The UMKC women’s basketball team released their 2018-19 schedule on Monday, a season that will be navigated by a team with 10 newcomers on the roster. Get to know the newest additions to the UMKC family, in addition to learning more about matchups in the upcoming season, with all 10 installments of the 2018-19 Season Primer. Part VIII features incoming freshman Bre Beck (Chicago, Ill.) and a home matchup with Illinois State on Dec. 30.
The second member of the 2018 signing class from Chicago, and the third native of Illinois, Bre Beck made the trek west to UMKC earlier this summer to join the rest her teammates for offseason workouts. A product of the dominant Whitney Young High School program, Beck arrived on campus battle-tested and fully equipped to handle the adjustment to Division I college hoops.
“It has been a smooth transition,” noted Beck. “Playing under remarkable coaches at my high school, they prepared for me anything along my path ahead. They pushed me to be the best I could be and I know that it’s only going up from here.”
Although the adjustment has gone rather easily, it hasn’t been devoid of its challenges. Beck points towards being part of a large freshman class as one of the ways that has helped in continuing to move forward.
“It has been a process of gaining a feel for all my new teammates and getting used to how things go while still having an open mindset to try new things that you aren’t comfortable with. I’ve enjoyed creating bonds with my teammates and coaches.” Being part of such a sizeable group of incoming players has “been helpful because you feel like you have an opportunity to prove yourself and going through struggles is made easier by having six other freshman going through the same thing.”
A three-year starter and two-year team captain for Whitney Young HS, Beck continued to progress her skills throughout her prep career. As a sophomore, she averaged 6.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game as she found ways to make an impact all over the court. Beck’s numbers jumped significantly in her junior season, averaging 12.3 points and 5.0 rebounds along with team-bests of 5.0 assists and 3.1 steals per game, guiding her team to fourth-place finish in the State Tournament.
Beck continued to fill up the stat sheet in her final season at Whitney Young, averaging 11.0 points and 5.8 rebounds while leading the team for a second consecutive year at 6.2 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Over her entire prep career, Beck averaged 10 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game, earning All-District and All-Conference honors twice.
Even while possessing a broad array of physical skills that made her one of top players in the Chicago area, Beck believes that are other ways in which she will make a positive impact on the UMKC squad.
“I am a leader on and off the court and know what it takes to win. I bring quickness, urgency, leadership and toughness to the team. I like to bring out the best in my teammates and I can put them in positions that are best for them. I think I can bring some fire and intensity to the group.”
A nonconference matchup against Illinois State to close the month of December is a game that Beck has marked down on the calendar, as it gives her a very unique opportunity to compete against family.
“December 30th, we play Illinois State. My sister is a senior there and I’ve always dreamed of us playing against each other in college. It will be like all the backyard games we played as a kid but more advanced.”
Scouting the Redbirds
UMKC wraps up nonconference play in the 2018-19 season when they host Illinois State on Dec. 30 following the Roo Holiday Classic. The matchup will be the second all-time between the schools, with the two meeting up for the first time last season in what resulted in a 64-53 win for Illinois State on their home court.
The Redbirds enter the 2018-19 season as an experienced group, returning four starters from a team that went 14-16 (8-10 MVC) a season ago. Leading scorer Simone Goods, a 6 foot 2 senior forward, returns after averaging 13.5 points per game on 45.6% field goal shooting a year ago.
Katrina Beck, the sister of incoming freshman Bre Beck, will also be suited up for Illinois State after a junior campaign that averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 30 starts on the year. Sophomore guard Paige Saylor will be another player to watch as she enters 2018-19 as the team’s only returning player to shoot over 30% from three-point distance while leading the Redbirds with 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game as freshman.
As a team, Illinois State struggled to knock down shots consistently last season as they connected on just 36% of field goal attempts and 27.4% of three-point attempts in averaging 53.5 points per game. Despite the shooting struggles, the team was extremely proficient in getting to the foul line, averaging 19 free throw attempts per game while allowing 14.3 attempts to opponents. UMKC will look to play sound defensively and force the Redbirds to earn their points off of the free throw line.
Holding their own in the rebounding department will be vital for the Roos when the two teams match up in late December. Illinois State proved to be overly formidable in cleaning up the boards in 2017-18, posting a +3.6 rebounding margin on the year while collecting over 10 offensive rebounds per contest. The Redbirds will be without their leading rebounder from last season in departed senior Hannah Green but still project to be solid in this area with the majority of their roster back for the upcoming schedule.
– UMKC –