Potential No. 1 pick Charli Collier focused on Texas Longhorns season, not WNBA draft

Texas forward/center Charli Collier said she got lots of texts and social media messages after news broke Wednesday that the Dallas Wings had traded to get the No. 1 pick in the 2021 WNBA draft. Collier is a native of Mont Belvieu, Texas, about 30 miles east of Houston.

But Collier, a draft-eligible junior who has been projected as the potential top pick, said she doesn't expect to make a decision on whether she will leave Texas early for the April draft until after she has completed this college season.

"I feel like right now, as a player, I have to focus on this season," she said. "I do know, when the time comes at the end of the season, I will sit down with my mom and coach [Vic] Schaefer and we will, for sure, make a decision about that."

The 6-foot-5 Collier is eligible for the 2021 draft because she turns 22 this calendar year, in September.

Collier had a big game Wednesday, with 28 points, 19 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in a 64-53 victory against Oklahoma State in Austin, Texas. She played all 40 minutes. For the season, Collier is averaging 22.3 points, 12.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, and is shooting 51.6% from the field, which includes 11 3-pointers. The Longhorns are 14-5 overall and 8-4 in the Big 12, and face league leader No. 7 Baylor on Sunday (ESPN2, 5 p.m. ET) in Waco, Texas.

One of the players Collier faced Wednesday, Oklahoma State 6-4 senior forward Natasha Mack, is also projected as a potential WNBA first-round draft pick. Mack had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks versus the Longhorns. She played 28 minutes and had to miss part of the second quarter after receiving a cut on her face.

Collier said facing fellow post players the caliber of Mack is beneficial.

"When I do go to the WNBA, it's something I'm going to have to go against every night," Collier said. "So getting this experience right now is definitely going to help me. It's just getting me prepared for the next level."