#24 Texas Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Texas Longhorns
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #5 Big 12
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On February 15th, Texas fell to 14-11 overall and 4-8 in Big 12 play following a humiliating 81-52 loss at Iowa State. At that point the Longhorns could have unraveled. However, Coach Shaka Smart rallied his team and they won the next five games. That almost certainly would not have been enough for the Longhorns to reach the NCAA Tournament barring a Big 12 tournament title, but it did give the program some momentum heading into 2020-2021.
2019-20 Record: 19-12, 9-9
Coach: Shaka Smart
Coach Record: 90-78 at Texas, 253-133 overall
Key Departed Players:
Kia Jones, Forward, 3.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Matt Coleman III, Senior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Andrew Jones, Junior, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Courtney Ramey, Junior, Guard, 10.9 ppg
Jericho Sims, Senior, Forward, 9.7 ppg
Jase Febres, Senior, Guard, 9.3 ppg
Gerald Liddell, Junior, Forward, 4.4 ppg
Donovan Williams, Sophomore, Guard, 3.3 ppg
Kamaka Hepa, Junior, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Royce Hamm Jr, Senior, Forward, 2.7 ppg
Will Baker, Sophomore, Center, 2.1 ppg
Brock Cunningham, Sophomore, Forward, 1.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Greg Brown III, Freshman, Forward
With just about everybody back, that late improvement could easily roll forward into 2020-2021. The five returning starters all averaged between 9.3 points and 12.7 points per game last season and all five of them are upperclassmen. Matt Coleman III led the way with 12.7 points, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals and fellow guards Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey can also handle the ball. That gives the Longhorns three guards who can take care of the ball and create opportunities for themselves and their teammates. All three are capable outside shooters, although Ramey’s three-point shooting percentage dropped to 31.3 percent last year. Jase Febres adds another proven three-point shooter to the roster and Donovan Williams showed plenty of promise during his freshman campaign. The frontcourt returns Jericho Sims, who was often the lone big man surrounded by four guards last year. He played very well in that role, averaging 9.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Gerald Liddell, Kamaka Hepa, Royce Hamm and Brock Cunningham all played a role in the frontcourt last season, but Texas will get a lot more help for Sims with the addition of incoming freshman Greg Brown III. Brown is one of the best incoming freshmen in the country and he will add even more athleticism and shot blocking to a frontcourt that already has plenty of both. This is largely the same team that struggled for much of last season, but in the end their experience and athleticism should help Texas avoid another disappointing season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.2 (324th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.3 (27, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (228, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (149, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (96, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.4 (170, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.5 (259, 6)
Rebound Margin: -3.8 (313, 10)
Assists Per Game: 11.6 (288, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (213, 6)
Madness 2021 NBA Draft Rankings:
#6 Greg Brown
Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#9 Greg Brown