Tulsa Talent

Kevi Luper has been a stand out at ORU, what has impressed you the most about her play?

Klop: Kevi is a player with a high basketball IQ. She has the ability to make plays at both ends of the floor that help her team win. She always plays extremely hard and as kind and unassuming as she is off the court, she is a relentless and fearless competitor between the lines.

What is the most dangerous part of Luper's game?

Klop: She can impact the game in a number of ways. We know about her prolific scoring ability and that she can score in a variety of ways. She is excellent shooting the mid-range "J" off the dribble. She runs the floor and is a good finisher in the open floor and she can knock down the open 3-pt shot. Defensively, she has quick hands and is an excellent defender on and off the ball. She has developed into a complete player at ORU and with her strong work ethic, will continue to improve at the next level.

Can you describe Luper's talent level in her conference?

Klop: I think Luper has shown that she is one of the better off-guards in the country. ORU has played some of the top teams in the nation throughout her career there and she has responded with some high scoring games against the best. The Southland Conference doesn't get a lot of publicity but it is a very competitive conference and for her to be named Tournament MVP and ORU to win the Conference and tournament in their 1st year speaks highly about her contribution to that team.

How do you see Luper's talent in the WNBA?

Klop: Kevi has proven she can score and that translates well to the pro game. She is a very efficient player, shooting 44 percent from the floor and 38 percent from behind the arc with the ability to get to the FT line and shoot 88 percent from there. She's an intriguing prospect because of her scoring ability and defensive quickness. The key for her will be adjusting to the athleticism and physicality of the pro game, but a player with her work ethic and basketball IQ can make that jump and be successful.

Taleya Mayberry has been a leader for Tulsa. What has impressed you about her leadership and her play?

Klop: Not only has Taleya emerged as one of the better PG's in the country this year, but she basically willed the young Tulsa team into the NCAA tournament this year with her inspired play in the Conference USA tournament in Tulsa recently. She has endured a lot of ups and downs throughout her career there and it is just nice to see her that her perseverance paid off as the team finished the season so successfully.

Mayberry played high school in Tulsa at Booker T Washington. How has her constancy translated through the years?

Klop: A lot of excellent players have come out of Tulsa through the years and she is certainly one of the best. She comes from a high level of basketball family with dad Lee having been an outstanding NBA player and that knowledge of the game is evident in her play.

How does winning the C-USA Title make TU and Mayberry's talent more popular?

Klop: People take notice when an underdog that wasn't supposed to get very far wins 4 games and upsets higher seeded teams to win a conference tournament like the Golden Hurricane did this year. To do that and then go into Stanford as a 16 seed and compete as hard as they did, has gained the program a lot of respect and has also showcased Mayberry as one of the better "under the radar" guards in the country.

How do you see Mayberry's talent in the WNBA?

Klop: With her ability to push the ball and penetrate into the paint, Mayberry is an intriguing PG prospect. She has great speed and quickness and handles the ball extremely well. Her passing skills are good and she is a low turnover PG, which is a highly desirable trait to have in our League. She can finish with soft floaters in the lane and can knock down the open 3 pt shot. I especially like her ability to pressure the ball defensively. In the right situation, there is no doubt she has a chance to play in the WNBA.

What is the impact Luper and Mayberry have had in the city of Tulsa?

Klop: Both these players decided to stay close to home and get an excellent education in their respective Tulsa universities. Certainly they had chances to go to some big name programs but they chose to stay home and with their efforts and loyalty, contributed greatly to the success of the two programs. A lot of people in Tulsa, including myself, applaud these two young women for their four years of dedication and hard work and the joy they have brought to fans that have had the privilege of seeing them play these past four years. We all wish them success and I'm certain we haven't seen the last of these two players as they move on to the next challenge.