Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #3 Texas Longhorns

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On paper, this year’s Texas Longhorns team looks good. Like, scary good. This is weird, considering how much they lost. Three guys from last year’s team are now in the NBA, and their leading minutes-getter is gone too. Then, head coach Shaka Smart left to take the Marquette job. But the Longhorns were not down long. They stole Chris Beard away from Texas Tech and then he went out and got six of the top 30 players in the transfer portal. Add that to their returning starting backcourt and a top 40 freshman, the Longhorns are looking good.

You can read about the #4 Kansas Jayhawks right here.

The Texas Longhorns

Despite their losses, Texas returns their starting backcourt from last season in Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey. Andrew Jones led the team in scoring a year ago at 14.6 points per game. That was good enough to be ninth in the Big 12. He is a great scorer and tough as nails and a leader both on and off the court. You may have heard about his battle with Leukemia and his inspiring comeback. Courtney Ramey averaged collegiate career highs in both points per game and assists per game last year and is poised to lead this team alongside Jones this season.

The lone player in their recruiting class this year is Jaylon Tyson. Tyson, the 35th ranked recruit from Plano, Texas, is a great scorer. He can do it from anywhere on the floor. He brings good size and strength that is valuable to any team.

The big story is the six major transfers. Marcus Carr was arguably the best player to enter the transfer portal in the spring. The former Pitt and Minnesota point guard has become one of the best players in the country over the past two seasons. He was second in the Big Ten in scoring last year at 19.4 points per game. Utah transfer Timmy Allen earned All-PAC-12 honors last season and started 82 of 85 games in three seasons in Salt Lake City. Tre Mitchell was dominant in the post for UMass the previous two seasons and averaged almost 19 points and 7 rebounds per game last year. Dylan Disu was one of the best PFs in the SEC for Vanderbilt last year. Christian Bishop blossomed at Creighton. Devin Askew showed he could play at a high level at Kentucky.

You can see the high level of talent that this Texas Longhorns team possesses. But the question is how they will all fit together and play together. That is seven new guys and a new coach with only two key returning players. New head coach Chris Beard knows how to deal with incoming transfers and make them fit together and with the team. He has done it before and has plenty of experience doing that. If he does it again, this team will have a serious chance of winning the program’s first-ever national championship.

Projected Lineup:

PF – #33 Tre Mitchell (18.8 PPG/ 7.2 RPG/ 2.2 APG/ 1.2 SPG/ 1.5 BPG at UMass)

PF – #4 Dylan Disu (15.0 PPG/ 9.2 RPG/ 1.4 APG/ 1.1 SPG/ 1.2 BPG at Vanderbilt)

SG – #1 Andrew Jones (14.6 PPG/ 4.5 RPG/ 2.3 APG/ 1.0 SPG)

SG – #3 Courtney Ramey (12.2 PPG/ 3.2 RPG/ 3.9 APG/ 1.0 SPG)

PG – #2 Marcus Carr (19.4 PPG/ 4.0 RPG/ 4.9 APG/ 1.3 SPG at Minnesota)

 

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