Transfer Dylan Disu’s reasons for coming to Texas go beyond basketball

Christina Huang

Dylan Disu is the latest in a string of high-profile transfers to choose Texas as their next destination, but his connections to the University run deeper than the allure of a program piloted by new head coach Chris Beard.

The 6-foot-9-inch, 220-pound forward grew up in nearby Pflugerville and played for Hendrickson High, even battling a current Longhorn in freshman Greg Brown when the pair’s respective teams met on Jan. 18, 2019. Hendrickson came out on top of Brown’s Vandegrift High School in a thrilling 73-71 overtime victory.

But despite being named the district MVP as a senior, Disu never received an offer from former head coach Shaka Smart to play at Texas.

After not getting the offer to play for the hometown team, Disu chose to play at Vanderbilt, where he excelled averaging 15 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

Disu led the SEC in both offensive and defensive rebounding last season. He also led the Commodores in blocks, with 21, and field goal percentage, shooting an efficient 49.2%.

Disu’s now-former coach Jerry Stackhouse had high praise for his versatility prior to the 2020-2021 season.

“I don’t think anybody on our team has more upside than Dylan (Disu, with) the potential to have not only a great college career, but being able to possibly play at the next level as well,” Stackhouse told The Vanderbilt Hustler Feb. 4. “He has a skillset of being able to shoot the ball unbelievable (and has a) High IQ for the game.”

But it wasn’t an easy ride at Vanderbilt for Disu. The Commodores continued their program’s recent slide, finishing the season 9–16 and missing the NCAA postseason tournament for the fifth consecutive season.

The pandemic also made it harder for Disu to see family that lived in Texas when he was in Nashville, further solidifying his decision to find a new school that is closer to home.

“I didn’t see my family a lot and that was tough,” Disu said on April 26 to Orangebloods. “My mom was usually at all my games and she wasn’t able to make as many because of COVID.”

The lack of team success on the court coupled with isolation from home forced Disu to reconsider his options as a college basketball player. Ultimately, he ended up back in the state where he first made waves as a high school prospect.

“I thought things would work out differently at Vanderbilt,” Disu said. “I wanted to contribute to winning at a high level and make a tournament run. I think Chris Beard is a great coach that can do that and help me get to the next level.”

Like so many other players who have decided to transfer to Texas to play under Beard, Disu is confident that Beard’s tournament success at Texas Tech will translate in Austin.

“I really like what he had to say and I like his style,” Disu said. “I think he is a winner and he has proven that at the highest level. All those factors stand out when it comes to them, and the school being 15 minutes away from my house is the cherry on top.”