- Michelle Smith, Contributor, espnW.com
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Editor's note: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel each vote to determine espnW's national player of the week, which is awarded every Monday of the women's college basketball season.
Chucky Jeffery has suddenly made the rest of the country notice unbeaten Colorado.
Jeffery, the Buffaloes' senior point guard, scored 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds Friday as Colorado ran its record to 9-0 with a 70-66 win over No. 8 Louisville in Boulder. It was the Buffs' first win over a top-10 team since 2002, and helped Jeffery win the espnW national player of the week award.
Jeffery, a versatile floor general, is averaging 12.4 points and 8.1 rebounds. She is Colorado's unquestioned leader and one of the best backcourt players in a Pac-12 Conference that is suddenly looking formidable with three top-15 teams in Stanford, California and UCLA, and two other teams -- Utah and Colorado -- having outstanding nonconference starts thus far.
Against the Cardinals, Jeffery was 6-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the line, where she can do significant damage if she's playing her game, driving to the hoop, drawing fouls.
Jeffery, who led the Buffs in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals a season ago, had a bumpy start to the season with a suspension that kept her out of the season opener, but seems to have righted the way. Last Tuesday, Jeffery tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists in a win over Denver. She is averaging 4.0 assists per game.
Buffs coach Linda Lappe praised her star's improvement at the point.
"Chucky's really developed into a nice point guard. Her decision making, for the most part [Friday] night, was very good," Lappe said. "She attacked the basket very well. She hit a couple of outside shots. Right now, she's pretty dynamic in how she scores the ball."
Lappe also likes what she's getting from Jeffery, an all-league defensive pick last year, at the other end of the court.
"When she really focuses on it, her defense is tough," Lappe said. "She'll have some lapses defensively at times, mostly because she's played a lot of minutes, and she has to rest somewhere, she has to take a few possessions off. But for the most part, if I can get her some rest, she's a dynamic defender."
16dBonnie D. Ford