Brooke McCarty was named the Big 12’s women’s player of the year on Wednesday, the first Longhorn to receive that honor since the league was formed in 1996.
And although Texas finished second behind conference champion Baylor in the regular season, the Longhorns swept most of the league’s major awards in a vote of league coaches.
McCarty, a junior guard, has become the Longhorns’ court general, leading the team in scoring (14.1 points per game), minutes per game (33.7), three-pointers made (68) and total assists (105). She’s second in the Big 12 in three-point shooting percentage and in assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Longhorns (23-7, 15-3 Big 12) are preparing for this week’s conference tournament.
“It’s a blessing,” McCarty said Wednesday. “I feel there are multiple people from the Big 12 who could have gotten this. … It’s a testament to my teammates and my coaches. They really pushed me this year.”
Karen Aston was voted the Big 12’s coach of the year, junior forward Brianna Taylor was selected as the league’s defensive player of the year and Joyner Holmes is the freshman of the year. Ariel Atkins, a junior, joined McCarty and Holmes on the league’s 10-player first team. Senior forward Kelsey Lang was named honorable mention; Holmes headlined the league’s all-freshmen team.
Aston, in her fifth season, has helped Texas re-establish itself a national contender. She’s 111-53 with the Longhorns, and this is the third time that the Longhorns, who are ranked 12th nationally, have gone 15-3 in Big 12 play.
Holmes has become a dominant force in her first season, winning Big 12 freshman of the week honors seven times. That included a streak of five straight weeks in January and February.
“When you get any awards, whether it’s a player’s award or a coach’s award, it reflects on your whole program,” Aston said. “It reflects on how hard everyone has to work to be successful. I’m enormously proud of our players and I told several of them it’s a product of hard work.”