Most Improved Player
Brady Sanders: While Brady Sanders’ name appeared at the beginning of the year, it definitely appeared a lot more frequently toward the end of the season. The redshirt freshman was a key player off the bench and brought a spark and enthusiasm to the court when needed. While her season statistics weren’t suburb, she ended the year with 4.4 points per game with 73 turnovers and 53 assists, giving energy to the team down the stretch when Texas needed it most.
Cokie Reed: Reed came into the season as the most hyped player on this Texas team. Head coach Karen Aston looked to her as a “team mom” to teach her young teammates the ropes. However, in early January, Reed and teammate Chelsea Bass announced their retirement from the team. Reed stated the cause to be “exercise-induced hypertension” and said it was time for her to focus on things other than basketball. While Imani McGee-Stafford did a good job of replacing her, another strong presence in the paint might have given Texas a few more wins on the board.
C+. Aston came into her first season as the Longhorns’ head coach with a lot of expectations, but she had many obstacles to work around. Most of the freshmen and new players coming in were signed under former head coach Gail Goestenkors. In addition, Aston was given a very young and inexperienced team to work with that she brought to maturity by the end of the season. However, Aston has had experience as a head coach before Texas. She was head coach at Charlotte for four years before she spent one season at North Texas. In addition, she spent eight years at Texas as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt. With her experience and knowledge it took a little too long for her team to mesh and fix some consistent key mistakes in the beginning of the season.
Chassidy Fussell: The junior out of Tennessee led the Longhorns in almost all parts of the offense this season. She tallied 14.2 points a game with a 78.9 shooting percentage. However, she was more than a leader on the court. As the oldest player on the team she lead her young squad of Longhorns off the court as well. After a small slow streak in the middle of the season, according to Aston, she spent countless hours in the gym trying to get her shot back and be a role model for her team. Fussell will come back next year with the potential to be an even bigger threat for Texas on both sides of the ball.