When the Longhorns hired Chris Beard as their next head coach, we knew it was the right call. His defensive-minded approach would change the identity of this team. However, this stuff was expected in several months when the season begins.
Beard is already improving this team, and it is only April. It seems Beard’s first intention after joining the program was to dive into the transfer portal and draw in as much talent as possible.
Andrew Jones, Jase Febres, and Brock Cunningham all announced they are returning for next season. Courtney Ramey and Matt Coleman are expected to do the same soon, but it’s not definite yet.
When you look at who Beard just brought in from the transfer portal along with these returning players, you’ll see the Longhorns are set to be a very dangerous team next season.
Let’s take a look at some of the new players coming to Austin.
Timmy Allen, Utah Utes
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Allen was one of the highly-coveted players in the transfer portal, and he chose Texas.
The 6’6 forward averaged 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists last year for the Utes on his way to the All-Pac-12 First Team. He shot 47% from the field and 77% from the free-throw line.
Allen will join Jericho Sims in the Longhorns frontcourt, making a solid duo for Beard to utilize, especially on defense. Allen is a spectacular addition to this basketball team.
Christian Bishop, Creighton Bluejays
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This is another top talent from the transfer portal that found his way home to Austin. Whatever Beard is pitching to these players… it seems to be working.
Bishop averaged 11 points and six rebounds a game for the Bluejays last season. His two-point field goal percentage was a whopping 69%, which led the Big East Conference.
His 56% free-throw percentage will definitely need work, but I expect Beard to fix that. The 6’7 forward is yet another good addition to the Longhorns’ frontcourt. He, Allen, and Sims will be a tough three-man presence on the glass and on defense.
This team seems to be getting better and better every week.
Devin Askew, Kentucky Wildcats
Guard is obviously Texas’s strength, with Jones, Febres, and hopefully Ramey and Coleman all coming back. Throw Askew in there with Brock Cunningham, and this will be a very scrappy Longhorns backcourt.
Askew, 6’3, averaged seven points, three rebounds, three assists, and one steal per game in his lone season with the Wildcats. His 39% shooting from the field and 28% from three aren’t impressive, but his 81% from the free-throw line definitely is.
The most important thing in college basketball is free throws. For those who disagree, just look back at how many teams lost in the NCAA Tournament because of bad free-throw shooting.
The Longhorns shot 71% from the charity stripe last season, ranking 171st in the country. Askew’s 81% should help improve that a little bit.
Beard should also emphasize this early on to the entire team if they plan on making any type of run in March.
The Bottom Line
• Finalize arguably the best coaching staff in the country
• Get commitments from Timmy Allen (Utah), Devin Askew (Kentucky) and Christian Bishop (Creighton)
• Andrew Jones and Jase Febres decide to return for another season
Decent week for Chris Beard and Texas. https://t.co/Om6bBPK6nn
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 16, 2021
This is going to be an exciting Longhorns team. It’s crazy imagining how many different ways Beard can configure this roster into a solid rotation.
And apparently… Beard isn’t done yet. There is still plenty of talent left in the transfer portal, and multiple players have Texas on their list of preferred destinations.
The Big 12 Conference is set up to be a force all season long yet again in 2021-2022. Hopefully, however, the Longhorns become the actual threat they were supposed to become last season in the NCAA Tournament.
Texas is built to be a deep, defensive team that has scorers all over the court. Beard and the Longhorns will have what it takes to play late into March if the recipe is right.
There is a lot to be excited about with this Texas team. Texas football as well. Both programs got major coaching upgrades this offseason, so get ready for the Fall Texas fans.
Keep Your Horns Up!