During the course of the day, the Frogs met with numerous national, regional and local media outlets in Dallas. Mittie, Gross and Williams also appeared on the Big 12 Digital Network with correspondent Wendell Barnhouse during the morning session.
Coach Mittie's Press Conference Quotes Coach Mittie's Opening Statement:
"Thanks. Good to be in a league. We're excited about it. This league is a tremendous women's basketball league, and that is exciting for us at TCU. It's exciting for my program having been there and been through -- well, this isn't as they say in Texas, my first rodeo to a league change. But obviously, the Big 12 is a very exciting league to be in, and we're excited to get going into the non-conference part of that."
Jeff, like you mentioned, this isn't your first rodeo. What do you feel like the
familiarity that you guys have had as far as making conference changes will help you in this one?
"Well, one thing, we've obviously played a lot of the Big 12 schools over the years. I think you've got to go through it. Any time it's a round robin format, which I think is the best way to play basketball. It's a grueling grind though, 18 games with the basketball season, and particularly the talent from top to bottom in the league. But we have some familiarity with the schools. We've played them over the years, and hopefully we'll benefit from that knowledge."
Obviously, you've had a lot of success at TCU. With that and the moving up in the league, talk about how you've been accepted now more with recruiting and how the perception made the change and this program just making this move?
"Yeah, well you know this. You've been around our campus, and obviously players want to play in the best leagues in the country. When you look at what the Big 12 has been able to do across the board with winning National Championships, being in Final Fours, multiple teams doing those things. Then you look at the attendance and the interest that this league draws, and to be sitting in a venue here that's going to host our tournament, recruits want to play in those environments. It's been nice. People are taking my calls more. I always enjoy that. But you've got to get the signature at the end of the day, but, yeah, I'm getting a few more answers on the telephone."
Do you guys feel like you need more depth to play in a league like the Big 12? Do you feel you have that depth?
"We'll have to develop that depth. The league is very physical. The front line across the league has gotten huge. Any time the question got asked earlier about the league thing, different leagues have different things. With Griner being in the league, the rest of the league got bigger over the last four years as well. So it wasn't just Baylor that got bigger. But we'll have to develop that depth this year. 9 of our 13 are freshmen and sophomores. So every day is a new challenge for them right now, learning to play at a level that's higher. But we'll know a little bit more as we get further into this season how much depth I'm going to be able to develop with this particular team."
You guys are going to have the tournament played in Dallas this year. What's it mean for you guys? I guess you'll have the closest thing to the home court advantage in something like that.
"Well, I love the fact that it's in the Metroplex for a lot of reasons. Texas is great for women's basketball. The state of Texas, the Metroplex, all of the young girls that play are going to be able to watch top basketball here. It helps us recruiting. It helps our fans get to see all of the teams again. We've got some obvious work to do, but it's great to have the tournament here in Dallas."
Interested in what your reaction was to Geno Auriemma possibly lowering the rims and doing other things to maybe promote more scoring and such?
"I actually like the idea. I tell you why. We need to make some bold choices in women's basketball, and I think we need to do bold things. That is outside-the-box thinking, and I think that those type of discussions need to be had, because it is a different game than the men's game. I think Geno pointed out some things for volleyball nets and all those things were different. The obvious things are you would have more plays around the rim. You'd have more players across the country being able to dunk it and dunk it in a variety of ways. I think it's a worthy discussion, but I think there is some merit to it."
Along the same lines of having the conference championship here, just the travel is a lot closer in the Big 12 than it was in the Mountain West. What kind of advantage does it give you being able to take bus trips instead of plane trips?
"I don't have to get frisked in TSA. I mean, the advantage geographically -- well, time zone. I can wake up and not have to change my watch every two trips. But those advantages don't last very long when you get into the competition here. It's an advantage for your fans. It's an advantage for a lot of the families we recruit to be able to see their young ladies play not just at home games. Those types of things are advantages. I'm creeping up there. The bus hurts me as bad as the planes do anymore. I guess I can stand and stretch without the stewardess yelling at me on the bus."