5 things you need to know ahead of the Lady Mavericks’ 2020-21 season opener

Sophomore guard Katie Ferrell drives to the basket during the 2020 Sun Belt Women's Basketball Championship game against Texas State University on March 10 at College Park Center. 

The women’s basketball team is set to start its season against Texas A&M University-Commerce at 11 a.m. Wednesday at College Park Center.

Here are five things to look out for as the Lady Mavericks begin their 2020-21 campaign:

1.The addition of new head coach Shereka Wright.

Wright was named head coach in September after former head coach Krista Gerlich accepted a position at Texas Tech University. Wright is a former WNBA player who spent her professional playing career with the Phoenix Mercury. She previously served as an associate head coach at Vanderbilt University from 2018-2020.

Wednesday’s matchup will mark Wright’s head coaching debut. Wright said she is looking for max effort from her players in all aspects of the game. She said the Lady Mavericks will not settle because they want to be cutting down nets at the Sun Belt Tournament in March.

2. Junior guards earn preseason honors

Guards Claire Chastain and Katie Ferrell were named to the preseason All-Sun Belt Conference third team. This is the second year in a row that both players have earned preseason honors.

In 2019, Chastain averaged 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists, while Ferrell averaged 3.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

3. New team captains

Junior guard Terryn Milton, senior forward Bre Wickware and senior guard Jordynn Hernandez were announced as team captains Nov. 19.

Milton started all 32 games in 2019, averaging 7.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. Milton ranked first in the Sun Belt and No. 18 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.45.

Wickware averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 31 appearances last season. She shot 41.6% from the field and 34.4% from beyond the arc.

Hernandez suffered a knee injury that sidelined her for the 2019 season. During that time, she played a vital role in motivating her team from the bench.

4. Shereka Wright hauls in seven recruits

Wright’s first recruiting class consists of six high school seniors and one transfer. The class is set to join the team for the 2021-22 season.

Wright said in a press release that she targeted players that fit the style of play she wants to implement as head coach.

5. Win streak on the line

UTA’s season opener against the Lions will be the 13th matchup between the two programs. The pair last met on Dec. 18, 2016, at College Park Center, where the Lady Mavericks emerged victorious 80-50.

UTA currently holds a 10-game winning streak over the Lions, its last loss dating back to 1974.

@JayRod003

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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