Wednesday, April 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Aggie sharpshooter leads the way for young hoops squad

By
From page B1 | January 31, 2013 |

The destination for UC Davis women’s basketball in 2012-13 was set early on by head coach Jennifer Gross — finding improvement for a young roster.

With the Aggies sitting at a turning point, 8-10 overall and 3-4 in their Big West journey, there’s only one question a backseat observer could ask … Are we there yet?

As the only two seniors on this year’s squad, the leadership of Cortney French and Blair Shinoda has driven UCD. French has mapped out how to conduct oneself as an Aggie both on and off the court.

“She leads in so many different ways,” says Gross, a second-year mentor. “Not only that, she does everything that is asked of her; from going hard in every single drill to bringing a tremendous level of communication during games.

“She’s also someone that I know will be a part of my life and that of the coaching staff not only while she’s here, but afterwards. That’s just the type of person she is.”

And as a player, Gross added, French’s long-range shooting game is a strength that UCD has relied on. 

French is ranked third in the conference in 3-point shooting, and has amassed 148 treys in her Aggie career. That number puts her 46 long balls behind the school’s all-time record set by Lori Hurlburt, who sank 194 shots from behind the arc in 1997-2001.

If French maintains her average of 2.4 treys a game in the remaining 11 regular-season outings, she will land 20 short of the mark — but still earn a spot in the all-time top five.

But for French, records are not a priority.

“Personally, I’m just doing whatever it takes for the team to win in that particular game,” says the 5-foot-11 guard from Stockton. “Sometimes it’s shooting threes, but other times it’s grabbing rebounds or getting a defensive stop.”

Gross attested to the versatility of the branded sharpshooter, who has put in countless hours of practice to expand her repertoire.

“What’s interesting to me is that she seems to always have thought of herself as a 3-point shooter throughout her career, but she has put so much time into her game to complete her game,” Gross said. “It paid off for her.”

French showcased this versatility by tying a career high with eight rebounds in the Aggie victory at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday.

Meanwhile, French’s co-captain Shinoda has displayed her all-around game by ranking fourth in the Big West with 43 steals (2.4 per game). With their unselfish play, the duo is hoping to create a top-down emphasis on better defense, and eagerness to follow suit is apparently in full supply:

“This group has a drive to improve, they’re constantly pushing themselves,” French said of her younger teammates.

As the UCD underclassmen develop with each passing day, so approaches graduation for the veteran leader. This reality on its own is sentimental for the Aggie devotee.

“Every day I think, ‘This is the last time I’m going to be here, on this day,’ ” French said. “Though it crosses my mind a lot, I have to push it aside and just remember to have fun and play.

“Every year, the most important goal is getting to the Big West Tournament and doing well, but this year — due to it being my last — there is a little added on my end. I’m trying to do all I can to get everyone excited about it.”

The local women have to be energized following a pair of dominating wins last weekend over Fullerton (88-44) and UC Riverside (61-49).

Long before March’s Big West get-together is the upcoming stretch of four home games, starting with UCD hosting Long Beach State on Thursday (7 p.m.) at The Pavilion.

Gross stressed the importance of the slate of matches on Aggie turf; which also will include UC Irvine on Saturday, UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 7, and Cal Poly on Feb. 9.

“We have the most important thing right now — confidence,” she said. “We’re excited to get back in front of home fans, hopefully take some wins, and put ourselves in a good spot heading into the second half of conference.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected] or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Next-generation GMOs: Pink pineapples and purple tomatoes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Dismal snowpack gets one more measure

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
     
    Woodland Library’s community room reopens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Museum celebrates Easter with candy-filled eggs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Easter egg hunt set Sunday at Atria

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    AquaMonsters open summer registration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Odd Fellows will host a big birthday bash

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Tamblyn presents a comedy concert

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Cancer fighters will gather Saturday for Relay For Life kickoff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Poet laureate emerita celebrates at book-release party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    UCD gets grant to look at open access to published research

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    ‘Sip and Shop’ kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    AARP’s free tax-prep services continue

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Pain management lecture slated April 8

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Seniors invited to join new social group

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    Pence Gallery: See artists at work during Garden Tour

    By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Shootings showed need for MRAP

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Program sparks lots of questions

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Is Davis on the cusp of an evolutionary change?

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: B4

    Will containers block cyclists’ path?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    We have no room for another cart

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    This is no way to run a city

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Get informed on organics program

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Bicycle bells are my birthday wish

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Groom’s parents overwhelmed

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    .

    Sports

    Aggies get ready for Hawaii by rolling over St. Mary’s

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UC Davis represents well at Final Four in Indiana

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Descalso looks back at Aggie days, ahead to new Rockies gig

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devils drop softball game at CBS

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    JV/frosh roundup: DHS younger girls soccer squad stomps Grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Nunez powers Aggies to softball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Gibson’s heroics ensure a DHS split at Boras Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    Spring is a busy time for honey and hives

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

     
    Bluesman and guitarist Buddy Guy comes to Davis

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Fiery bluesman brings guitar pyrotechnics to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics