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Breakfast with Bevo: And, just like that, Texas’ Ariel Atkins is now a Washington Mystic

Posted April 13th, 2018


Good morning. Breakfast is served.

It’s Friday, April 13th. On this date, Barry Bonds hit his 661st career home run, passing Willie Mays on the all-time list (2004); NHL legend Mario Lemieux played his final regular-season game (1997); Lou Carnesecca retired as St. John’s men’s basketball coach (1992); Pete Rose became the first National League player to reach 4,000 career hits (1984) — 21 years to the day that he tripled to record his very first major league hit (1963); the $2 bill was reintroduced by the U.S. Treasury Department, part celebration of the U.S. bicentennial, part recognition of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday (1976); Apollo 13’s oxygen tank exploded on its way to the moon — but you’ve probably seen the movie (1970); and the Milwaukee Braves’ Hank Aaron played his first game (1954).


How ’bout them Horns?

It didn’t take long to find out how long Ariel Atkins would have to wait before going in Thursday night’s WNBA draft — she went seventh overall to the Washington Mystics, the third highest pick in Longhorns history.

The Mystics wanted a wing player that could be a scorer and a defender, head coach and general manager Mike Thibault said. Bingo. Atkins led Texas in both scoring and steals.

“I think that her basketball I.Q. and energy level is off the charts and I think that she proved over the course of her time at Texas that she is a very dynamic and efficient player.”

Brooke McCarty, however, wasn’t drafted. The 2017 Big 12 player of the year is going to have to make a team by earning a spot in someone’s training camp. “I think that Brooke is in the type of player that really needs someone to evaluate her in a sense of what she can do to help a team win — the intangibles that Brooke brings to the table,” UT coach Karen Aston said. “… I’m sure she’s disappointed, but opportunities will be left and right for Brooke.”

Here’s Rick Cantu’s story on Atkins. And here’s the Mystics draft story from the Washington Post; Thibault told the Post that he thought Atkins might be the fastest player in this year’s draft.

Nine Longhorns have been taken in previous WNBA drafts. A then-and-now look at them:

1999: Edna Campbell (1st round, 10th overall) — Played from 1999-2005 for Phoenix, Seattle, Sacramento and San Antonio. She’s now an advocate for breast cancer recovery, a speaker and an author.

2000: Edwina Brown (1st round, 3rd overall) — Played from 2000-06 for Detroit, Phoenix and Houston. Spent time as an assistant coach at SMU and TCU and now is a mentor, coach and teacher in the Dallas area.

2004: Stacy Stephens (3rd round, 37th overall) — Played one season for Detroit before heading overseas. She just finished her first season as an assistant coach at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.

2005: Jamie Carey (3rd round, 31st overall) — Played for the Connecticut Sun from 2005-09. After a four-year stint as the assistant women’s national team director for USA Basketball, she just completed her second season as Karen Aston’s assistant coach at Texas.

2005: Heather Schreiber (3rd round, 39th overall) — Never panned out in the WNBA.  She’s now Heather Stark and is the head coach at Windthorst, her alma mater.

2007: Tiffany Jackson (1st round, 5th overall) — She’s now Tiffany Jackson-Jones and is still playing. Has also played for the New York Liberty (2007-10) and Tulsa Shock (2010-11, 2013-15).

2010: Brittainey Raven (3rd round/33rd overall) — Played one season, for Atlanta.

2015: Nneka Enemkpali (3rd round/26th overall) — The knee injury she sustained in her final year at UT hindered her pro career. She’s currently working on Gonzaga’s coaching staff, serving as video coordinator.

2016: Imani McGee-Stafford (1st round/10th overall) — Drafted by Chicago, now playing for Atlanta. She was a member of the 2016 WNBA all-rookie team.


Ghim a Hogan semifinalist: Fresh off his finish as low amateur at the Masters, Doug Ghim was named a semifinalist Thursday for the Ben Hogan Award, given each year to the country’s top college golfer. Three finalists will be named on May 2 and the winner will be announced on May 21.

Ghim’s up against UNLV’s Shintaro Ban, Oklahoma State’s Zach Bauchou, Oklahoma State’s Viktor Hovland, Vanderbilt’s Theo Humphrey, Cal’s Collin Morikawa, Texas Tech’s Fredrik Nilehn and USC’s Justin Suh.

Volleyball’s done: Texas’ spring season is done. The scheduled match with Texas State for Thursday night was called off by the Bobcats earlier this week, and the Horns announced earlier Thursday that they were pulling out of this weekend’s F.A.S.T. Tournament in Houston.

UT linebacker Breckyn Hager celebrates after beating Baylor at McLane Stadium in Waco on Saturday October 28, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Around the Horns

Football: Texas let the media in for a sliver of Thursday’s practice. Brian Davis filed a story earlier on Breckyn Hager, who’s going to be a senior this fall and, thus, sees his Longhorns clock winding down. “So I’ve got to bring it,” he said. Here’s Brian’s story ($) and here are some practice observations from Danny Davis, including sightings of offensive lineman Patrick Hudson and running back Kyle Porter going through workouts, back from their injuries.

Baseball: Texas (22-13, 9-3 Big 12) plays at No. 16 Oklahoma (25-11, 8-1) in a conference showdown — the Sooners are leading the league but the Longhorns are right behind. Texas has won 13 of its last 17 games but is coming off a 6-5 loss Tuesday night at No. 22 Texas A&M.

