Sophomore guard Karisma Ortiz knew she was going to transfer to Texas to play basketball back in May, just after her last visit to the Forty Acres. She fell in love with the campus and the culture, and her family could tell that her mind was made up.
The Longhorns’ season opener against Northern Colorado was the start of many things: the 2019-2020 season, head coach Shaka Smart’s fifth year with the team and the freshmen’s careers at Texas. In a game that saw the Longhorns start the season 1–0, one freshman in particular had a performance he will always remember.
Last season, the Longhorns won one of the more disappointing national championships in Texas sports history. A season filled with March Madness expectations ended without an NCAA Tournament berth but with an National Invitational Tournament title.
The “Big Three” era diminished this summer as tenacious twosomes formed throughout the NBA, adding a heightened level of intrigue to the regular season. Among all the transactions, former Longhorns made their way to new teams.
A 437-acre campus, dorm living, time management and other factors make it challenging for students to develop a routine and get comfortable. For the freshmen of the Texas basketball team, that challenge isn’t any different.
Senior forward Joyner Holmes embodies the comeback story. Since the conclusion of her freshman season in 2017, Holmes’ tenure at Texas has been characterized by a constant battle to get back on the court.