Why she was selected:
Need we ask? Yorkville senior Lauren Daffenberg poured in 33 points in the Foxes' win over Sycamore, scored 26 in a win at Geneseo and followed that up with a career-high 42 points in a win over Rockford East. She also had 34 points in a recent win over Plano.
Daffenberg, a 5-foot-11 senior guard committed to Hillsdale College in Michigan, is 20 points away from reaching 1,000 for her career. She is averaging 24.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the season, making free throws at an 81 percent clip.
Record sports editor Joshua Welge spoke to Daffenberg about the start to her season. Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: Wow, 42 points! How did that happen?
Daffenberg: I think the biggest contributor was, I had about the same amount of 3-pointers as I did against Sycamore, but I had quite a lot more free throws. I was around 14-for-17 for that game.
Welge: What was your reaction when you heard that point total?
Daffenberg: At the time it honestly didn't seem like I had that many points, or that I was shooting an absurd percentage. But yeah, it is a little unbelievable.
Welge: Does it feel like you're in the zone, so to speak, or are you just playing your game?
Daffenberg: I think I just take it one game at a time. That helps me focus. Especially with the big games, not only me but Lindsay [Harrison] and the other girls, we all have to step up in our own ways.
Welge: How do you feel your game has grown since last year?
Daffenberg: It's mainly tightening up my game, the efficiency, trying to shoot a higher shooting percentage, finishing at the rim and the free-throw line. This year I really worked on my speed and agility to try to get my defense up and become more a defensive stopper.
Welge: You play on a pretty high-level AAU team, the Illinois Rockets. How has that helped your game?
Daffenberg: It's helped the quickness in my game. The game is so much quicker, the girls are so much faster and stronger, they can jump higher, it's almost the caliber of the college game. I try to translate that back to my high school game.
Welge: Do you have a shooting routine before games?
Daffenberg: Kind of. Especially home games where I have more time, I'll go to the local YMCA, start on shots in close and focus more on free throws. If you are consistent with those, you can get your jump shot in line. I do a lot of those before games and try not to overshoot.
Welge: Do you know what you plan to study in college?
Daffenberg: Not exactly, but the goal is go to law school afterward. Eventually I really want to study international law and try to get into government.