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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Danni+Williams+and+Taylor+Cooper
Photo by Photo by: Alexis Will
Danni Williams and Taylor Cooper

As the Texas A&M women’s basketball team prepares for the season opener, it comes freshly armed with new weapons.

The inability to consistently make three-pointers hindered the Aggies last year. This year it appears the Aggies will not have this problem, as the team looks toward the sharp-shooting duo of freshman guard Danni Williams and junior forward Taylor Cooper.

“Do you remember how bad we’ve been the last two years at shooting the three ball?” head coach Gary Blair said after the Aggies’ exhibition win over Texas Wesleyan. “Well, now I’ve got kids that can shoot the three ball.”

Williams and Cooper’s basketball careers closely mirror each other. Both were highly-touted players out of high school; Williams was a five-star recruit and the first three-time Gatorade Player of the Year. Cooper was a former McDonalds All-American who led her Oklahoma high school team to a perfect season and a state championship in her senior year.

Williams set her high school’s single-season scoring record during her sophomore season and proceeded to break it twice in her junior and senior years. 

“It was a goal that I had, just getting better and breaking those records, so it was cool to see it all work out in the end,” Williams said.

Cooper transferred to Texas A&M after playing one season at Oral Roberts, where she earned Honorable Mention All-Southland Conference recognition. After sitting out a year due to NCAA rules and spending most of her sophomore year learning the new system, Cooper said she is finally getting comfortable in Reed Arena. 

“The first couple years it was a little bit difficult,” Cooper said. “The speed of the game was a lot different. The type of opponents that we were playing was different, but other than that, this year I think I’m just a lot more confident in myself.”

Blair said he is happy with the way Cooper is progressing, but thinks she would have developed faster had she come to A&M straight out of high school.

“I just wish she would have started here,” Blair said. “But right now, we’ve got Cooper completely healthy, and she’s doing some nice things. She’s not afraid to make a play right now.”

Both Williams and Cooper said they plan to pursue careers in coaching when they are done playing collegiate basketball. 

“I’ve always wanted to be involved in the game,” Williams said. “I know I’m not going to be able to play forever, so that’s a way that I think I can help impact others and change their life.”

Senior point guard Jordan Jones said the team is looking towards the two for their outside-shooting ability this season. 

“Danni and Coop are our best, most consistent three-point shooters,” Jones said.

Williams said the two quickly became friends, as they spend much of their time together in the gym putting up as many shots as possible. 

“We do have a little bit of a special bond just because we are, like, the two shooters … We embrace that role and try to do it to the best of our ability,” Williams said. 

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