Former Bowling Green player dishing out assists in college

Published 12:07 am Saturday, January 13, 2018

McKinley Seal’s collegiate career is off to a great start, as she dishes out assist after assist.
The University of Mobile freshman enters this Saturday’s game second in Division I NAIA in total assists with 89 and second in assists per game at 5.56.
“Assist wise, I just have teammates who get out and work hard for the ball,” Seal said. “If you work for the ball and I see you working hard for the ball, you’re going to get it. Fastbreaks, running out, I’ve got two guards that run their lanes and it’s an easy two points.”
On Sunday, the 2017 Bowling Green graduate put her name in the school’s record books when she tied the school record for assists in a game. Seal had 12 assists in a 69-63 victory over Brewton-Parker. That record has stood since 1992.
“I didn’t know what the record was going into the game,” Seal said. “After the game, coach Billy texted me and told me I tied the assist record. One away from having it. It’s pretty cool. I texted my dad and told him I tied the school record. We ran very well that game. All of my teammates were working hard, they were getting open, we were executing our plays, which makes it fun. It was a close game, but we were still enjoying ourselves.”
Seal said that as a point guard, you have to have vision of the floor, know what play to run and who has the hot hand.
“With our offense, it’s a lot of motion, so I have to keep our offense flowing, keep everybody running the offense and not breaking away from it,” Seal said.
Seal, whose father is the head coach of Bowling Green’s girls’ basketball team, said that one of the biggest changes from high school to college has been the time demands.
“With high school, I had a group of girls, we’d be in there freely every Sunday. Dad didn’t demand it. Here, it’s more like a job, which I don’t mind. I signed for it,” Seal said.
On the court, Seal has had to make the adjustment from no shot clock in high school to a 30-second shot clock in college.
“It’s very different,” Seal said. “At Bowling Green, I had as long as I wanted to set up a play. Here, we need to be in a play once we cross half court because we have five seconds to pick a play and call it because we need that 25 seconds to run it, catch it and shoot it.”
Seal said she has had two great coaches in her father and Mobile coach Billy Evans.
“Coach Billy will tell me when I’ve done something wrong, which I need to hear. As a freshman, I need to know what he wants and how he wants the plays run, so that I can be on the same level from a coach-and-player standpoint with him as I was with my dad. I kind of knew what my dad was going to say before he said it at times. It’s good to have two coaches in your corner,” Seal said.
Evans said that Seal is smart.
“You can tell she’s a coach’s daughter. She’s a student of the game. I knew that when I was recruiting her. I only had to see her play just one game. She studies the offense. She runs the offense well and I think she has a chance to be freshman of the year in our conference,” Evans said. “I just need to convince her to score more. There’s something to be said for that. I told her that top point guards can get double-doubles and I think that’s going to eventually occur.”
Evans said he has been coaching since 2001 and has never started the season with a freshman point guard until now.
“I knew in June she would be my starting point guard,” Evans said. “I felt strongly when I was recruiting her. McKinley is going to be special. She’s already special. There are times I have to put her on the other team’s best offensive player because she works so hard defensively. That’s what I’m talking about with her being a student of the game.
“She doesn’t want to just be good with assists, but in all areas. I think that goes back to being a coach’s daughter. She’s super competitive. She always wants to win in whatever we’re doing. She wants to be that player. She wants to be a winner on every drill. She wants her team to win on every drill and it doesn’t matter what drill.”
Evans said that when they split up into teams to run drills, the team that loses has to run. Evans said that Seal calls that “the run of shame.”
“I think that’s appropriate,” Evans said. “I’ve never heard anybody call it that. That’s the competitiveness and I think that’s helped us become a better team.”
Mobile’s next game takes place Jan. 13 at Martin Methodist. Mobile returns home on Jan. 18 to face Faulkner University.