Name: Courtney Vandersloot
Position: Point Guard
School Bio: Courtney Vandersloot
Gonzaga floor leader Courtney Vandersloot is the engine behind the nationís highest-scoring offense. The 5-8 point guard leads the NCAA in assists this year, dishing out 10.2 per game. More than just a distributor, Vandersloot combines the ability to find the open lane with a good outside shot to make her the complete offensive player. The three-time WCC Player of the Year, she's averaging 18.6 ppg and shooting 48.4 percent as a senior, and was recently named the 2011 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award.
A solid 5-8 guard who can score and dish out assists; best attribute is her competitive drive.
Graham Hays, ESPN.com
She's a point guard who makes every player on the court with her better, and while not quite as important in the framework of constructing a team, she's a point guard who keeps the fans entertained. She famously worked with Gonzaga alum John Stockton in honing her skills, but she plays a little more like Steve Nash or Deron Williams, combining unmatched vision and quickness end to end with an ability to score 20 without seeming to ever look for her own shot. Her game is flashy, but her demeanor is entirely business.
Steve Myklebust, Gonzaga Radio Network
Courtney Vandersloot is the engine that runs the Gonzaga Bulldogs. She is one of those players who makes all her teammates better, with her passing ability, her defensive intensity, her scoring. She is the "whole package."
Courtney has had a hand in 45 percent of the Bulldogs' offense this season. And that is saying something as the Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring. She leads the nation in assists and averages 18 points per game.
Courtney has been called by many as the best pocket passer the women's game has seen. She has an uncanny ability to find an open teammate off the transition, fast break or the halfcourt. Her game is more pass-first, score as a second option, but if the team needs a bucket, she will score. She is a tough, physical player, and has developed a great, slashing take-it-to-the-hoop mentality that makes her a triple threat. Defenses have to respect her outside shot, her drives and her passing.
Courtney should be a unanimous pick for West Coast Conference Player of the Year. This would be her third straight, unprecedented in the WCC. She has elevated her play every year. Always a great passer, her defense sometimes gets overlooked. A true "hustler," she is on the floor diving for loose balls, taking a charge, doing what needs to be done.
She is a quiet leader on the court. Rarely does she yell. I have never seen her berate a teammate for anything. She is always the first to admit when she makes a bad play (which is not often!).
Courtney is very respected. Everywhere we go, coaches, players, media and fans want to see her play. She is one of the main reasons Gonzaga ranks in the top 25 in the nation in attendance per game. Fans flat-out want to see the best player in the history of the WCC.
There is no doubt in my mind Courtney will succeed in the WNBA. Her grit and determination will be an asset to any team she plays for.
She is a once-in-a-lifetime player, and I feel lucky I have been able to follow her career.
Dave Trimmer, The Spokane Spokesman Review
Courtney Vandersloot is the face of the Gonzaga program that has joined the Bulldogs men's team in the national consciousness. That's saying a lot because the school's and West Coast Conference's all-time leading scorer, Heather Bowman, just graduated last year.
The Bulldogs have won seven straight West Coast Conference championships, so Vandersloot didn't lead GU to the top, she has just made sure they separated from their rivals. Gonzaga is 53-3 in the WCC in her four years and she will be the first three-time Player of the Year and fifth four-time all-league pick. She will probably garner more awards in the postseason than any woman in WCC history.
If Vandersloot had her choice she would be a pass-first point guard. As a junior she led the nation in assists at 9.4 and scored a little more than 14 ppg. This year she has bumped her assists to 10 and her scoring to 18. With enough games she could become the first player ever in the NCAA with 1,000 assists and 2,000 points, male or female.
Vandersloot has grown more confident with the ball every year and added something to her offense, improving her shot every year. The Bulldogs reached the Sweet 16 last year and Vandersloot played well, but teams tried to muscle her. This year she is obviously stronger. But for all her physical gifts, her biggest strength is her mental toughness, her desire to win and willingness to improve.
The one thing that is always hard to judge is speed and quickness, especially when it comes to the best athletes in the world at any sport. But from my perspective there is no reason to believe she can't play at the next level.
- FAN ZONE