Miami women’s basketball 2020-2021 preview: Sophomores

Sophomore forward Brianna Jackson at the free-throw line during Miami's game versus Florida State University in the Watsco Center on Jan. 5.
Sophomore forward Brianna Jackson at the free-throw line during Miami's game versus Florida State University in the Watsco Center on Jan. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Miami returns four sophomore players who are looking to make a bigger impact on the team this season. This year’s sophomore returning class consists of two international players and the potential for developing stars.

Moulayna Johnson Sidi Baba played an active role last season, averaging over 15 minutes per game. The Swede appeared in 25 games as a freshman with three starts. The 6-footer’s length gives her the potential to be a break-out star on the team. In her freshman campaign, Sidi Baba totaled 58 offensive and defensive rebounds, but wasn’t the most effective shooter. With the departure of former star forward Beatrice Mompremier, the Canes are looking for someone to step up as a scorer. Sidi Baba shot 20 for 77 from the field goal, but with more court time opportunities this year, those numbers are expected to improve.

Also looking for a chance to make an impact on this Canes offense is Kenza Salgues, one of two Frenchmen on the team. Salgues came into freshmen year as a four-star prospect and was ranked the second best player from France. However, last season she saw a limited role as a guard. Salgues appeared in 25 games, but didn’t see significant playing time and averaged only eight minutes per game. With the Canes returning four senior guards this season, Salgues will likely play a limited role in the offense once again. However, in the future she could emerge as a leader as the opportunity opens up.

As the only traditional center listed on the roster, Sydnee Roby has the possibility to see herself named as a starter. Last season she appeared in 29 games for the Canes, but only saw two starts and averaged nearly nine minutes per game. At the center position, Roby’s game relies heavily on her production in the paint and her defensive skills. As a freshman she shot 50 percent from the field, but made no attempts from the perimeter, following the style of a traditional big. Standing at 6-foot-3, she could make an impact to the Canes defensive play this season. As a freshman she totaled 22 defensive rebounds and 17 blocks and with an increased number of minutes expected this year she should make a bigger impact.

At 6-foot-3, Brianna Jackson ties Roby as the second tallest player on the team. The forward saw significant playing time last season, appearing in 30 games and making the most starts of any of the freshmen on the roster with 16. She also led the freshman class in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.

Last season, Jackson played a significant role in the Canes defense. She ranked sixth in the ACC in blocks per game and led the Canes in rebounding in nine games. Jackson also came up big in high-profile games for the Canes last year. She had a career-high 14 points against No. 8 Florida State and a career-high three steals and six offensive rebounds.

Out of all the returning sophomores on the team, Jackson was the only one to have a consistent impact on the team and with her having time to develop her game in the offseason, that role is only expected to continue and even increase.