Last week, I spoke to Head Coach Andrea Martre of Southwest Tennessee Community College.
Coach Andrea Martre was named Western Division and TJCCAA Coach of the Year after guiding Southwest to a 26-2 record, the Western Division championship, and a number 13 national ranking this season. It was the third time Martre has been honored as coach of the year by the TJCCAA. In eleven years as coach at Southwest, Martre has compiled a 178-120 record.
As you can see, Coach Martre had a heck of a season this year. She also had the opportunity to coach one of the most talented and gifted players to come out of the Memphis area, Ashley Shields. Shields led the NJCAA in scoring this season with an average of 27.4 points per game and was among national leaders in rebounding (11.3), assists (6.6) and steals (4.1). She also led the Lady Saluqis in field goal percentage (.558), and three-point percentage (.443). She recorded four triple-doubles and 19 double-doubles this season and had season highs of 15 rebounds (vs. Arkansas Baptist, Hiwassee, and Saint Catharine), 14 assists (vs. Jackson State), eight steals (vs. Cleveland State), and four blocke d shots (vs. Hiwassee).
Ashley Shields was named Player of the Year in the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association by a unanimous vote of the coaches. Also, Shields was chosen to the 2007 Junior College/Community College Kodak/WBCA All-American Team. The Kodak team, selected by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, consists of ten players selected from among the over 500 NJCAA member schools.
PJ: How do you believe the game has developed for girls since you’ve been involved? (intensity, skill level)
CM: The game is faster, players are bigger and stronger.
PJ: What skill do you believe girls are lacking the most when they arrive at college? What can they do to develop those skills?
CM: They lack KNOWLEDGE of the game. Need to read and watch more games and basketball videos.
PJ: Some players may feel that starting out at a junior college is not for them. What are the benefits of playing at a junior college?
CM: Academically they can get better if the talent is there and if they lack skill it will help them get better to move to the next level.
PJ: You coached the TJCCAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR, Ashley Shields. She lead the NJCAA in scoring this season with an average of 27.4 points per game and was among national leaders in rebounding (11.3), assists (6.6) and steals (4.1). What characteristics does Shields have that plays a part in her being such a dominate player? (work ethic, attitude)
CM: She is a WINNER at HEART and she plays to WIN!!!!
PJ: Is there any advice you would like to provide for young players?
CM: Keep an open mine and be willing to try something NEW!!
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