Friday, January 30, 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

    Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Schools give parents tools to help kids thrive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

    Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Dartmouth bans hard liquor

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

    Free tax preparation service begins Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    February science fun set at Explorit

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Time for bed … with Grandma

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Protect root zone to save trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Weigh quality of life, density

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Olive expert joins St. James event

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Mustangs hold off UCD women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD men set new school D-I era win record

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sharks double up Ducks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    ‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    ‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: A9