#24 Texas Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Texas Longhorns

Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
#24 Texas Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Texas Team Page


It was a very successful season for Coach Karen Aston, as she took her Texas team to a 10-win improvement over the previous year and won a game in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. The Longhorns also clinched a third-place finish in the Big 12, their highest conference finish since 2005. What can Aston and the Longhorns do for an encore? They established themselves as one of the top, up-and-coming programs, but the top of the Big 12 may provide a summit not even Texas can reach. Texas has a lot returning, however, and a competitive schedule that should help the Longhorns reach 20 wins and a tournament berth one more time.

2013-14 Record: 22-12, 11-7
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karen Aston
Coach Record: 34-30 at Texas, 135-93 overall

The Longhorns were very successful when it came to shooting the ball from long range, as its 36.5 percent mark led the Big 12. While Texas was really good at shooting the three-pointer, it was better at prohibiting teams from clear shots at the basket. Texas allowed just 34.7 percent of opponents’ shots to reach the bottom of the net. The Longhorns were also excellent at cleaning the glass, with an 11.1 rebounding margin. The good news is two of the top three players from a year ago are back and should help the Longhorns establish a solid foothold in 2014-15. Nneka Enemkpali was a first-team selection in the Big 12 a year ago and she has returned, along with second-team selection Imani McGee-Stafford. Texas averaged a combined 22.8 points per game with these two, and their return should help galvanize an offense that will need to score points to keep up with other teams.

Where Texas was an excellent team at home, with a 14-2 record overall, it was only 4-8 on the road. If the Longhorns are to take that next step, they must start winning a few more games away from the Austin campus. The other area of weakness comes with the departure of honorable-mention Big 12 player Chassidy Fussell. Fussell was ninth on the Longhorns’ all-time scoring list with 1,717 points, so Texas will have to ramp up its scoring a bit in order to account for Fussell’s lost production. The Longhorns roster is quite young, as four freshmen and four sophomores are in the lineup.

Final Projection:
Texas isn’t shying away from the competition at all. After a couple of easy games to open the season, Texas has Stanford, UCLA and Tennessee on its non-conference slate. This should help the Longhorns get some bearing and a few difficult tests before Big 12 play starts. The fourth game of 2015 has Texas going up against West Virginia, and the Longhorns also face West Virginia in the second-to-last game of the regular season. The two tests with Baylor come fairly early in the league schedule, so Texas could gain some lost ground if it can’t compete with Baylor. The team will need to replace Fussell’s lost production, but the fact two of the top scorers are back and there is an influx of youth should give Texas a chance at doing well in league play. Expect another 20-win season, if not 25, and a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Celina Rodrigo, Junior, Guard, 3.9 points per game
Brady Sanders, Junior, Guard, 7.2 points per game
Empress Davenport, Junior, Guard, 6.8 points per game
Imani McGee-Stafford, Junior, Center, 10.8 points per game
Nneka Enemkpali, Senior, Forward. 12.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.7 (116th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.0 (39, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (43, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 34.7 (6, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (147, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.5 (21, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.1 (174, 8)
Rebound Margin: 11.1 (4, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.7 (83, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 18.2 (293, 10)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#14 Nneka Enemkpali

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#3 Ariel Atkins
#21 Brooke McCarty


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