Audrey Warren’s senior leadership lifts youthful women’s basketball squad

Amsal Madhani, Sports Reporter

This article first appeared in the Feb. 18, 2022 flipbook.

Following the 2020-21 season, Texas women’s basketball lost three of its players, including the top pick in the 2021 WNBA draft, Charli Collier. The shuffling left question marks around the team, specifically who would emerge as the leader of the young squad. 

Senior forward Audrey Warren has answered those questions with her play this year. Although she isn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard, averaging around nine points, four rebounds and two assists per game, she has brought a sense of consistency, fight and leadership to a team that needed it. 

“The thing you want from any player is just that consistency that you know what you’re going to get from her every day,” Texas head coach Vic Schaefer said Feb. 11. “I’m always going to get somebody who plays hard in Audrey. I’d like to have a player who plays hard and doesn’t throw the ball to the other team. Other than that, I know what I’m going to get from her.”

The one aspect of Warren’s game that sets her apart from others is her hustle. It doesn’t matter if the Longhorns are getting blown out or if there are only two minutes left in the game, Warren gives her all on the court. She puts her body on the line in key situations to help make a play and win the game. Even when she is significantly undersized compared to her opponent, Warren draws charges in the painted area consistently, as seen in her last matchup against Emily Ryan and Iowa State. 

It seems as if every game Warren plays, she draws a charge and gives maximum effort every second she’s on the floor. She fights for every rebound, dives for every loose ball and moves around consistently on the defensive end to prevent opposing teams from scoring easy buckets. 

Warren may not be an every-night starter at this point in the season, but her impact has not diminished in the ups and downs of her playing time.

“I’ve always viewed it as, it doesn’t really matter if you start or if you get 30 minutes or 20 minutes,” Warren said Feb. 11. “It’s more about what you do with the time that you’re on the court, so whether you come off the bench or you start, it’s the productivity that you’re giving the rest of the team.” 

Warren’s leadership has helped get the Longhorns to where they are today, currently the No. 14 team in the nation that just blew out No. 6 Iowa State. She has kept her team on track and ready to go for the latter half of this season with contributions on and off the court. 

With just a handful of games to go, Warren and the Longhorns are taking it game by game as they shoot for higher seeding in the Big 12 conference. 

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” Warren said. “We’re focused on Oklahoma tomorrow, and whatever’s after that is what we’ll focus on the next time.”