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Off-the-bench hero | First person with Nicole Leimbach | Revvin' up his game |

One quarterback. 3,600 pounds of offensive linemen. One dinner.
Read their conversation here.

A point of interest

If the Lady Frogs are going to keep their string of NCAA berths alive, they'll have to rely on do-everything point guard Natasha Lacy. And she's fine with that.

By Rick Waters '95

Natasha Lacy is the team bully. Yelling at teammates. Picking on people. Getting in a few faces.

“But she’s a really nice one,” says sophomore guard Adrienne Ross. “She’s the kind that doesn’t mean any harm.”

Dedicated to winning and passionate about perfection, to say the junior point guard from El Paso is emotional is such an understatement that it makes her teammates laugh. Think of her as kind of the Charles Barkley of the Lady Frogs.

“Players all respect her. She comes ready to work every day,” junior guard Ashley Davis said. “She loves coming to practice.”

And she’s just the kind of know-it-all leader the team needs, head coach Jeff Mittie says.
“There’s no doubt that she runs the show,” said Mittie. “She knows every player and position and where everyone is supposed to be on the court. She’s like a quarterback who knows all the receivers’ routes.”

This season, the Lady Frogs will need all the smarts and moves Lacy has. With the program’s most decorated player (post Sandora Irvin) now in the WNBA, left behind is a roster of solid, but complimentary players.

They’ll be asked to contribute more scoring, more defense and more rebounding, none more than Lacy. She was second on the team in rebounding a year ago, first in assists and fourth in scoring. She could be tops in all those categories in 2005-06.

“Natasha has great vision and court awareness,” said Ross, who is returning from a knee injury. “She can play anywhere on the floor except center and likes to get other players involved.”

Mittie agrees: “Lacy will be the closest we have to a go-to player, but she’s not going to carry the burden alone.”

Ross is a slasher and scorer. Senior guard Lorie Butler-Rayford is a strong ball-handler and passer. Davis is a good three-point shooter.

Mittie expects that any of them could havet a hot hand on any given night, and whoever does, the team will lean on her.

The Lady Frogs will employ a guard-oriented lineup that will allow them to penetrate more than past seasons. As many as four guards may be on the floor at a time as they will run and push the tempo. That should make them tough to stop — and pretty exciting to watch.
“We can all handle the ball and bring it up the floor and get into our offense,” Butler-Rayford said. “But Natasha is going to be asked to do a lot.”

Lacy says she’s ready for it.

“More than any area of my game, I think I’ve improved the most in staying in control, especially when things don’t go our way,” she said. “I’m being looked to as the leader of this team. I know I can’t let them down.”

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