PROVO — If the first two exhibition games played provide any indication, junior Cassie Broadhead will be an efficient and important component for this year's BYU women's basketball team.
The 5-foot-9 guard has averaged a team-high 15.5 points on 13-15 shooting from the field in wins against Westminster (77-59) and Colorado Mesa (81-62.) Sure it's just exhibition play, but at least one interested observer believes Broadhead's high level of production will continue throughout the regular season, which tips off Friday at Utah Valley University.
"I think Cassie will be (our) leading scorer, when it's all said and done — her or Makenzi (Pulsipher)," remarked BYU coach Jeff Judkins. "Cassie is playing with a lot of confidence and she's just letting it come."
Broadhead isn't unfamiliar with playing a prominent role within the team, playing as Kylie Maeda's primary backup last season, averaging 3.9 points per game.
This year she's assuming the starting point guard position, where she'll be paired with senior captain Pulsipher and be asked to both run the offense while taking up a bigger scoring load.
"In high school I was a two-(guard), so I had to score a lot," Broadhead said. "The last couple of years I haven't had to (score) as much...but I've done it before. It's not something completely out of the ordinary and now it's just finding the right time and the right shots."
Judkins doesn't plan to play Broadhead exclusively at the point — hoping to provide a variety of looks for opposing defenses.
"I'm hoping I can kind of move her around a little bit," Judkins said. "A lot of it depends on how (other players) perform for us, but Cassie, right now, is playing as good as anybody on our team."
TOUGH SLATE AHEAD: The Cougars will enter Friday's game at UVU as big favorites, but that designation will likely be left aside for several games in the near future. Judkins has scheduled an ambitious preseason slate, which includes a road game at Georgia (Nov. 16), a game to be played in the Maui Wahine Classic versus Oregon State (Dec. 3), and home games against Oklahoma (Nov. 19) and Washington (Dec. 22.)
It's not the first time BYU has taken on a tough preseason schedule, doing as much last season with some success.
"We're taking a risk. We could lose all four of those games or we could split them, like we did last year, or we could be lucky and win all of them," Judkins said. "I've wanted to play a really good preseason schedule and I think it helped us last year and I think it will help us this year."