North Texas Daily

The road to Denton: Terriell Bradley becoming a key fixture for women’s basketball

The road to Denton: Terriell Bradley becoming a key fixture for women’s basketball

February 06
16:10 2017

Playing one-on-one with her youngest sister is a habit Terriell Bradley had to break when she spent her freshman season at Kansas University.

Since her basketball career took her miles away from home, Bradley was limited in how often she was able to see her sister. But signing with a school in the Big 12 that has a rich basketball pedigree was something Bradley couldn’t pass up.

Things just didn’t work out.

Bradley spent one year in Lawrence, Kansas, before realizing what really mattered to her.

“I thought [Kansas] was the best decision for me at the time,” Bradley said. “[But] things just didn’t turn out how I thought they would. I got home sick.”

Originally from New Orleans, Bradley and her family were forced to move to Texas when Hurricane Katrina rocked their hometown. Moving around Texas brought her and her family closer, and basketball is something Bradley always associated with her parents and siblings.

“My family is at all of my games,” Bradley said. “They’re always supporting me. My mom is the one that introduced me to basketball.”

Enter the Mean Green.

North Texas was not only a perfect fit for the redshirt sophomore Bradley, but also just what head coach Jalie Mitchell needed in her second season at the helm.

Mitchell initially lost the recruiting battle for Bradley to Kansas while she was an assistant at the University of Texas. At the end of the 2015 season, Mitchell accepted the head coaching position at North Texas just as Bradley was looking to move back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The timing was impeccable, and now Mitchell has a perennial playmaker on her squad.

“She’s always been a very talented scorer,” Mitchell said. “She’s a tough matchup for any opponent because she can shoot it, put it on the floor, draws fouls and she’s a great free throw shooter.”

In 21 games this year, Bradley is averaging 13.3 points per game, which is the highest average of a North Texas player since 2005.

Bradley is tied for 16th in Conference USA in scoring and is fourth in the conference in free throw percentage despite shooting over five per game.

“It’s been really good for her, after [being] ineligible last year, to come in and find her niche,” senior guard Candice Adams said. “It’s a great thing whenever [she] can come in and make an immediate impact.”

While Bradley is only shooting 34.8 percent from the field, a large reason is because she has the task of scoring off the dribble more than anyone on the team. Bradley often is left isolated with defenders, leading to more difficult and off-balance shots.

It isn’t all bad, though.

The sophomore guard and her teammates understand that when she is attacking the defense, she sets up easier shots for everyone else.

“I feel like [scoring] is my role,” Bradley said. “It’s what the team needs me to do. My aggressiveness [has improved].”

Even though she starts most games as an off-ball guard, Mitchell has played Bradley an extensive amount of time at point guard this season. In response, Bradley has done an exceptional job of setting her teammates up while remaining aggressive when need be.

Mitchell sees glimpses of her own court vision in practices and games, so she decided to test her out at point guard. The results have shown that Bradley is an even more complete player than most previously thought.

“I don’t think she’s shown how well she can pass the ball,” Mitchell said. “She was a little hesitant when I started playing her at some point. She was trying to find that balance of [scoring and facilitating], but she’s accepted the challenge.”

Now that she’s back with her family in Denton, no challenge on the basketball court seems to deter her.

While she has only played one season for North Texas, Bradley feels as comfortable as ever.

“Since I’m closer to home, my family is always in the crowd,” Bradley said. “[On the court] I feel like I’m gelling more with this team than I have on other teams, so our chemistry is good.”

With two years remaining in her college basketball career, Bradley will aim to be the focal point of the Mean Green while also being an integral piece in turning this program around.

And Mitchell does not hold back praise when talking about her stud sophomore.

“I think the sky’s the limit for her,” Mitchell said. “I think she’ll leave with some records [and] she’s putting herself in a position for people to know her name when she leaves here.”

Her youngest sister currently plays at the same high school that she once attended, Mansfield Timberview in Arlington. Now that the two are back together Bradley constantly gives her tips and helps coach her up.

“That’s another reason why I wanted to come home,” Bradley said. “If I was in Kansas I would never get to watch her play basketball.”

And now that she’s back home, Bradley can go back to one of her favorite family activities —  little one -on-one with her youngest sister. As expected, she refuses to drop her competitiveness against anyone.

Even family.

“[We play] all the time,” Bradley said with a smile. “[And] I always win.”

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore guard Terriell Bradley (23) calls a play at the stop of the key against Rice. Colin Mitchell 

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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