411OnTheForty: Men’s basketball players coming and going

13 Apr By
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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas men's basketball head coach Chris Beard's first roster has begun to take shape over the last week, as three Longhorns announced they will return, two new players declared their intent to transfer to UT and at least three Texas players are transferring to other programs.

Highlighting the group of returners is senior guard Andrew Jones, who announced his decision to use his extra year of NCAA eligibility and return to Texas for the upcoming season. Jones will be in his sixth season at Texas this upcoming year, and made significant strides this past season as a member of the Longhorns' trio of guards that also consisted of Matt Coleman and Courtney Ramey.

Jones led the team in scoring this past year, averaging 14.6 points, along with 4.5 rebounds per contest.

Joining Jones in returning to Texas is guard Jase Febres, who announced Sunday via Instagram his intent to return for a fifth season. The 6-foot-5 Febres played in just 13 games this past season, coming off the bench in each. In his limited role, Febres averaged 5.2 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game.

Forward Brock Cunningham was the first of the returners to announce his decision to stay at Texas upon Beard's hiring. Cunningham kept it simple, writing on Twitter, "Dear 40 Acres , met with coach Beard. I think we are about the same things. Look forward to winning."

Cunningham, a 6-5 redshirt sophomore, came off the bench in 25 of UT's games, averaging just 1.6 points, and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Two transfers also made their decisions to head to Texas official on Tuesday.

Former Kentucky guard Devin Askew is headed to Austin, in a story reported first by 247sports.com's Travis Branham.

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Askew heads to Austin after one season in Lexington, in which he averaged 6.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game.

A little over five hours later, Utah's Timmy Allen announced his decision to play for Beard at Texas.

Allen brings with him a much-needed presence in the post for Texas, as the 6-6, 205-pound forward earned first-team all-Pac-12 honors this season after averaging 17.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He had eight games in which he scored 20 or more points and double-doubles, and has two years of eligibility remaining.

At the same time, four Longhorns are on their way out.

Texas guard Donovan Williams and forward Royce Hamm Jr. announced Friday their decision to remain teammates, but in Las Vegas: the duo committed to UNLV, where head coach Kevin Kruger will enter his first season at the school.

Williams averaged 3.3 points per game in 15 contests last year, while Hamm Jr. played in 22 games with one start and posted 1.9 points and 2.5 boards per contest.

A Texas spokesperson confirmed to Horns Illustrated that forward Kamaka Hepa, who played in just nine games, also has put his name into the transfer portal.

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley