Dayton Flyers point guard Patrice Lalor hasn't been talked about much as a prospect for the 2012 WNBA Draft (Monday, April 16th on ESPN2), perhaps in part because of the conference she plays in or maybe because she hasn't put up gaudy numbers during her career.
But fellow senior and teammate Justine Raterman says her value as a point guard goes well beyond what we can quantify.
"The stats don’t always show up but I know Coach [Jim] Jabir has always said that, we kind of go when she does," said Justine Raterman in an interview with Swish Appeal. “I think that our entire team was much more comfortable with her on the floor. There was a sense of comfort when she was on the floor, when the ball was in her hands. Our confidence as a team on the floor really picked up and we fed off of her abilities.”
Yet when you compare Lalor's numbers to the point guards available in the 2012 WNBA Draft she might be worthy of consideration and her career wasn't without statistical highlights.
Her 2.1 assist to turnover ratio was second in the Atlantic 10 conference this year and a Dayton program record as is her career 1.62 assist to turnover ratio. Raterman has been a primary beneficiary of Lalor's play over the course of her career as Dayton's career scoring leader and the team's leader in 3-pointers made (48) and her non-statistical insights are valuable as well.
"In her senior year, she was a really good decision maker, she had a lot of different abilities to be able to score on her own with her pullup jumpshot or getting to the rim," said Raterman, who is on the draft radar of a few teams. "She did a really good job of getting inside the paint and drawing two or three defenders and finding the open player. And I think that was a huge key for our success."
Having seen Dayton play a few times over the last couple of years, I had an opportunity to speak directly to Lalor just yesterday about her game, the 2012 WNBA Draft, and - perhaps most interestingly - who she models her game off of.
Interview with Patrice Lalor
Swish Appeal: What players have you modeled your game after throughout your career?
Patrice Lalor: Throughout my career, I modeled my game after Temeka Johnson and Lindsey Harding. Their ability to handle the basketball with confidence, pass the ball at the right times, and score all over on the court is what I have tried to model my game after. Temeka Johnson is of very similar build as me and also very quick and explosive. I have worked on getting more explosive to be able to score in similar ways to Temeka, especially using my speed as an advantage.
SA: How have coaches at Dayton suggested you balance your responsibilities as a distributor and scorer? Are there times when they asked you drive more or shoot less in order to run the offense?