#20 Texas Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12
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The expectations are high at Texas. The Longhorns reached their sixth straight NCAA Tournament last season, but for the first time in that stretch they failed to win a tournament game. The return of Lashann Higgs should get Texas back to their winning ways. Higgs played in just four games last season before suffering an ACL injury. The 5-9 guard will get another go at her senior season in 2019-2020. Two years ago, Higgs averaged 12.8 points per game and was a Big 12 second-team honoree.
2018-19 Record: 23-10, 12-6
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karen Aston
Coach Record: 165-72 at Texas, 266-135 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Danni Williams, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Jatarie White, Forward/Center, 10.4 ppg
Destiny Littleton, Guard, 8.4 ppg
Olamide Aborowa, Forward, 3.6 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Sug Sutton, Senior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Joyner Holmes, Senior, Forward, 11.8 ppg
Jada Underwood, Senior, Guard/Forward, 3.4 ppg
Charli Collier, Sophomore, Forward/Center, 5.9 ppg
Audrey Warren, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 4.9 ppg
Joanne Allen-Taylor, Sophomore, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Lashann Higgs, Senior, Guard, 13.8 ppg
Key New Players
Ashlee Hannan, Freshman, Forward/Center
Karisma Ortiz, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Penn State, eligible?
Isabel Palmer, Freshman, Guard
Shae Routt, Sophomore, Guard/Forward
Celeste Taylor, Freshman, Guard
Three other senior starters are back too. Sug Sutton led the way last season with 12.7 points per game and she also dished out 5.4 assists. With a little more consistency on her outside shot, Sutton may not just repeat as an All-Big 12 first-teamer, but also be the conference’s Player of the Year. Jada Underwood started 17 games last season and the 6-0 wing averaged 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds. The numbers are not eye popping by any means, but Underwood will do a lot of the dirty work. The frontcourt will be led by Joyner Holmes. The 6-3 forward is a very good interior scorer and has led the team in rebounding each of the last three years. Charli Collier will bring the size to help replace Jatarie White. Collier averaged 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in limited action as a freshman and she could take a big step up in production as a sophomore. Fellow sophomore Audrey Warren will add some depth to the perimeter after averaging 4.9 points per game as a freshman. Karisma Ortiz comes in from Penn State and, if she wins her appeal to be eligible immediately, will add another proven ball handler to the roster. Four freshmen are heading in as well, led by guard Celeste Taylor. This Longhorns team will revolve around their four talented seniors, but it will be up to the underclassmen to fill in around them. If Coach Karen Aston can get consistent production from the underclassmen, Texas will quickly put an end to the lingering disappointment regarding their early tournament exit last season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.5 (80th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.0 (112, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.2 (34, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.5 (58, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.8 (271, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.7 (115, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.5 (182, 6)
Rebound Margin: 10.8 (3, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (131, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.2 (207, 8)
Madness 2020 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#13 Joyner Holmes
#14 Lashann Jiggs
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#28 Celeste Taylor