SPORTS ISSUE: Women’s basketball preview

The Big 12 season is halfway through, and although the TCU women’s basketball team isn’t leading the conference standings, the Horned Frogs are featuring one of the deepest teams they’ve had in recent years.

Led by senior standout point guard Zahna Medley, the second all-time leading scorer in TCU history, and second-year head coach Raegan Pebley,  the Frogs are enjoying a good offensive year, but need some help to make the NCAA Tournament.

Sitting at 12-9 (4-6), the Frogs are 7th in the Big 12, and would need either an improbable run over their last 8 conference games or a conference tournament championship to reach March Madness. If the Frogs were to make that run, it’d most likely come from their outside shooting.

TCU averages 18 shots from deep per game, and the Frogs make an average of three more 3-pointers per game than their opponents. Medley has taken over a third of those 3-point attempts, and with good reason — she’s made 42.4% of her tries.

Medley is far from the only scoring threat, however. Sophomore AJ Alix, senior Veja Hamilton, and junior Jada Butts have all stepped up their offensive games this season.

Alix leads the team in 3-point shooting percentage, barely eclipsing Medley at 42.7%. She also joins Medley as the only other Horned Frog averaging double digits in points per game, and she leads the team in assists per game.

Hamilton does most of her scoring in the paint, having only attempted seven 3-pointers all year. Still, she averages 9.3 points per game, good for third on the team, and is tied with Jada Butts for the team lead in steals per game, with 1.8.

Butts, who splits time between the starting lineup and being the first player off the bench, excels at getting to the free-throw line. She’s shot more free-throws than anyone but Medley, and isn’t afraid to let it fly from 3-point range either. Butts is also an exceptional defender, tied with Hamilton for the team lead in steals.

With a supporting cast around Medley that is as talented as it’s ever been, Pebley is looking to maximize her team’s potential in upcoming games.

The Frogs will return to the court on Saturday at Oklahoma before coming back to Schollmaier Arena on February 10 against the No. 4 Baylor Lady Bears.