After arriving in Boulder in June, Colorado’s Ally Fitzgerald would come away from ladies’s basketball practices with bruises on her physique.
They have been the primary welcome-to-college moments for Fitzgerald, a 6-foot-2 true freshman heart from Ballwin, Mo., who battles veterans corresponding to Quay Miller, Aaronette Vonleh and Charlotte Whittaker on daily basis.
“It’s been actually good for me and my general improvement,” she stated. “I’m undoubtedly getting higher with it. I’m joyful to have them in my nook, as effectively.”
Fitzgerald is one in every of 4 freshmen on the Buffs’ roster this season and all of them undergo an adjustment interval. Fitzgerald laughed when requested in regards to the hardest a part of her adjustment to CU.
“There’s lots of issues,” she stated. “In all probability the largest one is adjusting to not essentially the expectations, however being held to these, being held accountable. After which additionally the change in depth and tempo of the exercises.”
As if that’s not sufficient, Fitzgerald is coping with a decrease again subject, as effectively.
“It type of began most likely in the direction of the tip of the summer season,” she stated. “It’s been flaring up just a little bit just lately, however I’ve been on high of it with Chris (Miller), our coach, and Adam (Ringler), within the weight room after which doing bodily remedy. So, I’m staying on high of it as a lot as I can.”
Regardless of the challenges, Fitzgerald is having fun with her time with the Buffs, partly due to her relationship with the coaches and gamers. She additionally knew it wasn’t going to be a simple adjustment after starring at Marquette (Mo.) Excessive College, the place she averaged 9.4 factors and 9.4 rebounds as a senior.
“Yeah, I anticipated it, particularly being at a Energy 5 faculty,” she stated. “I undoubtedly anticipated that. From what I noticed on my go to, watching the practices, I anticipated that as effectively. Identical as all the opposite (freshmen), it’s been a course of. It’s gonna take time, however slowly getting there.”
Thankfully for Fitzgerald and the Buffs, she’s acquired time to get there.
Miller was the Pac-12 sixth participant of the yr final season and will take over a beginning position this yr. Vonleh is an Arizona switch who is anticipated to fill a big position within the paint. And, Whittaker is a proficient veteran again after lacking the final yr due to hip surgical procedures.
For now, at the least, CU doesn’t have to lean on Fitzgerald within the paint.
“Simply be taught the system, get wholesome, be taught the ropes and be able to go when your quantity known as,” JR Payne stated. “And who is aware of when your quantity will get referred to as.”
When Fitzgerald’s quantity known as, Payne is happy to see what she will do.
“I undoubtedly suppose that if she will keep wholesome, she’s somebody that may stretch the protection and rebound and do issues like that,” Payne stated. “One factor that she does higher than most of our put up gamers is shoot the ball. She’s a very good 3-point shooter and we love that.”
For now, Fitzgerald is specializing in her well being, whereas studying all she will from coaches and people veteran put up gamers who give her bruises in follow. Fitzgerald is happy for the season to get began, but in addition wanting to be taught from experiences by means of her transition to varsity.
“I’ve talked with a few of my household and a number of the coaches right here about simply being nearly like a sponge – simply absorbing all the things,” she stated. “Every thing’s a studying alternative. Whether or not you make a very good play, a foul play; within the classroom; diet and stuff like that, you may at all times be taught one thing from it.”