For months, Ellen McCorkle hasn’t been able to get in a gym to work on her jump shot with teammates.
McCorkle – a 2018 Oregon High School graduate and rising junior at Division II Lindenwood University – has been in Oregon with her family during the “Safer at Home” order. She’s been working on her shot at parks in Oregon, and is looking forward to being back on campus in St. Charles, Missouri.
“I’m so excited to see all of my teammates and friends,” she said. “I can’t wait to get back on a basketball court inside.”
The Lions went 19-9 last season and finished third (14-6) in their inaugural season in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Lindenwood joined the GLVC last year after seven years in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
The eighth-seeded Lions were scheduled to play top-seeded Drury in the Midwest Regional of the D-II Tournament, but the NCAA canceled all remaining winter and spring championships on March 12.
“I was upset,” McCorkle said. “We were all disappointed because we didn’t get a chance to show what we could do. We had scouted them and I think we had a good chance of beating them the third time playing them.”
The 6-foot-3 McCorkle has been completing Zoom training workouts with an assistant coach from Lindenwood. Most of her workouts are based on shooting drills and weightlifting.
“In high school, I was able to shoot over a lot of people,” she said. “In college, I have had to learn to play through people and finish better.”
McCorkle averaged 5.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 23 games as a sophomore. She shot 36.5%
(19-for-52) from 3-point range.
“I have really worked on my 3-point shot,” she said. “I got in the gym (last year) and got more
reps at them for muscle memory. In high school, I passed a lot of those shots up. My coach now is telling me to take it.”
McCorkle was a first team all-Badger South Conference selection her junior and senior year at Oregon. She said two of the biggest adjustments of playing at the Division II level are the physicality and speed of the game.
“Estella Moschkau (Edgewood graduate who transferred to the University of Wisconsin from Stanford) and McKenna Warnock (Monona Grove graduate at Iowa) were both great players in the conference,” McCorkle said. “Now, (in college) all of the girls are like that and have a high basketball IQ.”
McCorkle scored a career-high 16 points and drilled four 3s in a win at McKendree on Feb. 15. She had seven points and five rebounds in the Lions’ final game of the season – a 89-67 loss to Drury in the GLVC Tournament semifinals.
With the graduation of several seniors, McCorkle is preparing to carry a heavier load. She could be in the starting mix as a junior.
“No spot is guaranteed,” she said. “I would like to think I have worked hard enough to earn a spot. During the quarantine, I did a lot of running because that was the one thing I could do to stay in shape.”