AUSTIN – In just her second season at the helm, Texas coach Karen Aston has wasted no time placing her unique blend of defensive intensity and offensive execution into play. In a Big XII known for it’s depth from top to bottom, those two components are key on a daily basis. The Longhorns brought just that to the Frank Erwin Center last Wednesday. Here’s a look at what this year’s roster taught us.
1) In the face of adversity, the Longhorns would not be divided.
Against a nationally ranked Oklahoma team, the Longhorns battled through first half adversity as they were down 12 at halftime. Aston’s team looked like they were down for the count on multiple occasions late in the first half but hung around long enough to get in a rhythm. Newly hired Texas essay writing work from home football coach Charlie Strong took to the floor during a timeout in the second half to get the crowd to their feet after the Horns cut the deficit to one. In front of over 7,000 screaming fans, the home team tied the game and sent it to overtime. In the extra period, Texas took control of the game and four free throws from Trinity Valley CC guard Krystle Henderson iced this one.
2) Imani McGee-Stafford and Nneka Ememkpali have to stay out of foul trouble.
McGee-Stafford was a high school All-American and the No. 10 ranked prospect coming out of Windward High School two years ago. The 6-foot-7 sophomore center backed those accolades up with a freshman campaign that garnered her Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. She was in and out of the game eventually fouling out of the game. Though they found a way to win versus Oklahoma, the Longhorns can’t afford to have her on the bench for long stretches of time make my homework during conference play. The same goes for her front court partner in crime Ememkpali. The junior forward finished last season less than a rebound short of averaging a double-double per contest. Like McGee-Stafford, Ememkpali uncharacteristically struggled to find her groove while dealing with foul trouble.
3) This team definitely has more than one Lone Star.
In looking at the post game box score, it’s evident that this year’s roster is built on a multitude of players capable of producing on any given day. On this day, Sr. GiGi Mazionyte and Fr. Kelsey Lang emerged throughout the game as key producers though neither got the starting nod. Texas also got key minutes and production from So. Empress Davenport who forced Oklahoma’s leading scorer Aaryn Ellenburg into a tough second half and overtime. Ellenburg came out scorching out with 24 first-half points. Davenport locked in after the first intermission and Ellenburg went 4-for-13 afterwards.
4) Karen Aston and her staff have their players undivided attention.
The new age essay writing thesis statement adage “real recognizes real” gives a head nod of respect to the hard working, detail-oriented people of the world. For Aston’s staff – Travis Mays, Jalie Mitchell and George Washington – that means sharpening their craft on a daily basis. It’s easy to see that their players are not only paying attention to their coaches work but respect it. Sophomore wing Brady Sanders got up extra shots before the game with Washington. During the workout, Washington talked about different game scenarios that Aston has been wanting Sanders to be more assertive before showing her . Less than 45 minutes after the win over Oklahoma, the staff was back at it as Aston and Mitchell talked calendars and scheduling while Mays and Washington began the video prep for the upcoming West Virginia game. Their dedication and attention to detail is not going unnoticed by the fan base either with a great mid-day turnout for the game.
5) More firepower is on the way.
Aston’s staff has no prlagiarism paper writing service blazed a trail straight through their home state picking up verbal commitments from top level prospects all the way into the class of 2018. In the incoming freshman class, the Longhorns will welcome the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class per ProspectsNation.com and arguably the nation’s top wing player in Ariel Atkins of Duncanville, Texas. For four years, she’ll play alongside fellow backcourt mate and No. 12 Brooke McCarty of League City, Texas. In the 2015 class, Aston has secured commitments from No. 6 Lashann Higgs of Round Rock, Texas and No. 21 Jordan Hosey of Manvel, Texas. There should be no shortage of athleticism, skill and scoring in Austin for years to come.
Brandon Clay is the owner of the JumpOffPlus.com International Report, Peach State Basketball, Inc., and ProspectsNation.com. The JumpOffPlus.com is picked up by more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the Elite Basketball Academy Camps. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com