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sam brunelle WILLIAM MONROE, SO.

..

all the guards are better. they worked hard ... our patience with pressure is .. better.

17 :: @scrimmageplay

HER FRESHMAN YEAR was as good as any senior could have asked for. When you’re Sam Brunelle and you average 23.8 points per game, 17.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks, you didn’t just have a breakout season, you over-acheived the collegiate level expectations that were there before you ever stepped on the court. Brunnelle’s summer? Try playing for Team USA’s U-17 squad, the only freshman on the roster. Last year before the season began, Brunelle drew headlines for getting an offer from Wake Forest nearly two years before she played in her first high school game. This year, she enters as the nation’s number one recruit for her class. In that sense, the cat is out of the bag, and opposing teams know what to expect from Brunelle. But then again, so does Brunelle, both from herself and what the competition plans to throw at her. Her approach? Keep it simple. “I’m just going to play my game and see where it goes from there,” Brunelle said. It’s more complicated if you’re trying to figure what that might mean as a coach. If a press needs breaking, Brunelle can be in the inbounding passer or the target for one of her fellow teammates. She can bring the ball up the court and run things like a shooting guard, or make a pass and head into the key and set up shop down low. A rebounding and shot blocking menace, she allows the Monroe defense to spread its tentacles outwards to create ball pressure. In all ways, shapes and forms, Brunelle is the swiss army knife of players, which is to say, it’s going to be those around her that define what the most decorated sophomore in the country does on the court this year. And with a smaller roster than last year, that means opportunities for a number of players to take big steps forward. “It’s a little different not having 15 girls but with the 10 we’ve got on the roster this year, nine of them are returning players from last year, so that’s good,” Brunelle said. “We’re looking forward to having a great season and hopefully making a nice run at the end.” For Brunelle, playing for Team USA was a bit of a departure from the AAU and high school circuit as it allowed her to continue to develop her game outside. Now back in the high school game, Brunelle and coach Jess Stafford can choose to establish the sophomore in the paint as most teams would expect, to let her take

Volume 8, Issue 6  
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