#30 Texas Longhorns: College Basketball 111 in 111


texas longhorns cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

You would be hard pressed to find a college basketball team that loses more from last season than the Texas Longhorns.  All five starters are gone including Jordan Hamltion, Tristan Thompson, and Cory Joseph who each left for the NBA Draft and ended up being first round picks.  Now Rick Barnes faces the challenge of acclimating six freshmen to a thin roster that features only nine scholarship players.

TEXAS LONGHORNS
Last Season: 2nd, 13-3 in Big 12, 28-8 overall
Predicted Big 12 Finish: 5th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Alexis Wangneme (Sr)/Clint Chapman (Sr)
F: Jonathan Holmes (Fr)/Jaylen Bond (Fr)
G/F: Shelden McClellan (Fr)
SG: J’Covan Brown (Jr)/Julien Lewis (Fr)
PG: Myck Kabongo (Fr)/Sterling Gibbs (Fr)

Gone: SF-Jordan Hamilton, PF/C-Tristan Thompson, F-Gary Johnson, PG-Dogus Balbay, PG-Jai Lucas, C-Matt Hill, SF-Shawn Williams (transfer-SMU)

2011-2012 Outlook:
The Horns lose 83.2% of their scoring, 87.7% of their rebounding, and 83% of their assists from last season and only bring back two contributors.  J’Covan Brown served as the team’s sixth man a year ago and provided a scoring punch off the bench averaging 10.4 points per game.  He now steps into the starting line-up and will become the leader of this team by default.  Brown can stroke it from the outside but has the reputation of being a gunner who takes bad shots.

McDonald’s All-American Myck Kabongo will take over at the point and can be a game changer for Texas from day one.  He is lightning quick with the basketball and has a certain maturity and flashiness to his game. Fellow newcomer Sheldon McClellan will likely start on the wing alongside Kabongo and Brown.  McClellan is a bigger guard who can get to the basket but also shoot it from deep.

Former Maryland commit Sterling Gibbs re-opened his recruitment after Gary Williams retired.  He is a late addition who adds needed depth at the point.  A physical off guard, Julien Lewis will also have to factor into the rotation due to a lack of bodies.

The frontcourt is a huge question mark for the Horns.  Alexis Wangneme is an undersized though physical post player who struggled last season specifically when asked to match-up against bigger players.  He will have to be a factor inside and stay out of foul trouble if Texas has any hope of not getting dominated in the paint and on the boards.  Clint Chapman played sparingly in 2009-2010 and redshirted last season.  He is really nothing more than a big body inside but will likely see an increased role off the bench out of necessity.

Freshmen power forwards Jonathan Holmes and Jaylen Bond will compete for the other starting frontcourt spot.  Holmes has a solid combination of strength, athleticism, and versatility and might even see some minutes at the five.  He could end up being one of the impact freshman in the Big 12.  Bond originally committed to Pitt but backed out of his decision with the intention of spending a year at prep school.  Instead, he wound up at Texas and should become an immediate contributor with the Longhorns lacking size and talent inside.

Texas has a chance of being a very good team… but probably not for another year.  A top five recruiting class gives them plenty of talent, but depth, experience, and a lack of size are major concerns for the ‘Horns.  If they lose any players to injury or suspension this season, things will get really interesting for Barnes.

Myck Kabongo

Player to Watch: Myck Kabongo
Arguably the best point guard in the 2011 class, Kabongo continues the Canada to Austin pipeline.  From the opening tip of the season, he will become the new face of the Longhorns program and should be exciting to watch on a nightly basis.  Kabongo has a terrific feel for the game and distributes the basketball well beyond his years which is a huge plus for a freshman floor leader on such a young roster.  He will also need to score this season if Texas is to become a true threat in the Big 12.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 vs. Rhode Island
11/19 vs. Oregon State (Legends Classic)
11/21 vs. Vanderbilt/N.C. State (Legends Classic)
12/3 at UCLA
12/17 vs. Temple
12/21 at North Carolina

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#31 Villanova Wildcats
#32 Michigan State Spartans
#33 Florida State Seminoles
#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#35 Harvard Crimson
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

 

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