Lady Frogs open practice with coaches' clinic
Oct. 14, 2007
Fort Worth--The TCU women's basketball team held its first official practice Saturday afternoon, as the squad began preparations for the 2007-08 season, which begins in less than a month.
Head Coach Jeff Mittie was excited to officially bring his team back to the court for a full schedule of regular workouts. Because of NCAA rules changes the past few years, squads have been allowed to work out for a maximum of two hours each week as a team during part of the fall , but Saturday marked the official start of daily practices for all men's and women's college basketball programs.
"I felt that it was a good start," said Mittie, who is entering his ninth year leading the Lady Frog program. "It's always different when you finally get your team out there to start a regular practice routine. It was good to see us sustain through a full workout. There was a little bit of fatigue that showed up near the end of the day, but that's typical when you first open up."
TCU, which aims to extend its streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances this season to eight, returns three regular starters from last season's squad that tied for second place in the Mountain West Conference. Mittie's 2006-07 squad earned an at-large berth to the Big Dance, where it lost to Ole Miss during the tournament's first round.
Among the Lady Frogs' returning starters are a pair of former All-MWC performers in seniors Adrianne Ross and Lorie Butler-Rayford. Ross became only the second player in program history to earn All-America honors last season when she received honorable-mention attention from both the Associated Press and WBCA, while Butler-Rayford was named honorable-mention All-MWC as a sophomore in 2005. Ross, who averaged a league-high 17.3 points per game a year ago, also shared the MWC Most Valuable Player Award with BYU's Dani Wright.
Senior Helen Roden also returns after starting the final 13 games last season, while fellow seniors Moneka Knight and Jenna Lohse will provide additional leadership and experience for a team that lost all-conference performers Ashley Davis and Hanna Biernacka to graduation. Other former letterwinners who will hit the court this season include junior Micaela Younger and sophomores Shayla Moore and Danielle Nunn. Junior Lauren Roberts and freshman Emily Carter will look to make an impact following redshirt seasons a year ago.
Newcomers joining the program with a chance to contribute include freshmen Micah Garoutte and Helena Sverrisdottir, while three junior transfers, Chantelle John, TK LaFleur and Eboni Mangum, will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
The Lady Frogs' first workout concluded the program's annual coaches' clinic, which attracted nearly 60 high school coaches to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum Saturday. In addition to talks from the TCU staff, the clinic also featured several guest speakers, including: sports dietician Amy Goodson; Bo Overton, head coach of the WNBA's Chicago Sky; and former Dallas Cowboy Jim Jeffcoat.
"Our clinic comes at a good time with the high school basketball season coming up and us starting to practice," Mittie said. "I think the group received a good variety of information from the guest speakers and our staff regarding anything from nutrition and weight training to practice methods and coaching tips."
The clinic was followed by a reception at Blue Mesa Grill.
TCU opens its season Nov. 1 with a 6:30 p.m. exhibition against Lake Truck Lines at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Mittie, Ross and Butler-Rayford meet the media for the first time this season Wednesday when they take part in the Mountain West Conference's annual basketball media day in Denver.