FORT WAYNE – In this, his eighth year as the women’s basketball coach at IPFW, Chris Paul will gladly rattle off the names of some of the better players he has had.
There was the inside presence of Stephanie Rosado; the grit of Jordan Zuppe; the explosiveness of Johnna Lewis-Carlisle; the three-point shooting of Anne Boese. All were either first- or second-team All-Summit League players.
But when it comes to a one-player compilation of the school’s best, Paul says he’s never had anyone like Amanda Hyde, the 5-foot-10 junior forward who led the conference in scoring and was named the league’s player of the year.
What she brings is she brings everything, Paul said.
She brings size; she brings strength; she brings rebounding, assists, scoring, the ability to knock threes down, the ability to make free throws. She brings the ability to guard the perimeter and also possibly guard a post player. We’ve never had a player who could do as many things as Amanda.
Hyde, who tied the school record this season with 43 points against Southern Illinois, did more than average 18.7 points a game. She was fourth in the conference in minutes played (36.2 average), was seventh in field goal percentage (44.7), sixth in three-point percentage (37.0), second in free throw percentage (87.2), eighth in assists (3.1), sixth in steals (1.8) and 17th in rebounds (4.8).
And her 4.0 (grade-point average) doesn’t hurt, either, Paul said.
Hyde, who as a senior led her Liberty-Benton High School team from Findlay, Ohio, to the state championship and 27-0 record, is the first IPFW women’s basketball player to earn Summit League Player of the Year honors. IPFW joined the league in 2007.
Anytime an individual gets an award like this, I truly believe it’s a reflection on the team, said Hyde, whose Mastodons (12-16) will play Western Illinois (14-15) in the first round of the Summit League tournament at 1 p.m. Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D. I don’t get to take all the shots I have taken this season if I don’t have coaches who are willing to trust me with the ball and teammates who are willing to pass up some shots that I’m sure they would like to take. I’m extremely honored, but I have to thank my teammates and coaches because without them, I wouldn’t have been in the position to be successful.
Because Hyde, who scored in double figures in 25 of IPFW’s 28 games this season, averaged 9.4 points last season, she was left off the Summit League’s preseason first and second teams.
We knew we had something good in her, Paul said.
Hyde just wanted to get better so IPFW could improve on last year’s record of 9-19.
On a personal level, I don’t know if I had any concrete goals, she said. I just wanted to become better as a player, and I knew becoming better, myself, would make the team better. I can’t say that I was thinking about earning player of the year or even first team. I just wanted to do what I could to make sure we had a better season than last year.