Jalie MItchell

North Texas head coach Jalie Mitchell and the Mean Green added South Alabama transfer forward Jaylen Mallard this week.

The North Texas women's basketball team quietly made what seems like a very smart move this week by adding South Alabama transfer Jaylen Mallard.

UNT lost Charlene Shepherd in the middle of the season when she left the program and then saw Rochelle Lee enter the transfer portal after the Conference USA tournament.

Those departures left UNT a little light when it comes to frontcourt players.

Emma Villas-Gomis was terrific late in the season and is set to return along with Destinee McDowell and Tommisha Lampkin, a talented freshman.

Redshirt senior Madison Townley is expected to decide if she will return for another year at some point this summer.

UNT clearly needed some help and may have gotten it when it landed Mallard.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore averaged 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while starting all of last season. She scored in double figures in each of her last four games.

Mallard tallied 18 points in a game against Appalachian State and posted a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds against Troy.

The NCAA is reportedly on the verge of allowing athletes to transfer one time without sitting out. If that rule change goes through, UNT could have Mallard on the floor next season as it looks to build on 13-7 campaign that included a 10-4 mark in Conference USA play.

UNT won more games in C-USA than it ever had before this season before running into a red hot Old Dominion team in the conference tournament and falling 71-66. It was a disappointing end for the Mean Green, who seem to get a little better each year under coach Jalie Mitchell.

UNT has its top three scorers set to return in guards Quincy Noble, N'Yah Boyd and Jazion Jackson. Gomis scored 24 and 15 in UNT's last two games and has the potential to emerge as a star next season.

UNT needed someone to pair with her in case Townley elects to move into a graduate assistant role and Lampkin needs more time to develop.

Mallard appears to be the perfect fit.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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