Building a basketball program is like building a brick house, or any kind of house for that matter.
Each building needs pieces to help construct it to make it stable.
The NIU women's basketball program is building its infrastructure to make the program stable for the coming years. Freshmen Claire Jakubicek and Amanda Corral are the core pieces to that stability.
Huskies coach Kathi Bennett came here with one goal in mind; build a winning tradition here at NIU.
So far, she's off to a great start by getting Jakubicek and Corral in the program.
The two freshmen have taken every advantage they could by becoming the two leading scorers for the Huskies.
You have Corral, the scrappy little guard who can pretty much out-rebound any girl she wants to, drive to the lane whenever she wants to and lock down defensively. Then you have Jakubicek the girl with size who can either shoot from the perimeter, or boss her way around in the paint.
The Huskies have up-and-coming players in both the front and back court for at least another three seasons.
Think that won't help the recruiting process for Bennett as the years continue?
Any incoming freshman can look at NIU and see themselves as having success as a first year player. Corral and Jakubicek are examples of that.
Leadership will continue to grow on the two youngsters heading forward. Corral and Jakubicek are second and third respectively in minutes played this season behind senior Courtney Shelton.
The experience they can build over the next few years can have a huge effect on the program. Can you imagine having two four-year starters once their senior season rolls around?
Being a four-year starter is a rare opportunity for freshmen in any sport around the country.
Jakubicek and Corral have their opportunity to put the women's basketball program on their backs, and so far it, seems like they're ready for that challenge.