2014 Draft Watch: Totally Bias
Photo: Oklahoma State Athletics
It's almost March now and there are fewer and fewer surprises to speak of when it comes to college basketball. Teams have (for the most part) already showed us their true colors and, in turn, so have those teams' star players. Of course we all know, though, that anything could happen. Especially as we get closer and closer to the NCAA tournament where tension runs high and so do the stakes.
Perhaps feeling a little bit of that pressure this week, No. 8 Penn State fell to No. 16 Nebraska 94-74. Everything else went mostly as planned with Notre Dame, Baylor and Stanford putting away Duke, Oklahoma and UCLA respectively. Also unsurprising by now, Norte Dame's Kayla McBride dropped a career-high 31 points, Odyssey Sims scored 38 points for Baylor, and Chiney Ogwumike put up 26 points and grabbed a stunning 15 rebounds to lead Stanford.
Also this week, Oklahoma State pulled off a gripping one-point win over Texas Tech where OK State star Tiffany Bias went coast-to-coast for the winning layup -- a testament to her focus, resilience and determination in all aspects of the game.
Tiffany Bias (Oklahoma State)Tiffany Bias could be the toughest guard in the country, but you'd never know it from her demeanor. The Oklahoma State star is small (5'6") and youthful (albeit astute and well-spoken on camera). But Bias has played in all 40 minutes of 9 out of the 11 conference games that the Cowgirls have played this season. She is averaging a more than solid 14 points per game and 6 assists. Last year she became the 20th Cowgirl to score 1,000 career points. That aside, though, Bias has an incredible mental and physical endurance that can outlast any of her opponents'.
It should also be noted that Bias and her teammates have dealt with a remarkable tragedy off the court; in 2011 -- after Bias's first year with the Cowgirls -- Head Coach Kurt Budke and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna died in a devastating plane crash returning from a recruiting trip in the fall of that year. Bias and her teammates handled the news with incredible strength and integrity and went on to win the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
“A lot of the grief, a lot of the internal stuff, came later. And it affected us all differently," Bias said of the accident in an interview with Kansas.com. "I know it changed me as a person, changed my personality."
And either in spite of or because of this change, Bias has managed to push herself to an even greater level of toughness and resilience that can't be matched.
Aaryn Ellenberg (Oklahoma)
Aaryn Ellenberg is a sharp-shooter on and off the court. The senior for Oklahoma was highlighted by espnW this week for both of her talents. Ellenburg is known for her excellent outside shooting (she's averaging 18 points per game for the Sooners) and her aspiring career as a filmmaker and sports photographer. Ellenburg says that knowing the game of basketball really helps out her photography -- and I'm willing to bet that her photographer's eye also informs her incredible court presence.
Other notable seniors:
Kayla McBride led Notre Dame to a 81-70 win over Duke with a career-high 31 points.
Odyssey Sims and Baylor rolled past Ellenberg's Oklahoma 96-89.
This week Chiney Ogwumike put up a 26 point game with 15 rebounds to seal the deal for another Cardinal Pac-12 title.
Alyssa Thomas (Maryland) – 18 ppg, 10 rpg, 3 apg
Jordan Hooper (Nebraska) – 20 ppg, 9 rpg, 1 apg
Stefanie Dolson (UConn) – 13 ppg, 9 rpg, 3 apg
Maggie Lucas (Penn State) – 21 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg
Chelsea Douglas (Wake Forest) – 18 ppg, 2 rpg, 2 apg
Previous Draft Watches:
Draft Watch: Grand Marshall
Draft Watch: No. 1 Dame
Draft Watch: Big Winners
Draft Watch: Name Games
Draft Watch: Sister, Sister
Draft Watch: Opposites Attack
Draft Watch: The Odyssey
Draft Watch: Upsets