#33 Texas Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Texas Longhorns

Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #7 Big 12
Texas Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Texas Team Page


Texas has a new coach again as Coach Karen Aston returns to Austin to take over the Longhorns. Coach Aston spent eight years as an assistant with Texas before having success as a head coach at Charlotte and North Texas. The Longhorns finished the 2011-2012 campaign with a losing record in Big 12 play and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to West Virginia without putting up too much of a fight. Coach Aston’s energy and enthusiasm will get this team back on track.

2011-12 Record: 18-14, 8-10
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karen Aston
Coach Record: First season at Texas, 101-63 overall

The return of Chassidy Fussell will make Coach Aston’s job a little easier. Fussell led the team last year with 16.3 points per game and added 4.4 rebounds. Fussell is a great shooter and she can be just as effective attacking the basket. The backcourt also returns Chelsea Bass, who was usually the first player off of the bench last season. This time around the 5-10 junior is ready to step into a starting role. Bass is a good shooter and that is how she usually made an impact off of the bench, but in a starting role she will be able to use her size more often to get to the basket. Even though three starters are gone, the Longhorns have plenty of options with starting experience. Cokie Reed started 20 games last season, Anne Marie Hartung started ten and Nneka Enemkpali started six. That is a lot of frontcourt experience right there. Reed, a 6-4 senior, will start in the post. She averaged 6.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game last season. Hartung is a bit of a better scorer than Enemkpali, but Enemkpali is a more versatile forward who will use her athleticism to attack the glass. If Coach Aston needs size, she can team up Hartung with Enemkpali. If she needs athleticism, Enemkpali is the answer. However, Enemkpali must find a way to stay out of foul trouble or her minutes may not increase much compared to last season.

Replacing Ashleigh Fontenette and Yvonne Anderson could be the issue that haunts this team for a little while. Finding another shot blocker to fill in for the departed Ashley Gayle will be an issue too. Fontenette and Anderson combined to average 9.1 assists per game…not to mention they were second and third on the team in scoring. Fussell and Bass are great guards who can certainly pick up that scoring slack, but neither are point guards. The Longhorns will have to look to their newcomers for a true point guard and that is always a dangerous situation.

Final Projection:
The good news is that Texas is bringing in a quality class with a nice mixture of talent and experience. Forward GiGi Mazionyte and guard Ashley Roberts both have experience at the junior college level and should be ready to come in and make an immediate contribution. That will give the incoming freshmen a little more time to get used to life in the Big 12. Center Imani McGee-Stafford is among the best recruits in this class. At 6-7 she is an imposing figure on both sides of the floor and she could be the shot blocking threat this team needs to help replace Gayle. That may not happen right away, especially since this team does not lack frontcourt depth, but it does give the Longhorns another option. Empress Davenport is the other top recruit headed to Austin and she may have to step right into regular rotation on the perimeter, but fellow newcomers like Celina Rodrigo and Brady Sanders will have the opportunity as well.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Ashley Roberts, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Chelsea Bass, Junior, Guard, 7.9 points per game
Chassidy Fussell, Junior, Guard, 16.3 points per game
Anne Marie Hartung, Junior, Forward, 4.6 points per game
Cokie Reed, Senior, Center, 6.2 points per game

Madness 2012 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#17 Imani Stafford
#65 Empress Davenport