Junior guard Shey Peddy of the women’s basketball team was more than eager to step onto the court this season after spending last year watching her team from the sideline.
She was required to sit out due to NCAA Division I transfer rules, but now in her first season with Temple, Peddy is making up for lost time by averaging 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor.
Not only has Peddy been efficient on the offensive end with an impressive 78 to 49 assist-to-turnover ratio, but she has been the team’s defensive leader, grabbing a team-high 52 steals on the season.
“It’s almost irreplaceable to have someone that can score and then play 40 minutes of pressure basketball,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “The fact that she can do that and still grab steals is just irreplaceable.”
Although this is her first season contributing for Temple, being a leader on the court is nothing new to Peddy.
The 5-foot-7-inch guard spent two standout seasons at Wright State in Dayton, Ohio before moving to North Broad Street. She was named to the Horizon League All-Defensive Team twice and was the team’s second leading scorer in her sophomore year, averaging 12.1 points per game.
“I didn’t really read into it too much,” Peddy said. “I’m not really about points. I like defense. I like getting the most steals. It was good that I was able to do that much as a sophomore, but I still feel like I could have done more for my team.”
Peddy led the team in steals with 86, which ranks 16th nationally and dished a team-high 115 assists. But despite her success, Peddy said she still felt something was missing.
“In my second year, things kind of went downhill,” Peddy said. “I wasn’t as happy as I was in my first year, and I knew about midway through the season that I wanted to transfer.”
Although transferring was a big step for her, Peddy did not have to look very far to find her new team.
The Roxbury native was familiar with Temple’s coaching staff, having been raised in the same hometown as Cardoza. Peddy was also already friendly with assistant coach Waynetta Veney from the recruiting trail.
“When I decided to transfer, I saw that [Veney] went to Temple as well as coach Cardoza so I [knew] two people there,” Peddy said. “I just asked her if I could come too and become part of the team, and she said, ‘Yes.’”
However, once she arrived in North Philadelphia, Peddy had gone from the second leading scorer to a sideliner.
“It was very difficult because in my sophomore year, basketball felt like a job, and then I was just sitting out, knowing that I couldn’t play or help my team,” Peddy said.
Looking back, Peddy said she thinks her time on the bench motivated her to up her game.
“It made me hungry this year, and I knew what I could do for my team by watching the year before,” Peddy said. “I think it just helped me to get the love for the game back.”
Peddy now ranks second in steals in the Atlantic Ten Conference with 2.6 per game and fourth in the conference in assists with 4.1 per game. Another one of Peddy’s strengths has come at the foul line, where she is shooting a team-high 76 percent.
“I could probably be more aggressive on the offensive end, but I look to get other people the ball,” Peddy said. “I like leading the team in defense and being that spark, and I know that it carries over to offense.”
Although she often aims to open opportunities for her teammates, Peddy is not afraid to shoot the ball and reached 1,000 points in her Division I career.
“It feels good to reach that milestone,” Peddy said. “I mean not everyone can do that in Division I or any level so it felt good to get it, but at the end of the day, you want bigger things.”
In Temple’s 62-55 win over Penn on Saturday, Peddy scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds as the Owls advanced to 13-6 overall and 2-0 in the Big 5 competition.
The ultimate goal for Peddy is to continue to help bring the Big 5 and conference titles back to Temple.
“We want to get that Big 5 back and then the A-10,” Peddy said. “We also want to advance [further] in the national tournament. We need to win all these A-10 games and get the championship to give ourselves a shot in the tournament.”
Jeffrey Janiczek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.