DeVaughn had 17 points and 8 rebounds in Monday's exhibition game rout against Goldey-Beacom, and was three points shy of leading the team in scoring. Her performance last night was probably an encouraging sign to Coach Brenda Frese, who said she expects more from DeVaughn on the offensive end this year.
Frese said “the game has slowed down” for DeVaughn, and after averaging 6.5 points per game in her sophomore season, the 6'4” center has realized that she has the tools to score, she just has to change her mind set.
“Just being a scorer, having the mentality to think scorer, make and finish plays and make things happen for my teammates,” DeVaughn said when asked what she will change this year. “And then the trust in my teammates to tell me to go ahead and take that open shot or go ahead and attack that basket helps a lot as well.”
The Florida native admitted that the change hasn't come naturally.
“When I step on the court I do think about defense more than offense,” DeVaughn said. “But now I have a clear understanding that I need to do both and not just lean towards defense.”
DeVaughn was named to last season's ACC All-Defensive Team, and with Frese acknowledging that she is the team's best defensive player, DeVaughn acknowledged that this team will continue to put defense first.
“We rebound very hard, and so by that mindset, we feel that rebounding and our defense will be a lot different this year and a lot more aggressive,” DeVaughn said.
Maryland's frontcourt will be helped by the additions of freshmen Malina Howard and Tierney Pfirman, and DeVaughn is optimistic about their impact.
“We're young still, and we're still getting a groove with playing with three real freshmen,” DeVaughn said. “But as practice has been going out it's been getting better every day.”
One aspect of this year's team that has garnered a lot of attention is its chemistry. At media day, Frese said this team's chemistry reminds her of the 2006 National Championship team, and DeVaughn certainly appreciated the comparison.
“Well it's an honor to be compared to the '06 team because they won it all and so for us, for Coach B to say that about us means a lot,” DeVaughn said. “We have a lot of bonding times; we go to movies together, shopping, but not only that on the outside, on the court you see a lot of different leadership come along, from the seniors, to the juniors, to including the freshmen.”
Due to a limited roster (ten players), chemistry will be crucial as every player on the team is expected to play a role and contribute. And if DeVaughn can score at a higher rate this year, the Lady Terps will have a shot at going deeper in the postseason.