Preseason MVP: Tarleton will count on senior Alexa Hoy to lead the Texans on both ends of the floor in her second season with the Texans after transferring from UTEP.
The Ceiling: The transition to Division I and the WAC will not be an easy process for the Texans but if Emily Cunningham and Iyana Dorsey can make an early impact, Tarleton could realistically find itself near the middle of the conference standings at season’s end.
The Floor: If Tarleton struggles to adjust to life without Mackenzie Hailey and Kylie Collins, the Texans’ initial season in Division I and the Western Athletic Conference could find them trying to avoid the bottom of the conference standings late in the year.
Game of the Year: UTRGV
Impact-First Year Player: Emily Cunningham
Projected Starting Five:
G | 5-9 | Sr. | Rockwall, Texas
G | 5-10 | Jr. | Liberty Hill, Texas
G/F | 6-0 | Jr. | Italy, Texas
F | 6-3 | So. | Denton, Texas
F | 5-9 | Jr. | Burnet, Texas
The Tarleton women’s basketball program begins a year of transition on many levels in 2020-2021.
For starters, the Texans are beginning the first year of transitioning to NCAA Division I and joining the Western Athletic Conference.
Speaking of starters, the Texans will have a new look this year due to the graduation of Mackenzie Hailey and Kylie Collins.
"Having our first practice without those two ladies has been quite the adjustment but it's an opportunity for some other players to step up,” Tarleton head coach Misty Wilson said. “Those two ladies left a great legacy and example behind about the amount of effort and work you have to put in every single day.
"We've seen some of our returners use what they learned from Hailey and Collins and the new players are picking up on those standards."
Among the returning players to benefit the most for Tarleton is sophomore forward Callie Boyles.
"Callie Boyles really benefitted from being in practice with Mackenzie (Hailey) every day,” Wilson said. “She's come such a long way from when she was in high school and she was playing 11-15 minutes a game at the end of last season."
The cupboard is not bare for the Texans as junior Marissa Escamilla looks to build off an impressive sophomore season where she averaged 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds.
"She worked really hard over the summer,” Wilson said. “She didn't use COVID-19 as an excuse, and she has put us in awe with how improved she's been since we came back."
Tarleton will turn to a pair of returning guards to lead the team this year including Alexa Hoy who averaged 9.7 points and 2 rebounds per game last season and Kandyn Faurie who averaged 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game with most of her action coming off the bench.
Wilson added one of the top scorers in the DFW Metroplex to the Texans roster with Birdville native Iyana Dorsey.
Dorsey will be a key player early for Tarleton after the two-time TABC All-State selection averaged 24.9 points last season. She also brings a defensive presence to the Texans after being named the District 7-5A Defensive Player of the Year following her senior season.
"She does some things you can't coach,” Wilson said. “She's working really hard and soaking up a lot of information and I think she's going to open some eyes this year."