After watching Plano West in-person, it’s clear to me that head coach Kristen Grassi is going to put Jaden Owens in great positions to succeed this season on both ends of the floor, but especially on offense.
Watching the girls play, there’s more motion in the offense. Players are screening and moving without the basketball. All of this is leading to one goal, which in the words of Coach Grassi, is simply “getting the best shot.” It’s not about who is shooting, it’s about taking advantage of the best opportunity. This leads to more open shots, and as the season goes on, those open attempts will hopefully advance to even more efficient places.
On the defensive end, Coach Grassi uses Jaden all over the perimeter and even down low. Jaden is capable of playing all over at this level, because she gives effort and works hard defensively. She isn’t afraid to take advantage of lazy passes from opponents. She communicates well with her teammates, and her leadership qualities come through. Coach Grassi’s press defense and emphasis on fundamentals leads to successful transition opportunities. When the team runs, Jaden trusts her teammates to finish. In the first game I saw, Jaden might have been too passive, but her play and stats still show that she also isn’t afraid to take over.
This team has been impressive so far, and while that’s a testament to the coach, it’s also proof of Jaden’s leadership abilities. She has the intangibles that separate the good from the great.
Jaden and Plano West will be back in action on Thursday in the Allen Eagle Hoopfest versus Horn High School (Mesquite, Texas).
Check out Mars Reel for season long coverage of Jaden Owens and Plano West basketball.