Longhorns under the (Erwin Center) lights
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Longhorns women's basketball team will step onto the Erwin Center court Friday night for the first official practice of the 2005-06 season, and head coach Jody Conradt says the excitement is building all around the team and its fans.
"This is the time of the year you really anticipate as a coach," noted Conradt, who enters the 2005-06 campaign as the second-winningest women's basketball coach in history with 869 career victories. "There is a lot of excitement around the locker room, and I know our fans and supporters are eager to see this team back in action."
Friday night's practice (7-9 p.m.) and Saturday morning's practice (10-noon) are both open to the public and will take place at the Erwin Center.
Conradt welcomes eight letterwinners and seven freshmen newcomers - tabbed the nation's No. 1 recruiting class - to the Erwin Center court on Friday evening. The Longhorns are led by All-America 6-3 junior forward Tiffany Jackson, who is a candidate for national player of the year honors, and 5-8 senior point guard Nina Norman. Jackson and Norman are the lone starters returning from last year's 22-9 squad. This year, Texas was picked to finish second in the Big 12 Conference race in the preseason coaches poll.
"We are coming off a very positive preseason where everyone made great strides in weight training and conditioning," noted Conradt. "To handle the physical demands of the long season - particularly with the challenging schedule that we have in both non-conference games and in the Big 12 games - we have had a concentrated effort on building the players' endurance and conditioning base. I see the biggest changes in terms of strength and power in our returnees. Everyone bought into the intense workout and strength training sessions with (strength trainers) Todd Wright and Chris Braden this preseason. We'll see how that starts to translate onto the floor now that official practice is starting."
FREE Women's Basketball tailgate/fan zone/autograph session scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15
On Saturday (Oct. 15) prior to the start of the Texas-Colorado football game at Memorial Stadium in Austin, the UT women's basketball team will hold a FREE Basketball Tailgate/Fan Fest for all fans. The Tailgate/Fan Fest, presented by Coca-Cola, takes place from noon-3 p.m. Under the tent at the corner of San Jacinto and 23rd Street - just outside Memorial Stadium.
The Texas players and coaches will sign a team photo/autograph card for fans from 1-2:30 p.m.
The Fan Zone begins at noon, and will feature face painters, inflatables, basketball shooting games, and a special instrumental group - the Taiko Drummers- who will entertain throughout the afternoon.