The term “sophomore slump” has been thrown around a lot in sports lately. Especially in the NFL.
I don’t remember how many times SportsCenter ran the question, “Which second-year quarterback will struggle this season?”
Is this a real thing?
Looking at the quarterbacks’ numbers after this NFL season, I would say yes.
Robert Griffin and Brandon Weeden went through a tough second year, while Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson experienced little to no lag the second time around.
So has the sophomore slump affected the Nebraska women’s basketball team?
That’s a negative, Ghost Rider.
Take a look at the two sophomores on the team: guards Sadie Murren and Rachel Theriot.
Starting with Murren, who hasn’t had an opportunity at a starting spot yet, has provided depth off the bench since last season.
By averaging only 12 minutes a game, Murren is 17-of-37 from the field, a jump from her freshman season when she was 9-of-42 in 18 games.
In 14 games this year, she’s shooting .459 percent from the floor — a big step up from her .214 percent a season ago.
She also rains in the threes, as she is 14-of-27 from behind the arc and leads the squad in 3-pointer percentage at .519 percent.
Not too shabby for not playing big minutes.
Now let’s look at Theriot’s stats.
Theriot complied a strong freshman year by averaging 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3 assists, starting 28 of 34 games. She also shot .424 percent from the floor, .354 percent from downtown and .588 percent from the charity line in her first year.
Her play earned her a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
But, she was also playing alongside the No. 12 overall pick in last year’s WNBA draft, Lindsey Moore.
In her sophomore campaign, she would take on more of a leadership role and would have to be a more vocal leader on the court, coach Connie Yori said prior to the season.
She has taken on this expanded duty well, as the Huskers are averaging 74.8 points a game and holding opponents to just 59.2 points.
Only 15 games into this season, Theriot’s game averages are 11.9 points, 5.86 assists and 3.46 rebounds.
That seems like good improvement.
But wait, there’s more.
She had 94 total rebounds last year, and in the current season, Theriot already has 52. And all 52 are defensive boards.
Her shooting percentages this season are .475 from the floor, .366 from behind the arc and .889 from the free point line. All of these are a step up from last year.
Theriot is also a great facilitator for this team, as she leads the team with 88 assists. If you haven’t seen Theriot pass the ball, you’re missing out. She pulls off the no-look, behind-the-back and between-the-defenders’-legs passes.
OK, maybe not all at once, but she still makes some impressive passes.
Sometimes even her teammates looked surprised that the ball made it to them, and you can see the slight hesitation from them or they bobble the ball a little.
Despite some of these passes, Theriot doesn’t turn the ball over too often. She brings an assist to turnover ratio of more than 2-to-1 for this season.
I know there is still a lot of basketball left, but don’t anticipate hearing about sophomore slumps from this team after the season.
Eric Bertrand is a sophomore journalism major. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org