Brunson enjoys her role for high-scoring Wabash Valley

Wabash Valley College is riding a 22-game win streak and averages 102 points per game.

No need asking Warriors freshman guard Kuryn Brunson if she’s enjoying her new surroundings, because the numbers say it all.

Coach Luke Scheidecker’s ball club (22-1), ranked 13th nationally in the latest women’s junior college poll, goes out of its way to overwhelm opponents defensively by pressing them all over the court.

This leads to points scored at the other end of the floor. Wabash Valley is hurrying, harassing and just flat-out annoying foes into a norm of — wait for it — 30.4 turnovers a game.

“I would say my game is different now defensively than it was in high school,” said Brunson, a key cog in Franklin advancing to last season’s Class 4A state championship game and the Grizzly Cubs’ 50-5 record the previous two seasons. “I’m more comfortable guarding the ball, getting steals.

“If you don’t play defense, coach will tell you he has a seat right next to him. If you don’t play hard, you don’t play.”

The 5-foot-10 Brunson doesn’t start for the Warriors but is usually one of the first two players off the bench. She’s averaging 6.6 points and three rebounds going into Wednesday’s home game against Rend Lake, and has already been credited with 24 steals.

“Kuryn has done a great job adjusting to the speed and physicality of the game. She’s a great kid, and she’s a winner,” Scheidecker said. “It was really a big adjustment for her, understanding (defensive) angles and things like that. But she figured it out pretty quick.”

Four-fifths of the Warriors’ starting lineup is second-year players whose goal it is to play next season for a Division I, II, III or NAIA school.

That puts Brunson in an interesting position once the season is over.

She could return to Wabash Valley College — located in Mount Carmel, Illinois, a city of some 7,000 residents just across the Wabash River from Princeton, Indiana — and perhaps make her talents more appealing to larger schools with an outstanding sophomore season.

Or, Brunson could eventually attract potential landing spots in the weeks and months ahead and choose to move on.

“The goal is to definitely be here one year and go to the next level,” Brunson said. “But I’m not against coming back. I’m just going to keep putting in the work, and will be happy with whatever my hard work gets me.”

Wabash Valley has eclipsed the century mark 13 times this season, the largest output of points coming in a 144-36 rout of Malcolm X College on Nov. 19. It has totaled at least 130 points in two other wins.

Asked if the statistics are a matter of the team being that good or the opposition being suspect, Brunson chooses the former.

“I would say our team is that good,” she said. “If you play hard on defense … we play it full-court the whole game. You can just be aggressive, and get deflections and steals.”

In his previous four seasons at Wabash Valley, Scheidecker amassed a record of 110-11. This is his second stint with the Warriors after serving as an assistant coach at Indiana State for two seasons (2018-20).

The program has had 35 of its players go on to play Division I in the past six years alone.

Brunson hopes to add to that total.

“It’s a pros and cons conversation,” Scheidecker said. “What options do we have now? What option is best for you and your family? We want to do what makes them happy.”