#5 Texas Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #5
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12
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Texas has continued to surge back towards the elite programs in women’s college basketball. Karen Aston and her staff have done an excellent job of recruiting, which is the lifeblood of any program. Texas will bring in a top three recruiting class to complement an experienced group of nine returning letterwinners this season. Look for the Longhorns to give Baylor a run for their money in the Big 12 race all season long.
2016-17 Record: 25-9, 15-3
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karen Aston
Coach Record: 112-55 at Texas, 215-118 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kelsey Lang, Center, 9.1 points per game
Brianna Taylor, Guard, 4.8 points per game
Tasia Forman, Guard, 2.9 points per game
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Brooke McCarty, Senior, Guard, 14.1 points per game
Ariel Atkins, Senior, Guard, 12.8 points per game
Joyner Holmes, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 12.1 points per game
Lashann Higgs, Junior, Guard, 8.0 points per game
Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau, Senior, Forward, 3.0 points per game
Khaléann Caron-Goudreau, Junior, Forward, 2.3 points per game
Alecia Sutton, Sophomore, Guard, Guard, 3.8 points per game
Jada Underwood, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 3.3 points per game
Jordan Hosey, Junior, Forward, 2.6 points per game
Olamide Aborowa, Junior, Forward, 1.5 points per game
Key New Players
Rellah Boothe, Freshman, Forward
Destiny Littleton, Freshman, Guard
Chastity Patterson, Freshman, Guard
Jatarie White, Junior, Forward/Center
Brooke McCarty and Ariel Atkins are going to set the tone for this Texas team heading into start of the season. McCarty was the 2017 Big 12 Player of the Year after averaging 14.1 points per game last season and shooting 45.7 percent from the floor. Keeping the offense flowing was another strength of McCarty’s last season as she had well over a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. Atkins is an excellent scorer and can create havoc at the defensive end of the court after a 64-steal performance last season. Lashann Higgs and Joyner Holmes will also provide plenty of scoring to keep teams honest defensively. Jatarie White should slide into Kelsey Lang’s spot as a hybrid forward/center after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Rellah Boothe, Destiny Littleton, and Chastity Patterson should make an impact right way as freshmen which will only make the Longhorns that much deeper this season. Connecticut, LSU, Tennessee and Florida State highlight the non-conference slate for the Longhorns and those games are spread out nicely throughout the season. The two showdowns with Baylor should more than likely decide the Big 12 race on January 25th in Waco and February 19th in Austin. If Texas can split or sweep the Bears, they will be right there in contention to win the Big 12. This season for the Longhorns should result in at minimum an appearance in the Elite Eight, if not the Final Four.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.0 (29th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.1 (114, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (21, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.6 (28, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.0 (311, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.1 (41, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.0 (246, 9)
Rebound Margin: 10.4 (6, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (126, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (148, 5)
Madness 2018 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#8 Ariel Atkins
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#3 Rellah Boothe
#5 Chasity Patterson
#21 Destiny Littleton