It took a little while this summer for Colorado's Brecca Thomas to figure out where she was going and how to get there. That's common for freshmen on a new campus.
Once she got on the basketball court with her new Buffaloes teammates, however, the Houston-area product felt right at home.
"It hasn't been rough," Thomas said of her transition to college basketball. "(The CU players) have made it easy, which is great."
The Buffs are hoping Thomas continues to feel comfortable on the court when the 2014-15 season begins in November because they may lean on her quite a bit.
Entering their second season since Chucky Jeffery's great career came to a close, the Buffs are still trying to find her replacement at point guard. The 5-foot-5 Thomas is the only true point guard on the roster and will likely battle with senior Lexy Kresl for the starting job.
"She has to come in (and compete for the starting role) and that's why we recruited her," coach Linda Lappe said. "We recruited her because she's a point guard. She can handle the pressure."
At Kinkaid High School in Stafford, Texas, Thomas impressed recruiters for her ability to score (more than 20 points per game) and find open teammates (more than five assists per game). She was viewed as an on-court leader for her team, which won a couple of Southwest Preparatory Conference division titles with her starting at the point.
After a rocky season in which they struggled to a 19-15 record, the Buffs might need Thomas to be just as valuable.
"To be a floor general and be a leader on the court," Thomas said of what CU coaches are expecting of her. "Coming in as a freshman, it may be hard to do. Being vocal is something I had to work on in high school. I just led by action, rather than speaking. Here, the big expectation is to be loud and make sure everyone is in the right spot and communicating."
Thomas said she and coaches haven't discussed whether she needs to be more of a scorer or a facilitator, but the Buffs may need both out of her.
"I feel like coming in the whole thing is just to be aggressive and score when you need to sore and just make the right decisions at the right time," Thomas said. "(Lappe's) biggest thing is having the IQ to know what to do in certain situations."
Traditionally, CU doesn't ask its freshmen point guards to take on a heavy workload.
Since 1978 (the first year stats were recorded), just eight freshmen have led the Buffs in assists, with Jeffery being the last to do it, in 2009-10. Only four have done it while also averaging at least 10 points per game; Lappe was the last to do that, in 1998-99 (the others were Shelley Sheetz in 1991-92, Bridget Turner in 1985-86 and Lori Mills in 1983-84).
Considering Thomas has only had a few weeks of summer workouts, it's too early to tell if she can join those elite groups. But, there's at least a very good chance she'll be in the starting lineup from the start. Kresl has been more of a shooting guard during her career, as has Jasmine Sborov, who would be another option at the point.
"It's possible, but it's going to be a lot of hard work," Thomas said of starting. "It's very competitive within our team. It's definitely going to be tough putting in a lot of work in order to get that spot. I think everyone is vying for it. That makes it fun, though, too."
Although she hasn't suited up for the Buffs yet, Thomas does appear to have the skills and maturity to handle the job. She's also got the confidence needed.
"If the opportunity presents itself, I'll just dive headfirst and just go for it," she said.