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

Assessing the rubble: Texas men’s hoops good, not great in 2024

Kennedy Weatherby
Guard Chendall Weaver high fives his teammates on the bench during Texas’ game against OSU in the Moody Center on March 2, 2024.

With Texas men’s basketball’s tourney exit in the rearview, it’s time to examine what was a topsy-turvy year for the Longhorns.

Once the interim label was officially lifted from Head Coach Rodney Terry’s title, hopes were predictably high for the program under his guidance. However, in his first full year, the magic wore off.

It’s worth factoring in the whirlwind of an offseason the Longhorns had when evaluating this season. Texas lost four key contributors from last year’s squad, and coupled with the de-commitments of two five-star recruits, both of whom were recruited by former Head Coach Chris Beard, the Longhorns had several holes to fill.

Texas snared five transfers in the offseason: Max Abmas, Chendall Weaver, Ze’Rik Onyema, Kadin Shedrick and Ithiel Horton. In addition, it flipped guard Chris Johnson from Kansas and forward Devon Pryor from LSU in the recruiting process

The hit rates on these moves are all over the place. Abmas, who was by far Texas’ most noteworthy add, was statistically solid and had big moments, but saw his efficiency slip as the season wore on and faltered in some of Texas’ bigger games.

Easily the best addition of the offseason was Weaver out of UT-Arlington. A relatively unheralded add, Weaver became a key piece for Texas, providing the defense, athleticism and hustle the roster lacked. He was arguably the team’s best player in the NCAA Tournament and seems key to their success moving forward.

Horton, though, failed to make good on the volume shooter he was advertised as and Onyema will need major polish to see regular minutes. The jury is still out on Shedrick, who announced his return to Texas for his final year of eligibility. He wasn’t the rim protector he was supposed to be, but played his best basketball in the final weeks of the season.

Pryor and Johnson played sparingly in their freshman years, but if both return, they should see larger roles. Where the Longhorns lose marks, though, is in the roster holdovers.

In a surprise twist last offseason, both Dillon Mitchell and Tyrese Hunter stayed after testing the NBA draft waters, but turned in middling years. Mitchell was excellent defensively and on the boards, but his offensive impact outside of lobs and fast breaks remained negligible. Hunter struggled to mesh with Abmas in the backcourt, arguably declining from his sophomore campaign. The futures of both playing for Texas are in the air, and while both could help the roster, each may look to further their development elsewhere.

Terry’s first recruiting class as full-time coach figures to have an immediate impact, headlined by five-star Tre Johnson. His ability to improve the roster on the recruiting trail and through the portal will be pivotal in Texas’ success in both the short and long term.

Repeating as Big 12 Champions and another Elite Eight appearance would have been a tall order for Rodney Terry, but some rough lows in a 21-13 season will have him under the microscope ahead of what looks to be another busy offseason.

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