OAKLAND CITY, Ind. — Ken Trickey Jr. knows a thing or two about women’s college basketball.
He coached the Oral Roberts University women from 1989-1993 after serving as an assistant men’s coach for his father at ORU and elsewhere.
“When I was at college, I had girls of her caliber playing for me,” said Trickey.
So when he says that Mt. Carmel’s Tyra Buss “won’t have any trouble at all” next season as a freshman at Indiana University, fans should take note.
Just one caveat, however.
“She’s going to have to be a little bit stronger physically, because when you go that level there will be people as quick and as good,” Trickey said after watching Buss score 42 points in a 74-48 Mt. Carmel win over his Evansville Reitz team at the Toyota Teamwork Classic Tuesday night at Oakland City University’s Johnson Center.
If he were still a college coach, “I’d recruit her in a second,” Trickey said.
Against Reitz, the difference in the level of play exhibited by Buss was obvious, according to Trickey. “She’s an NCAA Division I player playing high school ball. How are you going to stop her? I tried to think of every different thing I could.
“She can go to the basket, she can take a step back and she can pass the ball really well. But what I like about her more than anything else is her defense.”
Trickey said he doesn’t want anyone to be confused when he labels her a “ball H-A-W-K, not the other one. She is always sniffing for the ball, looking for it every time down the court. Our game plan was to go away from her. When we did that, we did okay. When we went to her, she stole the ball.
“I enjoyed watching her play tonight, and I was coaching against her.”
Buss,with a career total of 3,932 points. is now only 99 points away from tying the state scoring record set by Brittany Johnson of Olney between 2003-07.
Currently the nation’s leading scorer at 45.5 points per game (according to maxpreps.com), Buss has scored in the 47-50 point range in eight games this season, with only three games below that mark.
Mt. Carmel (10-1), after a couple of days off for the holiday, resumes tournament play tonight against South Central, Ind. at 7:15 p.m., following the boys matchup at 5:30 p.m., again at OCU.
While fans are pointing towards Saturday night as the most likely night Buss makes history, it could happen as soon as Friday.