Pikes battles back
Senior set to return from knee injury
Watching your team play a Sweet 16 game without you might upset a lesser player, but it only motivated senior guard/forward, Taylor Pikes.
The Chicago native saw her post-season cut short when a recurring injury took her out of the second round of the tournament in the first half of the Penn State game that acted as a gateway to DePaul's meeting with Duke in the Sweet 16.
"I was real upset," said Pikes. "I was very upset because I knew I played a big part in last year's team and them out there playing and me not being on the court it was hard."
Pikes was named the Big East sixth player of the year. Pikes was a major contributor to the success of the Blue Demons last year. She appeared in 35 games with two starts, averaged 22.1 minutes in Big East games, led DePaul with four double-double games and ranked 13th in the Big East for rebounds in conference games.
The Blue Demons fell to Duke in the Sweet 16 last year and that's where Pikes work began.
"After that game was over it was motivation for me to push myself hard this summer," she said. "I pushed myself as hard as I could."
Pikes plans to be back on the court by late December or early January—just in time for Big East play, but there's season before that to be concerned about.
"We really miss Taylor Pikes greatly; she's our best rebounder and just a great all-around player," said Coach Doug Bruno. "She would have been a starter for sure if she was healthy."
These leaves Pikes vying for a spot amongst the starters just like everyone else on the team and that is one of her goals.
" I wat to get back in shape, get in a starting spot and becoming the same player," said the 6' 2" guard.
But until then, Pikes has some leading to do. The women's team has five new freshman this season, including three freshman guards.
"I'm trying to push them because I know if I'm not ready to go they're going to need to step up," said Pikes.
The Blue Demons don't plan on sliding this year after their trip to the Sweet 16. The stakes are just as high and the goals just as lofty. Emphasizing the need to defend their home court and winning games the Demons have their sights on the NCAA tournament—which will be hosted at the Sullivan Arena.
"We want to make the sweet 16 on our floor, that's the least we're going to settle for," said Pikes.
And is she confident that they can do this with such a young squad?
"We're going to try," she said. "They're going hard every day, I have faith in them and when I return I'll have a lot more faith."
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