Lady Frogs Begin Practice Saturday
Oct. 15, 2004
FORT WORTH, Texas
Head coach Jeff Mittie and the TCU women's basketball team begins official team practices Saturday, Oct. 16. The Lady Horned Frogs will practice from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Practice is open to all members of the media.
The Lady Frogs are coming off a 25-7 campaign that saw them reach the NCAA Championship Second Round for the fourth year in a row. Only 11 other teams in the country have made it to at least the second round the past four seasons. TCU finished second in the Conference USA regular season standings with an 11-3 record. Houston dropped the Lady Frogs in the championship of the conference tournament in Fort Worth before they headed to Philadelphia for NCAAs. TCU defeated host Temple in the first round, 70-57, and suffered an 85-71 setback to Georgia in round two.
TCU returns two of its five starters from a year ago in senior forward Sandora Irvin and sophomore point guard Natasha Lacy. Irvin became the first Lady Frog in school history to earn all-America recognition last season and she earned Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight year. Irvin led the team in points (16.8), rebounds (12.2) and blocks (3.9) in 2003-04. Her rebound and block averages ranked third nationally last year. She needs 99 rejections to become the NCAA's all-time leader in blocked shots. Irvin is currently tied for 14th on the list and she also owns the sixth highest career average for blocks per game with 3.5.
Lacy was a member of the All-Conference USA Freshman Team as a true rookie last year after averaging 7.0 points, 5.5 boards, 5.2 assists and 2.7 steals per game. Her 165 assists was a single season TCU record and her 87 steals was the third highest season total in school history. Lacy's assist and steal averages were fourth best in the league and ranked in the top 50 nationally.
The Lady Frogs return five other squad members from last season with senior forward Niki Newton, sophomore forward Ashley Davis, sophomore guard Adrianne Ross and redshirts JimAnne Baker and Jenna Lohse. Ross saw a great deal of action as a true freshman, scoring 7.3 points and adding 3.1 assists per contest in over 22 minutes of play. Davis began the year as a starter and later became a three-point threat off the bench. Newton was also used as a role player.
Seven new faces will wear purple and white uniforms in 2004-05. TCU snagged a couple of junior college transfers, forward Vanessa Clementino and guard Stephanie Thiel, and inked five freshmen in the earlying signing period last November. Clementino played for 2004 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) champion Trinity Valley, while Thiel was a Kodak/WBCA All-American at Seward County Community College. The Lady Frogs' freshmen class includes forwards Amanda Holmes, Lorie Rayford-Butler and Marissa Rivera, center Ashley Goodwin and guard Moneka Knight.
TCU's first exhibition is scheduled for Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. versus Basketball Travelers International. The Purple and White's second and final tune-up comes a week later against Everyones Internet (EV1) at 7 p.m. in DMC. TCU opens its season on the road at the Miami Jam in Coral Gables, Fla., over Nov. 19-21. The Lady Frogs take on UCLA in the first game and play either host Miami or Gardner-Webb in the second contest. TCU's first regular season home game is slated for Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. versus Sam Houston State.