Nov. 17, 2004
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TCU (0-0) vs. UCLA (0-0)
Nov. 19, 2004 Coral Gables, Fla. 4 p.m. CST
ABOUT THE GAME
The TCU Lady Frogs kick off the 2004-05 season Nov. 19 in Coral Gables, Fla., against UCLA at 4 p.m. CST. The University of Miami hosts the two schools in the 2004 Miami Jam. The Hurricanes take on Gardner-Webb in the other match-up, which begins shortly after TCU and UCLA finish. The winners meet two days later to determine the tournament champion and the losers square off in consolation action. The Lady Frogs lost their only meeting with UCLA by a 64-58 score in Fort Worth Dec. 14, 1991. The Bruins went 1-1 in their two exhibition games this season versus Love & Basketball (L, 60-73) and West Coast All-Stars (W, 93-45). UCLA is led by the backcourt duo of sophomore Noelle Quinn and junior Nikki Blue. Quinn was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last season and both players were members of the All-Pac-10 First Team. Quinn and Blue, who accounted for nearly 50 percent of the Bruins' offense last year, are preseason candidates for the Naismith and Wade Trophies and the Wooden Award.
LAST TIME OUT
TCU defeated Everyone's Internet, 77-63, in its final exhibition game of the season Nov. 12. Sophomore forward Ashley Davis was the Lady Frogs' leading scorer on the night with 18 on 6-of-11 shooting. She made two of her three attempts from downtown and drained all four of her attempts from the free-throw line. Senior forward Sandora Irvin collected a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Natasha Lacy nearly had a double-double as well with a dozen points and nine assists. Senior forward Niki Newton and redshirt freshman guard JimAnne Baker were also in double figures with 10 points each. Guard Kesha Watson led the way for EV1 with 18 points, making 6-of-12 from three-point land. Forward Dee Dee Warley chipped in with 15 and forward Keila Beachem finished with 11 points and a team-high six boards. Guard Toccara Williams had 10 assists and seven steals. TCU shot a hair over 50 percent, connecting on 29-of-57 shots (.509). EV1 could only muster a 37.5 percent mark (21-56). TCU struggled at the line by shooting 14-of-24 (.583), while EV1 was 14-of-21 (.667). The Lady Frogs held a huge advantage with points in the paint, outscoring the opposition 42-20. TCU also out-rebounded EV1 41-30. Both squads were careless with the ball, combining for 49 turnovers (EV1 25, TCU 24).
The TCU-UCLA game can be heard on the radio in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on KTCU 88.7 FM. Jeff Williams will call all the action for the Lady Frogs this season.
KICKING THINGS OFF
Since historical records were first kept for the Lady Frogs beginning with the 1977-78 season, TCU has fashioned a 14-13 record in season openers. The Purple and White has captured six consecutive wins in its initial contest of the year and is 5-0 under coach Jeff Mittie. For his career, Mittie is 8-4.
RIVERA OUT FOR THE SEASON
The Lady Frogs suffered a major blow in their first exhibition contest Nov. 5 against TTT Riga when freshman forward Marissa Rivera tore the ACL in her right knee in the second half. Rivera was expected to see considerable playing time this season, but is taking a medical redshirt instead. The injury did not appear to be serious at first, as Rivera was able to walk off the court on her own after going down.
CLEMENTINO STILL QUESTIONABLE
Junior transfer forward Vanessa Clementino is still questionable for TCU's season opener against UCLA Friday. She dislocated her left knee in an Oct. 26 practice when the team was scrimmaging. Her progress has been very good and she may not miss any games this year.
KEEP THE STREAK ALIVE
Senior forward Sandora Irvin brings a streak of 15 consecutive double-doubles into Friday's game against UCLA. She had 23 in 30 games last year, tops in Conference USA. Irvin has 45 in 94 career games, far and away the most of any Lady Frog in school history. Janice Dziuk is a distant second with 22.
TWO EARLY SIGNEES
Sensing a need for some big bodies in the paint, TCU signed a couple of post players for the 2005-06 season in the early signing period Nov. 17. Brittany Purdom (F, 6-4, Rialto, Calif./Etiwanda High School) and Micaela Younger (C, 6-2, Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney High School) will join TCU next fall.
WE'RE AMONG ELITE COMPANY
Of the more than 300 NCAA Division I schools, only 21 can claim they have been to the NCAA Championship the past four seasons. The Lady Frogs are among them, a list that includes Austin Peay, Colorado, Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Penn State, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, UC Santa Barbara, Vanderbilt and Villanova. Of those 21, only 11 other teams besides TCU have reached at least the second round of the tournament four straight years (Connecticut, Duke, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Notre Dame, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt and Villanova). That is less than four percent of Division I institutions. The other 11 teams have combined for 18 of the 23 NCAA Championship titles in women's basketball and are responsible for 17 of the past 18.
Sandora Irvin is on every watch-list for being a potential All-American and possibly a player of the year winner. She is one of 31 candidates from around the country on the preseason 2005 State Farm Wade Trophy list and is one of 30 for the 2005 Wooden Award. Both awards are regarded as two of the most prestigous in women's basketball. Irvin also landed on the Preseason All-Conference USA Team for the third consecutive year.
