TCU women's basketball team determined to 'Rise Together' quickly

10/24/2012 11:34 PM

10/25/2012 9:38 PM

The TCU's women's basketball team is just months away from its christening into the Big 12 against the most dominating individual force in women's college basketball, Brittney Griner.

However, after the Horned Frogs' formal introduction today at the Big 12 Women's Basketball Media Day, TCU will use a completely different approach to its first year in the new conference.

TCU coach Jeff Mittie said he believes all hands must be on deck for this team to "Rise Together" into success in the Big 12, following the team's slogan during summer workouts.

"We really felt like every single player had to get better on the roster," Mittie said. "What I've challenged this team with is how do you take a slogan and make it part of your core, what you do in practice, because everyone throws a slogan on a T-shirt and expect it to be the answer."

The process begins with the student-athlete who will represent the Horned Frogs today, guard Whitney Williams, one of two seniors on a team that features nine underclassmen.

After that, this season will be a step-by-step process of raising skill and experience one day at a time before the Horned Frogs can even think about Baylor and the conference schedule, Mittie said.

It's a process the coach expects will put several more gray hairs on his head.

"It's a long ways away before we have that first conference game," Mittie said. "We have Charlotte in a month and we are so far away from being where we want to be. Right now, our players are just trying to get lined up right in drills.

"Their thought process isn't any further, nor should it be, than getting through the next drill and trying to push themselves and get better each practice. ...With young players everything is new and exciting, but it can give you more gray hairs."

What Mittie can expect from his team's first season in the Big 12 is the same excitement that has surrounded TCU's fall sports programs.

"It's geographical. It's history," Mittie said. "The water-cooler conversations are greater about each game. I'm looking forward to that."

After Media Day, it will be back to the grind, working toward the team's first regular-season game Nov. 14 against Charlotte, waiting to see if this team can "Rise Together."

"If that can be something that's a part of you in everything that you do and you're accountable to that, then you've got something," Mittie said. "We're still in the process of seeing if this team will take hold of that and have it be something meaningful."

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