Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Early observations from Texas men’s basketball’s Orange-White Scrimmage

Young He

After a long and eventful offseason, Texas men’s basketball finally gave us a first glimpse of its reshaped roster in Tuesday’s Orange-White Scrimmage held at Gregory Gymnasium.

The Orange team, with Kadin Shedrick inactive but serving as captain, took home the win in a 34-23 contest behind an encouraging performance from forward Dillon Mitchell. The sophomore, who returned to Texas after testing the NBA Draft waters, led all scorers with 10 points and six rebounds.

Mitchell set the tone early, logging back-to-back blocks in the game’s opening possession. He showed the athleticism we’ve seen in the past on a lob from junior guard Tyrese Hunter, but he also knocked down a pair of turnaround jumpers from the mid-post, representative of the confidence he’s gained going into this season.

“If it’s open, I’ll take it,” Mitchell said. “Because my confidence is up there.”

For the White team, forward Ze’Rik Onyema, a UT-El Paso transfer, and true freshman guard Chris Johnson led the way. Onyema’s physicality kept his team in the game, giving graduate forward Brock Cunningham all he could handle down low, with nine points on 4-5 shooting.

“When I had the and-one on (Onyema), … I was like, ‘This kid is humongous,’” Mitchell said. “He’s big, he’s powerful and I think the biggest thing with him is he loves to learn.”

Johnson looked poised as a true freshman in charge of the White team’s offense, displaying a combination of size, defense and passing that may thrust him into the rotation earlier than anticipated, highlighted by an isolated drive and bucket against guard Max Abmas, an Oral Roberts transfer.

UCF transfer guard Ithiel Horton’s shooting looked as good as advertised, as he knocked down a pair of threes and drew praise from Texas head coach Rodney Terry.

“We expect him to be a guy that, when he’s open, he’s shooting the ball at all times,” Terry said. “And every time he’s taking a shot, we’re expecting it to go in.”

Abmas didn’t have his most efficient night but looked steady alongside Hunter. UT-Arlington transfer Chendall Weaver looked a bit rushed at moments but showed flashes of the defense and athleticism he could offer Texas.

After the game, Terry offered an update on the status of Shedrick and senior forward Dylan Disu, potentially the Longhorns’ starting frontcourt this season.

“Kadin’s progressing really well right now, and if everything continues where he’s headed right now, he’s going to have a chance to play here pretty soon,” Terry said.

As for Disu, Terry seemed less optimistic about his chance to play opening night.

“We’re playing the long game with Disu because we want him for the whole season,” Terry said. “So if that goes into November or into December, no problem.”

For Nov. 6 against Incarnate Word, the starting lineup could be projected as Abmas and Hunter in the backcourt, Horton on the wing and Mitchell and one of Onyema or Shedrick down low.

Texas will host St. Edward’s for an exhibition game on Oct. 30, one week ahead of its season opener.

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