Friday's NCAA Tournament games are now in the books, and I encourage you to check out our roundup if you haven't already. I get that the Tournament is about school spirit and that there's no "I" in team. But at the same time, some players had some very strong individual performances.
First, let's take a look at the top individual performers overall.
1 . Reshanda Gray, Sr., Cal
Though all five of Cal's starters scored in double figures in their 78-66 win over Wichita State, Gray led all scorers with 22 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in the winning effort. In addition, she shot 9 of 13 from the field, which was more efficient than any other starter.
Gray's hands will be full on Sunday against Texas, where she will have to spend at least some of her time defending against the 6'7 Imani McGee-Stafford, who also is one of my three stars.
2. Imani McGee-Stafford, So.,Texas
McGee-Stafford scored 24 points on 10 of 13 shooting, and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Longhorns' win over the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers. Without her performance, it's safe to say that WKU could have stole the game given that the Longhorns committed 19 total turnovers, while McGee-Stanford only committed one of those.
The 6'7 McGee-Stafford and 6'5 Kelsey Lang frontcourt duo should provide a tough matchup for Cal on Sunday, since Gray is 6'3 and her frontcourt mate Mikayla Cowling is 6'2.
3. Amanda Zahui B., So., Minnesota
Zahui B. scored 21 points on 7 of 11 shooting and grabbed 22 rebounds in a 79-72 loss to DePaul. The 22 rebounds are just one short of the NCAA Tournament record. That performance caps off a great season where she averaged 18.8 points and 12.9 rebounds a game and shared Big Ten Player of the Year honors with Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell.
With Zahui B.'s dominant play and injured senior guard Rachel Banham redshirting for the 2015-16 season, Gophers fans could be really excited about next year. Is it too early to wonder whether the Gophers could have another banner campaign like they did in 2003-04 with then-future WNBA players Lindsey Whalen and Janel McCarville? Hmmm.
4. Adrienne Motley, So., Miami (FL)
Motley scored 30 points on 10 of 18 shooting to lead the U to an 86-80 upset win over the Washington Huskies. That almost matched her career high of 32 points against Notre Dame on January 8 at home. In addition, Motley also made both of her three point attempts and shot 8 of 10 from the free throw line despite the fact that the Hurricanes only shot 25 of 40 (62.5%) overall from the charity stripe.
Motley's also Miami's leading scorer and is just a sophomore, yet she is also an efficient score shooting 49.2% from the field overall this season. I wonder how good she can be over the next two seasons by the time 2017 comes around.
5. Jen Dumiak, Sr., American
The senior guard scored 23 points on 9 of 13 shooting in a 75-67 loss to Iowa. As the Patriot League's player of the year, one would think that Dumiak would have shot well below her season average of 52.1% in an NCAA tournament game because the Hawkeyes would have focused on slowing her down. But she played all 40 minutes, dished 9 assists, AND actually improved on that average, even though the Eagles unfortunately lost.