When former Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor decided to forego his senior season and take his talents to the NBA, there was a glaring hole on the talented Texas roster coming into the season. The Longhorns lack a true point guard, one who knows when to facilitate for others, and one who knows when to make plays for himself. Taylor would have also been the only senior on the roster, bringing much needed experience.
On Monday, Shaka Smart landed Oak Hill Academy point guard Matt Coleman, the No.26 player in the nation to his 2017 recruiting class, which already includes three four-star commits in guard Jase Febres and forwards Jericho Sims and Royce Hamm. Coleman chose Texas over Duke, marking the second time in as many years Shaka Smart has landed a top-flight recruit over a blue blood basketball school (Center Jarett Allen committed to Texas over Kansas). Coleman has been recruited by Smart since he was in the eighth grade, when Smart was just getting started at VCU. Coleman played for Smart at the FIBA under-18 World Championships, further cultivating their relationship.
â€œItâ€™s the perfect fit,â€ Coleman said.
Coleman is a pass first, playmaking point guard, something Texas desperately needs. Kerwin Roach and Andrew Jones have assumed the duties this year, but havenâ€™t been able to get the offense going in the right direction. With Coleman running the show, Roach and Jones can have a lot more time off the ball, where they are more comfortable. Coleman plays an off-the-dribble style of point guard, getting into the lane and dishing to the teammates around him. At Texas, he will have multiple outside shooters to get the ball to. Texas can run a lot of three guard lineups with the addition of Coleman (something Smart ideally wants), giving more freedom to guys like Eric Davis and Jase Febres to move about the court in a way they are not able to with the current point guard situation.
While there are multiple reasons Texas is struggling on the hardwood this year, one of the main reasons is the lack of a pure point guard. In the 2017 class, Matt Coleman is about as pure as it gets. One would be hard-pressed to find a better fit for any program in the country than Coleman and Texas, and despite the on the court struggles this season Shaka Smart got his biggest win of the year on Monday.
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.
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