Sharing the No. 4 forward spot with Leah McAlister, Bronson has found that on the basketball court it is best to keep things as uncomplicated as possible. Her level of play has been a pleasant surprise to Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett.
“The key thing for Valerie is to make simple plays, simple passes and take open shots,” Bennett said. “She can’t force a pass or drive when there is no place to go. Those things lead to turnovers.”
Bronson has worked way back into double figures in playing time by responding when her name was called. “It’s was a matter of her being ready when she got the opportunity,” Bennett said.
Bronson, a senior, has also built a trust level with her coaches and teammates this season.
“In practice and in games she has been building that trust,” Bennett said. “She isn’t going to try to make a spectacular play and make a turnover. She is going to make the easy play.
“She has had a couple of really good games for us. She has shot some threes, but the best thing is she is driving the ball to the basket and finishing there. She is doing a pretty good job defensively and getting some rebounds.”
Bronson has realized that she doesn’t have to try so hard to perform because there are other players around her.
“I’m slowing it down and doing what I can do correctly instead of speeding it up,” Bronson said.
Bronson, 5-foot-10, and McAlister, a 5-9 junior, split time at the No. 4 position. In the 63-58 win at Austin Peay Dec. 8 Bronson hit 40-of-5 shots from the field and McAlister connected on five-of-six.
“That’s a huge contribution from that one position,” Bennett said.
Both Bronson and McAlister are under-sized to play the No.4, something the two often talk about.
“Leah and I joke about playing the No. 4 position,” Bronson said. “It’s so hard. Even though we are big most of the girls that play that position are so much bigger than us. Being undersized we know we have to try harder.
“We push each other hard in practice to get better. Playing against Chelsea McMeans, Jess Reece and Brittany Duerk helps us get ready for games.”
Bronson and the rest of the Lady Bisons will be challenged Saturday night when Kennesaw State visits for an Atlantic Sun doubleheader at Allen Arena. Game time for the women is 6 p.m. with the men following at approximately 8:15.
The Lady Bisons are 4-4 overall, 1-0 in the A-Sun. They are one win away from tying their overall victory record for last season.
The Kennesaw State Owls are 2-5, 0-1 in the conference.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.