DePaul’s quarterback returns for junior year

In most team sports there is usually one specific position that is most imperative for a successful future. In football it’s the quarterback, considered the most important position in all of sports; in hockey it’s the goalie and in basketball it’s the point guard, also known as the floor general. The point guard not only brings the ball up the court and calls a play for the team to run, but they are also an extension of the head coach.

Luckily for DePaul’s women’s basketball team they have one of the best point guards in the country in junior Kelly Campbell. Last year Campbell led the Big East in assists and assist-turnover ratio, and was No. 2 in the nation in assist-turnover ratio and 18th in assists. Campbell also recorded the only triple-double in the Big East last season and came one assist shy of recording the first ever back-to- back triple doubles in the Big East.

It was her phenomenal play last season that earned her a spot on the 2018-19 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award Top 20 Watch List, given to the best point guards in the country.

“It’s a great honor to be placed on that list, it’s always a goal of mine to make those kinds of lists,” Campbell said. “That only gives me more motivation to play better this season and win that award.”

Campbell’s numbers speak for themselves as to why she is one the more vital players on the roster, and why she is gaining national at- tention. She has also played a large part in DePaul’s successful season last year and is a huge reason why ESPN ranked DePaul 15th in its first women’s college basketball poll.

“She (Campbell) prides herself on being a good facilitator and get- ting a lot of assists as well,” Head Coach Doug Bruno said. “She also prides herself on assist-turnover ratio, so she values the concept of taking care of the ball. She’s not a flashy distributor, instead she un- derstands where the ball needs to go. Being second in the nation in assist-turnover ratio is very impor- tant to her.”

Her play last season has not only garnered respect from the outside world, but her coaches and teammates are excited for her be- cause of how well she played last season. They talk about that her role is much bigger than the num- bers might suggest.

“Kelly (Campbell) is one of the hardest working players and one of the most competitive play- ers I’ve ever coached,” Head Coach Doug Bruno said. “What makes her special as a player is that she does the dirty work, but she does so much of the dirty work that it has emerged her as one of the most important players on the team.”

As well as Campbell being near the top most passing and rebound- ing statistics, she is also one the of the best rebounders of the ball in the Big East, finishing third in defensive rebounds and fourth in total rebounds in the conference.

Besides posting tremendous numbers and helping DePaul to their fifth straight Big East regular- season title, and their third Big East Tournament title in five year, she is also an important leader according to her teammates.

“She (Campbell) is a great leader,” freshman Jolene Daninger said,” Her work ethic leads for it- self, and she is willing to step up and take charge for the team. On the court she is always working hard, getting rebounds, making the little plays we need for the team. She can lead without her words as well, and lead with her actions and play on the court.”

Like most great players, Campbell is looking to get even better this season and improve her play and numbers. She wants to keep getting stronger in the areas that she’s already good at, like rebounds and assists, and improve in other areas as well, like defense.

“Last year I feel like I started picking up my last towards the end of the season, and this season to continue off that,” Campbell said. “This season I can improve my defense, always get better at rebounding and consistency offensive.”

Campbell and the rest of the Blue Demons team will get a chance to start their season off with a win on Nov. 9 when they host Green Bay.