Tarleton Texans
Tarleton guard Jenna Dick was one of the best 3-point shooters in the WAC in 2021-22 and will have to score more 2022-23. Courtesy Tarleton Athletics.

Tarleton Texans Women’s Basketball 2022-23 Season Preview

Don’t let the record fool you. Tarleton State has more than held their own in their first two years of the transition to NCAA Division 1 membership. The Texans would’ve been a WAC tournament qualifier last year with an 8 win mark that could’ve been several higher. After losing their top 4 scorers from last years team (3 to graduation and 1 to transfer) there is still optimism about year 3 and their first tournament eligible season.

Head Coach:

Misty Wilson (138-93 Overall, 84-62 Lone Star Conference/WAC Play) 9’th Year

Last Year:

16-13 overall & 8-10 WAC (7th)

Key Losses:

Iyana Dorsey – Interconference Transfer to UTRGV

Malaya Kendrick – Graduated

Jurnee President – Graduated

Marissa Escamilla – Graduated

33.1 PPG and a combined 81 starts are gone with the departure of this quartet of players that Wilson will have to replace coming into the 2022-23 season.

Key Newcomers:

Mayra Caicedo 5-3, Gr., G (Transfer from Arkansas-Little Rock)

Starr Omozee 5-10, Gr., F (Transfer from UIW)

Karolina Szydlowska 6-0, Sr.,Β  F (Transfer from Arkansas State)

Tarleton did a solid job in the portal of adding upperclass veteran experience that has postseason tournament experience and a combined 84 starts among them…

Omozee was part of the UIW team that made a run to the Southland Tournament title after recording just five regular season conference wins and played No. 1 South Carolina in the first round in Columbia.

Caicedo was 35th nationally in assists a season ago as the Trojans finished fourth in Sun Belt Conference regular season.

Sydlowska made 15 starts in 21 games during the COVID shortened 2020-21 seasons.

Projected Starters:

Jenna Dick 5-8, Sr., G

Mayra Caicedo 5-3, Gr., G

Seynabou Thiam 6-6, [R}Jr., C

Karolina Szydlowska 6-0, Sr., F

Star Omozee 5-10, Gr., F

Breakdown

The big question for the Tarleton women’s basketball team is who will do all the scoring in 2022-23? Leading scorer Iyana Dorsey is gone to UTRGV. Malaya Kendrick, Marissa Escamilla and Jurnee President are gone. So the top-4 scorers from the 2021-22 season are gone. That is a lot to replace for head coach Misty Wilson.

Jenna Dick is back after shooting 43 percent from the 3-point line, good for second in the WAC. UIW transfer Star Omozee brings NCAA Tournament experience to the Texans. But, there are questions about her ability to score as she averaged just 4.7 points for the Cardinals in 2021-22. It seems all things will run through Little Rock transfer Mayra Caicedo. The small shifty guard was third in the nation in assists with 175 and assists per game at 6.7. Caicedo is also durable as she ranked 29th in minutes played and 55th national in minutes per game at 36.30.

Thiam and Szydlowska should be a formidable shot blocking duo in the paint and should score a little bit as well.

Seynabou Thiam led the WAC in blocks per game and total blocks with 63 in 2022-23. The 63 blocks were a Tarleton single-season record. In fact, Thiam was tied for 20th in the nation in shot blocks in 2021-22. Not too shabby for the 6-6 center from Dakar, Senegal. The one place that Thiam can improve is the offensive side of the floor. Thiam shot 45 percent from the floor but only averaged 6.3 points. The tallest player in the WAC will have to be more of an offensive presence if the Texans are to have the success head coach Misty Wilson is hoping for in 2022-23.

There is potential for a breakout season from the Tarleton women’s basketball team. Coming off a 16-13 season that featured a win over Oral Roberts, the Texans have the size and talent to compete in a loaded WAC.

Scheduling Tidbits:

The Texans revealed a solid non-conference schedule featuring two games against Power 6 opponents in Nebraska (Big Ten) and Vanderbilt (SEC). They’ll also make a trip to Puerto Rico just before Christmas. After starting the 2021-22 season at SEC foe Arkansas and taking a beating, Misty Wilson decided to change up how the Texans will start in 2022-23. Tarleton opens with a pair of non-DI opponents in Arlington Baptist and UNT Dallas.

Then the gauntlet begins. Road trips to the Power 6 opponents mentioned above with a home game against College of Charleston. A trip to Macomb, IL to face Western Illinois before a home contest against Weber State on Dec. 6. Add in Eastern Washington and Northwestern State before finishing up the regular season at an MTE against Ball State and Richmond.

Tarleton opens WAC play by hosting Abilene Christian before heading to UT-Arlington.

It’s a schedule with a nice mix of winnable games and challenges which can only make your program better heading into a retooled WAC.

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