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Women’s basketball offense improving from low totals last season

Women’s basketball offense improving from low totals last season

North Texas junior guard Terra Ellison (20) shoots a 3­pointer during an exhibition against Texas Woman's University. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball offense improving from low totals last season
November 23
12:12 2015

Clay Massey | Staff Writer


After a lackluster 2014-15 campaign where the North Texas women’s basketball team averaged just 51.8 points per game, a change was made in coaching. North Texas alumna Jalie Mitchell was hired as head coach, and her up-tempo offense has provided a spark for the Mean Green.

Through three games, North Texas is averaging 61.3 points per game – a 9.5 point improvement over last season. The improvement and faster offense from last season has led to a 1-2 record, with the lone win coming over No. 17 Oklahoma University on the road.

“I think the biggest difference in the kids since I got here and now is their confidence,” Mitchell said. “I think they’re really confident shooting the ball.”

While Mitchell’s offensive concepts are new to the players of North Texas, she said her players have adjusted well. One thing she is especially trying to drill into the team is taking high percentage shots, such as open jumpers, layups and shots from the block.

While the team also wants to hit opponents hard in transition, they want to slow the ball down and not force misses on their own part.

“They really feel good about the shots that they’re taking,” said Mitchell. “I think we’re playing a little bit faster than they’re used to. We’re pushing it when we can. I thought we did a great job of changing from San Francisco to OU. The times that we pushed the ball, if we’re able to push it, then good, great. If not, then we slowed it down and executed offense.”

The Mean Green are shooting 45.4 percent from the field, due in large part to the play of junior guards Terra Ellison and Candice Adams. Both have been efficient from beyond the arc, with Ellison shooting at a 40 percent and Adams sinking 36.4 percent from downtown. As a team, the Mean Green are shooting 40.5 percent from long range.

The two guard system that North Texas plays has freed Adams to be a bigger part of the offense – a role she is enjoying.

“I think being in the two guard spot frees me to move around more instead of passing and cutting through,” Adams said. “It has something to do with the offenses that we run now. Whether we’re effective coming off the screen, or the defense pinches in, it frees me up for the shot.”

Both Adams and Ellison are seeing improvements from last season in both points per game and shooting percentage. Adams has upped her points per game total from 6.4 to 9.0 and has upped her shooting percentage by six percent.

Ellison has seen a dramatic jump in her numbers. After averaging just 5.5 points per game and shooting 34.3 percent, she has bumped those totals up to 13.7 points per game while improving her field goal percentage by 9.3 percent.

Ellison’s numbers have showed a maturation on the court. She has stepped into a bigger role after the Mean Green lost their top two scorers at the conclusion of last season in Briesha Wynn and Breanna Dawkins.

Ellison said she knows what she has to do given her new role.

“I feel like I am still maturing,’’ Ellison said. “I feel like if I shoot, I’m helping the team, and that is what I want to do. I had to do a lot of growing up this year. My role has stepped up a whole bunch, and that is my mindset too.”

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