Bradbury: Elkins ‘deserved’ career-high outing
Wright State women’s basketball head coach Mike Bradbury was adamant in his post-game press conference when asked about senior guard KC Elkins’ record-setting game against Valparaiso, which included a school-record 10 3-pointers and a career-high 37 points.
“That kid has earned every single thing she’s got and she deserved that. It should have happened, because that’s where her career has been and that’s what she deserved,” Bradbury said.
Elkins began her career at WSU during the 2010-11 – the same year Bradbury took over the program. As an underclassman, Elkins played in 60 games during her freshman and sophomore seasons. The West Jefferson, Ohio-native did not become a regular fixture of Bradbury’s starting lineup until her junior year, where she started in 25 games for the Raiders.
“[She] played a little bit as a freshman, a little bit more as a sophomore, started as a junior and started as a senior. She’s earned it. I promise you…nothing has been given to her,” Bradbury said.
Bradbury’s praise struck a chord with Elkins, who said her dedication to her own improvement culminated with her 3-point barrage against Valpo.
“It means a lot,” Elkins said. “I’m not the most athletic kid on this team, but I work every second and I think that’s what I’ve had to do to play on this team. I had to work every day and get better every day. That’s what I did and I needed to do for my team, to be the best. I got in the gym and made it a note to get better every day.”
The Raiders finished the regular season 23-8 overall and 12-4 in the Horizon League. The difference between the No.1 and No.2 seeds was two close losses to Green Bay, including a heartbreaking 79-72 overtime loss on Feb.27 in Fairborn.
WSU responded with three-straight wins by an average of 20 points over Milwaukee, Youngstown State and Valpo.
“We put a lot into that game. We wanted the first place spot, but I think it says a lot that we’ve bounced back the way we have. We’re playing our best basketball right now and we’re in March, so that’s really good for us. We’re peaking and I think that speaks volumes about how we bounce back, the morale of our team and it says a lot about our character, as a whole. We stuck together and we knew it wasn’t the end of the season. We had to win these games and that’s exactly what we did.”
The Raiders will host the Panthers Wednesday night at the Nutter Center in a rematch of the team’s meeting on March 1. As a four-year member of Bradbury’s program, Elkins has noticed a positive upward-trend of WSU’s progression and feels this year’s team is best team Bradbury has fielded heading into the Horizon League Tournament.
“Yes, the best. We’ve had our ups and downs and we’ve grown a lot. He (Bradbury) came in my freshman year and…there were a lot of changes, and I was a part of that, and I think that’s what helps our success is that he was just as hard on us my freshman year to my senior year. So the consistency just speaks volumes for him and the way he’s changed the program around.”