By Mark Janssen
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Mention the name Scott Greenawalt to members of the Kansas State women's basketball team and no matter the individual, there's a "good grief" roll of the eyes.
"I was scared of him my freshman year," said K-State junior Jalana Childs. "His workouts were awful ... pain ... I want to go home. That's what I remembered saying every day. I was petrified the entire summer. I dreaded those days."
Then, she gave a reflective laugh.
Junior Branshea Brown admitted to being "intimidated" by the Wildcats' bald master of getting stronger, faster, more agile, but she added, "He turned out to be the nicest guy. But I promise you, it was a culture shock the first time I went in his weight room."
Then, she gave a reflective laugh.
Greenawalt was the hire by Bob Huggins to be the Wildcats' strength and conditioning coach for men's basketball. In August of 2007, his role expanded to Deb Patterson's women's program.
"He came in and we won the Big 12 championship," said then junior guard Shalee Lehning, who now serves as an assistant coach for the Wildcats. "He established what we didn't have, which was a mental toughness. We knew we had great players and we knew we had great coaches, but our strength and conditioning wasn't where it was supposed to be."
But even as tough as Lehning was, and even with the passion the Sublette, Kan., native played with, even Lehning said of Greenawalt's workouts, "They were excruciating. I've never been through anything like those workouts. You'd walk in sick to your stomach, and that was before the workout."
Then, she gave a reflective laugh.
But at the same time, she quickly added, "You were excited each day because you knew you were going to get better. It was an exhausting 45 minutes. No matter how good of shape you were in, it was pain."
Greenawalt, a former linebacker at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, offers a satisfying chuckle to the descriptions from the athletes, but is quick to offer this compliment to the women of Patterson.
"They have a great attitude and actually like to work. That's not saying the guys don't (like to work), but they don't question you as much," said Greenawalt. "Guys will fight you more, but after this many years the upperclassmen won't let the freshmen fight it. They know if you stay the course, they will see the results."
On adding Greenawalt's expertise to her staff, Patterson called it a "... tremendous addition. He made us better athletes, but also enhanced a toughness element that you want in your program. He made us physically strong and mentally strong. He added to our accountability and our determination."
Then, even she gave a reflective laugh.
"There's no gray with Scott," Patterson said. "It's hard and fast and work is done aimed at a high level of excellence."
Ironically, the 33-year-old Greenawalt says that perhaps a higher percentage of Patterson's players have a more sound background in lifting than those men of Frank Martin's team.
"You'd be amazed at the number of guys who have never had any type of training. They're told by high school coaches to just go in and lift," Greenawalt said. "Jacob (Pullen) is one of those. He had never lifted a weight in his life, while Martavious (Irving) and Victor (Ojeleye) had a solid background. A lot of the girls have been through a training program, which is a credit to their coaches."
Whether with the men, or the women, Greenawalt says, "The key is a belief in why I'm asking them to do what I'm asking them to do. After this number of years, you can see the body changes and it starts to sell itself."
Brown is one of those believers, as she says of Greenawalt's workouts, "He pushes you to your limit to make you better than you believed possible. You may not make your times on a certain day, but he wanted to be sure that you were better than the day before."
Sophomore Mariah White added, "I promise you. I did not want to go back after that first day. The intensity level was higher than I believed possible. He doesn't let you settle to be anything less than you can be."
Childs laughs as she refers to her days before Greenawalt as, "Back when I was scrawny."
When asked about his most prized products of the women's team, Childs is the name that is mentioned first.
"She came in really weak and not very fast," Greenawalt said of the K-State junior. "When she ran, she looked like jello just because she didn't know how to run and was just all over the place."
Greenawalt says there are different findings in different studies, but it's fact that women suffer more ACL knee injuries than the men. For that reason, "We try to make sure they are as strong as possible in their lower body and we teach them the fundamentals of jumping off one foot, and two feet, and landing softly."
Like with the men's program, a solid diet is stressed with athletes strongly encouraged to never skip a meal and to have a healthy snack between meals to make sure a proper weight is maintained, which is checked with twice a week weigh-ins.
"My job is to make sure the athletes are conditioned, and know how to work so on that first day of practice the coaches aren't yelling at me," said Greenawalt.
'Cats Entertain Buffs
Tonight at 7, Kansas State will try to improve on its 6-4, 16-7 record against the 3-7, 12-11 Colorado Buffaloes in Bramlage Coliseum. Fans with a men's basketball ticket from Monday night's Kansas game, can show their ticket at the door and receive a general admission ticket for this evening's game for just $3.
K-State won the first game between the teams 72-59 as Brittany Chambers scored 20, and received support from Jalana Childs, Taelor Karr and Kelsey Hill with 17, 13 and 10, respectively.
K-State held CU's Brittany Spears to 13 points, which were five below her seasonal average.
Chambers can jump a couple spots tonight on the career chart for freshman-sophomore scoring.
Currently with 745 points, Chambers ranks eighth, but is only one point shy of No. 8 Ashley Sweat with 746 points and No. 7 Megan Mahoney with 759 points.
Six Earn Academic All-Big 12 Honors
Kansas State women's basketball placed a league-high six student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 team in an announcement by the Big 12 Conference on Tuesday. Four of K-State's honorees received a first team citation, while two were chosen for the second team.
Wildcats to earn the Academic All-Big 12 first team honor were: senior Kelsey Hill (agriculture/journalism and mass communications), senior Shalin Spani (public relations), junior JuliAnne Chisholm (life sciences/pre-med) and sophomore Brittany Chambers (open option). Spani garnered her third career honor, while Hill earned her second and Chambers her first. Chisholm tallied her third career academic honor from the Big 12 and her first in women's basketball, as she was a two-time recipient in volleyball. Since the beginning of the Big 12 in 1996-97, K-State has earned a league-best 90 Academic All-Big 12 honors including 74 first team citations which also paces the Big 12.
Earning second team honors for the first time in their respective careers were junior Alina Voronenko (advertising) and sophomore Taelor Karr (business).