EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — The Northwestern women’s basketball team is trying to build off last season, when they got their first NCAA Tournament win since 1993.
As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported Friday, one of the best point guards in the country leading that charge.
Veronica Burton got her senior season started with a bang in the Wildcats’ opening win. While her buzzer-beater as the Wildcats beat the UIC Flames 72-49 Wednesday night was awesome, it’s her defense that really makes Veronica great.
Burton is the two-time reigning Big Ten defensive player of the year and led the country with almost four steals a game last year.
“I’ve definitely been blessed with some of it, but I think just kind of – I watch a lot of film, honestly. I get in the film room,” Burton said. “I think being a point guard kind of helps me too. I know what other point guards are going to do.”
“I wish I could say I taught her, but the smartest thing I did was recruit her,” said Head Coach Joe McKeown. “She studies the other team; their tendencies. She just knows what they’re going to do before they do it.”
Recruiting Burton here to Northwestern shouldn’t have been too tough for Coach McKeown, considering the long family tradition of Burtons here including both her parents.
“I want to say I’m the ninth student athlete – I think. Don’t quote me on that,” Burton said.
Burton said her family di not put any pressure on her to go to Northwestern, and she wasn’t thinking about it early on. But that all changed once she got the offer.
“As soon as I got offered – as soon as I set foot on campus – I knew this was where I wanted to be,” she said.
And now she hopes to leave her mark by going out on top as a senior, with another NCAA Tournament win.