TAMPA — When Baylor senior Kalani Brown scored her 2,000 career point, it was junior running mate Lauren Cox that assisted her. But, that dynamic duo needed a bold decision to come together.
"Lauren Cox signed to come here as the number one ranked player in the country and she had five post players ahead of her," explained head coach Kim Mulkey, "That didn't scare her off. She's that self confident."
Brown says it's that confidence she cherishes about Cox.
"Lauren as pretty much made me a better player on different aspects. I've made her better. I've made her more physical she made me more mobile. We just work together," Brown said.
Cox, a Flower Mound native, says the feeling is mutual. Even if early on, the relationship was one sided.
"My freshman year I guarded her a lot so she definitely made me a better defender. I don't know how much I was doing for her my freshman year," Cox said with a smile.
The pair might be a perfect tandem, but they aren't carbon copies of each other.
"She's the fiery one," clarified Brown, "She's always upbeat. I'm more laid back, but if needed I'll just step in."
In fact, their differences define their friendship, even away from basketball.
"We're just always laughing and it goes beyond just me and Kalani. Our whole team is so close. We're always laughing, always goofy and we all just have a really good time."
When Baylor plays Notre Dame for a national title Sunday night, this will be the pair's last time playing together in a Baylor uniform.
"I don't know what it;s going to be like not playing with her, not having her to pass me the ball," said Brown, "Because we have that relationship where we don't even have to talk so I haven't thought about it."
"Being here with Kalani and making that legacy, it's been an amazing experience."
Instead of lamenting their run is over, why not appreciate them for what they are? Perfect teammates.
When I asked coach Mulkey if she could imagine anyone better suited for each other than her two post players?
"No. I can't," was all she said. And, for the record, neither can I.