Monday, March 23, 2009

The Shalee Element

by Barca Blog - Just visit Kansas State’s official athletic website and you'll quickly notice a page dedicated to senior point guard Shalee Lehning. And for good reason.

The All American candidate’s resume is too long to post, but here are some of the highlights:

*She's tied for third in NCAA history with five triple-doubles

*She ranks second in Big 12 history with 796 career assists

*Despite being 5'9, she’s led KSU in rebounding three straight seasons

*She can score, too, tallying 1,179 career points

So, one of the main challenges for the Commodores in tonight's NCAA Second Round matchup will start with finding a way to slow down the Wildcats' floor general. It won’t be easy. Lehning has faced a variety of game plans during her career but opponents have had little success.

“I think the biggest challenge is penetration,” Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb said. “She can just find people and she attacks off the dribble. You don't want her to penetrate too deep and then kick out to shoot, and they have so many shooters.”

And it doesn’t end there.

“The other thing is she is really heady on defense,” added Balcomb. “I think everybody talks about her offense, but she plays off-the-ball defense and rebounds as well. She will take advantage of you defensively. Offensively for a point, she's going to crash the boards and not many other teams check out a point guard.

"On both ends of the floor, she is going to do a lot of things. Everything goes through her, and she is big in everything they do."

Drexel head coach Denise Dillon got to witness Lehning’s talent first hand Saturday night. And you can add Dillon to the list of impressed.

“She proved that over and over again why she is one of the best out on the floor,” Dillon said after Lehning tied a school record with 13 assists in the Wildcats’ 68-44 first round win over the Dragons. “In the years I have been coaching basketball and the years playing I have not seen a point guard with that much talent with the ball, knowing where every kid on the floor is. She is a special, special point guard.

So the big question is who will draw the assignment of containing Lehning Monday night?

"You'll have to wait and see I guess,” said senior Jennifer Risper. “She'll definitely be tough to guard for whoever's guarding her." (AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf)

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