The Texas Longhorns were one of the surprise teams in college basketball last season. With everybody returning and the addition of one of the top recruits in the 2014 class, the ‘Horns won’t sneak up on anybody this year.
Last Season: T-3rd, 11-7 in Big 12, 24-11 overall
Predicted Big 12 Finish: 2nd
Projected Depth Chart
C: Cameron Ridley (Jr)/Prince Ibeh (Jr)
PF: Myles Turner (Fr)/Connor Lammert (Jr)
F: Jonathan Holmes (Sr)/Jordan Barnett (Fr)
G: Isaiah Taylor (So)Kendal Yancy (So)/Damarcus Croaker (So)/Martez Walker (So)
G: Javan Felix (Jr)/Demarcus Holland (Jr)
Rick Barnes boasts a very talented and versatile frontcourt with the addition of McDonald’s All-American, Myles Turner. Turner’s length and athleticism should be a terrific compliment to the big body Cameron Ridley on the block. Turner brings some more versatility on the offensive end and UT should have one of the best interior defensive teams in the country.
With Turner in the mix, expect Jonathan Holmes to slide over to more of a small forward position. The lone senior on the roster, Holmes is an inside/outside threat offensively though he may struggle guarding opposing small forwards on the perimeter. Connor Lammert is another forward capable of stretching defenses with his outside shot while Prince Ibeh add more size and shot blocking inside. Barnes added another wide body in Maryland transfer Shaq Cleare though he must sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules.
Barnes equally has as many options at guard as he does with his frontcourt. Isaiah Taylor was one of the more surprising freshmen in the country last season. He is capable of playing either backcourt spot and is rather interchangeable with fellow starter, Javan Felix.
A starter a year ago, Demarcus Holland will likely serve as the team’s sixth man this year. Kendal Yancy, Damarcus Croaker, and Martez Walker all saw minutes off the bench a year ago and will battle for remaining minutes. Walker’s status is up in the air after being arrested twice in one week this off-season and has been suspended indefinitely.
A year older and even deeper this with the addition of Turner, common sense would say the Texas Longhorns should be even better this season than their third place finish a year ago. If all the pieces come together, Texas will be a true threat to end Kansas’ run of ten straight regular season conference championships.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/20 vs. Iowa (2K Classic in New York)
11/21 vs. Syracuse/California (2K Classic in New York)
11/30 at UConn
12/5 at Kentucky (SEC/Big 12 Challenge)
12/20 vs. Long Beach State
12/23 vs. Stanford
OTHER BIG 12 PREVIEWS:
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 Milwaukee to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag), and finished with the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft (nearly a three-peat.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.