Share This Page

Ex-Slippery Rock standout comes home

Former Slippery Rock high school standout Jence Rhoads has done a lot during her career at Vanderbilt — from being named to the All-SEC first team to playing in the NCAA Tournament.

One thing she hasn't been able to do: play a game back home in Western Pennsylvania.

That will change today when Vanderbilt visits Duquesne. Rhoads, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, will get to play in front of family and friends for the first time since high school.

"I'm really excited. I've been waiting for this for four years," she said. "I'm kind of happy that it is my senior year, because if it was my freshman year I might not have appreciated it as much."

Rhoads concluded a stellar high school career in 2007 and was named the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year, District 10 Player of the Year and Butler County Player of the Year. She finished with 2,170 points — the only player in Butler County history, male or female, to exceed the 2,000-point plateau.

She has had an equally impressive college run. She came in as a starter and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2007-08, then in her sophomore year helped the Commodores to the Sweet Sixteen. Last year, in addition to being named to the All-SEC first team, she was first in the conference in minutes and second in assist-to-turnover ratio and assists per game while averaging 13.8 points, 5.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds.

Rhoads was hampered by a hamstring injury early this season but said she's slowly returning to form. She is averaging 11.4 points and 4.1 rebounds and leads the team with 33 assists.

She also is a preseason first-team All-SEC selection, a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and on the Naismith Award watch list.

Rhoads said she has no idea exactly how many people will be at Palumbo Center to see her, but she's expecting a nice crowd for her long-delayed homecoming. She's also expecting a challenge from Duquesne, which has won seven in a row and is 8-1 for the best start in program history.

"They're a really good team from what I hear," she said. "Hopefully, we'll be ready for them."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.