Preseason MVP: N'yah Boyd started to emerge as a capable starter and playmaker last season. She’ll be asked to take her scoring to the next level as one of North Texas’ go-to players as a sophomore.
The Ceiling: Best case scenario for the Mean Green is they make the semifinals of the C-USA Conference Tournament. They still need to prove that they have the consistency needed to go far, but it’s not completely out of reach for this evolving team. Luckily, they’re going into it with previous tournament experience.
The Floor: Worst case scenario for North Texas is that it misses out on the conference tournament. It’s unlikely for the Mean Green to play worse than last year, being that it’s essentially the same team. However, they’ll need to overcome having no Anisha George to go to in the post.
Game of the Year: Charlotte
Projected Starting Five
G | 5-9 | So. | Dallas, Texas
G | 5-6 | So. | Mesquite, Texas
G | 5-10 | So. | Plano, Texas
G | 5-10 | R-Sr. | Plano, Texas
F | 6-3 | R-Jr. | Memphis, Tenn.
Impact-First Year Player: Tommisha Lampkin
The North Texas Mean Green women’s basketball team is on the heels of a new season and a new chance to prove themselves. Going into last season (12-19, 6-12 Conference USA), six players remained from the previous season. The majority of new players were freshmen, making the team considerably more young and inexperienced.
“Our freshmen from last year don’t look like freshmen anymore,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said.
Along with adjusting to growing pains, their season was riddled with injury. Coach Mitchell said that six different players missed a total of 43 games. Now, everyone is healthy and ready to outplay the former version of themselves.
Much of the same roster remains, but there are a handful of newcomers and newly eligible players. Freshman guard Maddie Cleary is a capable 3-point shooter from Prosper High School. Cleary averaged 16 points per game during her senior year.
Freshman forward Tommisha Lampkin averaged 18 points and 7.9 rebounds in her senior year with Summit High School in Mansfield, shooting 60 percent from the field. The 6-2 player has a list of accomplishments, including winning the 2019 District 7-6A Offensive Player of the year and ESPN naming her the 19th best post player in the nation.
Senior forward Emma Villas-Gomis is a transfer from Texas Tech, and likely won’t be eligible to play this year.
Sophomore guard Quincy Noble, junior guard Destiny Brooks, junior forward Rochelle Lee and sophomore guard Keira Neal did not play last season and will be taking the floor.
The core of the Mean Green have gained the experience and chemistry that they were lacking last season. A for their tangible skills, there’s lots of room for improvement. Mitchell identified shooting, defending and rebounding as key areas they need to improve upon.
North Texas will be without post player Anisha George, who graduated and is playing professionally in Switzerland. George was an anchor for the team, averaging 14.3 points and 8.9 rebounds and finished 6th in the conference in scoring.
George and McDowell were the only two players to average double figures for the team. Forwards Madison Townley (Sr.) and Charlene Shepherd (Jr.), who were the 2nd and 3rd leading rebounders last year, have big shoes to fill as it pertains to rebounding and defense in general.
This year their core has to step up. Sophomore point guards Jazion Jackson and N’Yah Boyd will have their hands full leading the offense for the Mean Green while being efficient scorers themselves.
Senior guard Summer Jones and freshman guard Maddie Cleary will need to shoot at a high clip from the perimeter.
If North Texas can stay healthy, it’ll give them the continuity the team needs to build upon what they have developed as a unit thus far.
“I want to see us play our way into conversations we haven’t been in,” Mitchell said.