#50 Texas Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Texas Longhorns
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #50
Conference Rank: #7 Big 12
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Texas had a quick trip to the NCAA Tournament last year, losing to Nevada in overtime in the first round. The Longhorns did not play well at times during the regular season, going 8-10 in Big 12 play. There were some tough stretches, but Texas did do enough to reach the tournament. Now they Longhorns must move on without Mohamed Bamba, who averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.7 rebounds. He was a dominating force on both ends of the floor. Without him this team could become more balanced, but finding a player who can replace Bamba will be impossible.
2017-18 Record: 19-15, 8-10
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Shaka Smart
Coach Record: 50-50 at Texas, 213-106 overall
Key Departed Players:
Mohamed Bamba, Forward, 12.9 ppg
Eric Davis Jr, Guard, 8.8 ppg
Jacob Young, Guard, 6.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Dylan Osetkowski, Senior, Forward, 13.4 ppg
Kerwin Roach II, Senior, Guard, 12.3 ppg
Matt Coleman, Sophomore, Guard, 10.2 ppg
Jace Febres, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Andrew Jones, Junior, Guard, 13.5 ppg
Jericho Sims, Sophomore, Forward, 5.0 ppg
Royce Hamm Jr, Sophomore, Forward, 0.6 ppg
Key New Players:
Gerald Liddell, Freshman, Forward
Courtney Ramey, Freshman, Guard
Jaxson Hayes, Freshman, Forward
Brock Cunningham, Freshman, Forward
Kamaka Hepa, Freshman, Forward
Elijah Mitrou-Long, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Mount St. Mary’s
Jericho Sims will likely step into Bamba’s starting spot. As a freshman last season, Sims averaged 5.0 points and 3.9 rebounds. He will be joined in the frontcourt by Dylan Osetkowski. The 6-9 senior transferred in from Tulane last season and averaged 13.4 points and 7.2 rebounds. He is also a capable outside shooter, although he connected on just 28.8 percent of his attempts from long range. The backcourt will be led by senior Kerwin Roach and sophomore Matt Coleman. Both are capable and proven scorers and very good passers. Roach is the more consistent shooter, but Coleman should emerge as one of the Big 12’s best point guards. The Longhorns also return Jace Febres, who started 17 games last season, and Andrew Jones, who missed most of last year while battling leukemia. Coach Shaka Smart also brings in a talented group of freshmen and Mount St. Mary’s transfer Elijah Mitrou-Long. This group has plenty of talent and depth, but it remains to be seen if they can be better than last season without Bamba roaming the paint.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.1 (221th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.8 (80, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (213, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.5 (82, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (222, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (321, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.5 (317, 10)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (192, 7)
Assists Per Game: 11.6 (311, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.8 (73, 4)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#35 Jerico Sims
Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#39 Courtney Ramey
#45 Gerald Liddell
#51 Kamaka Hepa
#111 Jaxson Hayes