Longhorns spotlight: Brittainey Raven
March 11, 2009
Janice Lu, Texas Media Relations
With the Women's Basketball team ready to begin play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, it marks the beginning of the postseason. But for guard Brittainey Raven, it's simply the beginning of a new season - with a clean slate.
Raven's new beginning starts in the first round on Thursday against Missouri, a team she scorched for a career-high 31 points last month, but Raven enters this game thinking about a different kind of number.
"I know I need to work on rebounding. Starting with the Big 12 tournament, I have to really commit to go rebound," Raven said. "Even if I don't get it, I can kick it to somebody or just get in the mix and maybe it will go our way."
Raven was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team for the second-straight year after leading the Longhorns in scoring at 13.5 points a game, and her 25.9 minutes per game are also a team-high.
But Raven's expectations for herself are higher. She was the Longhorns' leading scorer last season, and this year wanted to polish her defense and become a more aggressive rebounder -- all in order to become a more complete player.
Raven says that she knows the key to accomplishing that is more consistency. For instance, after setting a then career-high with 26 points against Oklahoma State on Feb. 5, Raven went 3 of 11 from the field the next game out against Texas Tech.
The up-and-down has taken a toll on Raven, and that's why she's embracing the start of something new. She sees postseason play as an opportunity to prove herself all over again.
"I feel like I need to start over going into the Big 12 Championship, and just clear my head," Raven said. "I'm going to think of it like going back to 0-0. I just want to play and do the things my team needs me to do -- rebound and score."
After registering zero rebounds in a road loss against Kansas State, Raven came off the bench for the final regular season game against Oklahoma. Head coach Gail Goestenkors wanted to send the message to Raven that her rebounding effort is as important to the Longhorns as her scoring.
The Longhorns' spirited second-half rally to get back into the game paralleled with Raven's renewed vigor on the boards -- all of her rebounds against OU came in the second half. And that effort is something Raven can build upon.
"I thought in the second half (against OU), the way she battled, not just on offense and defense, but on the boards as well, that's what we need from her for 40 minutes," Goestenkors said. "It changes the way we play when she's that aggressive."