Here’s who Texas women’s basketball lost and who’s replacing them

Taylor Hawthorne

Head coach Vic Schaefer made it perfectly clear after the Longhorns’ Elite Eight loss to South Carolina on March 30 that his team will be back next season to compete for a national championship.

“This is the standard,” Schaefer said after the loss. “If I’m doing my job, we’re playing on March 30 every year. If they’re doing their job as student-athletes, we’re practicing and playing every March 30.” 

While Texas will lose several key pieces from its Elite Eight run this past season, several returnees are set to fill their shoes. Here is who Texas lost, and the returning player that is next in line to replace them:

Departure: Junior center Charli Collier

Returnee: Freshman forward DeYona Gaston

DeYona Gaston, Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Texas lost its leading scorer in Collier, who went No. 1 overall in the 2021 WNBA Draft to the Dallas Wings. Collier was a Second Team All-American, but Gaston will attempt to fill Collier’s shoes in a similar role after coming back from a season-ending shin injury she suffered in January. In her freshman season, Gaston made strides in her playing time alongside Collier and junior forward Lauren Ebo, leading the team in blocks.

Gaston might not be able to match Collier’s innate rebounding ability and production, so the team around her must step up in that department to ease her transition. As the focal point in the paint, however, Gaston will need to lead the charge in rebounding if Texas wants to make another deep NCAA Tournament run.

Departure: Sophomore point guard Celeste Taylor

Returnee: Junior guard/forward Audrey Warren 

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Celeste Taylor, by Presley Glotfelty

After an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 season, Taylor announced her intentions to transfer to Duke via Twitter on April 10, citing her wishes to be closer to her family in New York.  

Taylor shined in the NCAA tournament for Texas, averaging 13.8 points over the Longhorns’ four games and getting named to the All-Hemisfair Region team. Her aggressive press defense and three-point shotmaking will be hard to replace next season. 


Audrey Warren, byEddie Gaspar

Junior guard Audrey Warren missed a portion of the season due to concussion protocols, but her relentless effort and ability to sacrifice her body for loose balls and to draw charges made her a fan favorite this past season.  

Warren’s defensive tenacity is much like the newly departed Taylor’s, and will be tough to counter as a guard/forward hybrid. She forced 34 turnovers last season despite missing eight games.



Departure: Graduate transfer point guard Kyra Lambert

Returnee: Junior guard Joanne Allen-Taylor

Stephen Spillman - Lambert_Kyra Texas wbb Tech0724
Kyra Lambert, Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Lambert is another key departure for the Texas roster who served as a veteran point guard in her lone season with the Longhorns. She had a knack for stepping up offensively in big games, such as when she scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the second round game against UCLA.

Texas has work to do with three of its top five scorers from this season moving on, but the return of rising senior Joanne Allen-Taylor will give the Longhorns a veteran presence in the back court at the point guard position. 

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Joanne Allen-Taylor, by Joshua Guenther

Allen-Taylor can score at a high clip, but she also creates opportunities for other Longhorns to score with the second-highest assist total on the team last season. Allen-Taylor also possessed the hustle and pure toughness that Schaefer praised her for early in the season when the team was struggling with their mental and physical toughness.

“Jo (Allen-Taylor), bless her heart, she was trying to tell them, ‘Man, it’s a dog fight, let’s go,’ she said that in the huddle,” Schaefer said after a loss to Oklahoma State on Jan. 27. “She’s the only one.”