NEW FACES POISED FOR ALL-AMERICA RACE
In looking at the All-America teams last season from the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), The Associated Press and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Eastman Kodak Company, the selections were primarily seniors. In fact, only one from the USBWA's squad is back (Shyra Ely, Tennessee, senior), four from the AP's team (Seimone Augustus, LSU, junior; Shyra Ely, Tennessee, senior; Kendra Wecker, Kansas State, senior; Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers, senior) and three from the WBCA/Kodak group (Seimone Augustus, LSU, junior; Shyra Ely, Tennessee, senior; Janel McCarville, Minnesota, senior). The USBWA selects a first and second team with five players on each squad. Ely was a member of last year's second team. The AP chooses three teams with five members. None of its first- and second-teamers are back in 2004-05. The organization also selects players who are deemed Honorable Mention All-Americans. The WBCA/Kodak team consists of 10 players and no team designations. An examination of the percentages of All-Americans returning from the 2003-04 USBWA, AP and WBCA/Kodak teams is 10, 26.7 and 30 percent. With the numbers that low, a new crop of players is ready to earn the right to be called an All-American in 2004-05, including TCU's Sandora Irvin. She was recognized as an Honorable Mention All-American by The Associated Press and Kodak/WBCA last season, becoming the first Lady Frog to ever receive the national accolade.
In the history of TCU women's basketball, no Lady Frog has ever recorded a triple-double. On the other hand, three opposing players have notched the rare accomplishment. Cornelia Gayden of LSU was the last person to put up a triple-double versus TCU, doing so Jan. 2, 1995, with 43 points, 15 rebounds and 10 helpers at the Portland (Maine) Shootout. Although the Lady Frogs are still in search of their first triple-double, Sandora Irvin and Natasha Lacy figure to be good bets to get it done. Last season, Irvin narrowly missed out at Pepperdine when she tallied 16 points, 11 blocks and eight rebounds. Lacy flirted with triple-doubles a number of times, but her closest was against Houston in the Conference USA Tournament with eight points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.
LETS START A NEW STREAK
The Lady Frogs had a streak of 70 consecutive games with at least one three-pointer heading into their NCAA Championship First Round game with Temple last season. Although TCU won the game, 70-57, its streak of 70 consecutive games with at least one three was snapped when it went 0-for-8. TCU hit seven in the next game with Georgia and will be looking to get another streak going in 2004-05.
BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH
This season, senior forward Sandora Irvin will have a chance to break the NCAA's career blocks record of 428, which is held by Genia Miller (1987-91) from Cal State Fullerton. Irvin's current 330 is tied for 14th all-time with DeMya Walker (1995-99) of Virginia. Irvin's career average of 3.51 blocks per game is the sixth best in NCAA history. She is also the top shot blocker ever in Conference USA, 82 ahead of Tulane's Janell Burse.
SCORING RECORD ON THE HORIZON
Already the all-time leading rebounder (980) and shot blocker (330) for TCU women's basketball, Sandora Irvin figures to become the Lady Frogs' top scorer next season. She has 1,235 points for her career, which is 213 away from tying Janice Dziuk's record 1,448 set from 1986-90. Irvin is one of only seven Lady Frogs to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
TEAM CAPTAIN STILL UP IN THE AIR
Last year, it was an easy decision when it came time to pick the team captain. It was so easy that the coaching staff determined that Ebony Shaw and Tracy Wynn would both serve as co-captains. It is a different story this year. No one player has emerged as the clear favorite for captain and coach Jeff Mittie has said he may just let it be a week-to-week thing based on what he has seen in practice and games.
C-USA REBOUND RECORD IN JEOPARDY
Conference USA's career rebound record is in jeopardy this season thanks to senior forward Sandora Irvin. She needs 188 rebounds to break the record 1,167 put up by Abbie Willenborg at Marquette set from 1997-00. Irvin is currently in fourth place with 980. Also ahead of her is Natasha Thomas (UAB, 2000-04, 1,008 rbs) and Deanna Jackson (UAB, 1998-02, 1,118 rbs).
GETTING SOME VOTES
TCU may not be ranked in the top 25 of either poll, but it is receiving votes. Currently, the Lady Frogs are tied for 32nd in The Associated Press Poll and are 28th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. UCLA is 26th and 27th. Last year, TCU went wire-to-wire in the rankings in both polls for the first time in school history.
VERSUS THE CONFERENCE
Entering their fourth season with Conference USA, the Lady Frogs are 31-11 all-time in league games. They claimed the regular season crown in their first season with a 12-2 record and despite finishing 8-6 in 2002-03, they still managed to win the tournament title. Last season, TCU went 11-3 to finish second behind Houston. Against C-USA teams all-time, TCU owns a record of 43-38, and 34 of those contests have come versus Houston due to both teams being in the old Southwest Conference. TCU's record with C-USA teams is as follows: Charlotte (3-2), Cincinnati (3-1), DePaul (2-1), East Carolina (4-0), Houston (7-27), Louisville (3-1), Marquette (3-0), Memphis (3-0), Saint Louis (5-0), Southern Miss (3-0), Tulane (3-5), UAB (3-0), USF (2-1).
