Stanford’s Cameron Brink addressed her issue with foul trouble in an interview with ESPN on Thursday.
Last year, Brink committed more fouls than 93% of women’s college basketball players, per Her Hoop Stats. This season that’s down to 61%, but the junior still struggles to stay on the floor for the Cardinal.
She averages 4.3 fouls per 40 minutes, which took her out of commission for her team in several key situations.
When No. 2 Stanford battled to a 76-71 loss at the hands of No. 1 South Carolina, Brink fouled out with 3:01 left in overtime. Before she exited, the 6-4 forward had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks. But she was limited to 23 minutes, spending time on the bench with two fouls in the first half, before eventually fouling out.
“It’s been my biggest challenge,” Brink told ESPN. “Some games they let a lot go. Other games, from tipoff, it’s very tight. And then sometimes it changes at halftime. I’m always trying to get a gauge to know, ‘I can be this aggressive.’ It’s a fine balance, and I’m still learning to deal with it. Honestly, it’s really hard.”
When she’s on the floor, Brink is one of the best players in the country. Per 40 minutes of action, she averages 25.1 points and ranks fourth in the country in defensive rebounds per 40 minutes (12.4) and second in blocks (6.1).
Brink has helped Stanford to a 10-1 record, with their next challenge coming Sunday as the team takes on Tennessee. The Cardinal follow that up with No. 16 Creighton and then head into Pac-12 play.
When Stanford won the NCAA championship two seasons ago, Brink played a key role, even as a freshman. If Stanford wants to win another title, the team will need to rely on her even more.
“I just want her to relax and play,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer told ESPN. “Cam is a great player. She’s incredibly athletic and versatile and aggressive. She does have to play with more discipline, and with more patience. But I can’t teach someone to do all the things that she does well. I think she can develop the patience and discipline.”