Versatility is the Name of Todd’s Game

Badger (Lake Geneva) Standout is a Points and Rebounds Machine While Playing Inside and Out

By Greg Bates
Special to Midwest Collegiate Prospects

 

Badger (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin) girls’ basketball coach David Jooss can count on one hand how many times his star player Macie Todd didn’t register a double-double in a game this past season.

It certainly didn’t happen much.

Todd had a magnificent junior season on the court in which she averaged team-leading 14.2 points and 11.9 rebounds, as well as 1.7 steals and 1.4 assists per game. She proved to be a real stat-stuffer for a Badger team that won a conference title for the first time in nine years.

“I think she’s found a unique way to put skill, athleticism and desire together,” Jooss said. “She’s a very versatile player.”

 

Versatile: that word describes Todd’s game to a T.

As a sophomore, her first season starting on varsity, Todd played more on the perimeter as a shooting guard/small forward. This past season, the 5-foot-11 Todd played more on the inside as a post.

“Something that I appreciate as a coach is, she always molded her game into what we needed,” Jooss said. “This year, we needed her to play more inside. What did she do? She led the league in rebounding.”

“I’m kind of everywhere,” said Todd, who also competes in volleyball and track and field at Badger. “I play every position on the court except for the 1. I like to think of myself as the one player where you can put me anywhere and I’ll do my best.”

After getting called up to varsity as a freshman and earning some playing time, Todd put up 5.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals per contest during her sophomore campaign.

Todd got a little more crafty with the ball in her hands. Even though she camped out in the post quite a bit, Todd is still quick enough to create her own shots starting on the outside.

“As a team, we did a lot of cuts and screens for each other and I usually had a screen to come off of and I would go in for a layup,” Todd said.

Jooss has watched Todd steadily improve on the offensive end the last three years.

“She’s finishing stronger at the rim. She’s getting fouled more. She’s getting to the line,” Jooss said. “She’s a really tough match-up because if they put more of a post kid on her, she’s going to turn and face (the basket) and pull them out a little bit. Where if they put a little bit smaller, quicker player on her, she’s able to go inside and play some back to the basket, pure post. It just made her a tough guard.”

Her scoring touch is impressive, but the best part of Todd’s game is her knack to pull down rebounds. She led the Southern Lakes Conference in that category and finished in the top 15 in the state this past season.

When a shot goes up, Todd can instinctively track it and pull it down.

“I think it just goes with playing hard,” Jooss said. “If a shot went up, she was going to go with everything she had, kind of that Dennis Rodman rebound mentality that I’m getting this offensive rebound. You’re assuming every shot’s missed, you’re going to go for it with everything you’ve got. Her conditioning is just tremendous. I think it just allowed her to play hard for the whole game.”

In Todd’s opinion, what makes her a good rebounder?

“I just think that ball is going to be in my hands,” Todd said. “It doesn’t always work out, but I’ve got some pretty long arms and a decent vertical and rebounding is just so fun for me. Thinking about, I know how frustrating it is to be on defense and someone getting an offensive rebound. I like being that person on offense to get the offensive rebound and let the defense know that they don’t have it all locked down underneath.

“I like to get more physical underneath and I’m not afraid to get hit by somebody underneath the basket.”

 

Working Hard in the Off-season

After Badger’s season ended in a second-round playoff loss on Feb. 29, Todd would have been working hard during the off-season to perfect her game.

However, the corona-virus pandemic hit the United States two weeks later and everything shut down.

In the almost six months since her junior season ended, Todd has done what she can to advance her basketball skills during quarantine.

Todd along with three of her fellow captains from last year’s Badger squad set up virtual team workouts. They also conducted Zoom meetings once a week. Todd even designed a personal workout where she was able to train with her older sister, Lexi. The two will lift and hit the court – either at their parents’ house or Veterans Park down the street.

“Typically, it’s two or three times a week, but there are some weeks that I’ll get like three or four times,” Todd said. “It’s definitely not every day, though, because the workouts we have, one of them is like a yoga workout, which is good to stretch and it kind of helps take pressure off of the body. Then we also have a workout that doesn’t have any shooting, but it has like fake shooting and stuff like that. It kind of depends on what we choose to do, but we always try to get free throws up.”

Todd is extremely tight with her sister, who is three years older. A 2018 Badger graduate, Lexi Todd went on to play one season of collegiate basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. The two sisters have always been supportive of each other’s games.

“As long as I can remember, I was the little sister sitting on the sidelines at her basketball games cheering for her,” Todd said. “Going into high school, she was a senior and I was a freshman. Looking at that, I was always aspired to where she ended her senior year. Freshman year, I always had the goal I wanted to play with her. I wanted to be on varsity basketball and I wanted to get in the game with my sister, because it was always a goal of ours to get good enough to play together one day. Thankfully, that did happen my freshman year. It was a magical season to be able to play with her.”

The Todd sisters have always been competitive with each other. That sibling rivalry pushes the younger Todd to achieve her best on the basketball court.

“Lexi’s been a great role model for her,” Jooss said. “I think she was able to see through Lexi and through what Lexi did in our program, what it took to be successful. What’s the out of season commitment? What’s the in-season commitment? How do we bring the young players with us, the mentoring aspect? I think I see Macie continuing that process with some of our other younger players.”

 

A Look Into the Future                                               

Todd is constantly trying to improve her game.

Even though she is already extremely versatile, she’d like to add a few more wrinkles to her game.

With the talents of a guard in a forwards body frame, Todd wants to be able to confidently bring the ball up the court and make plays off the dribble.

“I don’t want to be as cookie cutter as I was junior year,” Todd said. “Oh, you get the rebound, pass it, go. I want to add something to it and make a little bit more of a spark than just the normal plays that we have.”

After her breakout junior season in which she earned first-team all-conference, Todd has higher aspirations for her senior year. Waterford’s Katie Rohner was named the conference player of the year by averaging 18 points per game.

“She’s a year older than me, and I have played her in club basketball and stuff,” Todd said. “I know points-wise, we were tied neck and neck all season. That was my goal, senior year I want to be player of the year for the conference. I just wanted to get a little bit more diverse, because I may not have put up as many outside shots. I just want to be the player that my coach knows that I can put her wherever and she’ll still shine.”

With so much uncertainty during the pandemic, recruiting has been an interesting time. Todd is starting to attract some attention from colleges and has texted with the Ripon College women’s basketball coach. Jooss noted Division III Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools have shown interest in Todd as well as similar sized universities in Illinois.

“They like her size; they like her ability to play outside,” Jooss said. “She could be a stretch 4.”

Jooss said because Todd is so athletic, the sky’s the limit for her. She could become a Division II or even  a smaller Division I player if her game keeps improving.

“It would be awesome if I could go D-I or D-II and maybe get some scholarship money for school,” Todd said. “I thought that if I went D-III that I could do basketball and track, because I high jump as well. I originally wanted to go to college for high jumping until this past year. It’s been a weird thing figuring out. Without having a track season, I don’t know how that would ever work out.”

Said Jooss: “With Macie, she embraces challenges. If she went to a bigger school, I think she would continue to get better there. As an athlete, I think she can play at a really high level.”

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