Texas starter Celeste Taylor joins teammate Elyssa Coleman in the NCAA's transfer portal
Even though its basketball season ended on Tuesday, Texas has been dealt two more losses this week.
A team source has confirmed to the American-Statesman that both Celeste Taylor and Elyssa Coleman have entered their names into the NCAA's transfer portal. Inside Texas first reported on Taylor's decision. 247Sports broke the news about Coleman.
A true freshman this winter, Coleman was sidelined for the entire season because of a knee injury. An all-state honoree during her senior year at Humble Atascocita, Coleman signed with former Texas coach Karen Aston as a 6-3 forward.
For Texas, though, the bigger loss is the New York-raised Taylor.
Another source told the American-Statesman on Friday that Taylor made her decision to transfer after a year in which the pandemic kept her separated from her family back in New York. Before the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Taylor's family had only seen her play in-person during a game at West Virginia in January. The source insisted that Taylor felt no ill will towards Texas coach Vic Schaefer or any members of his staff.
Since her arrival ahead of the 2019-20 season, Taylor has started 52 times for Texas. Taylor's 12.3 points per game ranked second among the Longhorns this season. Taylor led the team in steals as a sophomore, and Schaefer consistently opined that she had been omitted from the Big 12's all-defensive team.
During her sophomore season, Taylor battled a foot injury. Still, the 5-11 guard caught fire in the postseason. Taylor averaged 13.8 points over UT's four games in the NCAA Tournament, and she was the only non-South Carolina player to make the All-Hemisfair Region team.
In a second-round upset of UCLA, Taylor matched her season-high with a 24-point effort. In this third round, Taylor hit a last-minute jumper to tie a game that sixth-seeded Texas eventually recorded a 64-61 win over second-seeded Maryland in.
The loss of Taylor leaves Texas without its top two scorers from this past season. Junior forward Charli Collier has already declared for the WNBA draft. Kyra Lambert, a graduate transfer and point guard, also won't be back.
Texas can still expect to retain the services of starters Joanne Allen-Taylor and Audrey Warren. UT's 2021 recruiting class features three McDonald's All-Americans and two highly-rated junior college prospects.