K-State Frontcourt Anchored by Seniors

Branshea Brown (left) and Jalana Childs will lead the Wildcats in the low post this season.

Oct. 13, 2011

Click here for the 2011-12 K-State backcourt preview

With the return of eight letterwinners including four starters, Kansas State’s prospects of continuing the momentum built from the program’s 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament during the 2010-11 season to make a return trip to the postseason in the 2011-12 campaign.

K-State boosted its overall win total from 2009-10 by seven victories and improved upon its number of league wins by five during the 2010-11 season (21-11, 10-6 Big 12). The Wildcats recorded the 22nd 20-win season in school history and the eighth under head coach Deb Patterson’s guidance, while tying for third in the Big 12 standings after being tabbed for a ninth-place finish by the league’s coaches in the preseason poll. K-State also achieved a unique historical milestone during the 2010-11 season, as the program was the 13th team in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to reach the 800-win mark with a 69-64 win at Nebraska on Feb. 19.

Patterson returns to the Bramlage Coliseum sidelines for her 16th season at the helm of the Wildcats. The career wins leader in K-State women’s basketball history with a record of 300-175 (.632), secured her 300th career win in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Phillips 66 Big Championships with a 56-53 decision over Iowa State. Patterson has guided the program to 22 or more wins in seven of the last 10 seasons and nine postseason appearances in the last 10 years (seven NCAA Tournaments and two WNITs).

For the 2011-12 season, Kansas State will return 71 percent of its point production, 66 percent of its rebounding and nearly 75 percent of its assists. The Wildcats will need to utilize this experience to navigate a difficult 2011-12 schedule, with K-State slated to play 21 games against teams that reached either the 2011 NCAA Tournament or the 2011 Postseason WNIT.

The Wildcats will have a solid core returning to its frontcourt for the 2011-12 season, as seniors Jalana Childs, Branshea Brown and JuliAnne Chisholm return to Bramlage for their final seasons. K-State will also continue to benefit from the development of sophomore Chantay Caron and will await the arrival of junior Katya Leick in the 2012-13 campaign following her transfer from Nebraska in the offseason.

Childs, an All-Big 12 second team recipient in 2010-11, finished the season as K-State’s second-leading scorer and ranked 19th in the Big 12 in the category with a career-high 12.8 points per game (411 points). The forward from Orlando, Fla., also finished 15th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.454). Among her highlights for the 2010-11 season, Childs surpassed her season career-highs in six statistical categories including: points (411), assists (33), steals (22) and field goals made (168) and attempted (370).

Entering the 2011-12 campaign, Childs sits on the precipice of etching her name among the greats in K-State history as she needs to tally 249 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau for her career and 88 rebounds to move onto the K-State career list for rebounds. With 249 points and 68 rebounds, Childs will become the 27th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark and 400 rebounds in a career.

Brown emerged as a solid post option for the Wildcats, as she averaged a career-best 5.4 points on a .437 field goal percentage, a team-leading 0.7 blocks and a team-leading and career-best 5.8 rebounds per game. She also finished fourth in steals with 1.1 and ranked ninth in the Big 12 for offensive rebounds per game (2.5 orpg).

The product of Walterboro, S.C., took part in the Big 12 leadership summit in Dallas over the summer to aid in her growth as a leader for the program. In her final season in Manhattan, Brown will be asked to continue her development both as a veteran leader in the low post and to provide protection at the rim for the Wildcats.

Chisholm will enter this season with a full offseason of basketball workouts, following a four-year career with the K-State volleyball squad. The Hillsboro, Kan., native saw action in 23 games last season for the K-State basketball team, including five starts. She was able to average 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in her 10.5 minutes per game. Chisholm will look to deliver leadership and a defensive mentality in 2011-12, while also chipping in on the offensive end in her final season in the purple and white.

Caron represents K-State’s only underclassman in the K-State frontcourt, but owns significant playing experience from her freshman campaign in Manhattan. The forward from Lawrence, Kan., played in 28 games with an average of 11.4 minutes of action and also made 11 starts, including a start in the NCAA Tournament contest against Purdue. Caron averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds and will be asked to increase those numbers slightly without sacrificing her hard-nosed mentality on the defensive end of the floor.

Leick joins the Wildcats and remains in the Big 12 Conference following two seasons at Nebraska. The 6-1 forward from Grey Cloud Township, Minn., averaged 4.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 40 career games for the Cornhuskers. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Leick will not see the floor during the 2011-12 season but will make her debut in purple and white in 2012-13.