Only 20 NCAA Division I teams have won at least 20 games the past four years and the Lady Frogs are one of them. The others are Baylor, Chattanooga, Colorado, Connecticut, Duke, George Washington, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Old Dominion, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, UC Santa Barbara, Vanderbilt, Villanova, Virginia Tech and UW-Green Bay. TCU's 94 victories the past four years also ranks 17th in the nation.
TCU has drastically improved its RPI and the number of wins per season over the past four years (2000-01 to 2003-04) compared to the four prior to that time frame (1996-97 to 1999-00). Coming into this season, the Lady Frogs average nine more wins than they were accustomed to getting, which is the 14th best improvement in the nation. Their RPI has improved an average of 119.5 places over the past four years, giving them the fifth best mark in the country (Note: rankings based on Collegiate Basketball News RPI).
The TCU Lady Frogs were rated No. 26 in the nation in attendance last year with an average of 3,470 fans per game. It was their best finish ever in the attendance race and shattered the old school record of 2,773 in 2001-02. TCU also had the best attendance of any team in C-USA. DePaul finished second with 3,116.
THAT HALFTIME LEAD IS IMPORTANT
Taking a halftime lead is important for the Lady Frogs, especially under coach Jeff Mittie. Mittie is 98-13 when leading at the intermission as TCU's head coach. When the Purple and White takes a double digit advantage into the locker room it is a perfect 55-0. The Lady Frogs have only been tied at the half under Mittie once, and they won that game by a 60-58 count against Arkansas Dec. 29, 2001. If TCU is trailing at halftime, it is a mere 11-37 under Mittie.
HOLD THE OPPOSITION TO LESS THAN 40%
If an opposing team fails to shoot at least 40 percent against the Lady Frogs, there's a good chance a mark will be added to the right side of its win-loss column. That is because TCU is 93-11 under coach Jeff Mittie when the opposition shoots below the 40 percent mark.
LADY FROG SHOOTING FACTS
When TCU manages to shoot at least 45 percent from the field under coach Jeff Mittie it owns a 48-3 record. The Lady Frogs have a perfect 22-0 record when they shoot at least 50 percent from the floor. The best shooting effort TCU had in a loss under Mittie was the 48.1 percent mark it posted against Rice Feb. 3, 2000, in a two-point loss (65-67) in Fort Worth.
It is usually not a good thing if a team commits 20 or more turnovers, but TCU has been able to get by more than half the time under coach Jeff Mittie. The Lady Frogs are 41-31 under his leadership when doing so. If TCU manages 15 or less in a game, it owns a 31-10 record. The Lady Frogs actually had just nine at DePaul Feb. 2, 2003, but still took home a 76-68 loss. It is TCU's only loss in five games when it has had less than 10 miscues. It does not bode well for the opposition if the Lady Frogs force 20 or more turnovers, as they are 56-13.
MITTIE VENUE RECORDS
TCU coach Jeff Mittie has fashioned a 66-18 ledger since coming to TCU when playing a game in Fort Worth. Away from Cowtown, he is 44-32. When playing games at neutral sites, however, he is 14-4 and three of those loses have come in postseason play. His only loss in a neutral site game during the regular season was against Oregon Nov. 24, 2001. It was hardly a neutral setting, as the game was played in Portland, which sits a little over 100 miles north of Eugene.
WE LOVE TO BLOCK SHOTS
Thanks in large part to senior forward Sandora Irvin, TCU has finished among the nation's leaders in blocked shots the past three years. In 2001-02, the Lady Frogs averaged 6.5 per game, tops in the nation, and their 6.6 mark in 2002-03 was second. Last season, TCU was sixth with 6.2. Opponents should be warned that the Lady Frogs are 17-0 when blocking 10 or more shots in a game with coach Jeff Mittie at the helm.
SETTLING THE SCORE
Under coach Jeff Mittie, TCU has gone 54-6 when it scores at least 75 points and 30-1 when reaching the 80-point mark. The only loss it suffered was an 89-84 setback at USF Feb. 2, 2004, in double overtime. TCU is 29-0 when reaching 80 points in regulation. If TCU holds an opponent to 60 points or less it is 74-1 with the one loss coming to UW-Green Bay (58-60) in Fort Worth Dec. 3, 2002. It does not get much better if the opposition has 65 or less, as the Lady Frogs are 85-9 in that situation.
MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK
If the Lady Frogs go into overtime it should be noted that they own a record of 11-15 in games that need a little extra time. TCU is 9-12 in single overtime games, 1-1 in double OT, 0-1 in triple OT and 1-1 in quadruple OT. The Purple and White had three overtime games last season, including a double OT game at USF and a quadruple overtimer at East Carolina.
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS
TCU has scored 100 points in a game 12 times in its history and done it nine times in regulation. The Lady Frogs are 10-2 when they reach the century mark and have won seven in a row when doing so. The last loss came Jan. 25, 1997, in Fort Worth when SMU managed a 127-125 victory in quadruple overtime. The 252 combined points remain an NCAA Division I record.