Fall is here, and school is back in session, which means the good times are almost here – the start of college basketball season! To get you ready for this upcoming season, The Hoops Manifesto presents to you its preseason top 25 team rankings, based on the input from our esteemed voting panel. We start off with #25: Texas Longhorns.
Big thanks to our voting panel: Jeff Fox (@HoopsManifesto) from The Hoops Manifesto, Perry Missner (@PerryMissner) from RotoWire, Ray Bala (@CanBallReport) who writes The Can Ball Report on Raptors HQ, Adam Francis (@RaptorsHQ) from Raptors HQ, and Ian (@SoxAndDawgs) from SOX & Dawgs.
#25 – Texas Longhorns
2011/12: 20-14, lost NCAA Tournament Second Round
Key Returning Players:
Myck Kabongo – Point Guard – Sophomore
9.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.3 spg
Sheldon McClellan – Shooting Guard – Sophomore
11.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.0 spg
Julien Lewis – Shooting Guard – Sophomore
7.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.0 spg
Jonathan Holmes – Power Forward – Sophomore
7.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Cameron Ridley – Center – #29 ranked prospect, Rivals.com
Prince Ibeh – Center – #55 ranked prospect, Rivals.com
Javan Felix – Point Guard – #110 ranked prospect, Rivals.com
Top NBA Prospect:
Myck Kabongo – projected top 25 pick, 2013 NBA Draft
Rick Barnes has never had trouble attracting top talent to Austin, and this year is no different, as the Longhorns incoming freshman class is one of the top rated in the nation. Having this talent stick around for more than a year – and translating all that skill into wins on the court – hasn’t been as easy for Barnes and company. This year could be different, as last season’s top freshman, Myck Kabongo, actually stuck around for his sophomore year. Hopefully after a summer spent practicing with the Canadian National Team and its new General Manager, Steve Nash, Kabongo will be able to improve on his 39.1% shooting from the field. He’ll be joined by a trio of talented sophomores that will help fill the scoring void left by the departed J’Covan Brown. The top newcomers are both big men, which this team needs – Cameron Ridley is a 6’9″ 270 pound bruiser in paint, while Prince Ibeh is 6’11″ with a 7’4″ wingspan and athleticism that belies his size. The new bigs should mesh well with the returning sophomore guards to give the Longhorns a balanced attack. But will that translate to NCAA Tournament success?