by John Fanta
FOX Sports College basketball writer
Editor’s note: John Fanta is counting down the top 15 college basketball teams through to the start of the 2022-23 season. Check-in at number 12 is Texas.
Is Texas back?
wait! Before you stop reading, we’re not talking about the debate created every September by college football pundits. We’re talking about the Longhorns basketball program.
There is low momentum in Austin. Texas has one of the coaching stars in the sport, with Chris Bird entering his second season. The Horns won a match in the NCAA Championship last season, after an eight-year drought on the dance floor. They brought back the top two scorers from the 22-12 team and are ranked third in the recruiting category in the country according to 247 Sports. Beard and his staff performed at the transfer gate as well as one of their offseason spots.
To wrap it up, the program is opening a new building this season, the Moody Center, which will be located in the middle of campus and is supposed to give the Longhorns a stronger edge on the home grounds than they have in the past, something the alum likes like a beard.
There are many reasons to buy stock in Texas next season, with a pool of talent and the right leader in place. Will Longhorns reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008?
Let’s take a deeper look at the nation’s 12th-ranked team in the pre-season rankings.
Who are the players who have returned?
There is no shortage of returning talent to work with, including three freshmen who each got All-big 12 Honors last season. Even better, all three players are in their fifth year in college basketball.
Marcus Kar He will help lead the backcourt having averaged 11.4 points and 3.4 assists per game in his debut season after moving from Minnesota. The question with Carr is whether he can come close to the numbers he set two years ago with Golden Gopher when he averaged 19.4 points and 4.9 assists per game.
Texas has a dynamic winger of 6 feet and 6 Timmy Allen Back. The second All-Big 12 team was selected last season, and Utah The conversion averaged 12.1 points and 6.4 plates en route to honoring the second team in the league.
In the front yard, Texas is back Christian Bishopthe 6-foot-7 striker will be asked to do more after scoring 7.0 points and 5.6 boards in every game last season.
The other pieces in the back are 6 feet and 9 forwards Dylan Dessau and a large suite 6 feet 6 Brooke Cunningham. Neither of them was able to do much on the offensive end, but both played double-digit minutes per game with Beard. Disu entered the program from Vanderbilt Having averaged 15.0 points and 9.2 boards in his sophomore year. Could he evolve into a bigger role after a period of development? we will see.
Who’s new on the list?
The Longhorns have a top three recruiting rank in the country because Beard has earned a pair of five-star commitments.
Texas will have no shortage of ocean firepower, as 6-foot-7-winged Dillon Mitchell (Rookie #5 in the 2022 ratings) and 6-foot-3 guard Arterio Morris (Rookie #17 in the 2022 ratings) enters. the program.
Mitchell is a tall and versatile little striker who is one of the most athletically talented players in the junior class. With his speed, edge attacking ability, and solid defensive skill set, the Monteverde Academy product is a natural winger. His defense is what Beard found so attractive when recruiting, and all signs are that he started.
As for Morris, he’s likely to play a rotating role and could offer Texas a different dimension with his fast-paced explosion and ability to go downhill.
As for the transfer gate, Beard and his staff had a senior player on their board to step in for departing Ramy and Jones, and the Longhorns rolled him in.
Iowa Transfer Therese Hunter, the 12th biggest freshman of the year, was one of the biggest names available in the spring. He chose to stay at the conference by heading to Austin. His decision, which became official on May 27, grabbed a wave of headlines in college basketball. This is the main reason Texans ranked 12th in the pre-season poll because what Hunter did in his first year in the big 12 volumes is tough.
Hunter, who is 6 feet tall, helped lead Iowa to a surprise season and the NCAA Championship, averaging 11.0 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.0 plates along the way. If he can build on his mark of 39% from the field last season, watch out.
In his size and skill, he’s not really a Hunter NBA A potential project, but that’s for Bird. The Wisconsin native put on a brand new year, still has a high ceiling and is likely to be around for two or three seasons. It’s a complete win on the recruiting path.
Another addition that Beard made in the portal was New Mexico State Transfer Sir Jabri rice. Another Year 5 player on the Longhorns roster, Rice is the winner and could be an underrated weapon. The 6-foot-4 goalkeeper helped the Aggies to the WAC Championship last season, as well as the first round of the meltdown. Okon in the NCAA Championship. With an average of 11.9 points, 5.1 plates, and 3.1 assists, he brings 111 games of college basketball experience to the program and knows what winning looks like.
For the Longhorns, much of what they do this season will be determined by how Beard manages a mix of comeback experience and high-impact additions. There is no shortage of talent on the list.
What Carr does in the end will be huge for this team. At his best, he could be a talented American. The expectation is that Allen and Bishop will make up the anterior region, and it’s also integral to that Bishop, A. Creton Transferring, he made the leap into his second season with the program.
Defense is never a concern for a beard-led team. Texas State ranked 14th in Kienbaum’s revised defensive proficiency rating last season.
It’s a crime, and what happens from the ocean, that’s going to be a big clue. The Texans lost their top three shooters to Jones, Ramey, and Fepres, and even with them, the Horns weren’t particularly strong from behind the arc. They finished 6th out of 10 in the Big 12 with 6.6 making 3 throws per game, and they were 5th in the conference with 3 points in shooting percentage 33%.
Can Longhorns find different ways to beat a defense with the Hunter, Mitchell, and Rice addons?
The other big question: What would life be like in the Big 12 fare? The Longhorns may be 12th in the pre-season rankings, but they’re just the first four Teams from the league in this countdown. This conference is stacked, and Texas will have no shortage of challenges.
Highlights of the non-conference schedule
How about the November 16 match in Austin vs. Gonzaga? That’s the highlight of the non-conference Longhorns, who will also be home with a potential top-10 team, Creighton, on December 1. After five nights, Texans will head to New York City to play. Illinois In Jimmy V Classic. On December 18, there is a game in Dallas with stanford The program that could be a competitor in the Pac-12.
In the middle of their gauntlet conference featuring the likes kansasAnd the BaylorAnd the TCU And the Texas Techthe Longhorns also have a big road test against Tennessee At the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on January 28.
Top 15 Countdown:
John Fanta is a National College Basketball announcer and writer for FOX Sports. It covers sports in a variety of capacities, from invoking games on FS1 to serving as the main host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John Fanta.
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