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Virginia Tech’s Ashley Owusu ‘staying ready’ despite benching

Ashley Owusu is one of the top players in the portal. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

Ashley Owusu made a splash when she transferred to Virginia Tech from Maryland in the offseason. Yet the star senior has barely made a ripple for the Hokies in the latter half of the season, and she did not play at all during their ACC Tournament title run.

When asked during the tournament what she needs to do to get back on the court for No. 4 Virginia Tech (27-4), she redirected the question to coach Kenny Brooks.

“I’m not sure,” she said. “You’ll have to ask [Brooks].”

While Owusu started the year as part of the starting lineup for the Hokies, she broke her pinkie finger in early December. Since her return on Jan. 19, she has been coming off the bench — and in four of the last five games, she has not played at all, including in the team’s three conference tournament wins.

“Trying to get back on the court, trying to get back in,” she said after Virginia Tech’s tournament-opening 68-42 win Friday against Miami.

The senior guard has not played more than eight minutes in a game since the start of February and has played just 28 minutes total.

Brooks spoke in mid-February of the difficulty of working Owusu into the rotation while also managing other players’ minutes, particularly against a tough stretch of opponents. But Owusu does not seem entirely happy with the situation; a week before the ACC Tournament, she tweeted “freee meee” in response to a video of her playing for Maryland.

Still, as she waits on the bench for the projected No. 1 seed, she is doing her best to prepare, she said Friday.

“Just staying confident, just staying ready,” she said.