North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball senior Achiel Tac looks to finish career on high note after bumpy road

Women’s basketball senior Achiel Tac looks to finish career on high note after bumpy road

March 08
11:14 2016

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

@BradyKeane3

After suffering a season ending injury late in her sophomore season, Acheil Tac had a down year in 2014 while trying to recover and bounce back.

She averaged just 5.7 points per game and 6.8 rebounds as a junior, which was significantly down from the numbers she put up as a sophomore prior to the injury.

But the addition of coach Jalie Mitchell and a year’s time made for a marketable improvement on the court. Tac has more than doubled her scoring average to 11.7 points per game, and the senior averages 8.6 rebounds.

In her final year with the Mean Green, Tac has racked up 10 double-doubles and ranks in the top five in Conference USA field goal percentage, rebounds and double-doubles this season.

“I think that as the season has gone along, she’s gotten more confident,” Mitchell said. “It’s very important for our team. There’s not a moment or a play she can’t take off, because we expect everything from her. If she’s not on, then we aren’t on.”

The growth that Tac has made on the court has also come with an added leadership role – one that Mitchell noted took some adjusting for a player that traditionally led by example rather than vocal communication.

“It’s been a growing point for her,” Mitchell said. “I challenged her to be more vocal, because this is her last season. I told her that she has to verbalize whatever she wants and desires for this team.”

In just one season, Mitchell’s challenges played a big role in the development of Tac’s leadership, and her output on the court. After joining the Mean Green following last season, the first-year head coach immediately began the process of changing the culture of the program and building upon the assets already in place.

“She jumped on it right away and worked with us through the summer,” Tac said. “She always cared about our individual growth. I’m more consistent with what I’m doing now whether it’s scoring, rebounding or running in transition.”

But bouncing back from the down season and taking on a more verbal leadership role were only the latest in a long list of trials and tribulations that Tac has endured as a member of the Mean Green during the last four years.

Junior guard Candice Adams has spent three of those four years by Tac’s side, and North Texas has lost more than twice as many games as they have won, 28-61, in their time on the court together.

“It’s been a journey,” Adams said. “We’ve been through some happy times and some bad times, but its definitely been a journey.”

The journey is nearing its conclusion, as Tac prepares to play her final C-USA tournament this week in Birmingham, Alabama. Her increased production both on the court and as a leader has helped set a foundation for a rebuilding process that Mitchell hopes to complete with the Mean Green.

“We doubled our wins from last year, and we still have the conference tournament left,” Tac said. “It’s been a promising season, and we’re not done yet. It’s definitely a good feeling to go out like this.”

Featured Image: North Texas forward Acheil Tac (23) drives to the basket against Western Kentucky last season. Ryan Vance | File Photo

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