Not too many college basketball players can say they have made their mark in history books. Basketball is a team sport after all, and it can be very difficult to record individual statistics as part of a team.
Emily Potter is one of those few, rare talents.
The fourth year junior is averaging career highs in points and rebounds, and she has led her team to a hot start, going 12-1 over its first 13 games. Potter hit the legendary 1,000 point club in a non-conference game against Northern Arizona University on Dec. 21.
Head coach Lynne Roberts had high praise for her star forward.
“It’s a feat for anyone to do it in four years, but to be able to hit that a third of the way into your third season means you’re a good player,” Roberts said. “She is a game changer. I don’t think people recognize how athletic she is, and she has improved a lot from last year. She is stronger and more under control.”
While scoring 1,000 points might look easy on paper, it is an accomplishment that cannot easily be overlooked. Excluding Potter, only 25 other athletes have hit that mark for the women’s team at the U.
“It was nice to get it done before conference play,” Potter said. “Now we can focus on our conference schedule. I’m really honored to be a part of the group of players that came before me who reached 1,000 points. I know that there’s a lot of trust that my teammates have in me and that the coaches have in me.”
Potter only appears more likely to move up on that coveted list, as she currently averages 16.4 points and almost 10 rebounds per game. But she isn’t about to get too distracted by such an impressive achievement.
“I was a little nonchalant about the 1,000 point milestone after the game, because I didn’t want to dwell on it too much,” Potter said after the win against Northern Arizona. “Right now I think we are all just focused on conference play. We have a lot of tough games against really good teams.”
While some players might be concerned with their stats, as we see all too often in college sports, Potter cares more about her team and about winning than how many points she scores.
“I already have 1,000, so what’s next? If it’s 1,500, I’ll shoot for 1,500. If I make it to 1,500, I’ll shoot for 2,000,” Potter laughed. “I like putting the ball in the basket, so as much as I can score in any game, I’m going to try. But right now it’s more about taking things one game at a time. There are so many good teams here in the Pac-12 that can beat you on any given night.”
As for the Utes, they have certainly benefited from Potter’s excellent play, as they have compiled a 12-3 record, and have established themselves as one of the best defensive teams in the nation. Coming up this week, the Utes will head on the road to face Oregon State and Oregon.