North Texas Daily

Junior guard Adams embracing new role on and off the court

Junior guard Adams embracing new role on and off the court

January 28
03:58 2016

Clay Massey | Staff Writer

@Clay_FC

Last year when Mean Green women’s basketball guard Candice Adams was a sophomore, she played the role of point guard under former head coach Mike Petersen.

Little did she know that a change in coaching staff, and position, was coming her way.

First year head coach Jalie Mitchell changed the junior’s role from the one guard to shooting guard, asking her to be one of the team’s primary shooters after averaging just 6.4 points per game last season. Adams has responded to the challenge, bumping her points per game average to 11.1, good for second best on the team.

“I have to hold myself to a higher standard,” Adams said. “I’m very hard on myself, sometimes too hard.”

Not only did Adams’ schematic role change, but Mitchell also asked the Cedar Hill native to do more as a leader. Senior forward Acheil Tac has noticed a change as well, especially having spent three years at North Texas together.

She said Adams is not afraid to be vocal with her teammates if things are not going well.

“She was the point last year, but she was more in the background,” Tac said. “She’s more talkative. She’s encouraging us, motivating us. She didn’t do all the things she’s doing this year. She’s more active this year.”

North Texas junior guard Candice Adams (14) looks for a pass between two defenders against San Fransisco. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

North Texas junior guard Candice Adams (14) looks for a pass between two defenders against San Fransisco. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

While Adams has been more vocal, her play on the court has backed up her words. With her move to the two-guard position, she has been forced to embrace a new mindset, which includes shooting the ball more.

Adams bought into her new position early, and she immediately hit the gym to work on her shot. Her work has paid off, as Adams sits second on the team in shooting percentage this season at 36.8 percent.

“That was a big adjustment for her mentally, being used to not having the ball in her hands as much,” Mitchell said. “But when she does, she knows what to do with it. She embraced that pretty early and got in the gym. She’s hit some big shots for us.”

While her production on the court has risen, Adams’ teammates and coaches say her growth as a leader has become equally as valuable.

“She has a knack for saying the right things at the right time,” Mitchell said. “I think it’s important for her to have that vocal piece to her action.”

With North Texas playing in a lot of close games this season, the number of chances for Adams to step up and make her presence as a leader felt have been plentiful. Adams set a new single-game career high in points at 18, and has reached that total twice now on the season.

Any time she and her teammates face an obstacle to overcome on the court, Adams said she’s there to tell her team how to approach it.

“When we’re going through adversity or when someone is not performing to the best of their ability, that’s where I’ve been stepping up,” Adams said. “In a very heated situation where we need to calm down and get focused, that’s where I’ve been stepping up.”

Her increased role is coming on the heels of a dismal season, which resulted in a 5-24 finish for the Mean Green. One reason for Mitchell getting Adams more involved was what she saw Adams could bring out in her teammates.

North Texas junior guard Candice Adams (14) jockeys for position on an inbound against Southern Methodist. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

North Texas junior guard Candice Adams (14) jockeys for position on an inbound against Southern Methodist. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

She asked Adams early on to help her teammates reach a level that was not reached last season, and Adams was eager to step up. With Adams being one of the few carry-overs from the Petersen era, she said she’s hungry to get the bad taste out of her mouth and to erase it from outsiders’ minds.

“We do have something to prove,” Adams said. “A lot of people bring up last year, and it’s definitely something I want to prove people wrong. We have a new mindset. ‘Pride’ is our motto.”

With 11 games remaining on the schedule, Adams said she hopes to be the best teammate possible, and she believes is on the right track of doing so.

And when reflecting on what she was like as a player just over a year ago, Adams believes a younger version of herself would love playing with the current iteration of Candice Adams.

“I want to think I would love to be her teammate,” Adams said. “I’ve grown in areas that as a sophomore, I wouldn’t want to take on a role. If I was sophomore Candice Adams going to play with an older Candice Adams, I would definitely want to be her  teammate.”

Featured Image: Junior guard Candice Adams (14) looks towards the lane for a pass against Southern Methodist. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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1 Comment

  1. Ed
    Ed January 28, 12:31

    She is a hell of a leader and a hell of a player. Continue what you are doing

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