Bass plays key role in guard rotation for Women's Basketball
Jan. 12, 2012
Elissa Schneiderman, Texas Media Relations
Chelsea Bass is one of Texas Women's Basketball's most diverse and flexible players. Not only is she, at times, an energizing force off the bench, but she can also be a dynamic starter.
Fortunately for the Longhorns, Bass possesses a wide range of skills which allow her tocontribute in any way her team requires.
"Whatever we ask her to do, she's more than willing to help," said head coach Gail Goestenkors. "She's a great 3-point shooter. She can get to the free throw line. She's one of our better passers, as well. She's done a nice job for us. I'm proud of her."
In Wednesday's victory at defending national champion Texas A&M, Bass notched seven points in 14 minutes off the bench. In last Saturday's game at Oklahoma State, Bass led Texas in scoring for the first time this season. She recorded 12 points, including a season-high three 3-point field goals.
Bass has experienced virtually every role this season. She missed two regular-season games this fall as she recovered from the second concussion of her career at Texas.
However, since recovering, Bass has averaged 20.8 minutes per game, primarily as a key bench-player. No matter when Bass enters the game, she strives to maintain a competitive level of play and invigorate her teammates.
"There should never be a drop-off between the starting lineup and bench. So, that's what I feel my job is -- to not be a let-down or have anything go badly," Bass said. "(I try to) keep the momentum, if not bring more because starters get tired. I want to be the spark-plug and the energy for the team."
Bass' ability to bolster her team as both a starter and a bench-player, coupled with the minutes she adds every game, is especially important given the Longhorns' lack of depth in the guard position. With only four guards cycling through three on-court guard slots, exhaustion is a major concern.
"We get tired. It's pretty simple. It's definitely physically fatiguing, and it's mentally fatiguing for us. We're trying our hardest to make our efforts good for the team," Bass said.
Bass believes the contributions of UT's bench players will be particularly important as her team moves deeper into Big 12 Conference play.
"It's going to be huge. Bench play is always important for any team, but especially for this team. We all need to do our part off the bench, whether that's rebounding, hustling, or scoring. We all have a part on the team and a role," Bass explained.
Bass' contributions to the Longhorn squad extend beyond her statistics. Goestenkors views Bass as a balanced and stabilizing force.
"She's a key player for us, and she is a steadying force for us. She plays with great poise, calmness and confidence," Goestenkors said.
As the season progresses, Bass has a clear idea of how her role should continue to evolve. She hopes to use her diverse know-how to guide her teammates.
"I think that I need to be more of a leader just because I do have a lot of experience in different areas: the bench role and starting. I think that my leadershipskills are progressing, but they're not where they should be. That's one thing that I definitely need to work on," Bass said.