Schools within 90 miles of Austin (Baylor and Texas A&M) having won the last two national championships. Texas, meanwhile, last won an NCAA Tournament game in 2008 and last made it to a regional semifinal in 2004. To return to the glory days of Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt, the Longhorns have turned to one of her former assistants. Karen Aston, who also spent time at Baylor before taking over as coach at North Texas, will try to get Texas back near the top of the Big 12 standings and make the Longhorns a factor in March Madness.
Coach: Karen Aston, 1st season at Texas. 101-63 in 5 seasons.
Last season: 18-14 overall, 8-10 in Big 12, tied 6th.
Post seaon: Lost in first round of NCAA Tournament.
Junior guard Chassidy Fussell (16.3 pprg, 4.4 rpg), senior post Cokie Reed (6.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Neka Enempkali (3.8 ppg, 5 rpg), junior forward Anne Marie Hartung (4.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), freshman post Imani McGee Stafford, freshman guard Empress Davenport, freshman guard Celina Rodrigo.
Coach Aston says
"I think we have to change our mindset with our current team. I think it would be unfair to our players right now for me to jump ahead and say I've got to get better players ... So I think the most important thing is what we do between the lines. I think we need to get between the lines, get a different mindset. Every single thing you do has to matter. I think that really is where we have to start. The other things will take care of themselves."
Travis Mays, one of the top scorers for the UT men's basketball team who graduated in 1990, has been hired as Aston's top assistant. ... Nadia Taylor, a 5-8 senior who started 4 seasons at third base for UT's softball team, will spend her final season of collegiate eligibility on the basketball team. ... Imani McGee Stafford, a 6-7 freshman, is the daughter of former USC player Pamela McGee and the younger sister of Javale McGee, who plays for the Denver Nuggets. ... Chassidy Fussell finished the 2011-12 season tied for second nationally in free throw percentage (.905, 86-of-95). She connected on her final 24 attempts of the season.
Nov. 9 vs. St. John's
Top nonconference games
Dec. 8 vs. UCLA
Dec. 16 Tennessee
Dec. 28 vs. Iowa
Jan. 2 at Iowa State