April/May 2003 (v5 i6)
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Lady Longhorns finally getting press
Coach Conradt's women impress slight Erwin Center crowd with great passes, lay-ups
by Jake Wilburn, Associate Editor

AUSTIN — The Lady Longhorns basketball team recently concluded an exceptional season highlighted with their own thrilling brand of moderately paced action and top-notch sportsmanship. Though their luck fell short in the Final Four, wild and wooly, down-to-the-wire games resulting in scores as close as 49-44 attracted remarkably large crowds that occasionally occupied even the balcony level of the Frank Erwin Center.

"In all of my experience with the electrifying sensationalism that is Women's Basketball," Assistant Coach Denae Soho commented proudly, "I have never coached a group of gals that can display such versatility and razzle-dazzle at the same time. Bounce pass, chest pass, whatever—these ladies did it with style and the crowd certainly responded."

As Lady Longhorn fever began to spread across UT's spirited and receptive campus, even those unable to attend any of the games attest to having felt some enthusiasm towards the team's success, in fair weather though it might have been.

"I usually read the sports page of the Texan on the bus," says Government junior Chris Remington, "And according to the headlines, the girl team did good or something. I've got to say, I almost found myself giving a shit."

Many of the players have explained that this season's praise-worthy accomplishments are less the results of individual skill than of indispensable teamwork and the "super friendships" forged between the women. Though the team obviously spent a proper amount of time running rigorous lay-up drills and practicing their trademark techniques of both zone and woman-to-woman defense, they also focused intensely on creating "cool pump-up cheers, after-bucket handshakes, and neat nicknames," as forward Tracy 'All Star' Leclair outlines.

The team also gives a substantial amount of credit to their loyal fans; a group that bears striking resemblance in size and relative status to those enthusiasts one might find in the bleachers of a high school band or escadrille competition.

Robin 'Bankshot' Billiams expounds her appreciation: "We really couldn't have done what we did without the support of our close friends and family. They did a great job of paying attention, sometimes cheering, providing us with sodas after the games, and pretty much constituting our entire fan base."

Though, perhaps, not everyone is as stalwart a fanatic as those closely related to the team members, the rip-roaring excitement of Lady Longhorn hoops, which one sports analyst deemed comparable only to that of a televised city council meeting, entertained non-sexist viewers across the nation during the 2002-2003 season. ESPN basketball commentator Dick Vitale recently applied his patented kooky gloss to the titillating nature of the UT team.

"Yes! The Lady Longhorns perform well at the game of basketball! They won more games than many other teams! Oh baby!"

By next season, the women plan to build even more on their already-stellar skills and team spirit, and hope to receive the respect their efforts merit establishing a popularity and turnout relative to the UT Rowing team, Archery Club, or the Austin Ice Bats.
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