#10 Texas Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Texas Longhorns

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12

Texas Team Page#10 Texas Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Texas Basketball Tickets

The expectations are through the roof for this Texas team. Last year there were rumblings from fans about Coach Rick Barnes losing his job, but he led the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament game, where they won a game before falling to Michigan in the Round of 32. Now any talk about moving away from Coach Barnes just seems silly. With nearly everybody back, this is a team that can unseat Kansas from the top of the Big 12.

2013-14 Record: 24-11, 11-7
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rick Barnes
Coach Record: 382-166 at Texas, 584-300 overall

Who’s Out:
Martez Walker left the program after some legal troubles. He spent his summer suspended before leaving. Walker, a 6-4 guard, averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds off of the bench during his freshman campaign.

Who’s In:
Everybody may be back, but Texas is adding a few new players who will be able to contribute and increase the competition on an already loaded team. Myles Turner will add even more size to a big frontcourt. The 6-11, 240 pound freshman is one of the top incoming freshmen in the nation and he will live up to that hype. Turner can use his size and score inside, yet he is comfortable stepping outside and knocking down some mid-range jumpers too. Fellow freshman Jordan Barnett will find some minutes at the small forward spot because of his defensive intensity. He is a versatile player who can do a lot of things for this team, but it remains to be seen if the minutes will be there for him now. Ryan McClurg, a walk-on transfer from Texas-San Antonio, has the talent to provide depth on the wing when necessary. He will be eligible after the first semester concludes in December.

Who to Watch:
The Longhorns starting five is extremely impressive. They accounted for over 55 points and 25 rebounds per game last season. The production could drop with more depth coming in, but Coach Barnes has a starting five that really stepped up last season and will continue to develop. Point guard Isaiah Taylor was one of the biggest surprises as a freshman, averaging 12.7 points and 4.0 assists. Taylor can simply make plays and once his outside shot develops, he will be one of the best in the Big 12. Javan Felix is the shooter on the team and averaged 11.6 points per game. Demarcus Holland is the only starter who did not average over 11 points per game, but he is a superb defender who can also help out on the glass. The frontcourt boasts Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley. Holmes led the team with 12.8 points per game and is a very tough rebounder who can also stretch the defense with his shooting ability. He actually was second on the team in three-pointers made last year behind only Felix. Ridley took a huge step forward as a sophomore. His 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game were not all that surprising, but he also averaged 11.2 points per game and turned into a dangerous scoring threat.

Final Projection:
Ridley and Holmes certainly stepped up in 2013-2014, but so did frontcourt reserves Connor Lammert and Prince Ibeh. Lammert, a 6-9 junior, averaged over 20 minutes per game and is always productive on the glass. Ibeh is mostly a shot blocker and averaged 1.7 per game despite only playing 13.6 minutes. In the backcourt Kendal Yancy is still brimming with potential even though his freshman campaign was a bit of a disappointment. Damarcus Croaker did not see too much action as a freshman and he does have the potential to turn into a very dangerous shooter off of the bench. Overall, this team has size, talent and depth and that should worry Kansas and the rest of the Big 12 and, in March, everybody else too.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Isaiah Taylor, Sophomore, Guard, 12.7 points per game
Javan Felix, Senior, Guard, 11.6 points per game
Demarcus Holland, Junior, Guard, 7.1 points per game
Jonathan Holmes, Senior, Forward, 12.8 points per game
Cameron Ridley, Sophomore, Center, 11.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.2 (80th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.7 (199, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.2 (224, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.2 (29, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (286, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.7 (234, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.1 (262, 9)
Rebound Margin: 7.0 (10, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (151, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.2 (161, 8)

Madness 2015 NBA Draft Rankings:
#13 Myles Turner
#44 Cameron Ridley

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#6 Myles Turner
#88 Jordan Barnett


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews