North Texas Daily

Noble, McGruder share backcourt at differing points in career

Noble, McGruder share backcourt at differing points in career

Noble, McGruder share backcourt at differing points in career
February 22
12:00 2023

Following the 2021-22 women’s basketball season, nine players departed North Texas, including former starting shooting guard Jazion Jackson.

Sophomore guard Kendall McGruder has stepped into a larger role in the 2022-23 season to meet the need. She is 12.1 points per game in 29.7 minutes in Conference USA play, over nine points more than her total last season.

“I knew I had to step up as we have a young team — including me,” McGruder said. “I knew I was going to play more because when I was a freshman I had to play behind a lot of grad students and seniors. I think I’ve just found my role.”

McGruder played 28 games in her first season, the most of any freshman on the roster. Her best game came against Southern Methodist University when she went 4-4 from 3-point range to score a career-high of 12 points. This season, McGruder said she wanted to expand her game.

Sophomore guard Kendall McGruder stands in the huddle during a time out on Feb. 16, 2023. Marco Barrera

“Last year I came in and just shot 3-pointers,” McGruder said. “But this year I want to try and show people that I can do more than just shoot 3-pointers. So now that I’ve developed that into my game, my points, percentages and other aspects of my game have gone up.”

This season McGruder is averaging nine points, three assists and one steal in 26.4 minutes of play as well as shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 32.3 percent on 3-pointers in 24 games. Her shooting has improved since conference play began on Dec. 29, as she is now shooting 40.5 percent overall and a team-best of 32.3 percent from behind the 3-point line.

“I think Kendall [McGruder] can do everything with the basketball,” assistant coach Tez Dumars said. “She has a mid-range game, she can shoot the three, she can make floaters and she can really pass. She’s always working on her game. I think her getting in the gym is what has been the biggest thing for her.”

Senior guard Quincy Noble, McGruder’s backcourt partner, said she has seen McGruder develop as a player this season.

“Anyone coming back from their freshman season you really get to see learn,” Noble said. “[McGruder] got to learn from a lot of veterans last year and took all the knowledge she had already and put it into her sophomore season.”

McGruder trails Noble’s 17.2 points per game and is ahead of junior guard Jaaucklyn Moore, who is averaging 8.9 points per game.

“[McGruder] is another guard that can do multiple things for us,” Dumars said. “She can dribble, pass and shoot. So anytime you have multiple players on the floor that can do that it’s a problem [for the opposing team].”

Noble is a fifth-year veteran and fellow guard on the team. She is the second player in program history to be awarded C-USA First Team honors and has now led the team in scoring for three consecutive seasons. With McGruder as an additional scoring threat on the floor, Noble said opposing defenses will have to watch for multiple scoring threats.

Four games remain in Noble’s final season and McGruder’s second season before the conference tournament — fans will have their first and last chance at seeing the duo start in the lineup together for a postseason run.

“Now the defense has to focus on someone else,” Noble said. “They can’t just focus on one certain player, so I think it just adds another person to worry about on the court.”

Featured Image Sophomore guard Kendall McGruder runs up the court during a game on Feb. 16, 2023. Marco Barrera

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Joshua Paveglio

Joshua Paveglio

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