NORMAL — Hannah Green’s timing has been perfect.
Now Illinois State women’s basketball coach Kristen Gillespie is not so patiently waiting for Green to be joined by Simone Goods on the court for the Redbirds.
Goods will sit out her third straight game Thursday when ISU plays host to Southern Illinois Edwardsville in a 7 p.m. nonconference game at Redbird Arena.
In the past two contests that Goods has missed, Green scored 36 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to earn Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week honors.
“Hannah has done an unbelievable job stepping up. This is what we expect from her as a staff,” Gillespie said. “Once Simone gets back, it’s going to be our staff’s job to figure out how they can both feel really comfortable and get them to play well with each other.”
Green averaged 6.6 points and 5.4 rebounds last season as a junior college transfer.
“I’ve extended my game beyond the arc,” said the 6-foot senior, who has already attempted 11 3-pointers after just nine all last season. “That way I can take defenders off the bounce. It creates a mismatch. It can really help the team. We get better looks inside and out.”
Gillespie has given Green the “green light” to shoot from beyond the arc.
“We try to play her on the perimeter and make post players guard her,” Gillespie said. “If she gets a good pass, she’s catching it in rhythm and no one is closing out, she knows that ball has to be shot. But she can also shot fake and go around people.”
The ISU coach expects Goods, who had 31 points and 19 rebounds in two contests before being sidelined with a foot injury, to miss games Thursday and Sunday with a possible return for a Dec. 7 contest at Milwaukee.
“They are being cautious,” said Gillespie. “They don’t want it to turn into a stress fracture.”
The Redbirds are 2-2 with both wins coming at home in Gillespie’s first season on the bench. ISU downed Missouri-Kansas City, 64-53, last Sunday.
“It’s important to show we’re going in the right direction,” Green said. “I’m not going to be able to be here for the cultivation of everything that’s going to happen the next couple years. I’m happy to be part of the kickstart of where this program is going to be in the future.”
SIUE is 3-1 and led by double figure scorers in 5-8 senior Lauren White (16.3), 5-9 senior Donshel Beck (13.8) and 5-5 junior Nakia Bell (12.8). Sydney Bauman, a 6-3 junior, grabs 10.5 rebounds per game.
“They are really athletic. Beck will be a tough matchup for us,” said Gillespie. “Their two guards, White and Bell, make them go. It will be a great test for our defense. I love what we’re doing defensively."
The Cougars are coached by former Bradley mentor Paula Buscher. One of her assistants is Bloomington High School graduate Dodie Dunson.