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Podcast: Rutgers women’s basketball roster coming together



Kaylene Smikle (No. 2) and Chyna Cornwell (No. 54) are key returning players for next season. Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Welcome to episode No. 67 of The Scarlet Faithful podcast. This is episode focuses on head coach Coquese Washington’s year two in rebuilding Rutgers women’s basketball.

Six of Rutgers’ eight scholarship players from last season’s team are set to return. Second Team All-Big Ten selection Kaylene Smikle is the centerpiece of the core returning. She averaged 17.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.6 assists in 32 games as a freshman.

In addition, Chyna Cornwell is back inside for Rutgers after having the best season of her career last season. She averaged 9.5 points and 8.6 rebounds while producing nine double-doubles.

Point guard Awa Sidibe is also back after posting 9.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals. Another key forward, Kassondra Brown, is also back after averaging 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steal last season.

Two promising younger players on the roster are Antonia Bates, who played big minutes as a freshman, and Jillian Huerter, who enrolled early at mid-season.

This offseason, Rutgers has added former McDonald’s All-American Destiny Adams from UNC as well as landing former 4-star recruit Mya Petticord from Texas A&M. Both should play key roles next season.

While Rutgers is still likely to add to the roster with four scholarships still open, coach Washington continues to build the future as well. This past weekend, 4-star prospect Zachara Perkins committed to the program.

This episode includes detailed discussion on how Washington is leading this program forward.

Also covered in this episode is Meghan Ball being  named Big Ten Defender of the Year and Christian Coppola earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.  And of course, portal watch for men’s basketball continues with the deadline to enter just two days away.

Thanks for listening and watching once again.



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. pj43

    May 9, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    Aaron, thanks for the details on the women’s basketball program. Coach Washington appears to have a well thought out plan about what she wants this program to look like and she’s doing a great job of bringing in the right players for her vision. I thought she did an impressive job last year, given the circumstances, which has me thinking Rutgers may be a pleasant surprise in the Big Ten this upcoming season given the talent being added.

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