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Selland seeing extended minutes for Augustana

It hasn't been an easy process for Shelby Selland to crack the Augustana University women's basketball team's starting rotation. Selland redshirted the 2014-15 season to rehab a shoulder injury, and couldn't focus on much else besides getting hea...

Augustana University's Shelby Selland, left, tries to get around a defender for a basket during a game earlier this season. (Gene Smith/Augustana athletics)
Augustana University's Shelby Selland, left, tries to get around a defender for a basket during a game earlier this season. (Gene Smith/Augustana athletics)

It hasn't been an easy process for Shelby Selland to crack the Augustana University women's basketball team's starting rotation.

Selland redshirted the 2014-15 season to rehab a shoulder injury, and couldn't focus on much else besides getting healthy.

For the Letcher native, taking a year to recover paid dividends.

"Injuries are never fun, but I thought redshirting was a huge advantage," Selland said. "I got stronger all around and learned the system. It's a lot of fun to play basketball and I was determined to make an impact on the team any way I could."

After the Vikings' first four games this year, Augustana head coach Dave Krauth decided Selland deserved to be a starter in her redshirt-freshman season.

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"It just seems like she's always been progressing every day," Krauth said. "I think the main reason I put her in our starting lineup was what she provided defensively. She gives us a little more length and more of a rim protector inside. Her offense is developing as well, she's shooting the three and her low post game might not show up every night, but it's progressing."

A 6-foot-2 center, Selland takes pride in shutting down an opponent.

"I love to play defense, it's just fun," she said. "You get to control your energy and it's just a really crucial part of the game that you have to play."

In 26 games (22 starts) this season, Selland is averaging 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 31 percent from 3-point range. As her career extends, Selland said she'd like to develop into a perimeter weapon for the Vikings, particularly because she knows defending a post player with a jump shot "is awful."

"If you can play inside and stretch outside it will open up the floor for the rest of the team," Selland said.

Thanks in part to contributions from Selland, Augustana is in third place in the South Division of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with a 14-6 conference record (20-6 overall). Entering Thursday, the Vikings were one game behind the University of Sioux Falls (15-5 NSIC) and four games behind Winona State (18-2) in the division.

Now in his 27th year coaching the Vikings, Krauth added Selland is "a fairly intelligent kid, and is doing the extra things to make her a good defender."

"I honestly don't usually tell too many of our players to put the brakes on," Krauth said. "We're encouraging her to be more aggressive and get confidence in the low post moves. I think we're seeing progress with her as a player. I couldn't be happier how it's gone."

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