Elgedawy’s athleticism, size gives WKU true post presence

Tyler Mansfield

Raneem Elgedawy provides the WKU women’s basketball team with something it hasn’t had in a long time – a true post presence.

The 6-foot-4 freshman forward’s athleticism, size and flashy moves inside the paint give the Lady Toppers someone that can easily score in double figures night in and night out. Having Elgedawy, a player that WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard classifies as a “true post,” now opens up new opportunities for other players.

“A true post is someone that wants to have her back to the basket,” Clark-Heard said of Elgedawy. “She’s so skilled around the basket, so we’re really excited that we have someone like that because it just adds to what Ivy (Brown) can do and the other players on the wings with Tashia (Brown) and some of the other guards.”

Size is something the Lady Toppers have lacked for quite a while.

Throughout the past few seasons, WKU’s Ivy Brown has been the key back-to-the-basket type of player. In high school, Brown was mainly a guard and shot the ball outside and distributed it to her teammates. But, in the previous three years on The Hill, she has had to transform into being the Lady Toppers’ main presence under the goal.

But now, with Elgedawy in the mix, Brown is able to expand her game and move around outside of the lane. And with the duo’s length, it opens up many new opportunities for WKU both offensively and defensively.

“It was really beneficial and I was really proud of how our guards were working to try and get the ball in because we did have an advantage in size,” said Clark-Heard following WKU’s exhibition win over Union University (Tenn.) on Thursday. “I’m really proud of how they worked to get that done and how we did a lot of different things, so it was good to have that on the floor.”

Against Union – a 101-58 WKU victory – Elgedawy and Brown both produced big season-opening outings for WKU. Brown scored 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting while also grabbing 12 rebounds and Elgedawy finished with 20 points and pulled down 14 boards in her Lady Topper debut.

WKU sophomore guard Whitney Creech, who also had a big night with 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds, said it was easy to recognize how big of a boost having both Elgedawy and Brown on the court together provides to WKU.

“It’s a lot different from last year,” Creech said. “I don’t think we really had a back-to-the-basket post and that’s something Raneem can bring to the team. She’s really good at posting, has good moves and can finish well around the basket. It’s a big help.”

After showcasing her talents in both Hilltopper Hysteria – a 10-point, four-rebound outing – and against Union, Clark-Heard said all Elgedawy will continue to do is improve. 

“I told you Raneem is pretty special. She has a very high IQ and she plays really hard,” she said. “I think the more she continues to get comfortable, I think she keep getting better and better and that’s what we’re excited about.”

Women’s basketball beat writer Tyler Mansfield can be reached at (270) 935-0007 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @_TylerMansfield.