For five freshmen on the women’s basketball team, it’s time to move onto the collegiate sports level. It’s their time to shine, and see if they can adapt to the more intense college game.
Steph Frost, Briana Curran, Laurie Allien, Cailey White and Ryanne Williams, have stepped up so far this season, in hopes to improve their game.
Head Coach, Keith Boucher said he sees progress in all of the freshmen on the team, and that they all have the ability to be great players if they try hard.
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“They do it hopefully because they have a love and a passion for it and if they do they’ll want to be the best they can be. I tell my players I don’t want to get by on my team. I don’t want you to do enough to get by, I want you putting in maximum effort because you know that’s going to make you better,” Boucher said.
In regards to freshman Steph Frost, Boucher said that she has been a quick learner. Boucher added that her schedule next semester may conflict with practices, causing her to miss a few.
“I think [Frost] is very good defensively; she’ll get into somebody’s grill, she’ll get up on her and make her work very hard. She’s helping a lot of her teammates get better because she gets up and plays tough defense. If there’s a spot for her to go into a game, and saying look, we want you to cause problems for this player right here, just bug the heck out of her, she’s like a mosquito you can’t get rid of,” Boucher said.
Frost said she decided to play this year because she wanted to be a part of the team. “I get the experience from this, kind of bond as a family, and keep these girls as my friends for as long as I can and I know that just being on a team is a great experience,” Frost said.
According to KeeneOwls.com, Frost is averaging 12 minutes per game with two rebounds thus far.
Briana Curran is another freshmen on the team, hailing from Fairfield, Conn.
Coach Boucher said Curran is a great distance shooter with a quick and beautiful release. However, he said she still has to work on her strength, defense and communication skills.
“[Curran] is another one, that has a lot of potential. I think she’s a pure shooter, if she squared up, she’s got time, the ball looks great coming out of her hand, she’s got good rotation on the ball, and she’s going to make a lot of shots if she has time to shoot it,” Boucher said.
Curran said she decided to come to Keene State College because she really liked the coach and the team. Curran also said she enjoyed the school and felt it was a good fit for her. The importance of basketball in relation to her life also helped her choose KSC.
“I couldn’t imagine my life not playing basketball,” Curran said. “I’ve just played for so long.”
Curran said that going home and visiting her hometown team made her realize that she is a role model for the girls still playing basketball in Fairfield, Conn. by playing college basketball.
KeeneOwls.com said that Curran averages 3.7 points per game and 1 rebound per game.
Another freshman contributor to the KSC women’s basketball team this year is Laurie Allien from Medford, Mass.
Coach Boucher said that Allien is a great ball handler that maintains a fast tempo up and down the court.
“[Allien] goes at one speed all the time, and that’s fast. Well she’s going to play against athletes who are just as fast as her, so she’s got to learn how to change up her pace with the basketball. That’s how you beat somebody; you don’t go 90 miles an hour all the time. She slows up to 75 and they think, ‘okay that’s the speed she’s going at,’ then you pick it up, and you go full speed, then you slow it down,” Boucher said.
Allien said she decided to come to KSC because she wanted to attend a smaller school. Allien said the team welcomed her when she got recruited here. According to KeeneOwls.com, Allien averages 8 points per game, thus far.
Cailey White from Chesterfield, N.H. joins the freshman squad as a tough forward.
Boucher said White has a few nice post moves, and a decent shot, but Boucher said she has to work on her physical presence on the basketball court.
“You can be the nicest person off the court, but when you step on the court, you got to have something. I don’t care how you motivate yourself, but you have to get to the point where, okay, if I want to compete, I want to be better than that person, then I’m going to outwork them. [White] lets too many people take advantage of her right now; she’s got to get to the point where she’s more aggressive and more physical,” Boucher said.
White is unlike her freshmen counterparts. She is commuting to school from Chesterfield. White said she hopes to get better at basketball and see more playing time.
“I love the game, and it’s fun, and I like feel a part of the team and it’s nice to just have like sisters. And especially since I don’t live on campus, it gives me people to connect with, whereas I wouldn’t have met anybody since I don’t live here,” White said.
KeeneOwls.com said that White is averaging 8 points per game, like her freshman counterpart, Allien.
Closing out the freshman class this year is Ryanne Williams from Norwell, Mass.
Boucher said Williams is a well-rounded player with qualities that will make her become a great player if she continues to work at her game. Because she understands the game well, Boucher called her a “hybrid player.”
“Is she as good as Courtney Cirillo? No, there aren’t many people that were as good as Courtney Cirillo,” Boucher said. Boucher said that Ryanne Williams does have some of Cirillo’s characteristics.
He added that, “[Williams] can play inside and outside, she handles the ball very well, I think sometimes she leaves her feet too much to pass, we are working on that. She’s got to learn to jump stop, but she has the potential to become a very good player. She’s got a good head on her shoulders for the game,” Boucher said.
Williams said she came to KSC because Coach Boucher recruited her and when she visited the campus she loved it. Williams said she loves the girls on the team, and it was just the right fit for her.
“I’m playing because I love it, and in high school I just really liked it; like I loved my coach, I loved my team, and I just wanted to continue it and I knew that in college it would just get better and more competitive,” Williams said.
According to KeeneOwls.com, Williams leads all freshmen, averaging 23.7 minutes per game. She is also shooting just over 40 percent.
Only time will tell how these five freshmen can contribute to the team.
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