her freshman Bulls teammate, has been coming on strong since being named a starter shortly after MAC play began.

She is averaging 10.9 points per game in league play, and 6 rebounds.

A very telling stat that shows her tenacity, almost half of her rebounds are offensive.