Little Point Guard Having Big Impact

Senior point guard Jet Ouardad is off to a good start this season and so is her Auburn women's basketball team.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn women's basketball team takes a 10-2 record into its final pre-conference game on Saturday, but Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy says the Tigers have plenty of room to improve even though they are on a seven-game winning streak.

Jet Ouardad, Auburn's diminutive starting point guard, agrees with her new head coach.

"We need to eliminate the mistakes that we are making--they are ones that we can correct," says the senior, who notes that she has seen the Tigers make steady progress going back to the offseason workouts with Coach Flo and her staff that began during the summer.

The Tigers will take on Samford at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Auburn Arena. In their last outing, an 85-49 victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins, Ouardad contributed nine assists, the most she has had in an Auburn game. She also turned the ball over just twice in 20 minutes of action.

In true point guard fashion, she was so focused on setting up her teammates for shots that she didn't take one herself vs. the Dolphins.

For the season the senior is averaging 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.25 assists per contest. She is also one of the reasons opponents are turning the ball over an average of 22.6 times a game vs. the Tigers.

"Jet brings the energy we need," Williams-Flournoy says of the point guard, who is a shade under five feet tall. "For her size she is at a deficiency, especially for our style of play. If you think about her in a trap you can see right over top of her. As our backside rebounder she is not great, but the energy she brings to us is just great.

"She creates havoc on the defensive end for other point guards and that is good for us," Coach Flo adds. "When she is running the team and not turning the ball over she makes us even better."

As a team the Tigers are committing too many turnovers to satisfy their head coach with an average of 16.0 per game. Ouardad, the primary ball-handler, is averaging 3.8 turnovers per contest.

Williams-Flournoy has seen plenty to like from the Tigers offensively this season, but notes a major area for improvement is consistency because her players tend to score points in bunches while also going through scoring droughts. Avoiding the droughts is a major point of emphasis heading into conference play.

Ouardad notes that she is enjoying her senior season and the up-tempo style Williams-Flournoy and her staff brought to Auburn from Georgetown University.

"Playing fast, pressing and trapping, is a style that is really fitting me," Ouardad says. "I feel like everybody on the team is starting to buy into it and it's fun."

The point guard says she believes she was in good shape physically last season, but has taken it to a higher level so she can play the way that the coaches want to play. "It's a different type of shape," she says with a laugh.

After Saturday's game vs. Samford, ready or not, SEC play is here for the Tigers, who open the league schedule on Thursday (January 3) with a home contest vs. Arkansas.

Premium Subscription Signup

Gene's Page Top Stories