411OnTheForty: NBA opening day rosters included 7 former Texas players

05 Aug By
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Now in his fifth season with the Indiana Pacers, center/forward Myles Turner is averaging 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

It was back to the basketball court this week for seven former Longhorn basketball players who were on NBA Restart rosters. After more than five months without an NBA game, the league finally returned July 30, playing its games in a closed environment at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

The NBA restart includes 22 teams, each of which will play eight games while vying for one of 16 spots in the postseason, which starts Aug. 17.

Veteran P.J. Tucker is in his eighth NBA season, his third with the Houston Rockets. He is averaging 7.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and has connected on 36.7 percent of his three-point attempts. Tucker, who had 11 points and four rebounds Sunday against Milwaukee, was named Big 12 Player of the Year and earned All-America honors in his junior season at UT.

Jarrett Allen, who played one year on the Forty Acres, now leads the Brooklyn Nets in dunks and is almost averaging a double-double, at 10.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He had a career-high 22-point game, while bringing down 15 rebounds Sunday in the Nets' 118-110 win over Washington. He has had to step up after Kevin Durant, another for Texas star, decided to opt out of the restart in order to fully heal an Achilles injury suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.

Recent 2019 draft pick Jaxson Hayes has been doing big things with the New Orleans Pelicans, who are 1-2 since the restart and 29-38 overall this season. The 2019 Big 12 Freshman of the Year with the Horns, Hayes has just under 16 minutes and five points per game since the season restarted.

Center Jaxson Hayes is in his first season with the New Orleans Pelicans after playing just one season at Texas (photo by Jose Mendez / Horns Illustrated).

Another recent draft pick out of Texas is Orlando center Mo Bamba, a "one-and-done" college player named to the All-Big 12 Second Team, before putting his name into the draft. While he came into the restart averaging 5.7 points per game, he has not scored once in the past three games.

Orlando center Mo Bamba has been held scoreless in the Orlando Magic's first three games since the NBA resumed playing (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Indiana Pacers star center/forward Myles Turner has had perhaps the best performance this week of any of the former Longhorns: the 2015 Big 12 Freshman of the Year scored 17 Sunday against Washington and then 21 Friday in a win over the Magic.

Nine-year NBA veteran Cory Joseph is in his first season with the Sacramento Kings after previous stops in Indiana, Toronto and San Antonio. He is averaging 6.3 points and 3.5 assists per game this season.

Guard D.J. Augustin is in his 11th NBA season, and his fourth in Orlando β€” his seventh NBA franchise. He is averaging 10.3 points and 4.2 assists in 52 appearances for the for the Magic this season

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