Idaho’s Bethany Krause has made a name for herself as a stellar defender for the Vandals, something numbers on a stat sheet just cannot show.
While she may not possess the skilled shooting or fancy footwork of other star players, her presence on the court can certainly be felt as she disrupts her opponent’s offensive rhythm.
It was not until the 2016-2017 season did Krause finally make it into the starting lineup.
“That was really cool to transition into a starting role after working really hard in practice,” Krause said. “My first start was actually at Wyoming this year.”
The Vandals came away with a win in that game, beating the Cowgirls 74-71.
Krause’s journey to the University of Idaho began halfway across the country in Dayton, Ohio. The daughter of a military family, she was originally born in Colorado before shortly moving to the place she would call home for the next 12 years.
Krause said she grew up a fan of the Dayton Fliers, the local college team, and cheered them on during the NCAA tournament.
She was first introduced to basketball in the second grade by her older sister.
“She started playing for a team, and I decided I liked watching her play so I wanted to kind of follow in her footsteps and play as well,” Krause said.
The school let Krause play on the third-grade team, despite being a year younger than her teammates.
“It worked out really well, so I stuck with it,” she said.
Krause said she found herself outplaying many of the older kids on the team, and credited her early success to her athletic family.
“My grandpa played football at Nebraska, my dad played football at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, my sister played basketball at a college in Ohio called Mount Vernon University,” she said.
Krause said her younger sister is a senior in high school looking to take her volleyball talents to the next level.
In high school, Krause excelled as a basketball player. She was selected for the First Team All-Conference in the Greater Western Ohio Conference and ranked 51st nationally among guards in her senior season.
However, Krause said the accolades and awards pale in comparison to the memories she made while playing for the Centerville Elks.
“My team was pretty good in high school, we made it pretty far in the tournament both my junior and senior year. We had a lot of girls on my team that went on to Division I along with me, so it was pretty competitive,” she said.
Krause said one game stood out in her memory during her senior year. Centerville was about to take on Princeton High School. Across the court was current Ohio State star Kelsey Mitchell.
“The game we played her, I set the three-point record at my high school,” Krause said.
From then on, basketball became a long-term investment not only for Krause, but for her family.
Her parents realized how far her skills could take her, so they helped her get involved with a club team over the summer.
“The least I could do was work hard and try to get a basketball scholarship somewhere,” Krause said. “So, I worked all summer and traveled with (Dayton Metro) and played and they were able to then help me get through the recruiting process.”
Former associate head coach Jordan Green first discovered Krause during a tournament in Nashville, Tennessee. The team began contacting Krause, and eventually set up a tour with the future Vandal.
“As soon as I got here, I knew this was the place to be,” Krause said. “The family feel around the team, the coaches and the girls that were here at the time, that was what I was looking for and it was a really good fit for me.”
Krause said that despite being in the Midwest, Dayton is no small town. After living in the city of 143,555, Krause found the small-town environment of Moscow to be a welcome change.
She lived in the Wallace dormitories her freshman year, rooming with now junior post Geraldine McCorkell.
Moscow was not the only thing Krause said she had to adjust to. Her new role as a young Vandal basketball player took some getting used to.
During her freshman campaign, Krause found her footing on defense, something she still prides herself on today.
“I like to get up and harass people and make life frustrating for them when they’re playing,” she said. “If I can do that and frustrate my opponent, I call that a win for me.”
Head coach Jon Newlee said he agreed that defense was Krause’s strong suite. Both agreed that shooting was something she needed to work on.
“I think we need to get her shooting the ball quicker and probably taking a little better shot selection,” Newlee said. “But her shooting has improved a lot since she’s been here.”
Newlee said that defense was what earned Krause her starting role against Wyoming, and she quickly became the player he uses to guard an opponent’s top scorer.
Krause, now an upperclassman, has stepped into the role of a locker-room leader. After the departure of key seniors last year, Newlee said he appreciates the fire she brings to the sideline.
“Beth is far from quiet,” Newlee said. “Her and Karlee are certainly our two most vocal leaders.”
Krause, a major in business, said she one day hopes to rise to the rank of CEO, or perhaps start her own company once she leaves school.
Brandon Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill