Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Identifying More of Women's Teams' "Glue" Players

Here's the next segment in the series identifying the conference's "glue" players, individuals who aren't necessarily a team's best player but whose contributions of often overlooked aspects of the game are more meaningful than their stat lines.

Here are some more from the women's side...

CANISIUS: Courtney VandeBovenkamp

The 6-foot-1 redshirt junior forward has the longest last name in program history, and also one of the Golden Griffins' best work ethics. She suffered a major knee injury at the end of her sophomore season and missed all of 2012-13 while rehabilitating. She is back this year, a key reserve up front for the Griffs. And, while she doesn't appear to have the athletic explosiveness she showed as a freshman back in 2010-11, her very evident on-court effort makes up for that. In just 14.6 minutes per game she averages 3.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and has 12 total blocked shots thus far.

MONMOUTH: Kasey Chambers

Monmouth lost its top three ball-handling guards from last year and Chambers, a 5-7 sophomore, has helped fill the void while mostly coming off the bench. She is the Hawks' only player with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (48 assists/37 turnovers) who averages at least one assist per contest. She doesn't score a lot (5.3 per game), but makes things happen when she gets on the court. She is No. 2 on the team in total assists, despite playing just 22 minutes per contest. She did not score in her team's most-recent game, a loss to Fairfield, but had six assists without committing a single turnover.

NIAGARA: Gabby Baldasare

She had been very lightly used in her first two seasons, but the 6-1 junior forward quite obviously has worked hard to develop her game and become an effective performer after moving into the starting lineup this season for the overachieving Purple Eagles. Niagara is undersized and Baldasare matches up with bigger, strong opponents every game, yet is averaging 4.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and leads the team in blocked shots with 19 while playing just 20.8 minutes per contest.

RIDER: Shereen Lightbourne

Sure, she only plays 10 minutes per night and is just the Broncs' ninth-leading scorer this season. But that the 5-foot-10 fifth-year senior is on the court at all this season is one of the conference's most-inspirational stories. Lightbourne had put the foundation in place, over her first two seasons at Rider, that had her poised to be one of the MAAC's best players. And, then, she suffered knee injuries at the start of both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons that forced her to sit out both years. Nearly 32 months from playing in a college game, she was back at the start of this season. Her rebuilt knees have limited her court time and athleticism, but she is still a valuable cog. She scored 12 points in 14 minutes in the Broncs' recent win over Manhattan. Against Siena, she made two key late-game plays that preserved a victory. She hasn't forgotten how to contribute.

1 comment:

speedboy said...

Hoops Scribe , i am really enjoying this segment already .Can't wait for the next installment .