Nov. 3, 2011
By Mark Janssen
MANHATTAN, Kan. - There’s a saying in sports that goes, “If you’re playing two quarterbacks, it only means you don’t have one good one.”
When it comes with the K-State women’s basketball team, coach Deb Patterson honestly believes she has three individuals who can serve as quarterback of her basketball team as the club’s point guard as play opens tonight at 7 in a Bramlage Coliseum exhibition game with Oklahoma City University.
Patterson said depending on what the team wants to accomplish with a particular possession that could mean 5-foot8 junior Brittany Chambers, 5-7 junior Mariah White or 5-7 freshman Haley Texada will be at the point.
“I think this could be a dynamic position for us with three individuals sharing the load,” Patterson said. “I think it will give us the opportunity to be very diverse and less defined at that position than we have been for quite some time.
“The position will change from possession by possession depending on how we want to attack the defense,” she said. “Brittany can score the ball, but is a ball-dominating player; Mariah is not a perimeter scorer, but has other abilities; and, Haley has to establish that she can score from the perimeter. All three can handle it under pressure.”
Chambers, who currently ranks eighth on the all-time charts for 3-pointers, averaged 16 points per game last year playing the off-guard.
“One might think this will hurt her scoring, but she’s very good at scoring off the dribble. We’re going to have to find a way to balance her game and find her ways to score when she has the ball, and when she’s playing off the ball,” Patterson said. “Brittany’s going to find that her game will be much more difficult this year because of what she accomplished last year. Nobody is going to give her an inch. She’s going to have her intellect and emotions tested.”
It’s another reason that Patterson plans to play with a combination of point guards “… to keep teams a little off pace.”
Patterson adds, “One of our biggest challenges right now is to find some scoring at the two and the three (positions) to take pressure off Brittany.”
In an attempt to find better balance in K-State’s scoring, Patterson is in the process of installing a new offensive scheme where “… there is more movement around the perimeter and more passing with our post player. We won’t be as much back to the basket with our post players.
“We are going to play a lot like an undersized-team where last year we played like a team that was a little inside-outside,” said Patterson. “We’re trying to put in almost one-third of our offense that will be entirely new. We’ll see how we respond to it. If we like it, it might become two-thirds. If it doesn’t work, we’ll go back to what’s familiar.”
The hope is that this will play to the strengths of 6-2, senior Branshea Brown, who scored only five points per game last year.
“She’s a great defender, a great rebounder and a fierce competitor, but we want to see and test if this new offense will put her in positions to be a bigger offensive presence,” Patterson said.