#35 Texas Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Texas Longhorns
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #4 Big 12
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Texas missed out on the NCAA Tournament last season, but they did win the NIT championship. That is not what the Longhorns want, but it was still a decent season. With their top three scorers gone, Texas does have some rebuilding to do, but this is a talented group that should again be right in the mix for an NCAA Tournament bid.
2018-19 Record: 21-16, 8-10
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Shaka Smart
Coach Record: 71-66 at Texas, 234-122 overall
Key Departed Players:
Kerwin Roach II, Guard, 15.1 ppg
Dylan Osetkowski, Forward, 11.1 ppg
Jaxson Hayes, Forward, 10.0 ppg
Elijah Mitrou-Long, Guard, 5.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Matt Coleman III, Junior, Guard, 9.8 ppg
Jase Febres, Junior, Guard, 8.9 ppg
Courtney Ramey, Sophomore, Guard, 8.1 ppg
Jericho Sims, Junior, Forward, 4.2 ppg
Royce Hamm Jr, Junior, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Kamaka Hepa, Sophomore, Forward, 1.8 ppg
Key New Players:
Will Baker, Freshman, Center
Brock Cunningham, RS Freshman, Forward
Kai Jones, Freshman, Forward
Donovan Williams, Freshman, Guard
Matt Coleman III and Jase Febres are experienced juniors who are returning starters. Both will be asked to do more in 2019-2020 though. Coleman averaged 9.8 points and 3.4 assists. The 6-2 Norfolk, Virginia native emerged as a solid scoring option last year, but now Coach Shaka Smart would like him to be more consistent. Febres scored most of his 8.9 points per game from beyond the arc and now he needs to develop into a more dynamic scoring threat. Courtney Ramey should step into the other starting spot on the perimeter after emerging as a good scoring threat late last season. On the year, Ramey averaged 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a freshman and he enters this season with a ton of potential. The backcourt also adds Donovan Williams, an athletic 6-5 freshman. The frontcourt will have to replace starters Dylan Osetkowski and Jaxson Hayes. Jericho Sims is the most experienced forward after averaging 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds as a sophomore. The expectations are also growing for Royce Hamm and Kamaka Hepa, but the expectations are even higher for incoming freshman Will Baker. The 6-11 center turned down offers from just about everywhere to stay home in Austin and he should immediately make a huge impact on the offensive end. This is a young team and a team with some questions to answer, but Coach Smart has the pieces he needs to take a step forward.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.0 (220th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.4 (52, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 (236, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (93, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (70, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (153, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.9 (201, 4)
Rebound Margin: -0.9 (226, 9)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (199, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.8 (27, 1)
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#30 Will Baker
#49 Kai Jones
#71 Donovan Williams