Women’s basketball happy to have Pulliam back after injury

By Jacob Onak

Last season, women’s basketball played the majority of its games without sophomore guard Danny Pulliam. Pulliam had her season cut short in the Huskies’ fifth game of 2011 against Illinois State, going down with a torn meniscus, and had micro fracture surgery on her right knee.

The Huskies missed Pulliam last season as the Indianapolis native was a large part of the 2010-2011 season, playing in all 30 games and making 24 starts. Pulliam averaged 27.1 minutes and was third in the team with 29 steals and 61 assists.

This season, Pulliam is back working her way to 100 percent, having spent all summer rehabbing.

“The rehab process was very long,” Pulliam said. “I stayed here the entire summer, a lot of people got to go home for about two or three weeks but I stayed here and did a lot of stuff in the pool, then just working on other stuff trying to get the muscles in my leg back strong again.”

Coach Kathi Bennett said she is happy to have Pulliam back on the court.

“I think she’s really progressing well,” Bennett said. “Her energy and her ability to pick up end line to end line and her ability to grind really helps us. Especially with a 30 second shot clock, she makes a tremendous difference.”

The 5’6” guard has featured in all three of the Huskies’ games this season, starting one, and is averaging 14.3 minutes a game. She is three of eight from the field, with four assists and one steal on the season.

Bennett said Pulliam just needs to find her basketball form again.

“I thought against Morehead [State] she had her best outing,” Bennett said. “I know we are only three games in but she is finding her feel. She just needs to keep working on finding her feel and getting it back.”

Pulliam brings a lot of energy to the Huskies’ game, whether it’s earning a start or coming off the bench. She is a pest on the defensive side of ball, always looking to force a turnover. Offensively, Pulliam said she likes be a creator for her teammates.

“When I’m healthy, my playing style is very up pace, up tempo,” Pulliam said. “I like to push the ball ahead and get the ball and attack the rim, get to the free throw line, and then also, just get to the hole and create for others. That’s the playing style I like the most, just being able to get to run on both sides of the floor.

“Defensively, pressuring the ball was my main thing, just pressuring the ball, getting steals, and trying to help the team any way that I can.”

The main thing for Pulliam right now is her patience. Her mind may want to do something that her body isn’t ready for, and if she pushes too much she can sustain another injury.

Pulliam knows she has a long way to go to return to full form.

“Right now it’s getting better, but there is still a lot of work to do,” Pulliam said. “I can go for periods of time and then the recovery is the most important thing right now. I’m still struggling but it’s coming, which is good.”