Oct. 18, 2011
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By Mark Janssen
She hasn’t gone as far to put a want ad in the K-State Collegian, but Kansas State women’s basketball coach Deb Patterson has sent out an all-points bulletin for a third scorer.
She knows that Brittany Chambers can shoot it as well as any Big 12 player, and she knows that Jalana Childs is capable of twin-figure scoring. The twosome provided 16.0 and 13.1 points, respectively, last year when the Wildcats reached the NCAA Tournament with a 21-11 record.
But, Taelor Karr’s 10.2 scoring average is gone, and no other Wildcat returner was more productive than Branshea Brown with a 5.5 scoring average, and Mariah White at 4.9 one year ago.
With those being the facts, Patterson says two weeks into preseason practices, “Our greatest need is where our point production is going to come from. We lost a pure shooter in Taelor (who decided to transfer), so where are we going to make up those points? With the schedule we’re playing, you’ve got to be able to score. Right now we’re not a group where you can walk in the gym and say, ‘That kid can fill it up; that kid can fill it up.’ ”
For now, Patterson says the job will be “by committee,” but she adds, “We’re very, very intrigued by Ashia Woods,” a 5-foot-11 freshman out of Wichita Collegiate High School. The three-time all-state honoree averaged 22 points per game as a junior and a senior.
“She has a chance to be one of the better players to ever come through K-State if she continues to follow the path of a Jalana Childs in terms of day to day improvement,” said Patterson, who meets with the Big 12 media on Wednesday in Kansas City. “She has a lot of talent and the potential to score for us.”
Plus, the Wildcat coach said, “We’re hoping Mariah will be more of a productive scorer. We can’t have teams standing six or seven feet away from her. She’s going to have the green light to shoot it. It’s time for her to step up.”
Patterson is also hoping that sophomore Chantay Caron will add to her 2.9 scoring average, which included 3-of-9 from 3-point range.
“She’s worked hard on her 3. We’d like to get her to the point where she can stretch the defense,” said Patterson. “She’s proven she’s a better 3-point shooter, but can she do it within the framework of our offense where she’s being guarded.”
And, there’s the hope that JuliAnne Chisholm can be an offensive contributor now that she’s had a year in the K-State system without giving most of her focus to volleyball.
A year ago K-State found a way to win 21 times with a scoring average of just 61.5 points per game. The overall success of the team came at the other end where the Wildcats allowed teams to score just 56.4 points per game on 38 percent shooting, which included only 32 percent from 3-point range.
Patterson said, “Absolutely,” when asked if defense would again key the Wildcats’ success.
“We have to be a great defensive team and we have to rebound the ball extremely well,” said the Wildcat coach.
“Rebounding is a mentality and a disposition. When you’re a team like ours, when you miss that first shot you have to be able to get another opportunity to score and to eat up the clock. We just have to continue to be that classic highly accountable basketball team. We’ll need a very, very high level of individual accountability.”
K-State opens the season with five straight home games starting with Oklahoma City on Nov. 3, followed by Washburn on Nov. 8, Dartmouth on Nov. 12, BYU on Nov. 16 and Missouri State on Nov. 18.
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