Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Longhorns seeking third straight conference win against Oklahoma State

Jack Myer

Usually, Texas doesn’t have any problems with its men’s and women’s basketball teams playing organized games and practicing on the same court at the Frank Erwin Center. COVID-19, however, is putting the women’s team in close proximity to a forming cluster.

Men’s head coach Shaka Smart announced Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19, and Smart’s team has three players who missed their Tuesday night game against Oklahoma due to virus-related protocols. 

Meanwhile, the women’s team has not had to deal with the COVID-19 obstacles the men’s team has, but that doesn’t mean they, or head coach Vic Schaefer, are resting on their laurels just yet.

When asked about how he is personally handling the COVID-19 pandemic, Schaefer, who is 59 years old, said he is trying his best to avoid the virus while still coaching his team.

“Let’s face it, it’s all around me,” Schaefer said. “You know the old shooting gallery at the carnivals and the ducks are going across and you’re trying to shoot them with a BB gun? I feel like … I’m walking by, and I’m ducking everywhere I’m going.”

Schaefer credited his girls for following health and safety protocols outside of the gym but said he is trying to keep their spirits up while they deal with the pandemic.

“Can y’all imagine at age … 18 to 22, having to live with the restrictions that these kids are living with right now?” Schaefer asked. “It can’t be a whole lot of fun, y’all. I have to keep that (in mind) and try to make this where basketball can be our fun and be our release.”

Winning basketball games makes the sport a lot more fun, and the Longhorns have done that lately. After dropping one of their last three Big 12 games, Texas has bounced back with two straight conference victories. 

This past Saturday, the Longhorns knocked off then-No. 24 Iowa State on the road for the team’s first win against a ranked opponent under Schaefer. The win was especially impressive considering Texas was without junior forward Audrey Warren and freshman forward DeYona Gaston.

“(Before the game) they go, ‘Coach, let’s go get them. We’re in the press. That’s what we are. That’s what we’re about. We’re good,’” Schaefer said. “And so you like that they take ownership in that and they came out focused, I thought, with that in mind.”

Texas will not receive any more attrition when they face off against Oklahoma State on Wednesday. Warren will miss her second consecutive contest due to concussion protocol and Gaston is out for the year after undergoing shin surgery. The absence of these two has served the Longhorns with a host of depth issues, said Schaefer.

“We’re down a starter and a half really,” Schaefer said. “DeYona Gaston started for us some in conference, and of course, Audrey (Warren) has started all year. You start putting their points together, I think it’s over 20 points a game for the season.” 

However, junior center Charli Collier will be suiting up for the Longhorns on Wednesday night. Collier recently earned her second Big 12 Player of the Week award and is averaging a double-double this season.

“Somebody asked me, do I think she’s the best player in the league,” Schaefer said. “Right now she’s playing like it, she certainly is. Again, I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s doing a great job for us.”

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Longhorns seeking third straight conference win against Oklahoma State