Perhaps the biggest challenge for most basketball players when making the transition from high school to college is adjusting to the speed of play.
While the skill level of most college players is closer than in high school, those who can make quick and correct decisions often are the ones who differentiate themselves from the pack.
That’s exactly what former Northeastern High School standout Payton Hauck is doing in her senior season at NCAA Division I Boston University.
Despite adjusting to a new head coach this season, Hauck is excelling for the Terriers. She is averaging a career-best 10.8 points per game, third-best on the squad. She’s also averaging 5.2 rebounds a contest which is also third-best on the squad.
She averaged 6.9 points per game as a junior after averaging 3.0 ppg in both her sophomore and freshman seasons.
“It’s crazy how different of a ballgame it is coming from high school to college,” Hauck said. “Even from AAU and travel leagues. It’s just a lot quicker and you have to have a really good basketball IQ. In high school, if you’re more athletic and talented, you’re going to stand out, but in college you have to have that IQ.”
Under new head coach: Hauck, a 5-foot, 9-inch guard/forward, credits part of her newfound success, which includes a career-best 20 points in a victory over Bryant University last month, to first-year coach Marisa Moseley.
“Yeah, this year we actually got a new coach and coach Moseley was an assistant at UConn,” Hauck said. “She got here back in May and I think it really helped our team grow. Playing under her is awesome. She’s very, very smart and I think she’s really great at helping (new players) with the transition (to the college game).”
The transition to Moseley, who is a BU alum, has been a relative success. While the Terriers were 4-2 after a victory against Delaware back on Dec. 2, Hauck and her crew have dropped their past three game to fall to 4-5 overall.
Looking forward to conference play: Hauck, however, sounded confident about her team’s chances to excel once Patriot League play begins next month.
“We’ve had some low numbers the past few games,” she said. “Injuries mostly. We only had 11 to begin with because one of the girls is out after having surgery and then injuries just make it lower. But hopefully by the time we get to conference play in January we should be good. I think that we can do very, very well.”
Future set: While that remains to be seen, the good news for Hauck is that her future is already pretty much figured out. A computer engineering major, Hauck will remain in Boston. She has already secured a position as a software developer at John Hancock, a financial services company, after she graduates this spring.
“The last four years here have been great,” Hauck said. “I love it here.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.