Season Preview: Texas
Last Season: 11-22
Key Losses: Jarrett Allen, Shaquille Cleare
Key Additions: Mohamed Bamba, Matt Coleman, Jericho Sims, Royce Hamm, Jase Febres
In perhaps the worst season of Shaka Smart’s head coaching career, the Texas Longhorns failed to make a tournament appearance, finishing dead last in the Big 12. There just was not a ton of talent on their roster, and it showed when they got blown out by lower quality teams throughout the season. They did win one game in the Big 12 tournament though against Texas Tech, before falling to West Virginia in the quarterfinals.
Although last year was brutal for Texas, they hauled in one of the best recruiting classes in the country, putting a ton of young talent on this year’s team. This class includes the 7′ Mohamed Bamba from Harlem, New York, who has an incredibly lengthy wingspan of 7’9″. The best part about Bamba though, is that he is able to play in an athletic and polished manner despite his large height. They also brought in two athletic guards in Matt Coleman and Jase Febres. Coleman is a lefty who thrives handling the ball and getting open looks for himself in the paint with ease, while Febres is a lights out shooter who helps space the floor with his jumper. The rest of the recruiting class is solid too with two quality forwards who are efficient in the paint in Jericho Sims and Royce Hamm.
This year is a big test for Shaka Smart as he has a very young, but likely very talented team in his arsenal, with a decent amount of returning players from last year. While a team with so much youth might start off shaky, this team can be expected to compete with the rest of the Big 12 with the crazy athleticism they are welcoming to the roster. It is not wrong to expect Texas to at least finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 and be in tournament consideration at the end of the year.
Projected Staring Lineup:
PG: Matt Coleman
SG: Andrew Jones
SF: Kerwin Roach Jr.
PF: Jericho Sims
C: Mohamed Bamba