Ladd's Return Could Spark a Run

Published 02/11 2014 04:00PM

Updated 02/11 2014 04:08PM

This is not what Mallory Ladd is used to. Watching the Lady Aces instead of leading Evansville on the court.

"It's difficult sitting out with a concussion," says the junior center. "It's a serious injury, at same time you can't do too much."

For nearly a month, the role for UE's leading rebounder has been to rest, and try to set the example during her recovery.

"I want to be a floor general even though I'm not on the court," she says. "I try to recommend things. [Tell the others] good try, stay positive. Even when we face adversity good things can come from it."

As Ladd says, keeping that mentality will only help UE climb the Valley standings.

Oties Epps, UE's head coach, is well aware just how versatile Mallory can be. And how it's a nightmare for opposing teams.

"We face traditional post players, especially in our league," says Epps. "And we can bring them out of their comfort zone. It's a huge weapon for us."

With Ladd gone from the lineup, Evansville could not get the 12 points and 11 boards per game from the Memorial HS graduate who was Valley Honorable Mention last year.

As opponents deal with Ladd's return, options may open up even more for Sara Dickey, who's threatening to win the league's scoring title.

"She takes pressure off me," says Ladd. "I can focus on rebounding, second chances, little things. Looking inside always important."

It's important to note the confidence Coach Epps has in this team. One he calls one of the best in the Valley, when everyone's healthy.

And to hear Ladd talk, she agrees. Evansville is very capable of making a run in the league tournament.

"Once we get find that click," she says "and put it all together it will be great."

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