Contributed by Fairfield University Athletic Communications

All players look to improve their play from one season to the next, to take their game to the next level in order to perhaps lead their team as a whole to that ultimate level that comes around each and every March.

For Brittany Obi-Tabot ‘14, that may be a tall order, given how much her play has already improved on the court last season alone.

When Obi-Tabot exploded onto the scene last year, not many could say they truly saw it coming. True, she always had the ideal combination of size (6 feet 1 inch) and athleticism, but in her first two seasons for Fairfield, she was barely seen on the score sheet, averaging fewer than four minutes and a point per game.

While playing behind one of Fairfield’s best forwards in team history (Taryn Johnson ’12) for her first two years definitely did not help Obi-Tabot get featured in the offense very often, Johnson’s tutelage paid off dividends last year, as Obi-Tabot put up Johnson-esque numbers for the Stags: 10.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game along with 28 blocks for the season, en route to being named second team all-MAAC.

Despite knowing that now her teammates are counting on her to be a big weapon for the offense, Obi-Tabot doesn’t believe that it has put any added demands on her.

“No real pressure,” said Obi-Tabot, “… But now I know I have this role on the team that I have to fulfill. It’s not really pressure, it’s just knowing my role on the team and doing what I have to do.”

Coach Frager believes that Obi-Tabot will be able to help lead the team on and off the court, but she will have to continue adapting her game in order to make as big an impact this season.

“I think the challenge for someone like Obi and even Katie [Cizynski ‘14]  is being much more of a known quantity, especially in Obi’s case,” said Coach Frager. “After you’ve gone through the cycle of playing teams twice, they start to make adjustments. The challenge for her is to try and maintain it.”

In the first two games of the season so far, Obi-Tabot has been limited offensively, managing just two points in the game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi before fouling out. She was more of a factor in the Stags’ victory over the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Saturday, with nine points and four rebounds, just short of her averages from last season.

But the nonchalant and bubbly Obi-Tabot will say that the more important number is the two in the win column, as she wants to do anything it takes to get back to the MAAC Tournament Final that alluded them last year, after reaching it two years ago.

“Our class, I think we’ve gone to the championship game once? We went sophomore year, and being in that atmosphere is so much fun. Staying in the hotel, going out to eat, it’s the little things that make it great,” she said. “We’ve been there before, so we really want to get there again and experience it, and have our freshmen experience it as well.”

If Obi-Tabot wants to return to that MAAC Tournament Final, she may have to yet again elevate her play this year, which would make the combination of her and Katie Cizynski ‘14 one of the most feared and dominant frontcourts in the league.

Considering how far she has come already, it might not be that ridiculous to think she could take the league by surprise for the second straight year.

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