#30 Texas Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Texas Longhorns
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #5 Big 12
Texas Logo
Shaka Smart’s second season at Texas was a rough one, as the Longhorns won just 11 games and failed to make the postseason. Texas had one of the youngest teams in the nation last year, and it showed in a big way on the court. The top two scorers from that team have departed, but the Longhorns have added a strong recruiting class headlined by top-5 prospect Mo Bamba. Texas also gets back NBA prospect Andrew Jones along with multiple promising young guards and an impact transfer. If Smart struggles to get this team to the NCAA Tournament, his seat could quickly begin to get warm at Texas.
2016-17 Record: 11-22, 4-14
2016-17 Postseason:
Shaka Smart
Coach Record:
31-35 at Texas, 194-91 overall
Who’s Out:
Texas will be without three of their top five scorers from last year. Tevin Mack averaged 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 15 games as a sophomore. Mack was suspended indefinitely in January and went to on to be granted his release from the school in February. Jarrett Allen departed to the NBA after spending one season at Texas. After a slow start to his college career, Allen found his stride in February and averaged 15.9 points per game from February 1 to the end of the season. Shaq Cleare has graduated after playing two years at Texas. Cleare started all 33 games last season, averaging a career-high 8.0 points and 4.6 rebounds. Kendal Yancy has also graduated after a four-year career with the Longhorns. Yancy was a consistent role player throughout his 127-game career at Texas. Lastly, Mareik Isom graduated after spending one year at Texas as a grad transfer. Isom averaged just 6.9 minutes in 15 appearances last year.
Who’s In:
Texas reloads their roster with five freshmen and a transfer addition. Mo Bamba headlines the arrivals for the Longhorns. Bamba is a mammoth seven-footer who was ranked as a top-3 prospect in the nation. Bamba is one of the longest recruits in recent memory and should bring instant impact in the paint on both ends of the floor. Matt Coleman is another key recruit for Shaka Smart as he finally gives the Longhorns a true point guard. Coleman is a four-star recruit who was a top-50 prospect. Texas brings in three more four-star recruits to make an impact from day one. Jericho Sims and Royce Hamm are a pair of power forwards who were ranked in the top-100. Texas lacks frontcourt depth, so both players should see ample playing time. Jase Febres is another shooting guard for the Longhorns who was also ranked in the top-100. Febres’ playing time isn’t a sure thing right away, due to Texas’ surplus of combo guards. Finally, the Longhorns will have Tulane transfer Dylan Osetkowski available this season. Osetkowski is a big man who averaged 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds two years ago at Tulane. Osetkowski brings much-needed experience to the Longhorns’ frontcourt.
Who to Watch:
The Longhorns return a group of several talented young guards and one big man. Andrew Jones decided to return to school after entering the NBA Draft process. Jones disappointed a bit as a top-30 recruit last season, averaging 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Jones never got his jump shot going, shooting just 32.8% from three. Texas would greatly benefit from Jones taking a step forward as a sophomore. Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis will be juniors this season. Roach improved from his freshman season, starting 31 games as a sophomore and averaging 9.9 points and 3.9 rebounds. Roach led the Longhorns in assists (3.7) and steals (1.6) per game as well. Alternatively, Davis took a small step backwards from his freshman season. Davis shot just 32.5% from the field including a 25.9% mark from behind the arc as a sophomore. Davis needs to clean up his efficiency as he becomes an upperclassman this year. Jacob Young and James Banks saw reserve roles during their freshman campaigns. Young averaged 3.7 points in 16.4 minutes per game. Young shot a putrid 28.7% from the field and will need to fix his shot selection to get more minutes this year. Banks is the lone big man returning, and he played just 12.4 minutes per game as a freshman. Banks was a four-star recruit, and Texas will be expecting more out of him this year.
Final Projection:
Texas entered 2016-17 with similarly high expectations behind their recruiting class, but the season was far from successful. This year, Texas adds a top-3 prospect along with a true point guard which should stabilize the Longhorns’ lineup. Last season, the Longhorns never had an identity on the floor as they consisted of mostly shoot-first guards. As a result, Texas was one of the most inefficient teams in the nation. Now, Shaka Smart appears to have a team that better fits his philosophy. Smart will have to prove he can piece together a young team though, which he was unable to do a year ago. Texas certainly has the talent to make the NCAA Tournament, it will just be a matter of getting the talent to mesh together.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament
Projected Starting Five:
Matt Coleman, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

Kerwin Roach, Junior, Guard, 9.9 points per game
Andrew Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 11.4 points per game
Dylan Osetkowski, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Mo Bamba, Freshman, Center, DNP last season
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.1 (298th in nation, 10th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 68.9 (88, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (206, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (100, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (321, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.2 (342, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.0 (322, 10)
Rebound Margin: -1.5 (250, 9)
Assists Per Game: 11.4 (296, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (221, 9)
Madness 2018 NBA Draft Rankings:
#5 Mohamed Bamba
#44 Andrew Jones

Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#2 Mohamed Bamba
#44 Matt Coleman
#54 Jerico Sims
#76 Jase Febres
#90 Royce Hamm