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Women’s basketball media day: Newcomers expected to contribute in head coach Jalie Mitchell’s second year

Women’s basketball media day: Newcomers expected to contribute in head coach Jalie Mitchell’s second year

North Texas women's basketball head coach Jalie Mitchell responds to questions during media day. The women's team is projected to finish sixth in Conference USA this season. Colin Mitchell

Women’s basketball media day: Newcomers expected to contribute in head coach Jalie Mitchell’s second year
October 26
16:57 2016

Entering her second year as the head women’s basketball coach at North Texas, Jalie Mitchell aims to improve on the team’s 11-19 mark from last season.

Mitchell begins the 2016 campaign with significantly more talent at her disposal, which has raised the expectations across Conference USA. Coaches voted the Mean Green to finish sixth this year in C-USA, eight spots above last year’s final standings.

With 10 new players on the roster in the form of transfers and freshman, Mitchell has turned her attention to an element of her job she believes is necessary to run a championship-caliber program.

“What we built last year [was] a culture of hard work, a culture of family, and consistency, pride and commitment,” Mitchell said. “I think those things stand, and I think they have to stand every year in order for us to be successful.”

What the team gained in talent, though, it lacks in experience. North Texas has only three seniors and two juniors.

The seniors they do have, however, carry themselves in a way that gives this team enough experience to compliment the added talent.

Mitchell gets back three of her top four scorers in senior point guard Kelsey Criner, senior guard Candice Adams and senior guard Terra Ellison. Those three combined for 54.5 percent of the team’s total scoring last year.

The three will be asked to do much more than simply score for the team this season.

“In addition to [Criner and Ellison], my other senior Candice Adams has been amazing [as leaders],” Mitchell said. “They’ve all stepped up their roles as leaders whether it’s by example or it’s vocal. I have been extremely impressed with them.”

Mitchell is eager about having a full roster with loads of talent after last year where she frequently only had eight players to use. She said that the influx of talent and depth have led to her plausibly having eight girls capable of starting.

While the team struggled in many aspects last year, the Mean Green was a solid rebounding team, averaging 35.3 rebounds per game.

And with the recent additions, they should be even more tenacious on the glass.

“I want to be a great rebounding team,” Mitchell said. “We added some great rebounders. Our transfers are all great rebounders when they want to be. It is something that we are stressing, and they just have to go out there and get it done.”

Six of their additions have previous experience with college basketball and will be tasked with contributing immediately. With 10 new players and three of their top players returning, North Texas is expected to continue its growth and potential it flashed last year.

The Mean Green tip off their season at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“We are trying to make another statement,” Mitchell said. “I think we did a decent job of that last year, but year two is about accomplishing even more.”

Featured Image: North Texas women’s basketball head coach Jalie Mitchell responds to questions during media day. The women’s team is projected to finish sixth in Conference USA this season. 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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