It's Lady Raider Time!

Texas Tech prepares for the 2011-2012 season following a season that ended in the NCAA Tournament.

Last season ended the with the Lady Raiders being knocked out by St. John's in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Now that team is back and ready to make another run and go even deeper into the tournament this time around.

"We all want to make it to the NCAA tournament, obviously," Texas Tech senior Jordan Barncastle said. "I don't think that we're content with just making it, we got that (taste) in our mouth now, I think we want more. We want to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, make it to the Elite Eight, we want to win a Big 12 Championship. We have a lot higher standards for ourselves."

The best thing for the Lady Raiders is that coming into this season there are not a lot of new faces on the court, and the chemistry is already in place.

Texas Tech's only losses from last years NCAA Tournament team were Teena Wickett, who was second on the team in scoring, and Antiesha Brown, who just recently decided to leave the program, but the Lady Raiders return the rest of the squad with only two seniors and a very impressive junior class.

Jordan Barncastle, who averaged 4.3 points per game and 2.7 rebounds per game, returns for her final year in the scarlet and black along with fellow senior Kierra Mallard.

The Dallas native comes back as the leading scorer for the Lady Raiders averaging 12 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game as well.

Now the junior class is riddled with talent as Chynna Brown, Sixth Man of the Year Award Winner, Christine Hyde, Casey Morris, Monique Smalls and Mary Bokenkamp fill out the rest of that class.

With all the talent back for the Lady Raiders, Tech guard Casey Morris said being able to work as one will be easier because of everyone being back.
"I think we're starting to play well together, and after getting that last season under our belt we can all go into the next year and be confident and play together like we've been playing for a long time," she said. "I think we're all playing like family now, we're all sisters and it's good to have that chemistry on the floor."
Overall Tech finished the season last year 22-11, 8-8 in conference and made the NCAA Tournament, a big part of that success last season was the success seen in the preseason where the Lady Raiders posted a 13-1 record.

The only loss was to Penn State, who the Lady Raiders play again this preseason on December 3 at the United Spirit Arena.

Entering this season the Lady Raiders were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 this year and Tech coach Kristy Curry said they have to put together another season like last year to start earning respect from the rest of the conference.

All the improvement begins in practice and Curry said there has been a difference in this years practice so far, but they have to still do the work to be successful like last season.

"It's been intriguing, because I've seen a difference in the first 12 days of practice from year one to year two to year three to year four to year five," she said. "I love our experience factor, but that doesn't give you anything. We've got to roll up our sleeves and get after it possession-by-possession, day-by-day, week-by-week.

"What got us to this point is if we want a change in result we've got to have a change of action everyday, and I think these kids understand that, and that's what we're working for everyday."


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