• Longhorns set for final tuneup before Big 12 tournament

    The Longhorns will wrap up their regular season at the Ping ASU Invitational today through Sunday in Tempe, Arizona. 

    The tournament will be a good warm up opportunity for Texas, who will compete next in the Big 12 tournament April 22-24. The field consists of eight teams inside of the top 20, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 Alabama and No. 5 Northwestern. 

    The Longhorns are coming off of a fourth place finish at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Hawaii at the end of March. Texas finished 10-over par in the tournament while junior Julia Beck led the team with a sixth place finish at two-under par. 

    No. 11 Arizona won the tournament last year at three-under par while Arizona State’s Monica Vaughn and Texas’ Bertine Strauss split the individual title in 2015.

    The Longhorns’ line up for this weekend will consist of Beck, senior Natalie Karcher, juniors Haley Mills and Anne Hakula and sophomore Sophia Schubert. 

  • No. 17 Texas plays No. 8 Oklahoma State

    The Longhorns will take on No. 12 Oklahoma State on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Polo Tennis Club. 

    Texas begins the home stretch of the 2016 dual-match season with a challenging schedule of conference matches in the coming weeks. The Big 12 Conference features all six of its men’s tennis programs in the top-50 of the latest ITA team poll, including five teams among the top-20. 

    Texas takes on more than half of its conference schedule this coming week, including this past weeks’ match at Baylor and this weekend’s home matches against No. 12 Oklahoma State and No. 9 Oklahoma.   

    The Longhorns’ suffered a 2-4 defeat against Baylor on Tuesday, but has still won 11 of its last 13 matches heading into Friday’s conference match at home.

    Redshirt freshman Julian Zlobinsky and freshmen Rodrigo Banzer and Harrison Scott are each off to strong starts in their college careers.

    Banzer made his collegiate debut during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event against Florida and secured a win at No. 5 Wake Forest. Zlobinsky has a 10-4 record in dual-match play, and Scott, who fell out of the ITA rankings this week, has claimed nine dual-match wins at No. 2 singles. 

    The Longhorn will also play Oklahoma and Prairie View A&M on Sunday at the Polo Tennis Club at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively. 

  • Taylor to declare for the NBA draft

    Texas junior guard Isaiah Taylor will declare for the 2016 NBA Draft, the team announced today.

    However, Taylor will not hire an agent, which keeps a potential return to Texas for a senior season open.

    A recent rule change allows Taylor to declare for the draft but opt to return within 10 days after the combine if an agent is not hired.

    Taylor led Texas with 15 points-per-game and five assists this past season.

  • Smart to coach USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team

    USA Basketball announced Texas head coach Shaka Smart will lead the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Chile.

    Smart will be joined by UConn head coach Kevin Ollie and Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.The team is going for a fourth-straight U18 gold medal and could qualify for the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship with a top-four finish.

    "It's a tremendous honor to coach the USA U18 National Team and represent our country in international play," Smart said in a press release. "The opportunity to work with Kevin Ollie and Mark Turgeon is something I'm extremely excited about. They are two of the best coaches in the country, and I'm looking forward to learning a great deal from each of them."

    Smart was an assistant during the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, where USA won gold medals each time.

    "With his experience from the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, Shaka Smart is an excellent choice to lead the 2016 USA U18 National Team," said Jim Boeheim, Syracuse head coach and chair of the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee.

  • Akinosun wins Athlete of the Week award

    Texas' Morolake Akinosun competes in the women's 100-meter dash during the Texas Relays, Saturday, April 2, 2016, in Austin, Texas.
    Texas' Morolake Akinosun competes in the women's 100-meter dash during the Texas Relays, Saturday, April 2, 2016, in Austin, Texas.

    Senior Morolake Akinosun claimed the Big 12 Athlete of the Week on Wednesday following her record-setting performance in the Texas Relays. Akinosun became the first woman to win the 100-meter race three consecutive years at the Relays, clocking in at 11.07 seconds. The time was her best of the year and currently ranks as the No. 1 time in the world for 2016. 

    In addition to her individual success, Akinosun participated in the Longhorns’ 4x400 relay team. The 4x400 group clocked in at 3:26.54, good for the top spot in the nation and sixth all-time in the Longhorns’ record book.

    Akinosun became the third Longhorn to win Athlete of the Week in 2016, joining Ariel Jones and Asa Garcia. Jones and Garcia shared the award following the season’s opening week.

    Big 12 Athlete of the Week marks just another accolade in Akinosun’s accomplished career. Akinosun holds the Texas record in the 200 meters and joined Jackie Joyner-Kersee as one of two women to score in four events in consecutive years.

    The Texas Relays served as one of the finest points in Akinosun’s career. But the senior from Aurora, Illinois, isn’t done yet. The Longhorns still have four events before the Big 12 Championships in May, beginning with the LSU Alumni Gold on April 23.