Texas center Charli Collier (35) goes to the basket as teammate Celeste Taylor looks on during a game against Ohio at the Erwin Center on Dec. 18, 2019. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

BEVO BEAT Women's Basketball

Texas’ women to enter the 2020-21 basketball season unranked in AP’s poll

Posted November 10th, 2020

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When Texas takes the court on Nov. 25, it will have something to prove to the nation.

On Tuesday, Texas was not ranked in the Associated Press’ preseason poll for the 2020-21 women’s basketball season. The Longhorns received 24 points from the poll’s 30 voters. That was the 26th-best total, but UT missed the cutoff by a healthy margin as No. 25 Michigan earned 65 points.

South Carolina topped the 25-team poll and received 29 of the 30 first-place votes. The Big 12 was represented in the poll by No. 4 Baylor and No. 15 Iowa State.

Last season, Texas went 19-11 and was not acknowledged in the AP’s final rankings. Still, UT likely would have reached the NCAA Tournament had that event not been cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic. Texas chose to not renew Karen Aston’s contract during the offseason, and Vic Schaefer was lured away from Mississippi State. (Schaefer’s old team is ranked sixth in the AP’s preseason poll.)

Texas lost four of its top six contributors from last season’s team, but All-Big 12 forward Charli Collier is back after averaging 13.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Celeste Taylor also started 26 times last year. Texas point guard Kyra Lambert, who is a graduate transfer from Duke, was recently placed on the watch list for the Nancy Lieberman Award.

The first game on UT’s schedule is a home game against SMU on Nov. 25. This winter, Texas will play five games against three teams — Baylor (Feb. 14, March 1), Iowa State (Jan. 3, Jan. 23) and No. 13 Texas A&M (Dec. 6) — that were ranked in the AP’s preseason poll.

The American-Statesman casts one of the 30 ballots for the AP’s poll. Below is how the American-Statesman’s Danny Davis voted. Last season’s records are listed in parenthesis:

  1. South Carolina (32-1)
  2. Connecticut (29-3)
  3. Baylor (28-2)
  4. Stanford (27-6)
  5. Arizona (24-7)
  6. Louisville (28-4)
  7.  Mississippi State (27-6)
  8. North Carolina State (28-4)
  9.  Maryland (28-4)
  10. Oregon (31-2)
  11. Kentucky (22-8)
  12. UCLA (26-5)
  13. Iowa State (18-11)
  14. Texas A&M (22-8)
  15. Arkansas (24-8)
  16. Northwestern (26-4)
  17. Indiana (24-8)
  18. Gonzaga (28-3)
  19. Oregon State (23-9)
  20. Ohio State (21-12)
  21. Syracuse (16-15)
  22. DePaul (28-5)
  23. Missouri State (26-4)
  24. Texas (19-11)
  25. Notre Dame (13-18)

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