Texas guard Celeste Taylor enters the NCAA transfer portal

Tong Vu

Celeste Taylor, who has emerged as one the Longhorns’ top scorers this past season, has entered the NCAA transfer portal.  

Taylor finished the 2020-2021 season as the Longhorns’ second leading scorer at 12.3 points per game, and was set to take over as a top option with the departure of Charli Collier, who declared for the 2021 WNBA Draft last month.

A native of Valley Stream, New York, Taylor was one of the top prospects in the 2019 recruiting cycle. Per ESPN, she was graded as a five star prospect, and ranked the No. 40 overall player in the country.

The sophomore played a significant role in the Longhorns’ Elite Eight run in the 2021 NCAA tournament. In the upset victory over UCLA, Taylor led the way with an electric 24 points and five rebounds. In the Sweet 16 victory over Maryland, who was also heavily favored, Taylor came up big, again, with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Although her offensive production will be missed, it can be argued that her role on the defensive end will be harder to replace. Taylor led the Longhorns’ in steals this past season, and was often tasked with defending the opposing team’s top player.

Assuming Taylor decides to take her talents elsewhere, head coach Vic Schaefer will have several key players to replace. However, with the return of Audrey Warren and Joanne Allen-Taylor, and an incoming class that features three McDonald’s All-Americans, the Longhorns’ should expect to replicate, or exceed their success in 2021.