Friday, December 3, 2021
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Skill of the Week: Defense with Eilise O’Connor

Women’s basketball guard Eilise O’Connor is a determined and enthusiastic defense player.

A pre-dental student from San Francisco, O’Connor is passionate about basketball, the reason she chose to attend UMKC.

She has scored 194 points, with an average of 9.2, as of Jan. 29.

O’Connor said she has been greatly inspired by her brother, who pushed her and made her the player she is today.

Brooke Orcutt, assistant sports information director, praised O’Connor.

“She just flies,” Orcutt said. “She is scrappy. She is will jump across the table to defend.”

O’Connor believes defense is very important.

“ Defense wins games.,” O’Connor said. “A good defense leads to a good offense.”

O’Connor said she tries to read the offensive strategy of the opponent.

She tries to look at the shoulder of the offensive player.

“One cannot pass the ball without moving the shoulder,” O’Connor said. “I also try to notice the eye movement and try to anticipate the next move of the opponent.”

O’Connor added that it is easier to steal from the tall player, also stating she tries to put herself in her opponent’s shoes in order to better understand them.

O’Connor cautioned that there are inherent dangers associated with going for the steal. If one fails, the opponent scores. So one has to be very careful.

She is all praise for her teammates, especially Brianna Aldrich, No. 22, who she said inspires her.

aray@unews.com

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