back in the game
After nearly a season and a half of being on the sidelines, Butler graduate Olivia Bresnahan is eligible to play Division I women’s college basketball again.
“This is like receiving an early Christmas president,” Duquesne coach Dan Burt said. “She became eligible at (Thursday). We’re having a (coaching) staff meeting today to figure out how we want to use her.”
Bresnahan, a 5-foot-11 junior, figures to serve as back-up point guard to sophomore April Robinson right away.
“April is the only true point guard we’ve had on the floor and she’s been averaging 34 minutes per game,” Burt said. “Olivia will get some minutes there, for sure.”
The Dukes are off to an 8-3 start this season. Robinson is averaging 11.2 points and 4.7 assists per game. Senior guard Raegan Moore is the team’s leading scorer at 18.7 points per game.
Bresnahan does not know herself how she will fit into the lineup. But Thursday, she practiced with the “Blue” team for the first time.
“The ‘Red’ team is made up of the freshmen and up until now, myself, since I couldn’t play,” Bresnahan said. “We were the scout team each day in practice against our regulars, the ‘Blue’ team.
“It hasn’t hit me yet that I can actually play basketball again. I guess it will hit me when I’m wearing that blue.”
Bresnahan hasn’t exactly been wasting her time.
“I feel like I’ve helped make my teammates better in practice. I know they’ve helped me get better,” she said.
“Olivia’s work ethic is second to none,” the coach said. “All she’s done since she’s been here is support the team. She will see action at the 1, 2 and 3-spots for us.
“The knock on her in high school and at
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“We average 80 points a game, so we like to get up and down the floor,” Burt said. “Olivia runs the floor with a lot of speed and she has the ability to handle the ball well in traffic.
“Her skills fit right in to our style of play and what we try to do.”
Despite not playing a game for the Dukes yet, Bresnahan is one of four captains on the team.
“I felt a little awkward about that at first, having not played,” she admitted. “It’s a nice honor to have and I appreciate being thought of in that way.
“I have no personal goals for myself. Play good defense, get a big steal or assist, think offense a little more ... I just want to do my part in helping our team win.
“This is a very talented team. I think we can do very well in our (Atlantic 10) conference,” she added.
Ultimately, winning is what it is all about for Bresnahan.
“I want to help make history here,” she said. “Duquesne has never made the NCAA Tournament. I want to be on the team that changes that.”
The Dukes have won six of their last seven games, the lone loss being a 100-61 decision to No. 5 Notre Dame.