A Quest For Success
Dec. 3, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas freshman guard Monica Engelman has quickly adapted herself to the quick style of college basketball. Even though she is not a starter, she has played in all six games and is a key backup player for the Jayhawks. With a difficult schedule in 2009-10, Kansas needs tough players, like Engelman, to bring back the intensity when times get tough.
“Tonight I felt a lot better defensively and that is the area where I have been struggling the most,” Engelman said. “I think that is a big step forward for me and it is confidence builder for me to go into the next game.”
During the Jayhawks’ game against UCLA it was constant battle of who could stay on top. The game featured three ties and five lead changes and Engelman helped boost KU more than once.
In the first half of the game, Engelman hit an impressive three-pointer trimming the Bruin lead down to one point, the closest KU had been since the opening tip. Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson, had some encouraging words to say about Engelman’s performance after the game.
“I thought she did a nice job; she hit a big three when we couldn’t get any offense going,” Henrickson said. “She really wants to be a great player and has worked really hard to grow her game since she has been here.”
‘It felt great to make a basket,” Engelman said. “But it was more about getting the team back some momentum.”
Engelman also pulled down some critical offensive rebounds in the opening period of play, helping the Jayhawks fight their way back from a seven-point deficit.
“It is not that hard to get rebounds,” Engelman said. “You have to choose to do that, and when you go to the boards good things happen.”
So far this year Engelman has been a solid contributor off the bench, but she is always trying to figure out new ways to help the team.
According to Henrickson, Engelman is always seeking advice on how she could improve.
“She(Engelman) asks a lot of questions,” Henrickson said. “She really wants to get it right. “
Henrickson’s answer for Engelman was quite simple, defense.
“She told me I need to be a better defense player,” Engelman said. “If I can play defense she will be able to trust me, that’s what she has been emphasizing to me. Offense is easy to work on, but defense is what makes great players.”
There is no doubt that Engelman will keep working until she gets it right.