Danny’s advance ($) is on the state of Texas pitching; don’t forget that OU coach Skip Johnson spent several years in Austin on Augie Garrido’s staff, and in fact he recruited several Horns from this year’s team.

This weekend’s pitching matchups:

Friday (6:30, Sooner Sports Network, 104.9): UT RHP Nolan Kingham (4-2, 4.14) vs. RHP Jake Irvin (5-0, 2.77)

Saturday (8, ESPNU, 104.9): UT RHP Chase Shugart (3-2, 4.86) vs. RHP Devon Perez (4-0, 2.61)

Sunday (1, ESPN2, 104.9): UT RHP Blair Henley (5-3, 2.92) vs. RHP Nathan Wiles (2-2, 4.04)

Softball: Texas (23-15, 6-0 Big 12) hosts Texas Tech  (21-19, 1-8) for a three-game series this weekend at McCombs Field. The Horns are off to a 6-0 start in Big 12 play for the fifth time in school history and the first since 2013.

The schedule — 7 p.m. Friday (LHN), 1 p.m. Saturday (LHN) and 11 a.m. Sunday (LHN)

Women’s basketball: Liberty Hill’s Sedona Prince, a 6-7 post who has signed with Texas, was named the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s player of the year for Classes A to 4A on Thursday. The McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand participant also was a Naismith Trophy second-team All-American. She was the No. 12 overall prospect in the country.

Men’s tennis: No. 19 Texas (12-5, 0-1 Big 12) hosts No. 11 Oklahoma State (20-4, 2-0) at 4 p.m. today and then No. 14 Oklahoma (17-2, 2-0) at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Texas Tennis Center. Both matches will be shown on LHN. … On Thursday, Texas signed Austin’s Nevin Arimili, who’ll arrive this fall. Arimili is from St. Stephen’s Episcopal and has been ranked as high as 36th nationally and No. 2 in the state among high school seniors. He’s been admitted straight into the McCombs School of Business, UT coach Michael Center said.

Women’s tennis: No. 5 Texas (16-4, 6-0 Big 12) hosts Iowa State (9-12, 0-5) at 1 p.m. today and then West Virginia (8-8, 1-4) at 1:30 Sunday at the Texas Tennis Center. History is on Texas’ side; the Horns are 21-0 all-time vs. the Cyclones and 5-0 all-time vs. the Mountaineers. Both dual matches will be carried on LHN.

Track and field: UT announced the pole vault field for Saturday’s Texas Invitational at Myers Stadium, and five Olympians will be here, including 2012 gold medalist and world indoor record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France. On the women’s side, gold medalist and world record holder Jenn Suhr will compete.

Women’s golf: Sophia Schubert is on the latest watch list for The ANNIKA Award, given each year to the top women’s college golfer. Makes sense. Schubert has recorded top-10 finishes in every one of her five tournaments, including four top-fives, and is ranked sixth nationally.

Rowing: Third-ranked Texas gets a crack at No. 1 Washington — the defending NCAA champion — at this week’s regatta in Las Vegas. Texas is coming off a sweep of Old Dominion and West Virginia last weekend. … Texas’ second varsity 8+ boat was named the Big 12’s boat of the week on Thursday. The 2V8+ crew (Allyson Hite, Blair Bartholomew, Sophie Pendrill, Courtney Crossley, Merilynn Finley, Jillian Renly, Kendall Chapman and Mick Jonkers) won both of its races in last week’s Big 12 Double Dual against West Virginia and Old Dominion.

Oklahoma’s 2016 recruiting class was bolstered by the transfer of former Texas &M quarterback Kyler Murray. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Around the Big 12

Have been waiting for a good reader on Kyler Murray, the former 5-star recruit from Allen who signed with Texas A&M and  then transferred to Oklahoma. Kind of like how Murray has been waiting to be in this position. He’s about to take over for a Heisman Trophy winner. And he can’t wait, so writes the Tulsa World. … And the Kansas City Star asked the question we’ve been wondering ourselves: So, just what does this FBI probe really mean for Kansas basketball, anyway? Meanwhile, the Lawrence Journal-World is wondering whether an independent review of Kansas athletics is needed and, in a separate story, researched the long-standing relationship between KU forward Silvio De Sousa’s guardian and the player’s family, a key part of the federal investigation. … One day after Texas lost an assistant men’s basketball coach, TCU hired one — Scott Cross, the former head coach at UT-Arlington who’ll now be an assistant for the Frogs. Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram story. … And Baylor addressed its need in the paint on Thursday by signing two centers (Flo Thamba, Ibby Ali) and are crossing fingers that Memphis guard Tyler Harris becomes a Bear on Friday; he’s set to announce between Baylor or Memphis at 10 a.m. today. … Speaking of Baylor, it was a rough 2017 season for the secondary. The Waco Tribune-Herald wrote about the Bears’ defensive backs this spring, painting them a little older, a little wiser and hopeful that 2018 will be much, much better. … The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote about senior cornerback Octavious Morgan, who transferred in from a junior college last year and had his ups and downs in 2017. Morgan says he had a hard time adjusting to the different level, but is ready for bigger things this fall. “It was a big difference, like the speed of the game. It really humbled me,” Morgan said Thursday. … Dalton Risner, the leader of Kansas State’s offensive line, thought about going pro but decided to return for his senior season. He told the Kansas City Star why.

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