It surprises neither Alie Decker nor Michaela Dapprich that they have contributed so early in their freshmen seasons for the Wichita State women’s basketball team.
Injuries sidelined each to begin the season, as Decker made her debut last game by playing 20 minutes in a win against Northern Colorado, which Dapprich started in only her third game back.
Expect to see both in the rotation for the rest of the season, which continues Saturday afternoon against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Koch Arena. The Shockers (4-5) will look to draw their record to .500 and will be counting on the freshmen for help.
“Coach (Adams) was really big on doing our roles when we came in,” Decker said. “So I think if each of us does our role, then we should play. That’s what we’re here for.”
Adams has always said playing as a freshman has more to do with a mindset than physical ability. Decker and Dapprich have seemingly passed that obstacle already.
“Both are players that are eager to be around the veterans and they want to make a difference and help these guys win ballgames,” Adams said. “They’re freshmen you definitely want to play with and be around.”
Both players are around the same height, but offer different skill sets.
Decker (6-foot) is more of a perimeter player that displayed the capability of making three-pointers, a trait WSU desperately needs. Dapprich (5-10) has become an Adams favorite with her work ethic and physicality for her size.
“It’s harder to move people in the low block (in Division I), but I like the challenge,” Dapprich said. “It makes me want to push harder in weights, and I will get them off the block.”
It’s promises like that which have endeared her to teammates. Before the Northern Colorado game, the seniors asked Adams to put Dapprich in the starting lineup.
Dapprich played six minutes but the message was sent and confidence was gained.
“It was a shock and it was an honor,” Dapprich said. “They looked at me and said that I could start the game. I appreciate that. I’m going to give it my all for them and work my hardest for them.”