Clint Chapman came to Texas all the way from Canby, Oregon. Â In the year that Oregon produced NBA superstar Kevin Love, and career 2,000 point scorer at Duke Kyle Singler, Clint Chapman was the 3rd best player coming out of the state of Oregon. Â Longhorn fans were excited and figured the Rivals.com’ 69th ranked 6’10 big man would have an immediate positive impact on the Horns. Â But Chapman struggled early on. Â He was fighting future NBA players Damion James and Dexter Pittman, as well skilled big men Connor Atchley and Matt Hill for playing time. Â Chapman rarely saw the floor his first year. Â He was thin, he didn’t move his feet very well and he didn’t really seem like he liked being out there. Â Opposing teams would go inside as soon he came into the game. Â He seemed nervous the whole year and never really got comfortable.
Chapman improved over the next 2 years, but not enough to get significant playing time. Â He would come in for spot duty, and each time look more impressive than the last. Â It came as no surprise to me and others who follow the Texas program when Clint decided to redshirt last season. Â The move might seem like a selfish move to outsiders, but it was really a selfless move. Â Texas thought Tristan Thompson would be the only big man they had coming back after last season, and playing in the Big 12 with only 1 guy over 6’10 would be tough. Â So Chapman did the right thing for the team and redshirted, so he could come back and help the Longhorns this year. Â We all know how that turned out. Â Thompson enjoyed one of the finest Freshman seasons in Texas history and was drafted 4th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That meant Clint Chapman, yes Clint Chapman, the guy who had averaged less than 10 minutes per game every season he was a Longhorn would now be the Longhorns’ starting center. Â The only post player over 6’10. Â He would be the guy the Longhorns would count on to guard other teams’ bigs, to control the paint defensively, and to score easy baskets in the paint. Â To be honest, before the season started, I didn’t think Chapman would be up to the task. Â He has since proved me wrong. Â When J’Covan Brown was hurt, his 19 points and 14 rebounds carried the Longhorns at Iowa State. Â When matched up against Kansas, who has best front court in the conference, Chapman more than held his own. Â He scored 15 points, pulled down 9 rebounds and blocked 4 shots. Â His play to this point has been great. Â He’s averaging 7 points, 5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Â His 79% free throw shooting average has also really been an asset for the Longhorns. Â He has provided low post scoring, shot blocking and has been a reliable low post defender. Â In addition to producing on the court, Chapman has also helped Texas in the classroom. Â He earned his bachelors in Corporate Communications this past December. Â Although his stats won’t make him one of the most popular in Texas history, his selfless decision to come back and make sure the Longhorns had enough size to compete will never be forgotten by Texas fans.