In Focus: Plaisance Developing Into Elite Player
In just her first year as a full-time starter, junior forward Theresa Plaisance is shining and showing everyone just how dominating and versatile of a player she is.
A native of New Orleans, La., Plaisance is already making a name for herself in just a little over halfway through the 2013 Southeastern Conference season.
Plaisance ranks first in the SEC in scoring and is averaging a team-high 18.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. She takes a streak of 19 consecutive double-figure scoring games into Thursday's Auburn contest, which is the longest stretch by an LSU player since Sylvia Fowles as a junior in 2006-07.
"It's a great feeling," Plaisance said. "That all just goes back to my teammates and my coaches. They have the confidence to give me the ball inside and get those easy lay-ups and easy buckets to really contribute to my double-figure scoring."
However, becoming the Lady Tigers' leading scorer wasn't an easy task. In her sophomore season Plaisance was one of the top performers off the bench. Although playing in all 34 games, she only put up 4.5 points per game.
In order to get better Plaisance spent most of her summer days inside the gym, transforming herself into a more mentally physical and dominating player.
"Last year I was a little more timid," Plaisance said. "I tried to shy away from the inside physical contact, and I left that all to the seniors. This year I took Coach Caldwell's challenge and accepted the fact that I was going to have to be that dominant inside force."
Even with such a successful season, Plaisance is quick to give credit to her teammates and the coaching staff. With help from teammates like Jeanne Kenney and Adrienne Webb, Plaisance is lucky to be the recipient of most of her teammates passes.
"My teammates are great," Plaisance said. "I haven't had a better set of teammates. These players can pass the ball so well."
Head Coach Nikki Caldwell was delighted to see Plaisance adapt into her role as a top scorer and offensive threat for the Tigers.
"Theresa has accepted the responsibility of being a go-to player for us," Caldwell said. "Offensively, she's about as skilled as they come. I like Theresa being aggressive for us right out the gate because it does allow our guards to have a little bit more leeway because now she brings double teams. Anytime she is on the floor, you've got to guard her. She dedicated herself in the gym this offseason and it has certainly shown."
In just a little over a year Plaisance transformed into one of the nation's top players and LSU's top offensive threat. Her maturity, optimism and dedication to getting better displays a very bright and promising future for the junior.