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

Texas men’s basketball reloads with trio of transfers

Kennedy Weatherby
Head men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry reacts to a play during Texas’ game against OSU on March 2, 2024.

With many Texas men’s basketball players from the 2023-24 squad either running out the eligibility clock or entering the transfer portal, a multitude of holes needed to be filled ahead of next season. While rising junior Dillon Mitchell and rising senior Tyrese Hunter, along with 2024 recruit Cam Scott, appear to be out of the team’s plans moving forward, head coach Rodney Terry was active over the weekend retooling, adding three experienced players from the portal.

Jayson Kent

The first of the three additions announced on Wednesday, Kent, a 6-foot-8 slasher with rebounding chops and a blossoming jump shot, emerged as a key starter for the Missouri Valley Conference runner-ups this past season. The rising fifth-year senior spent two years as a depth piece at Bradley University before joining Indiana State, and following another year of coming off the bench, has really come into his own.

Kent improved dramatically in his 2023-24 season, raising his field goal percentage from a hair under 47% to nearly 64%, more than doubling his scoring average and leading the Sycamores in rebounds at 8.1 per game. Additionally, after shooting sub-30% from distance his first three seasons of college, Kent improved his outside shooting to 36.6% this past year, albeit on just 2.2 attempts a game.

Projecting Kent to continue to grow into a true floor-stretching threat is difficult, especially considering the jump in competition he’ll face in the SEC. However, his all-around offensive game appears more polished than Mitchell’s, the player whose production he’ll look to replace. Kent looks primed to soak up big-time minutes on the wing for Texas.

Tramon Mark

Texas’ most notable addition of the day came in the form of Arkansas wing Tramon Mark. Rather than stick around for new head coach John Calipari, the rising redshirt senior entered the transfer portal on April 7 following former head coach Eric Musselman’s departure. The Longhorns landed Mark on Sunday, and with no prior public acknowledgment of the guard by Texas, the pick came as a nice surprise. 

Originally from Dickinson, Texas, Mark started his collegiate career at Houston and played for three seasons, including a Final Four appearance in his first year where he averaged 7.8 points per game. He then transferred to Arkansas for the 2023-24 campaign. In his most recent season at Arkansas, he recorded 16.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 31 games and notched two 30-plus point games this season.

Not only does Mark bring impressive stats back to his home state, but he carries an edge no one else on the roster does: SEC experience. With Texas moving to the SEC next season, Mark’s insights and experience should be deemed useful for Texas. 

Julian Larry

Terry successfully convinced a pair of Sycamores to transfer over the weekend, the latter of whom being guard Julian Larry. Standing at 6-foot-3, Larry will help restock a backcourt that lost Max Abmas, freshman Chris Johnson, Scott and Hunter.

Like Kent, Larry developed into a full-time starter for Indiana State this past season, posting career highs across the board. Larry excelled as the primary floor general for the Sycamores and can knock down his threes, shooting upwards of 46% from beyond the arc in his past two seasons.

While Terry and his staff should remain on the prowl for facilitating guards, and appear to be with Oregon State guard Jordan Pope visiting on Tuesday, Larry is a promising addition, providing Texas with a skilled, speedy guard who can finish at the rim. Named to the MVC All-Defensive Team twice, Larry should slot in as an energizing lead guard who can feed off the athleticism of backcourt mate and rising junior Chendall Weaver and set the table for incoming freshman Tre Johnson.

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