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OLD GOLD FREE PRESS
Purdue Women's Basketball Recruiting

Scouting Report


March 8, 2002: Warren Central vs. Cathedral


Date: February 9, 2002
Author: kjmack

    My wife and I watched Cathedral beat Warren Central tonight in the sectionals in Indianapolis. Pam Stackhouse and Nell Fortner sat right behind us.

    Ashley Mays is good. She had a couple of nice threes, several impressive drives to the basket, handles and passes the ball well, and rebounds well for her size. She probably led her team in scoring, but missed an awful lot of shots. Of course, most of the time she was guarded by Sharika Webb who had something to do with Ashley's poor shooting.

    Sharika, however, is in a league of her own. Wow. A Kelly Komara clone - stocky and lightning quick. Ashley stole the ball from her a couple of times, but Sharika had it back before Ashley could get going. She plays with a lot of confidence. She shoots very well (hit several threes), pretty much drives at will, handles the ball very well, and her passing is superb. My wife and I both think she will play a lot next year, perhaps even start. She's quoted as wanting to help Kristy win a national championship and now I see why. She believes she can do it and she's probably right.

    Cathedral's 6'3 junior center, Rachel Brockman, was very impressive in the first quarter. She's athletic and seems to do everything well - shoot, rebound, handle the ball. Cathedral went to her inside and jumped off to a 15-5 lead, helped by the fact that Warren's tallest starter is 5'10". I turned around and asked Pam if we were interested in her and was told she's going to IU. She had trouble, however, the rest of the game. Warren collapsed on her inside, got two or three steals, and drew a couple of charges. She continued to score and rebound some, but was no longer a dominating force. Still, she's only a junior and could develop into a very good player for IU.

    Here's Sharika's line from today's IndyStar: 25 points (4 threes), five rebounds, six assists, four steals. Of course, high school games are just 32 minutes instead of 40, which explains why her stats are a bit on the paltry side! Cathedral won 64-50, so Sharika had a hand in about 60-percent of her team's scoring.

    Ashley had 15 points according to the box score, including one three. But she hit two threes so I expect she scored 18 (the announcer credited her three in the fourth quarter to someone else and apparently the scorer didn't catch it). The box score lists no further stats (Sharika's numbers were given in the write-up).

    If I had to select two aspects of Sharika's game that stand out the most, they would be confidence and passing. Several of her passes inside for scores were Wowers - as in "Wow, did you see that?" One moment she has the ball on the perimeter, the next a Cathedral player who had position underneath (just position, not wide open) is making a layup.

    Since Ashley and Sharika have already signed, I suppose Pam Stackhouse was there to show support. Or maybe she just enjoys salivating about next year.

    Sharika has a very quick release. She holds the ball at her waist, ready to pass, dribble or shoot. If she shoots, she lets go with no wasted motion, bringing the ball up in front about head high (not over her head, but in front), arm cocked and lets fly. Most of the time she jumps, so it's not a set shot. But it does look like she's starting the shot from her waist because it looks like all one motion. She shoots free throws the same way. No fooling around, aiming, relaxing, etc. She steps to the line, brings the ball to her waist and let's fly. It actually takes off from in front of her face, but it's so quick you have to look carefully. I understand she shoots over 80-percent from the line and she didn't miss last night (I think she took five, or maybe seven, free throws).

    Her quick release and the way she's holding it when she let's go reminds me of Lindsey Meder of Iowa, who's a terrific three-point shooter.



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