Parting is such sweet sorrow. As we say goodbye to sophomore (technically) Myck Kabongo, who made his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft clear last week, we decided to take a look at other Longhorn ballers who made the jump early in the last decade.
Aldridge is best known by UT fans for being the star during the team's 2006 Elite Eight run in the NCAA Tournament. The big man averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists as a sophomore before making the jump to the pros. The Chicago Bulls took L.A. with the second pick overall before trading him to Portland for Tyrus Thomas (who had an insane game for LSU in their tournament win against Texas) and Viktor Khryapa. Whoops. Aldridge has emerged as one of the best low post players in the NBA, currently averaging 21 points and nearly 9 rebounds a game, and made his second All-Star appearance this season.
A Bob Cousy Award winner as a sophomore, Augustin played brilliantly all season, ultimately taking the Longhorns to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Men's Tournament before running into the buzzsaw that is Derrick Rose. Augustin made his name with flash and ability to get to the basket, and the Charlotte Bobcats scooped him up with the ninth pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Augustin also deserves credit for being named first-team Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America as a sophomore. His NBA career has been a bit rocky (as it has been for every player to play for the Charlotte Bobcats) and Augustin currently serves as the backup point guard for the Indiana Pacers. Three cheers for progress!
Bradley came into Austin as one of the most hyped Longhorns in recent memory, ranked as the No. 1 prospect by ESPNU. A cool footnote is that he was a huge T.J. Ford fan growing up. He averaged 11 points per game at Texas before following Ford's footsteps and exiting early for the draft. Bradley's energy, potential, and defensive prowess lured the Boston Celtics to pick him with the 19th overall pick. Since then, Bradley has been one of the more underrated and important players for the Celtics, and will play a huge role in their effort to make a deep playoff run this season without starting guard Rajon Rondo.
It's probably a safe bet that Kevin Durant will go down as the greatest Texas player of all time to play in the NBA. As a freshman at Texas, Durant was the consensus 2007 National College Player of the Year, averaging 25 points and 11 rebounds a game. He also was the first...