Rachel Frederick Rises to the Top

Senior point guard & team leader Kristi Little, last season's A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, gets most of the ink on Duquesne's women's basketball team. Another guard deserving more media attention is junior Rachel Frederick, a legit contender for the first A-10 Player of the Week.

Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio has put together a powerful team that has won their first two games by an average of 35 points. There are more dependable players, most from Western Pa., for the second-year coach to call on than on 2007-08's surprising (at least to those not DU's bench) 15-15 team.

Former head coach Dan Durkin didn't leave the cupboard entirely bare. Coach McConnell-Serio has supplemented a core of Little, juniors Amanda Peck and Keri Pryor and redshirt sophomore Samantha Pollino, with newcomers who give the coach that dreamed-for depth necessary to win in the Division I women's game.

One of those new players, who in her case returned home, is Ohio University-transfer Rachel Frederick, a 5-foot-11 guard from Gibsonia, Pa. and North Catholic High School.

Frederick made a strong impression in the Dukes' first two contests, smile-generating wins over Morehead State (83-57) and Cornell (93-49). This weekend, she averaged 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals while shooting 73.6 percent from the floor, 66.7% from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe.

This really shouldn't be surprising as the lady was the Mid American Conference Freshman of the Year in 2005-06 and was All-MAC third team in her final season in Athens. Frederick led the league and was 48th in the nation with 9.1 rebounds per game and her accuracy from the foul line, 83.3 percent, was good for the 52nd in the nation.

As a senior at NCHS, Frederick was All-State first team and was the Pennsylvania All-Stars Most Valuable Player at the Roundball Classic.

The genes are pretty good too: her brother played football at Kent State and her dad was a baseball player for Slippery Rock.

Atlantic 10 Conference women's basketball awards area announced on Mondays.

Update: The player of the week honor was awarded to Xavier's Ta'Shia Phillips, a 6-foot-6 sophomore center who received 12 A-10 rookie honors last season on the way to being named the A-10 Rookie of the Year, an All A-10 second team selection, and MOP of the A-10 Championship tourney.

Phillips averaged 18.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while shooting 72.7 percent from the floor in XU's two wins. Can't argue with that selection!

Lot of good stuff in the Dukes' two games. Cited in the notebook: sophomore forward Samantha Pollino (15.5 points, 6.0 rebounds), freshman forward Alex Gensler (10, 4.5), and senior Kristi Little (5.5 assists). A-10 Week 1 Notebook