Audrey Roden, freshman guard, just finished her first collegiate basketball season. She was the sixth man for this year’s successful Nevada women’s basketball team. She averaged a stellar 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 17 minutes per game.
Roden had a great first season to start her Nevada basketball career. She finished with 303 points in her freshman season, and that puts her on track to be in the 1,000 point club in her senior season.
In preparation to become a leader on next year’s Nevada team, Roden will continue. She is clearly set on wanting to be a legendary Wolf Pack player and already has aspirations to be named to three all Mountain West teams in her next three years.
After talking with Roden at the beginning of the season to discuss her road to Reno, it is time to check in with the young Wolf Pack star. Roden sat down and reflected on her freshman season and discussed her future at Nevada.
Q: What were your overall thoughts on your first season?
A: I think my first season was honestly pretty good for a freshman season. I was the second leading scorer, which I had a goal of averaging eight points, and I ended up averaging around ten. So, that was a lot better than I expected. I thought that I grew a lot over the season and I thought that my weaknesses were really exposed, and now I know what I need to work on in the off season.
Q: What were your thoughts on your first Mountain West tournament?
A: Well it was pretty short. It was a different environment. Honestly, every team played way more intense and way more inspired. There was just a lot of things that happened that you wouldn’t expect. Like Utah State winning and like anything can happen. But it was just the environment was really cool, really fun and really competitive. It was a cool experience to be a part of.
Q: How did it feel to be named to the Mountain West All Freshman team?
A: Honestly, I was a little disappointed I didn’t get freshman of the year. But, I kind of came to terms with that it wasn’t gonna happen because the girl that did win it averaged a double-double. That is kind of hard to compete with but I’m still very thankful that I was named to the All Freshman team. That just shows that I deserve to be here and I can play at this level. Also, I’m really thankful for the coaching staff giving me the opportunity to play because that wouldn’t have been realistic if I didn’t earn playing time.
Q: As a freshman, what did you think about the travel and what places and stadiums did you like playing in the most?
A: My favorite stadium to play in besides Lawlor obviously was Wyoming’s stadium. I really liked that one. It was big and open, except the elevation was terrible but besides that the gym was really cool. I had always traveled for AAU and we would go on two-week road trips and stuff, but we never had school because it was during the summer so traveling and trying to keep up with the school work was what was really difficult. Being on the road wasn’t so bad, but trying to deal with how am I going to keep up with school if I’m not able to go to class and stuff like that. It was just like a time management learning curve.
Q: What was one of your favorite memories of the year?
A: Honestly, it was our last trip, the one we just went on to Kentucky. Our flights home got so messed up and half of our team had different connecting flights. The half that I was with our flight got canceled so we were up for like 30 hours straight, and I was in five states in like 15 hours. But I felt that it was so fun because we all knew it was a bad circumstance but we were all so happy because we knew it was what it was and it was just a really fun time in my opinion.
Q: This team had a lot of seniors, so what is one thing that you’ll miss most about the team this year?
A: Honestly, I think that I’m just going to miss the bus rides, the locker room and the pregames. Every year you are on a basketball team, you get one shot with the girls in that circle. It’s always going to be different the next year. So the fact that that’s all we had together and it’s over is pretty sad, but it’s just like all the times off the court. That’s when the best memories are made.
Q: You averaged around 10 points and you shot 38% from the three-point line. However, you shot 39% from the field, and I know it will always be harder for a player that shoots as many threes as you do to ever have a very high field goal percentage. How do you think you can improve your field goal percentage?
A: Getting into the weight room and being able to finish those shots where I’m closer to the rim and under contact because that’s honestly what a lot of it is. I get knocked off my course, so being able to be stronger and like finish through contact is going to help me a lot.
Q: Like we discussed in the first Q&A since it was towards the beginning of the season, you said you thought it was going to get a lot harder to score because they were gonna scout you more and prepare for you. Now, at the end of the season, did it get a lot harder for you to score and did you notice that teams defended you a certain way?
A: Yes, it did. Every time I was on the floor I’d have the best defender on me. Getting open shots I was getting in the beginning of the season was way harder, and that’s why honestly my field goal percentage went down because I wasn’t shooting the same shots and I was shooting less shots per game. It was honestly a little bit of a mental struggle but that’s part of what I mean by that’s how it exposed my weaknesses. Yes, the scouting was a lot harder towards the end of the season.
Q: Once again, like you said the first time we talked, you wanted to improve on your defense. Throughout the year, did you notice a big improvement in your defense or did you see yourself getting better in certain areas?
A: I did. I feel like I got a lot better at defense when I wasn’t scoring as much because I felt like if I wasn’t scoring as much I wasn’t having a good game. But throughout the season, I realized that that is not true. I can still contribute on the defensive end, and so if I wasn’t shooting it well that game, I would really focus on defense and that lock in helped me a lot throughout the season on improving.
Q: What is an area of your game that you were surprised to do so well in or came easier to you than expected?
A: Probably rebounding because I am a smaller guard, and I did average almost four rebounds. That is actually kind of a lot for a guard, so I did not think I was going to be able to average that many or have some of those high rebound games.
Q: What are you most excited for going into next season?
A: I’m just excited to play in front of the fans again. We had most of our home games in the beginning of the season, and I have not played at Lawlor in so long and I really miss that a lot– Just playing in Reno again.
Q: What are your goals for next season?
A: I want to be a three-time Mountain West selection. I guess four-time because I got the freshman team, but I want to make the all conference team three years in a row because I don’t think that has ever been done in school history. That would be my goal, and I want to get my three point percentage to above 40% because it was at 45% for a while then I hit a slump and it went down a lot.
The Wolf Pack family will be looking forward to seeing all the great things Roden can accomplish in her career.
Anthony Miranda can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush