Texas Tech started last season winning its first 14 games, including a victory over a ranked Penn State team. But after a 2-0 start in Big 12 play, the Lady Raiders lost 13 of their next 18 games. That resulted in a ninth-place finish in the Big 12 and a spot in the Women's NIT that saw Texas Tech reach the third round. As the school celebrates the 20th anniversary of its 1993 national championship, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second time under coach Kristy Curry is a reasonable goal.
Coach: Kristy Curry, 109-87 in 6 years at Texas Tech; 288-138 overall in 13 years.
Last season: 21-14 overall; 6-12 in the Big 12, 9th.
Post seaon: Lost in 3rd round of WNIT.
Senior guard Casey Morris (10.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg), senior guard Monique Smalls (8.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg), senior guard Christine Hyde (7.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg), junior forward/center Shauntal Nobles (6.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg), junior forward Jackie Patterson (voted Big 12 newcomer of the year.)
Coach Curry says
"When you look at our team a year ago, obviously a lot of little things. I think you look at the point differential, and it was 3.7 in conference play for our team. We have to play every single possession, and take pride in each possession. It might be a missed free throw here or there. Obviously, that's an area of improvement. Shot selection, our field goal percentage has to get better. So a lot of things, especially on the perimeter, decision-making that we can control ...a possession here or there is really going to make a difference."
Jackie Patterson a transfer from Hutchinson Community College, was selected as the preseason newcomer of the year. While at Hutchinson last season, she averaged 16.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists and led the team to a 36-1 record and a NJCAA national championship game appearance. ... Junior forward Shauntal Nobles has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, where the immune system attacks the nervous system in the body's extremities. She'll be out indefinitely. Nobles started 17 of 35 games last season, averaging 6.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Nov. 11 at Arizona State
Top nonconference games
Nov. 15 at New Mexico
Dec. 5 Illinois
Dec. 20 vs. Michigan State
Dec. 21 vs. Oregon State
Jan. 2 at Oklahoma State