Saturday, October 19th, 2019

Dishin & Swishin Q&A looks at the Class of 2014: Maggie Lucas is the ultimate competitor

Published on April 11, 2014

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Maggie Lucas. Photo by Mark Selders/Penn State Athletic Communications.

Maggie Lucas. Photo by Mark Selders/Penn State Athletic Communications.

When you score 2,000 points, pull down 500 rebounds, hand out 250 assists, while winning three conference titles, you know you are doing something right.

Maggie Lucas has achieved all of that; and perhaps most important for her legacy as she departs, she has helped make the women’s basketball program relevant again at Penn State.

A highly sought recruit out of high school, Lucas was only the second McDonald’s All-American to choose the Lady Lions. From day one she set the tone with her aggressive play, tenacious approach to both practice and games and determination to settle for nothing less than victory.

After sharing the backcourt with Alex Bentley, now of the Connecticut Sun, Lucas entered this season more determined than ever to prove she was more than an outstanding shooter. She worked on her ball handling and defense. The improved Lucas garnered All-American honors from both the Associated Press and the United States Basketball Writers Association.

How will her game translate to the WNBA? Like virtually every player coming out of school this year, there are questions she will have to answer. A team has to be willing to give her time to continue to grow and improve her overall game. They will be getting, without question, a player with heart and desire.

What Does the WNBA think of Lucas? An insider says:

Lucas is a great catch and shoot player. She is competitive, a hard worker. She is also much improved off the dribble, which shows there is room for growth in her game. Question marks are her defense (can she defend a Cappie Pondexter if you need her to) and her lateral quickness.

DNS: In the Sweet Sixteen, the curtain finally came down on your college career. Thoughts? Any regrets?

ML: It is definitely sad to see my college career come to a close, but I have a lot of be proud of. My teammates and I were a part of rebuilding a program that had really been forgotten; before we got here Penn State was one of the bottom teams of the Big Ten and nowhere near being a part of national conversation. We walk away with three Big Ten championships, four NCAA tournament appearances, and two Sweet Sixteens. Yes, you always want more, but I am very proud of what was accomplished, especially when so many would not have thought it possible.

DNS: What are you most proud of from your four years at Penn State?

ML: What I am most proud of from my years at Penn State is I know that I never wasted a day. I worked as hard as I possibly could, I gave my all and I have no regrets. And the three Big Ten championships aren’t so bad either.

DNS: Prior to this season, your reputation was as a great shooter. This year, your game showed such improvement in ball handling, passing, etc.

ML: Yeah, well I think that developing my game as a whole has always been the main goal. I attribute all my improvements in my game to my position coach Fred Chmiel. He has been an unbelievable teacher to me, and I owe him so much for all the time he has given me in helping me take my game to new heights.

DNS: Tenacious, competitive are just a couple of adjectives I’ve heard to describe your game. What does that mean to you?

ML: Tenacious is a definitely a great way to be described, and that’s exactly how I would want to be thought of. Going forward I need to continue to improve because the pros are just a whole new level.

DNS: 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists. Those are some pretty lofty numbers. What stat are you most proud of, and what do those numbers say to you?

ML: Those numbers are great and I am proud of them, but the most impressive number for me is that my fellow seniors and I experienced over 100 wins in our careers here at Penn State. That says it all to me.

DNS: WNBA draft day is coming up, allow yourself to look ahead. What do you think about going to the next level? What would you say to a perspective GM that is looking at drafting you?

ML: I am very excited about moving on to the next level. I know it is going to be a great challenge, but it is what I have dreamed about my whole life and I’m ecstatic at the idea of playing professionally. I would tell a perspective GM that I will give them everything I had, I will always be a hard worker, I am never satisfied and I am always looking to do whatever is in the best interest of my team and winning.


 

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