The more and more senior Kelly Faris plays the number of admirers that she has seems to grow as well.
It has long been known that UConn coach Geno Auriemma is a huge fan of Faris. We learned Saturday that Marquette coach Terri Mitchell is too.
“My all-time favorite,’’ Mitchell said. “Kelly is the glue. You need a Kelly Faris to win a national championship. She is the glue because she will do whatever is asked of her. When I coached her in USA Basketball (2008 U-18 team) just that one year she left an incredible impression on me. A, she has high basketball IQ. B, she’s going to dive on every loose ball. She’s not concerned about stats. She’s concerned about `what do I need to do to be successful for this team? What can I do?’ So you see her defending posts. You see her making the assist. You see her driving. You see her hitting 3s. She’s a total package. And other players might get a lot of fanfare and there’s Kelly, Miss Consistent, doing whatever’s asked of her. I’m probably in the Kelly Faris fan club.’’
Faris, who won a gold medal with Mitchell at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, had another typical outing against Marquette. She produced 11 points (5-of-6 FG), five rebounds, eight assists and five steals in 25 minutes.
“She gets it,’’ Mitchell said. “She’s calm. She’s steady. If I was her teammates and I needed confidence I’d look at her. And if I saw her I would know everything’s OK.’’
Faris has moved into 10th place all-time in team history with 245 steals. She has had five steals in three straight games and at least five in five of the last nine games.
“That’s something that we strive for in kind of an underlying way because we want to be aggressive defensively,’’ Faris said. “And that’s kind of one of the main things we’re known for is our defense and how we hold certain people to this and that. So, for me, it’s a statistic. Being in the Top 10 doesn’t mean a lot. But steals is definitely something I go for.’’