#11 Texas Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Texas Longhorns

Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12
#11 Texas Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

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Texas continued its climb back towards the top of the women’s college basketball landscape last season with its first trip to the Sweet 16 since the 2003-2004 season. Head Coach Karen Aston has very quickly rebuilt the Longhorns program with relentless recruiting and player development by her coaching staff. Plenty of experience returns in 2015 and for Texas it’s all about trying to run down Baylor in the Big 12 and take that next step of a trip to the Elite Eight or Final Four.

2014-15 Record: 24-11, 9-9
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karen Aston
Coach Record: 58-41 at Texas, 159-104 overall

The ability to control the glass and limit quality shots for opponents is a big strength for the Longhorns heading into the upcoming season. Texas outrebounded teams by nearly ten rebounds per game last season and teams only shot 36.5 percent from the floor against them as well. This combination will keep the Longhorns in just about every game they play. Imani Boyette and Kelsey Lang will team up to dominate things down low in the post and those two combined for over 21 points and 13 rebounds per game last season. Senior Brady Sanders will be the floor general in the backcourt and will look to continue to lead an efficient Longhorn offensive attack. Sanders does a very nice job of taking care of the basketball on a nightly basis.

It would be a big time bonus for Texas if they could become more dynamic in the backcourt as far as shooting the basketball from the perimeter is concerned. Sophomore guard Ariel Atkins will be looking to build upon a solid freshman season after averaging just under ten points per game and incoming freshman Lashann Higgs will also be expected to contribute right away and provide some instant offense for the Longhorns. If this team can get their three-point shooting percentage up closer to 33-34 percent and make about a half dozen three point shots per game, they will be in a prime position to take down Baylor in the Big 12.

Final Projection:
A good old fashioned classic matchup in Knoxville against Tennessee will be the first test for Texas on November 29th. The ability to take care of the basketball and not rush bad shots is going to be a very critical key to success for the Longhorns in that matchup. Mississippi State then invades Austin on December 2nd and they will test the overall athleticism and depth of Texas for 40 minutes. Stanford will then visit on December 13th and the Cardinal are still in a bit of a reloading situation so they will be an intriguing challenge for Texas. On January 17th, Baylor visits in what will probably be the game of the year in the Big 12 as both teams are loaded with talent and have the ability to make a deep Final Four run this season if they stay healthy. If the Longhorns can play more consistently on the road in Big 12 play, as they went 2-7 last season away from Austin in conference play, they can contend for a Big 12 title and a top 16 type of seeding on selection Monday.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Brady Sanders, Senior, Guard, 7.9 points per game
Empress Davenport, Senior, Guard, 7.1 points per game
Lashann Higgs, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Brianna Taylor, Junior, Guard, 5.8 points per game
Imani Boyette, Senior, Center,9.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.7 (102nd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.2 (85,6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.4 (69,4)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.5 (31,2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.7 (286,9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.6 (221,8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (174,6)
Rebound Margin: 9.2 (12,2)
Assists Per Game: 15.1 (55,3)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.3 (181,7)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#5 Imani McGee-Stafford

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#5 Lashann Higgs
#14 Jordan Hosey
#97 Christina Aborowa


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