• Smart grants Tevin Mack release from program

    Head coach Shaka Smart announced Monday that sophomore guard Tevin Mack will be granted a release from the program. 

    “I really didn’t have a choice,” Smart said. “It was my decision. For the long term growth of our program, and where we are trying to get culture-wise, it was not much of a choice.”

    Mack had been suspended twice this year for violations of team rules. The guard’s first suspension forced him to miss the Longhorn’s season opener against Incarnate Word. 

    Mack was then suspended after Texas’ 64-61 loss to TCU on Jan. 11 and missed the team’s last 13 contests. 

    At the time of his second suspension, Mack was leading the team in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game. The guard displayed huge offensive improvements from his freshman season, where he only averaged 5.1 points a contest. 

    The sophomore signed to play with VCU in 2014, where Smart was coaching at the time. When Smart departed to join Texas, Mack was released from his National Letter of Intent and followed the coach to Austin. 

    “Tevin is a very talented player,” Smart said. “He’s got a lot going for him, but right now the guys that are wearing a Texas uniform are the guys that need to be wearing a Texas uniform.”

  • Longhorns head into spring season sustaining two injuries

    Texas will enter spring drills without two contributors from the 2016 season. Junior tight end Andrew Beck and sophomore punter Michael Dickson sustained injuries during off-season workouts and will be sidelined when spring drills begin.

    Beck suffers from a broken left foot, and Dickson sustains a right hamstring injury.

    Beck saw action at tight end last year, accumulating 82 yards on four catches. He additionally scored two touchdowns, including the final touchdown in Texas’ comeback to beat then-undefeated Baylor on Oct. 29. Beck led all tight ends in production in 2016, but the position may see a larger role in Tom Herman’s new offensive system.

    “(Tight ends are) a critical role in our offense,” Herman said. “We are a pro-style offense. We run run-plays that are just like the NFL. I think there was one year at Ohio State where we played like 98 percent of our snaps with one back, one tight end and three wide receivers because that tight end was so versatile.”

    Dickson starred as one of the top Longhorns in 2016. The Australian punter earned All-American honors and recognition as the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. Dickson, averaging a program-record 47.4 yards per punt, stood as one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award in December. However, Utah’s punter Mitch Wishnowsky, 47.7 yards per punt, was selected as the recipient.

    There is no timetable for either player’s return.

  • Texas continues to get conference recognition

    Texas earned recognition from the Big-12 conference on Monday once again, sweeping the weekly individual awards for a pair of strong performances against No. 8 Florida State and No. 16 Oklahoma. 

    Junior Brooke McCarty and freshman Joyner Holmes are rapidly emerging as one of the top 1-2 punches in the nation, averaging a combined 33.5 points and 7.5 assists over the two-game stretch while leading Texas to a 14-1 conference record.   

    McCarty was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week for the first time, notching a career-high 29 points on 68.6  percent from the floor in a double-overtime win on the road in Florida. The guard then turned around and poured in a team-high 16 points and collected 4 rebounds in the 1-point upset against Oklahoma on Saturday. 

    Holmes meanwhile was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Week for a fifth consecutive week, and sixth time this season . The forward averaged a monstrous 11 point, 11 rebound double-double in the top-20 matchups, while posting a career high in minutes over the two-game span. 

    The tandem returned to action last night in a narrow 70-67 loss to No. 4 Baylor. McCarty dropped in 16 points, but missed the potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer. 

  • Holmes earns national honor following double-double performances

    Freshman forward/guard Joyner Holmes was named espnW National Player of the Week on Monday for her double-double performances in Texas’ victories over then-No. 2 Baylor and Kansas last week.

    The Longhorns jumped to No. 8 in the AP poll following the two wins, while the Lady Bears’ loss dropped them to No. 4.

    The five-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week led the Longhorns in scoring and rebounding over the two-game stretch, averaging 16.5 points and 11.5 boards.

    Holmes leads all Big 12 freshman in scoring, rebounding and double-doubles with seven on the season.

    She willed Texas to a 85-79 upset in Waco, finishing with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

    Holmes ignited the Longhorns after the Bears stormed back to knot things up at 79-79 with 59 seconds remaining. Holmes sunk a layup to regain Texas’ lead and nailed two clutch free throws on the following possession to seal the triumph. The Longhorn victory snapped Baylor’s 54-game home winning streak.

    In Saturday’s 75-42 win against Kansas, Holmes connected for 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, capping off her second-straight double-double.

  • Men’s tennis dominates in Sunday double header

    Sophomore Rodrigo Banzer fired a bullet down the right line, speeding past Purdue’s Stephan Koenigsfest to cement No. 11 Texas’ 4-0 victory over the Boilermakers.

    The Longhorns faced a short turnaround on Sunday as they hosted both Purdue and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Texas came out aggressive against Purdue, sweeping the Boilermakers in doubles play for the first point.

    “We’ve had some close matches so far this season,” sophomore Harrison Scott said. “We just came out firing for the first match so we could get off the court quick and get ready for the next one.”

    Freshman Christian Sigsgaard rebounded from a singles loss last week, dominating Purdue’s Gergely Madarasz for a 6-4, 6-1 win.

    Banzer finished Purdue off, defeating Koenigsfest 6-1, 6-4 and claiming the final point for Texas.

    “Today was the highest amount of energy and emotion that I’ve seen out of them,” head coach Michael Center said. “I thought it was a good overall effort by the guys.”

    The Longhorns showed no signs of fatigue against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in game two, crushing the Islanders in doubles play to go up 1-0. 

    Sophomore Julian Zlobinsky pummeled freshman Gonzalo Achondo 6-2, 6-1 to give Texas a 2-0 lead. Banzer continued his big day with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over the Islanders’ Paul Cook.

    Redshirt freshman Leonardo Telles delivered the knockout blow for the Longhorns, outlasting Cagatay Soke 6-4, 6-4.

    “I feel like everybody plays a part in our team,” Telles said. 

    Up next, Texas will travel to Virginia for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.


    -Justin Martinez