December 12, 2000
Going into the 2000-2001 basketball season, a lot of discussion occurred about the Tulane women's basketball team dealing without the explosive, now-WNBA star Grace Daley. But that discussion has been put to a complete silence because of the leadership and skill of New Orleans native Janell Burse.
The 6-foot-5 senior center has displayed great talent this season, averaging an impressive 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, which has placed the senior as the leader on the Wave. Those numbers promise to place another Tulane alumna into a career in the WNBA. The local star did not receive those numbers without intense preparation and training.
Burse said, "I did a lot of training, a lot of running and a lot of conditioning during the summer to prepare for this year." All of this has given her the ability of leading the team to another Top 25 ranking this season. Burse said, "This is my last year. I want to be able to do something for the team. I just want to be able to contribute."
Before play of the regular season began, Burse was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Team and named a Preseason All-American. Burse said, "It challenged me to live up to that. It gave me great confidence in myself, and something to work on."
These two awards seem petty compared to what she has achieved in her career at Tulane. Her career consists of 1997 and 1999 Conference USA Championships with C-USA Tournament Championships in 1997, 1999 and 2000. During her 1997-98 season, she was fourth in blocked shots for C-USA.
She was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, named Sixth Player of the Year for C-USA, led C-USA and ranked 13th nationally in blocked shots with 74, and named to the C-USA All-Tournament team after winning the C-USA Tournament title during the 1998-99 season. Her 1999-2000 season was even better.
She recieved an All-American, first-team All-C-USA and Defensive player of the year, C-USA Tournament MVP, and C-USA player of the week awards. She also ranked nationally in scoring (35th), rebounding (23rd), blocked shots (11th) and field-goal percentage (10th). With this supreme all-around game, she surpassed the 1,000 mark.
Not to mention appearances in the NCAA tournament. After her senior year at Tulane, Burse plans on moving on and getting a job if basketball isn't involved. Burse said, "It would be great to get an invite to the draft."
Even if Janell Burse isn't sure of life after Tulane as a professional player, with incredible numbers and leadership that she brings to the Tulane Green Wave, her future looks very bright as a starting center for teams like the Houston Comets or the New York Liberty.
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