Frericks becomes ‘anchor’ for Missouri program

“I’ve learned what the SEC is about,” Frericks said. “I’ve learned how to prepare for the kinds of girls we’re going to face. It’s going to be physical; they’re quick. A lot of these teams are great.”
Missouri Tigers women's basketball player Jordan Frericks poses for a portrait Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 at the Hearnes Center, in Columbia, Missouri. SLU beat Mizzou 74-50 on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014.

It seems like everyone on the Missouri women’s basketball team has a specialty.

Morgan Eye is the go-to 3-point shooter. Juanita Robinson has incredible ball-handling skills. Lindsey Cunningham’s assists are always on target. Carrie Shephard has ferocious speed. Bri Porter’s strength in the post dominates. And Sierra Michaelis’s grit is undeniable.

Jordan Frericks, though, does a bit of everything.

The sophomore can score, set screens, post up, block, poke the ball away and she can absolutely rebound.

Despite being one of the tallest players on the team, Frericks has begun to shoot 3-pointers.

“Jordan’s not afraid to shoot the three-ball now, so hopefully we’ll see a lot of that out of her this season,” senior guard Bree Fowler said. “Her inside presence is so great, too.”

Last season, Frericks averaged 6.9 rebounds and 7.6 points in her 22.5 minutes per game. This year, she has become a staple for the Tigers (6-2).

Mizzou lost to a then-winless Bradley on Saturday. Frericks, however, had a good game. In her 38 minutes of play, she put up a career-high 27 points and snagged 17 rebounds, on top of her six steals.

Frericks already has three double-doubles in the first eight games. She leads the team in rebounds.

“(I attribute the success to) my teammates and my coaches,” Frericks said after the Tigers’ meeting with St. Louis on Monday. “They give me all the confidence in the world to go out and do what I do. They’ve done everything to help me through practice in the game. They’ve gotten me to where I am right now.”

Missouri coach Robin Pingeton had a rebuttal to Frericks’ modesty.

“She works kind of hard, too,” Pingeton said, laughing.

Pingeton said she has noticed the hustle that Frericks has put in. She said the sophomore had a “tremendous offseason” and is a “tireless worker.”

Six-foot-1-inch Frericks helped her Illinois high school to three state championships, including an undefeated record her senior year.

Frericks is averaging a double-double this season — 14.4 points and 11 rebounds per game.

She said that her success has been a developing process, one that comes with age and preparation.

“I’ve learned what the (Southeastern Conference) is about,” Frericks said. “I’ve learned how to prepare for the kinds of girls we’re going to face. It’s going to be physical; they’re quick. A lot of these teams are great.”

Pingeton said Frericks’ biggest key to her improvement is her confidence level.

“Jordan’s become much stronger, so much more explosive,” Pingeton said. “Defensively, she just makes a difference. She’s got a presence to her — it’s great. She’s been an anchor for us. There’s no doubt about it.”

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