So much has changed since Deja Bullock entered Triton as a freshman.

The 6-foot senior began her career as a center, but has moved her game outside. Triton was a member of the Olympic Conference, and now will compete in its first season in the Tri-County Conference.

Bullock was an unknown commodity. Since then, she has earned a basketball scholarship to La Salle.

Throughout her time at Triton, the basic fundamental trait that has made her such a successful basketball player and student has remained the same:

Bullock's path to success has consisted of no shortcuts.

"She comes to work," Triton coach Richard Cooper said. "That isn't just coach-speak. She works hard every practice and is always talking about defense."

Bullock has long placed a high priority on being an all-around player, and hoisting shots has never consumed her.

Her statistics last season, in which she earned all-Olympic Conference honors, show somebody who takes a great deal of interest in all facets of the game.

She averaged 11.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 2.4 steals, and 1.2 assists.

"I like her athleticism, and she brings a lot of energy and fits our style of play," La Salle coach Jeff Williams said.

This season, Bullock is expected to join a fairly exclusive club: the 1,000-1,000 unit.

She has 850 points and 996 rebounds in her high school career.

With Triton going 7-17 last season, Bullock played in relative anonymity, but college coaches such as Williams knew about her and she continued to play hard regardless of the score or who was in the gym to watch her.

And whether in games or in practices or on her own, her skills have continued to show a steady progression.

"Her mid-range game and jump shot is 10 times better, and her ballhandling is better, and every aspect of her game has improved with all the work she has put in," Cooper said.

Bullock, who has a 3.2 grade point average, made an oral commitment to La Salle in February. Having the pressure of recruiting out of the way allowed her to work on her game and not worry about impressing others, although she was able to do that, as well.

"Committing early helped me relax a great amount, and I was having fun and not stressing about where I was going to go this summer playing AAU," Bullock said. "I wasn't playing for my life."

This season, Bullock will be looked on more than ever for her leadership, especially on a Triton team that could have four sophomores and a freshman in the rotation.

Bullock, who shares the school's high-jump record of 5 feet, 5 inches, says her main goal is to help the team improve this season. Points are inconsequential to her, although they will be needed if the Mustangs are to increase their win total.

Triton will open against perennial Tri-County power Williamstown on Friday.

"I am really excited for this year," Bullock said, hoping the final one is the best.

While a perimeter player, she will still find herself helping inside. No matter where she is on the court, Bullock will display an unyielding work ethic. In a career that has included its share of changes, that is one constant for the Triton senior.