Senior guard Shey Peddy is focused on bringing an A-10 title to Temple.
Senior guard Shey Peddy isn’t satisfied.
“It’s a bit nerve-racking knowing that this is my last year and you just don’t want to lose any games and just do everything you haven’t done in your past years,” Peddy said. “I want everyone to go hard since it’s our last go-round and I don’t want to disappoint anybody.”
Peddy started out playing basketball in Roxbury, Mass., the hometown of women’s basketball coach Tonya Cardoza.
“I grew up playing against [Peddy’s] mom,” Cardoza said. “[Peddy] probably won’t tell you, but I’ll tell you that she basically idolized me growing up.”
“I look at [Peddy] as a daughter because we grew up in the same neighborhood so we both knew the situation,” Cardoza added. “So I want the best for her because I know how hard she worked and how hard it was to come out of there, come here and be successful.”
After Cardoza finished her basketball career and began coaching at the University of Connecticut, Peddy was leading Melrose High School with 21 points per game her senior year while ranking as a McDonald’s All-American. Peddy attended camp under Cardoza at UConn but eventually committed to Wright State University.
Peddy wasted no time making a name for herself in Dayton, Ohio. She was named as the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-Defensive Team. She averaged 16.7 points per game and shot 54 percent from the field as a freshman. In her sophomore year, Peddy was named to the All-Conference Second Team.
Peddy’s days in Ohio were numbered, as Cardoza had accepted the head coaching position at Temple that same year.
“When [Peddy] was trying to decide where to go to school, I was the person helping her, maybe not make the decision, but she leaned on me for guidance,” Cardoza said. “Once I got the job here, I knew she was at Wright State. She couldn’t do anything until she got a release but it’s something she has always wanted even before I got the job.”
Peddy and Cardoza’s paths finally crossed in 2009, but due to NCAA regulations for transfer athletes, Peddy had to sit out the full year. Cardoza gave Peddy a hard time that first year to make sure there was no favoritism, often yelling at her more than any other player.
Last season, Peddy was finally able to compete in game action and she went right to work against tougher competition than she had seen at Wright State.
“I definitely think she surprised people,” Cardoza said. “When people saw we had a transfer from Wright State, it was almost like, ‘What are you doing?’ But then when they saw her, it was like ‘Wow.’”
Peddy started in 32 games at guard and averaged 14 points and five assists per game. She also set the Temple single-season record for steals with 104. She was named to the Atlantic Ten Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team as well as the Big 5 Player of the Year. But her success was no surprise to her teammates or Cardoza.
“We all knew how talented she was because we had to go up against her and see her in practice every day,” senior guard Kristen McCarthy said. “But we were excited to know that she would be able to actually play and show her talents. She just had a great year last year, offensively and defensively, and it was a good addition to our team.”
Peddy helped lead the Owls to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, scoring 21 points against the eventual national runner up Notre Dame.
Peddy said she realizes there will be more pressure on her shoulders this year as a senior and that she won’t creep up on anybody since the opposition has had a chance to see her perform for a full year. Her goal is to take her team further in the tournament, but she said her main personal goal has to do with the defensive end of the court.
“My number one thing is I want to be [A-10 Defensive Player of the Year],” Peddy said. “I love defense and getting steals. I don’t care about the offensive awards or anything like that.”
The team as a whole is projected to finish at the top of the conference thanks to the consistency of Peddy and her backcourt mate, McCarthy.
“It’s good to know, because there’s going to be times when I’m going to struggle and [Peddy] will be there to help me out and vice versa,” McCarthy said. “But it’s really good to have a player like her. Everyone knows what [Peddy] can do.”
A strong encore performance after last year and a trip to the dance in March again will be no easy feat for the Owls, but Cardoza believes Peddy is the one to take them there.
“It might be tough but [Peddy] is so much of a competitor that she knows that it won’t be as easy this time around,” Cardoza said. “She works extremely hard and is very talented, so I don’t expect any let-ups. If anything I expect her to be even better.”
Brandon Stoneburg can be reached at email@example.com.