Women's Basketball Practice Notes
Mean Green Complete First Week Of Team Practices
DENTON — On Saturday, the North Texas women’s basketball team completed its first week of team practices for the 2017-18 season.
The Mean Green return a cast of familiar faces who led the team to its best finish since they joined Conference USA. They have also added three freshmen and one eligible transfer, all of who head coach Jalie Mitchell expects to further elevate the expectations and level of play of the program.
New assistant head coach Carlos Knox, a veteran coach in the WNBA, joined the staff this summer and quickly made a positive impact on the team and has received praise from the players for his knowledge and teaching ability. He has led ball handling and other fundamental drills early in the practice.
A noticeable improvement with this year’s team is conditioning.
North Texas added its first full-time strength and conditioning coach this summer in Rick Lefebvre. In addition to Lefebvre, a number of the women have on their own improved physically.
Conditioning was on display Saturday, as the week’s final practice was highlighted by a two-quarter intersquad scrimmage.
Not far behind Buckner was fellow returner Terriell Bradley who scored nine points. Bradley led the team in scoring last season at 12.8 points per game, which is the sixth highest of all returning C-USA players.
Sophomore guard Adrianna Henderson led all players in the scrimmage in rebounds with eight, half of which were offensive.
North Texas has Sunday off but will return to the court and the weight room on Monday.
WHAT COACH SAID
“I am very encouraged by our first week of practice,” Mitchell said. “Our leadership is evident, hard work is the norm and we are growing quickly together. There is a lot of teaching as we learn and implement new concepts. The team has been open and very responsive. We have great purpose every day and that makes our jobs as coaches a lot easier. Consistency with this kind of effort and focus will carry us as far as we want to go this season.”
MICAYLA MEANS BUSINESS
Post Micayla Buckner isn’t just talking the talk. The redshirt junior entered this season with the goal of ending it as an all-conference selection. And when the 6-foot-4 post showed up to summer workouts in what she called the best shape of her life it was clear she wasn’t joking about her goal.
But it hasn’t just been her body that has transformed. Buckner has worked on shooting, which she showed off in the first week of practices by not just making mid-range shots but 3-pointers as well.
6-foot-1 forward Deja Terrell led the Mean Green in 3-pointers made during the scrimmage and competed on the boards for every rebound as she went up against the bigger Buckner. The McDonald's High School All-American nominee finished Saturday’s scrimmage with 10 points, three rebounds and a block.
Holmes was an extremely accomplished Arkansas prep athlete. The nine-time state champ who won two track and field state titles had her athleticism on display all week with hustle plays and second-chance efforts. What all the coaches have been most impressed with, though, is her drive to be better. A sharp shooter, Holmes knocked down a 3-pointer in the scrimmage.
Mims will compete with Smith for the starting point guard position and the freshman isn’t backing down to the elder. Mims has shown advanced ball handling skills and an above average shot all week in practice. She finished with five points and an assist in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Similar to Criner, Smith is a junior college transfer and will also wear the number three. Additionally like Criner, Smith has shown to be a competitor on the court and a willing passer who enjoys the theatrics of a highlight dish.
Oct. 26, Mean Green Madness
Nov. 4, The Mean Green play Texas Woman’s University in an exhibition game at the Super Pit.
Nov. 10, The Mean Green host Mid-America Christian University in the season-opener.
Mean Green season tickets can be purchased online or by calling 940-565-2527.