If ever there was a time for the TCU women’s basketball team to work out any remaining kinks, Monday would be it.
The Horned Frogs (9-21, 2-16) battle Southern Arkansas (0-25, 0-20) at the Daniel Meyer Coliseum Monday night in their only exhibition game before Friday’s season opener.
Head coach Jeff Mittie said during the basketball media day Tuesday that despite the team improving daily, he hasn’t seen the consistency he wants yet. This, he hopes, will change once the team hits the court.
“I’m anxious to get back under the lights and see how we play,” he said.
The team had a rough go of it last year in its inaugural year in the Big 12, only winning two conference games and nine games overall. The Frogs were also one of the youngest teams, starting three freshmen.
During the offseason, one of the major stories was the loss of standout Kamy Cole, who transferred to SMU. However, the addition of several freshmen recruits, including six-foot-six center Klara Bradshaw. Mittie said that he was impressed with the depth both at center and point guard this year.
As for Southern Arkansas, the Lady Muleriders didn’t win a game last season, and only six of 25 were within a 10 point margin. Junior guard Katherine McBride led the team with 15.2 points per game, helping the Lady Muleriders score an average of 56.8 points per contest.
Head coach Rusty Rainbolt is entering his first season at Southern Arkansas and praised his team’s work ethic at the Mulerider basketball media day.
“These young ladies have worked really, really hard,” Rainbolt said. “It’s a step-by-step process, but they’re doing a really great job.”
Unfortunately for Rainbolt, the climb is steep and the journey is long. The Lady Muleriders were outperformed in almost every category last year, including being out-rebounded by an average of 5.3 per game.
That stat might ease Mittie’s concern about the Frogs’ rebounding efforts that he’s observed during practice.
“Rebounding is still my biggest concern,” Mittie said. “There are good plays, and there are a lot of head shakers in there.”
The Frogs will still rely on several young players to carry the team this year. Sophomore Zahna Medley and junior Natalie Ventress started all 30 games last year and were the top two scorers, both averaging more than 11 points per game. Sophomore Veja Hamilton is also expected to log big minutes on the court this year.
Anchoring this young group is six-foot-three senior Latricia Lovings, who, along with being the veteran presence, is expected to pull down a lot of key rebounds from her center position this year.
First tip is at 7 p.m. in the Daniel Meyer Coliseum. Admission is free for everyone.