After a recent victory against Kansas, Karen Aston said the game’s key player was someone who didn’t score a point.
The coach was referring to Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau, whose seven rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals told only part of the story. The 6-4 forward also had altered shots, boxed out and sparked a defense that held Kansas to 31 percent shooting from the floor in UT’s 55-41 triumph at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I’m a hustle player and I’m going to do whatever it takes for us to win a game,” Caron-Goudreau said during a practice break Friday at Cooley Pavilion.
Caron-Goudreau has established herself as a defensive stopper for a team that has plenty of good shooters. She leads the Longhorns with 35 blocked shots and has the fewest number of turnovers of anyone on the starting five.
“Whether she’s scoring or not, Audrey-Ann is someone who will give you max effort,” associate head coach Tina Thompson.
Audrey-Ann and twin sister Khaléann, also a Longhorns forward, were born in Gatineau (population: 277,000), a city in western Quebec, Canada. Although both were recruited by former Texas coach Gail Goestenkors, they chose to play at Vanderbilt.
After one season, Khaléann transferred to Texas and sat out one season per NCAA transfer rules. Audrey-Ann played her sophomore season at Gulf Coast (Fla.) State College before transferring to Texas as a junior.
“I should have come here first, but I guess everything happens for a reason,” Audrey-Ann said.
Audrey-Ann had a minor role with the Longhorns as a junior, averaging 3 points and 3 rebounds while playing 13 minutes a game.
That all changed when Texas announced an entirely new frontcourt combination this year. Caron-Goudreau and Jatarie White, a transfer from South Carolina, have started in 22 of UT’s 23 games and are two good reasons why Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation (out of 349 teams) in rebounding, averaging 12.5 boards more than their opponents per game.
Now playing 21.3 minutes a game, she averages 5.9 points and 5.1 rebounds a game.
Caron-Goudreau, who plans to graduate in May with a degree in sports management and a minor in business, aspires to play overseas next season. She also would like to be a coach someday.
Texas announced Friday that she will receive the Judy Dunn Award, given annually to a Longhorn who aspires to teach, coach or make a different in youth sports.
“If a basketball door opens up for me, I’ll definitely consider it,” she said.
Thompson describes Caron-Goudreau as “smart and it shows in her basketball game.” The senior has made a habit of watching film of every player she is about to face. She knows her opponent’s tendencies before they stop on to the court.
“She’d kind of like our go-to player (on defense) in the sense that she makes plays with her effort,” Thompson said. “It’s what we need and it’s what our guards depend on. We can be more aggressive, we can overplay, we can do things of that nature because we knew Audrey and Jatarie are back there and they’ll make the plays defensively.”