Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2003

Jeannin climbing all-time assist chart

March 27, 2003

Some people have that certain court awareness, and some people do not.

Junior Alex Jeannin is one of the few who do.

Because of her ability, she is on the brink of making Basehor-Linwood High School history, and she is doing it in a resounding manner.

With one year remaining as the Lady 'Cats starting point guard, Jeannin stands a mere 20 assists shy of the career record at Basehor-Linwood.

"The best part of my game is seeing the floor and making good passes," Jeannin said. "When I started my career, assists was the way I would have wanted to leave my mark on Basehor-Linwood basketball."

After her junior season, Jeannin has 180 career assists. The record is held by Kara Reed with 200 (1996-2000). This year alone, Jeannin had 104 assists and averaged five assists per game.

The ease with which Jeannin has reached those numbers has surprised her, she said.

"For me, it hasn't been that difficult, so I wonder why people haven't done it before," Jeannin said. "If I stay healthy, I won't just break the record, I'll blow it away."

Head coach Mardy Robinson realized early on she had a good point guard with Jeannin. Jeannin started as a freshman until a torn ACL sidelined her. She again started as a sophomore and junior.

"Alex has been playing basketball for a very long time," Robinson said. "She has excellent court vision and the ability to create shots for other players.

"As a coaching staff, we knew that Alex would lead the future Lady 'Cats so we sort of threw her into the fire right away."

She has been a major contributor to the Bobcats from the beginning, but she stepped it up this year. Jeannin said several factors contributed to her increased assist output.

"This year, I hardly came out of the game," she said. "Coach Robinson told me she really need me to handle the ball, so I did. Plus, we ran more of a fast break offense, which led to easy buckets, buckets that my teammates made. And, I was more confident."

Jeannin will have to stay healthy to break the assist mark, something she has had trouble doing in her first three years.

Besides her injury as a freshman, she tore her meniscus, the shock-absorbing cartilage in the knee, during volleyball season. She wore a brace all season, and she did not have full mobility because of the injury.

"It was very difficult to play," Jeannin said. "I was expecting myself to play at my level of expectations, and I couldn't. Playing defense was tough because I couldn't move as quickly. Cutting and planting quickly would irritate it."

Robinson eventually told her to do what she could on defense, but the team needed her to handle the ball, Jeannin said.

On Tuesday, March 25, Jeannin had surgery on her knee to repair it. She cannot play for two months, but she said she should be 100 percent by next season, something she was not all of this season.

Coaches around the Kaw Valley League already know she is good because they named her to the all-KVL first team.

Those coaches will dread finding out how good she is when she is not slowed by a bad knee.

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