We recently spoke with DePaul juniors Lauren Prochaska, Ashton Millender, and Amarah Coleman (fellow junior Meri Bennett-Swanson was unavailable and junior Mart’e Grays is sitting out this season due to injury) about their progression at DePaul and what they share with the younger players about what these juniors have learned in their three years as student-athletes.
Prochaska, a 5-foot-8 guard, played in 33 games last season, averaging 1.8 ppg and 1.4 rpg. She was fifth on the team in both assists with 48 and steals with 26 despite averaging 10.0 mpg. Prochaska scored a career-high 10 points versus Creighton last season. She had a career-high six assists versus Southern Illinois in the WNIT last season.
Millender, a 5-foot-8 guard, a played in all 36 games last season, averaging 7.6 ppg and 2.5 rgp. She was eighth in the Big East in three-point shooting percentage at 35.9 last season. Millender tied a career-high with 15 points versus Indiana in last season's WNIT, and she scored in double figures in three of DePaul's final four games last season.
Coleman, a 5-foot-11 guard, played in 24 games last season, averaging 3.1 ppg and 1.2 rpg. She shot 10-26 for 38.5 percent from three-point range last season. Coleman scored a season-high 15 points in 18 minutes of play versus Colgate in her DePaul debut last season.
Scout: What are your expectations for this season?
Prochaska: Definitely stepping up, taking a bigger role this year, continuing to work on my offensive game, getting stronger on the defensive end, and definitely trying to help the team out both on and off the court. [Coach Bruno] has talked to me about finishing around the basket, taking the open shot when I have it, and playing more aggressively on the offensive end.
Scout: What do you see as your responsibilities for the team this year?
Millender: Stepping up and being a leader. Coach [Bruno] talks about the seniors not being the only ones who can lead, so the upperclassmen should provide leadership as well.
Scout: What areas of your game do you feel you have to work on this season?
Millender: Reading screens and getting myself open. [Opponents] know that I am a shooter, so going to the basket more.
Scout: What do you, as a junior, see as your leadership role on this team?
Millender: If something happens, motivating your teammates and keep on playing until the play is over.
Scout: What are some of the things you have worked on over the summer to become a better player?
Coleman: I re-evaluated my play. The main thing for me to work on was my defense, and that is what really held me back last year. I also focused on being competitive and staying aggressive on defense, but staying clean. I guarded Jessica January every time, and if I can guard someone like her, I can guard anyone I play against.
Scout: Can you talk about your role-modeling for the four freshmen on the team this year?
Coleman: Even though I have only been [at DePaul] for one year, I do have experience, and while I am not too much ahead of the freshmen, knowing the program and knowing how the system works, I still try to encourage and help them with things I already know. I tell [the freshmen] to keep their heads up. Everybody goes through [difficult times as a freshman] and don't let certain things or words [affect you psychologically]. You just have to keep your head up and play your game.