Why Was Marquette’s Terri Mitchell So Angry?

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Marquette women's basketball, Terri MItchell Date:

Marquette coach Terri Mitchell was as angry as I’ve ever seen her after Tuesday’s game against UConn. The Huskies had beaten her team before, like a few weeks ago in Milwaukee – and rather convincingly.

But she has always managed to crack at least a small smile in her postgame press conferences and deliver at least one or two gracious accolades.

Not on Tuesday. not after UConn destroyed the Golden Eagles, 94-37, with 15 threes and 33 first-half fastbreak points.

She was visibly upset with her team’s effort. It shot 14 of 56 and played poorly, which shocked and angered her.

But she was also upset with the Big East for deciding to pair her program with UConn as one of the two home-and-away partners each team has in conference play. Notre Dame is UConn’s other partner.

She called the decision a “charade” after the game and wanted to know from Danielle Donehew, the associate commissioner of the conference for women’s basketball. “whether it was going to continue [in future].”

The Big East said before the season that it did the best it could to pair teams up, trying to keep in mind the competitive balance in the league, which is very fragile.

For instance, Providence got the short straw with Notre Dame, which has played in the last two national championship games. The Irish won the first meeting in South Bend by 45. It won’t be much closer in March when they play in Rhode Island.

Bottom line: Someone had to get UConn and Notre Dame and Marquette and Providence were the unlucky ones. If they are lucky, and the Catholic 7 break away from the Big East after this season, neither may have to worry about the problem again.

I get Mitchell’s anger. Getting blasted this badly twice – by a combined 91 points – does not help the self-image and confidence of her team, which likely will finish in the bottom half of the Big East. The Golden Eagles are 11-11 and 3-6 in the conference.

But here’s what sticks in my mind. Marquette’s best player, Katherine Plouffe, its leading scorer and rebounder, played 45 minutes against the Huskies this season and scored four points with three rebounds.

What does that say about the chances the Golden Eagles felt they had against UConn this season?

This was a problem Mitchell would have rather not dealt with this season. It was a bad night for a million reasons for her.

“I just think that they’re an intense team all the time and they jumped all over us and tonight was brutal.  We just have to find a way to move on.”

“It’s what the Big East decided, that we had to play [Connecticut] twice.  We talked about it, that it’s going to be tough and we’ve got to get better.  I knew it would be a tough game, but my goal was that we would get better from the first game, but unfortunately we didn’t.  That’s what is disappointing to me.”“[Connecticut] played hard.  They took the life out of us in the first few minutes and we didn’t recover.  That just really bothers me, because we played hard in moments, but you can’t ever step on the court and not play hard the entire time against one of the top teams in the country.  We looked shell-shocked and at this point in the year you can’t look shell-shocked.”


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13 thoughts on “Why Was Marquette’s Terri Mitchell So Angry?

  1. Big Foot

    NCAA will have to make a parity rule that limits all teams to only 2 high school all-americans on their roster at any time in any season. How else are teams like Marquette and Cincinnatti going to at least play competitive? The sad part is there are WCBB teams that Marquette and Cincinatti can destroy. This is why I don’t get excited about high school players career stats. They play some really short, really slow, and really lousy opponents.

  2. Coach Nono

    All the lack of effort by Marquette’s players was only enhansed by Uconn putting in the “second” division. Uconn got stuck on 92 points for 4 minutes. Apparently Geno told Buck to not attack the basket.

    Ms Mitchell has a real issue with her team. They played like a high school team, not a Div one team. The don’t have UConn’s talent–ok, but passing and character are taught in 4th grade.

  3. Greg

    Coach Mitchell should blame herself, rather than the Big East. If she wants to avoid competing against better teams, perhaps she shouldn’t be coaching at the Big East level.

  4. Little Feat

    Coach Mitchell should be fired and so should many other D1 coaches. Running out the shot clock instead of working to improve is not coaching. Letting your players play nasty is not coaching. She is in over her head, as are many D1 coaches.

  5. Observer

    Shocked and angered at the players? Look in the mirror, coach. A quick internet check shows YOU are the one who, prior to the 2011 season, has had 5 signees transfer or quit in the last 5 years, hurting continuity. You are the one who appears to reserve a roster spot for a booster’s child, hurting depth when the injuries come like clockwork. You are the one who hired a prospective DII Grad Assistant (Tyler) to be DI assistant coach and can’t fire him (can he even spell “defense,” much less coach it?) now because you would be a pariah to “Back Pat” crowd you embraced for PR. Mad at the Big East? Ok, your not in a strong negotiating position being at a breakaway C7 school, but you get to play 0-8 in the BE Cincinnati TWICE. The current players need leadership, not blame. Sure Geno can be “intractable” but his leadership capabilities can’t be questioned; the results speak for themselves.

    1. Comment

      Uh, UConn has had their share of transfers recently. Tuck might join the list.

  6. Observer

    Della Donna was a family issue. Walker was a homesickness issue (KY neighboring state).

    1. Lorna Doone

      Della Donne was a personal issue–she uses her sister as a great excuse, but that doesn’t fly. She has a fantastic mother and Father–who wanted her at Uconn. She was homesick. Walker never wanted Uconn her parents did–so she went to play with her friends on the KU team. Maybe a little KU pushing, who knows???

  7. Observer

    Does the Lyme disease fly?!? It worked out well for both parties. KU is Kansas, UK is Kentucky.

    1. Lorna Doone

      EDD didn’t have Lime Disease at UConn–and probably not at Delaware. Her “Im burned out from basketball’ only lasted until the season started at Delaware and she was cleared (by transfer) to play. Kentucky U or U of Kentucky, you are right they both work.
      EDD’s family are my favorite people, EDD isn’t. Not because she left UConn but because she’s an excuse maker. She comes from a very wealthy family and apparently she is spoiled.

  8. bridget

    I think that she was just upset because we beat her team by so much and we killed them out there there was just nothing her team could have done………

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