Leading up to the opening of the 2021-22 Big 12 Men’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 men’s basketball rosters. Today it’s the Texas Longhorns.
2020-21 Season-Ending Roster (bold denotes returning for 2021-22): G Andrew Jones (6-foot-4), G Matt Coleman III (6-2), G Courtney Ramey (6-3), F Greg Brown (6-9), F Royce Hamm Jr. (6-9), G Donovan Williams (6-6), G Jase Febres (6-5), G Drayton Whiteside (6-0), F Jericho Sims (6-11), F Brock Cunningham (6-5), F Kamaka Hepa (6-9), F Blake Nevins (6-5), G Andrew Deutser (6-1).
Left for pro basketball: Coleman, Brown, Jones, Sims.
Left due to eligibility: None.
Left program to transfer: C Will Baker (UNLV), Hamm Jr. (UNLV), Hepa (Hawaii), F Gerald Liddell (Alabama State), Williams (UNLV)
Joined program via transfer: F Timmy Allen (Utah), G Devin Askew (Kentucky), G Avery Benson (Texas Tech), G Christian Bishop (Creighton), G Marcus Carr (Minnesota), F Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt), C Tre Mitchell (UMass), G Tristan Licon.
Class of 2021 Recruits: F Jaylon Tyson (6-6), John Paul II High School (Plano, Texas); F Cole Bott, Northfield Mount Hermon (Highlands Ranch, Colorado), G Gavin Perryman, Jesuit HS (Dallas, Texas).
Potential starting lineup: Jones, Ramey, Carr, Allen, Mitchell.
Why?: Chris Beard has loaded up this team on the transfer market, and several of them are ready to play now. Allen averaged 17.2 points and 6.4 rebounds last season for the Utes. Carr was an incredibly coveted transfer who flirted with the NBA, and he’s coming off a 19.4-point per game season. Mitchell averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Minutemen last year. Allen and Mitchell allow Beard to rebuild the frontcourt decimated by the departures of Kai Jones, Brown and Sims. Meanwhile, Andrew Jones and Ramey should start. Both averaged double figures last season. It’s a rare luxury to have five players in a projected starting lineup that all averaged double figures in scoring last season.
The bench: Febres, Askew, Bishop, Disu, Cunningham.
Why? Febres is instant offense when his 3-point shot is rolling. Askew slides in as the back-up point guard and gets a year to grow before assuming a much larger offensive role when Jones, Ramey and Carr inevitably head for the NBA after next season (Ramey and Carr declared but came back). Bishop will find his way into the rotation after a solid season at Creighton. Disu averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds last year and can slide into a three-man frontcourt rotation with Allen and Mitchell. Cunningham does all the dirty work you want out of a guy that gets the maximum out of the 5 to 10 minutes he plays per game.
The wild card: Benson. He played for Beard at Tech. Beard loves him. He won’t play much, but he’ll take a charge, play steady defense and give someone in the backcourt a quick break.
By Big 12 Play?: Beard showed at Texas Tech the past two years that he’s happy to tinker with his starting lineup, even in Big 12 play. But these five projected starters are good enough to hang on to the starting jobs come January. Askew, Bishop and Disu are good enough to push for a starting role. It should be a lot of fun to watch Beard pull the strings — and manage the egos, because many of these transfers starred for their previous programs.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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