Team chemistry, maturing players to help TU women
BY JOHN KLEIN Senior Sports Columnist
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
10/10/12 at 3:32 AM
Related Story: Manning, Brown prepare to reunite as coaching foes
IRVING, Texas - Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman's first season was about finding players, TU's level in Conference USA and how to put the Golden Hurricane back in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.
"I think the preparation will certainly be easier this year," she said Tuesday at Conference USA Basketball Media Day. "What we didn't know last year was what we didn't know. It was new to me. I was new to the players and this league.
"It is far different this year. I know the players and they know me. I know the other teams. We have a much better idea of what to expect from our team and our league."
Tulsa is expected to be better, perhaps even good enough to challenge at the top of the Conference USA, as Mossman enters her second year with the Golden Hurricane.
A year ago, with few expectations, Tulsa won 13 games and finished sixth in the league. It was Tulsa's best finish in the conference since reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2006.
The Golden Hurricane has one of the league's best players in Taleya Mayberry. She was an all-conference player last year, averaging 14.7 points. She was TU's leading scorer in 19 games last season.
"I think she's going to be better this year because she is going to be more at ease," said Mossman. "I think she won't have to carry as much of the scoring load for us this year. I really think that will help her. That's asking a lot of a player to run the point and score, too.
"I think as our younger players adjust to the college game, adjust to the speed, we're going to improve. I think we're going to have other scoring options this year and that will help everyone."
Mayberry has led Tulsa in scoring all three of her seasons at TU.
Mossman believes spreading that scoring load around to other players is going to make Tulsa significantly better.
A year ago, TU was picked 11th in the preseason and finished sixth.
"I'm hoping for another move up like that," said Mossman. "I think we have the players to be very competitive in this league."
Original Print Headline: Team chemistry to help TU
John Klein 918-581-8368