DePaul's Sam Quigley in Transition

Sam Quigley's basketball career at DePaul has gone from ACL to MVP.

The 5'6" junior point guard from Joliet suffered a torn ACL during the summer of 2006, but not even that injury could keep her off the court during the 2007-08 season, at least not verbally.

"Players probably thought I was so annoying, because every five minutes I was telling them what they needed to do," Quigley said. "When you are watching [from the bench] you see so many things such as transition and balls that we should have passed and things like that, especially as a guard."

And even as good things come to an end, so do bad things as Quigley rehabbed her right knee in preparation for the 2008-09 season. "I felt like I rehabbed so well that I was probably ready to go at three months when it is usually like five to six months," she said.

Quigley came back strong in the 2008-09 season averaging 9.9 ppg and shooting 34.6% from behind the arc to help lead the Blue Demons to their seventh straight NCAA tournament appearance.

With senior guard Deirdre Naughton and Quigley teaming together again in the backcourt for the 2009-10 campaign, and DePaul picked in the pre-season Big East coach's poll to finish third in the conference, it appeared that the Blue Demons were set for their eighth straight appearance.

But those aspirations suffered a serious setback when Naughton tore her right ACL against Northwestern in the fifth game of this season. On the horizon for the team at that time was a road trip to the West Coast to face #2 Stanford and participation in the Duel in the Desert tournament in Las Vegas.

Stanford beat DePaul 96-60 in that match up, but for Quigley it was just one more thing she and the team had to go through to get better.

"When you get beat like that you learn so much, and right after the game we were right back in the hotel room watching and reviewing every play," she said. "We probably watched that tape for three and a half hours. We then just kind of forgot it and going to Las Vegas [for the Duel in the Desert] and being together for that long we kind of grew together."

And growing together was a process that was uneven in areas. With DePaul starting two freshmen, a sophomore, and two juniors, leadership was critical.

"With younger players you need someone that they can look to on the floor when things are going bad," Quigley said. "I can be a vocal leader. Our team is a little low key during the game, so I am trying to light a fire under everyone."

And that "everyone" obviously includes herself. Quigley's MVP performance at the Duel in the Desert, where DePaul beat #10 Florida State on their way to the championship, was certainly an inspired one as she scored 43 points, dished out 15 assists, had 11 rebounds and four steals during the three game tournament.

She has been named twice this year to the Big East Honor Roll, and was recently named one of 12 candidates for the 2010 Nancy Lieberman Award, an award given to the nation's top point guard.

And while Quigley leads DePaul this year in scoring at 12.9 ppg and in three-point shooting at 41.2%, perhaps what she has meant to this year's team is best summarized by her coach, Doug Bruno.

"Sam has defined the words 'step up' for our team this season."

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