Location: Austin, TX
Conference: Big 12
Last Year’s Record: 22-11
Key Returners: Damion James (15.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg), Dexter Pittman (10.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Gary Johnson (10 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
Top Newcomers: Avery Bradley, J’Covan Brown, Jordan Hamilton, Jai Lucas-Tr, Shawn Williams
Strengths: The only team in the Big 12 capable of challenging Kansas, Texas may have the best frontcourt in the nation. Damion James, Dexter Pittman, and Gary Johnson will provide the muscle for a team that will be a match-up problem for any team in the paint. Each player averaged double figures in points and are outstanding rebounders. They also welcome outstanding freshman Jordan Hamilton to bolster that frontline. The Longhorns will be a load to deal with down low.
Weakness: While they welcome several talented guards into the program, Texas will be hard pressed to replace A.J. Abrams. Abrams holds Texas records for all-time three-point field goals made and games played. He was a stalwart in the program for the past four years and has to be replaced. Avery Bradley, Jai Lucas and J’Covan Brown will all take shots at his spot, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can match his production and leadership.
Outlook: This Texas team is tough and deep. If the freshmen come along, this can be a top-5 team. Kansas is the best team in the country, but they’ll get a challenge in the Big 12 from the Longhorns. Rick Barnes has another high-quality team on his hands.