North Texas Daily

Second option needed for women’s tourney berth

Second option needed for women’s tourney berth

Second option needed for women’s tourney berth
January 17
00:14 2019

This season the North Texas Mean Green women’s basketball team is 10-6 overall and 3-1 in Conference USA play. If this team wants to play meaningful basketball in March, the C-USA postseason tournament is the easiest path.

Luckily, the Rice Owls and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders are only one game ahead of the Mean Green in the C-USA standings. The Owls and Blue Raiders both have stronger records overall as well- Rice is 13-3 and Middle Tennessee is 13-4.

The Mean Green had a daunting non-conference schedule with games against the nationally ranked the Texas Longhorns and a game up in Manhattan, KS versus the Kansas State Wildcats. North Texas lost both games- 54-64 to Texas and 42-60 to the Wildcats.

Winning either game could have been a launching pad for this team to jump and take the next step and make the March Madness tournament. Particularly, the game against Texas would have looked great on the Mean Green’s resume when it came time to seed the field.

As it stands now, Rice is the only team that ESPN’s Charlie Crème predicts to enter the Big Dance. This shows that the Mean Green have to win the C-USA postseason tournament to get a ticket to the dance.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how likely this is to happen. The Mean Green still have road games at Rice, Marshall, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, and Texas-El Paso. None of those games will be easily won, especially Rice and Middle Tennessee.

The Mean Green have got to cut down on the turnovers and up the assist numbers. Anytime the basketball does not stick to one person, it is a good thing. I get that Terriell Bradley is a scoring machine — averaging 18.4 points per game — but other than her, nobody on the team is averaging above 12 points.

Bradley cannot do it all on her own, she needs some more help. Whether or not someone else steps up and plays their best could define this season. If no one does, this season could end just like last year—without a spot in either the National Invitational Tournament or the March Madness.

Head coach Jalie Mitchell was brought back to Denton in May 2015, and the program has seen a steady uptick each year in the win department. The wins have gone up from 11 in the 2015-2016 season to a winning record last season at 17-14.

The next step for this program is to win the C-USA and make a postseason run in the Big Dance. The team needs to win the conference and show the world that North Texas is no longer just a mid-major program. Neither tournament will be a reality until the Mean Green win this conference, that should be the first goal

But it shouldn’t be the last.

Featured Image: Illustration by Jordan Collard. 

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Dillon Swan

Dillon Swan

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