The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 20, 2011

EVANS A SPECIAL PLAYER

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Fans may have heard that James Madison guard Dawn Evans has the best story in college basketball. Here is that story.

In December 2009 Evans was diagnosed with a disease called focal segmental glomerulsclerosis (FSGS). A kidney disease, it disrupted the careers of NBA players Sean Elliott and Alonzo Mourning, both of whom eventually received transplants.

Her kidney function is between 20 and 25 percent. At 15 percent, she might be put on a transplant list.

“I’m too healthy for a transplant right now,” she told Sports Illustrated.

Though her otherworldly statistics would appear to prove otherwise, the FSGS can affect her energy level severely. It is for that reason JMU coach Kenny Evans sometimes holds her out of practice to conserve it. When she does practice, sometimes she only participates in shooting drills.

Despite the FSGS, Evans is playing almost 36 minutes a game and is averaging 23.6 points in those games.

Saturday, OU coach Sherri Coale said the only players she might compare to Evans to is former OSU guard Andrea Riley.

“As complete an offensive player as I’ve seen anywhere all season long,” Coale said of Evans.

The matchup

Not surprisingly, there were many questions about the matchup between the two point guards: JMU’s Evans and all of her gaudy stats, and OU’s Danielle Robinson, whoo will enter the game averaging 18.4 points and 4.8 assists.

Brooks said he thought his team is underrated defensively, but still he doesn’t know that it’s capable of seriously slowing down Robinson or Aaryn Ellenberg (16.5 ppg). He said he believed the winner would be the team that gets its offense rolling the best.

For her part, Coale said the Sooners wouldn’t do anything special to stop Evans. Instead, they would have to do what they always do really well.

“Everybody has to help, rotate and be aware,” she said. “I just think you have to do it fundamentally together.”

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