Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Freshman Davis gets start at captain’s expense

Freshman guard Jade Davis started in place of junior captain Rae Lin D\’Alie in the Badgers last contest against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Sunday[/media-credit]

Be ready.

That’s what head coach Lisa Stone tells the four freshmen on the Wisconsin women’s basketball team.

She expects them to expect to play at any time in any game. Stone’s mantra took an even greater meaning last week as she let freshman guard Jade Davis know she would be starting Sunday in place of team captain Rae Lin D’Alie.


Although D’Alie has not shot as well this season as in prior years, the reason for the change had less to do with that and more to do with her 5-foot-3 stature.

“It was no big deal. Coach told me right after the Penn State game,” D’Alie said. “They were 6-foot, 6-foot-1, 6-foot-1, 6-whatever, 6-foot-9 — they were big and they were long.”

Although D’Alie played just 15 minutes Sunday, going 0-for-2 from the field, Stone remains confident D’Alie will bounce back and fight for the starting job in practice this week.

“It was just a matchup issue defensively; Rae is still in the mix,” Stone said. “She’s a kid that, right now, wants to play better, and she will.”

The game at Michigan State was the first in 87 career games that D’Alie was not in the starting lineup. Likewise, it was the first start of Davis’ young career.

After starting 86 consecutive games to begin her career, it seemed it would feel strange for D’Alie to come off the bench, but once play began, it felt like any other game for her.

“I thought it was going to be a lot weirder, but it really wasn’t,” D’Alie said. “It was just like another game if you sub out and then you go back in. It was no big deal.”

While D’Alie knew about the change after a one-on-one meeting with Stone, it was not until a later team meeting that Davis first learned of the lineup change.

“It was just thrown out there at a time when we were watching film,” Davis said. “It kind of caught me by surprise at first. It’s something that we all strive for and we all want, and I’m just thankful for the opportunity that coach Stone and the staff gave to me.”

Davis was one of six Badgers to score against the Spartans, hitting 1-of-3 attempts from beyond the arc to finish with three points while adding one assist.

Not only was Sunday’s game the first start of Davis’ career, but it came in one of the loudest, toughest places to play in the Big Ten conference before an announced crowd of 10,489.

“Michigan State is a frustrating place to play,” D’Alie said. “They have a great crowd, and when they get that place rocking, you feel like you can’t even hear anything in there.”

Although the Badgers were unable to come away with a victory in East Lansing, the change should benefit both Davis and D’Alie.

For Davis, the opportunity to start allowed her to see the game through the eyes of the players on the court in the opening minutes of the half, rather than sitting on the bench and trying to figure out why things aren’t going as smoothly as they would like.

“You sit on the bench during the starts of the first and second half, and you’re kind of wondering what’s going on and why can’t we find a rhythm,” Davis said. “Once you actually start, you realize that it’s a lot harder than it seems just sitting back and watching your starting five do it.”

For D’Alie, the end of her starting streak is a motivational tool for her to improve on her play so far this season.

“It’s definitely a motivator,” D’Alie said. “I’ve got to go get my spot back.”

Not surprisingly, when game time rolled around — especially during pregame introductions — the realization that she was about to start for the first time as a Badger finally sunk in for Davis. It was in that moment she let her nerves get the best of her.

“I had to give my little pregame — like when we run out — handshake-type thing,” Davis said. “I was actually very nervous that I forgot it, so, you know, messed up the whole routine; once the game started, it got better and it was just like playing any type of game.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *