Ragin’ Cajuns Following Veal’s Lead Into Tournament [VIDEO]
Keke Veal only has a few more games left as a Ragin' Cajun, and she's making every minute count on the court.
The senior from St. Thomas More is averaging 16.9 points per game on the season, but she's heating up even more at the end of the season. In the last three games, Veal is averaging 28.3 points per game and carrying the team as a leader off the court. The stats speak for themselves, but her Head Coach Garry Brodhead is more impressed with what she is doing in the locker room and at practice.
"It's phenomenal to see what's she's saying and the way she's saying it. She's a pretty shy girl, she kind of keeps it to herself." Brodhead said. Typically a quiet character, Veal is embracing her vocal role and pushing her teammates in the right direction. "When Keke Veal speaks the last couple weeks, people listen."
Brodhead said Veal's tone changed toward the end of the season to mirror the increased stakes heading into the month of March. She looks like a player ready to make a run.
She came into the program from McNeese State with Brodhead when he switched schools. She is part of a very special class, who committed to their coach when he took them to a school that hadn't tasted success in the women's basketball world in a while. This is his first full class of seniors, and they have a chance to do something special in back to back years.
Veal's main partner in crime in the backcourt, Kia Wilridge, probably doesn't get enough credit for her contributions, but she probably doesn't mind either.
Wilridge does all the dirty work and then some. She rebounds, defends, drives and distributes impressively at the guard position, and her coach said he's loved coaching her and watching her develop. Brodhead said she is incredibly underappreciated, but not by his staff.
Coach Brodhead also spoke about Brooklyn Arceneaux, Jasmin Mills and Adrienne Prejean, who all have a chance to say goodbye in grand fashion on senior night at the Cajundome. Georgia State and Georgia Southern remain on the schedule, so they can't get sentimental yet.
The recent development of Simone Fields as a reliable third scorer in the post takes some pressure off the backcourt, but Veal is still cranking up the offensive production. In college basketball, it's easier than other sports for one player to put a team on their back.
Can Keke go Kemba Walker down the stretch? The Cajuns sure hope so.
(Watch Garry Brodhead's last press conference of the regular season below)