In anticipation for Shaka Smart’s second season on the 40 acres, HornSports college basketball writer Chris Flanagan will go in-depth on the Texas men’s basketball team and on the college basketball season as a whole.
To get things started, Chris will recap last season on the 40 Acres and which players were lost.
2015-16 Season record: 20-13 (11-7 Big 12)
*How last season ended
A Northern Iowa buzzer beater ended the chance of a Texas-Texas A&M rematch in the second round. It was a shot that will live in infamy for years to come.
*Biggest Win: February 27th: Oklahoma
After losing to the Sooners on a Buddy Hield 3-pointer with 1.3 second to go in Norman, the Longhorns sought revenge against their hated rivals. It was a back and forth affair but when the Sooners held a 58-51 point advantage, the Longhorns reeled off a 25-5 run to win 76-63.
*Disappointing loss: February 29th: Kansas
On leap day, the Longhorns decided that they didn’t need to show up against Kansas. Two days after the epic win over Oklahoma, top-ranked Kansas came into Austin and put on a clinic that likely secured the overall #1 seed with a 30 point blowout. Texas didn’t score their first point until Kansas already had 15. It was one of the worst losses in Texas basketball history. Sure, the Northern Iowa loss was heartbreaking and the TCU loss was infuriating, but it was disappointing to see the Longhorns lay an egg after a huge win against a very good Oklahoma team. Texas simply wasn’t ready for prime-time.
*Players Texas Lost
*The most difficult piece to replace: Isaiah Taylor
Isaiah was the go-to guy for the Texas basketball team for 3 seasons. If you needed a play, he would be the player you gave the ball to. For reasons we may not fully understand, Isaiah Taylor decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the NBA draft despite all mock drafts having him being undrafted.
While there is hope that Kerwin Roach or another player can step up and be the “go-to” guy, it will still be an adjustment without Isaiah Taylor manning the point for the Longhorns.
*The “what could have been?” player: Cameron Ridley
Cameron Ridley will likely be the first to tell you that he was happy with his career at the University of Texas, as he should be. However, this is about what he could have been for the Texas Longhorns during conference play. He missed 20 games and was averaging a double-double before his injury. He could have become one of the greatest bigs to ever play at UT, instead he had a very good career.
While these were mostly Rick Barnes’ players, it was still a tremendous benefit to have 5 seniors and an All-Big 12 junior on the team. Now, the biggest issue is going to be overcoming the lack of experienced depth for the Texas Longhorns. There will be talent that Shaka Smart recruits/wants on his basketball team, but what remains to be seen is if it will be enough to compete for championships.
Texas begins the 2016-17 season on November 2nd against Angelo State
Texas Basketball Tied for 4th in Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll
Kansas Jayhawks take the top spot
The Big 12 Conference released its preseason coaches team rankings for the upcoming basketball season on Friday. The Longhorns find themselves tied for 4th, with the TCU Horned Frogs, in the field of ten teams. The Kansas Jayhawks top the poll for the eighth consecutive season, collecting all first-place votes and finishing with 81 total points. Kansas State and West Virginia round out the top 3, with 72 and 61 points respectively.
The Big 12 will hold its preseason media day on Wednesday, October 24 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, site of the 2019 Conference Tournament.
The Longhorns kick off their season against Eastern on Tuesday, November 6th against Eastern Illinois at the Frank Erwin Center.
Complete Big 12 Coaches Preseason Poll
Shaka Smart, Texas hoops secure commitment of 4-star PF/C Kai Jones
The Longhorns add their 2nd commit of the 2019 recruiting class
The Texas men’s basketball team received some good news on Monday evening when Kai Jones, a 4-star center from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, verbally pledged to the Longhorns. He held offers from more than 25 schools, including Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State, Georgetown, Texas, Baylor and Florida State. On September 23rd after visiting Austin, the 6-10, 205 lb. senior from Brewster Academy listed Baylor, Florida State and Texas in his final three.
— Kai Jones (@242_jones) September 23, 2018
Jones’ scouting report from ESPN reads: “An extremely athletic post player who is just scratching the surface of his ability. A hard working and active big man who shows touch facing the basket all the way to the 3 point line. Offensively he is more comfortable and effective playing a face up game in space.”
Although he plays center in high school, Texas is recruiting Jones as a power forward. Originally from the Bahamas, he transferred to Brewster Academy from Orlando Christian Prep in Orlando, Florida, where he won a state championship.
Jones is listed as the 53rd best prospect in the country in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and the 3rd best player in the state of New Hampshire. He joins Elkins High School (Missouri City, TX) shooting guard Donovan Williams in Shaka Smart’s 2019 recruiting class.
— Kai Jones (@242_jones) October 16, 2018
RT JakePerper: Kai Jones with the vicious slam. ocphoops overtime pic.twitter.com/ZPu9F14CSq
— The Coach Radar (@TheCoachRadar) February 12, 2018
Texas picks up commitment from 2019 4-star SG
The Longhorns secured their first commitment of the 2019 class from SG Donovan Williams earlier today
Shaka Smart picked up his first commitment in the 2019 class Wednesday morning, when Fort Bend Elkins SG Donovan Williams verbally pledged to the Longhorns. The 6’5, 180 pound guard took his official visit to Austin this past weekend, and it didn’t take long for him to pull the trigger. Williams chose Texas over Arizona State, Texas A&M, Miami and Georgia.
Williams is currently ranked as the 111th overall player in the 2019 class, according to the 247sports composite rankings.
Here are some highlights from Williams at the NBPA Top 100 Camp:
Jacob Young announces transfer from Texas Basketball program
University of Texas head coach Shaka Smart lost another player on Thursday, just two days after true freshman Mohamed Bamba announced his decision to leave school early and declare himself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft. Sophmore guard Jacob Young, who averaged 16.2 minutes and 6.2 points per game for the Longhorns this season, announced via twitter that he would seek a transfer.
Thanks to the coaches, teammates, and staff. After my past two years of experiences at UT, I am transferring. I wish Coach Smart and his program all the best. Jacob Young
— Jacob Young (@YEAHLILJ) March 22, 2018
“I appreciate all of the effort that Jacob has given to our University over the past two seasons,” said head coach Shaka Smart in a statement.
Young was a 4-star recruit out of Yates High School in Houston and was ranked as the 23rd best point guard in the country.
- Texas Fans in Arkansas October 20, 2018
- Commitment Spotlight: Peyton Powell October 19, 2018
- Commitment Spotlight: Marcus Washington (Daniel Seahorn) October 19, 2018
- Commitment Spotlight: Caleb Johnson (Jameson McCausland) October 18, 2018
- Commitment Spotlight: Myron Warren October 18, 2018
Featured10 months ago
Unchartered Territory: Longhorns Taking Advantage of Early Signing Period
Texas Longhorns Football1 year ago
GAME DAY: Longhorns host Kansas State Wildcats
Texas Longhorns Football1 year ago
Maryland Film Review: It Could Always Be Worse, Maybe
Big 123 days ago
Texas Football 2019 full schedule released
Featured9 months ago
Burnt Ends – 02/5/17
Texas Longhorns Football2 weeks ago
Sights from the Longhorns’ 48-45 win over Oklahoma
Texas Longhorns Baseball5 months ago
Texas Baseball: Super Regional Bound
Texas Longhorns Football10 months ago
Texas Bowl Staff Predictions – Texas vs. Missouri