Point Of Emphasis
Sophomore Terriell Bradley Transitioning Into A Point Guard
When the camp came to a close and Bradley was leaving, Mitchell approached the Mansfield Timberview standout and gave her some advice.
“She came up to me and told me I need to try harder,” Bradley said laughing. “That was it.”
What the then-assistant coach at the University of Texas saw in Bradley was a ball handler with elite scoring ability and court vision. Two years later, Bradley decided to go to the University of Kansas where, in one season, she developed her game as a sharp-shooting guard. The Jayhawk freshman was a lethal 3-point shooter, making 41 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Against Creighton on Dec. 22, 2014, Bradley scored a then career-high 21 points.
Wednesday, Bradley, now at the University of North Texas, broke that career-high with a 22-point performance at rival SMU while playing a position she’d been running from her whole life.
“I don’t think I was afraid of it or mind playing point guard,” Bradley said. “I just have always been comfortable at the two (guard position).
“When I chose to come to North Texas I figured the move would happen and it was only a matter of time,” she later added.
At KU, Bradley predominantly played at the off guard position. When the backup point guard injured her knee, Bradley was inserted in at that role but mostly was leaned on for her scoring ability.
Bradley describes herself as a “homebody”. When she played in Lawrence, Kansas, the freshman quickly realized how much home meant to her. The people who she had come accustomed to being around her were there less often.
“Coming to North Texas was easy,” Bradley said. “Obviously it was closer to home and I was comfortable with coach. There really wasn’t a second thought.”
When Bradley made the decision to head to Denton, Mitchell told her she’d likely see time at point guard and would need to accept the responsibility of being the team’s quarterback. Willing and ready to do so, she made the move.
Bradley explains what makes point guard different from the rest of the positions is that they are the ones who initiate the game plan on offense. So much of how successful the offense is depends on the point guard’s ability to understand the offense, read the defense and communicate to teammates where to be so they can execute the offense effectively.
Through six games, Bradley has split time at point guard with senior Kelsey Criner and freshman Adrianna Henderson. Bradley has only started one game at the position, typically she starts at shooting guard. However, throughout the games Bradley has switched over or come in at the position. Wednesday, she was predominantly the only point guard in the second half for the Mean Green. Her three assists, also a career-high, all came in the second half.
“I trust her,” Mitchell said after Wednesday’s game. “It is a learning experience for her to be put in that position and I thought she did an okay job. But she’s shown me for a long time what she can do.”
Believing in herself as more than just a scorer might be the next step for the 5-foot-10 Bradley.
In three of North Texas’ six games, she has scored at least 17 points and shown her potential to be one of the best scorers to wear a Mean Green jersey since Mitchell last played in the Super Pit. But scoring isn’t her only job now. Bradley is evolving as a young basketball player, learning how she can get teammates involved and effectively run the offense against opponents and control games by more than just scoring.
Bradley’s 22 points against the Mustangs Wednesday led her team. As a team, North Texas was outscored in the fourth quarter by 10 points and lost 65-51. Frustrated, Bradley went to Mitchell’s office the next day to see what she still needs to get better, continuing to fulfill the commitment she made when she came to North Texas.
“When you play point guard you need to put in work and try hard,” Bradley said. “I don’t want to let coach or my teammates down.”