Men’s basketball pries K.T. Turner from SMU to become associate head coach

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Texas men's basketball head coach Shaka Smart filled out his coaching staff when he lured K.T. Turner away from SMU to become the Longhorns' new associate head coach (photo courtesy of SMU athletics).

By Steve Lansdale

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas men’s basketball head coach filled the void on his coaching staff Friday when he hired K.T. Turner away from SMU to become the program’s new associate head coach.

Turner spent the past season seasons at SMU, including the last four in the same role as he will have at UT.

"I'm very excited about K.T. joining our program," Smart said. "He brings a wealth of experience and a tremendous basketball pedigree. K.T. will do a terrific job coaching on the floor and building strong connections with our guys and future Longhorns!"

Turner was hired as an assistant coach at SMU by Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown; when Brown was replaced by Tim Jankovich, Turner became the Mustangs’ associate head coach.

During his tenure at SMU, the Mustangs put together an overall record of 160-71 (.693), won a pair of American Athletic Conference regular-season titles (2014-15 and 2016-17) and two AAC Tournament championships (2015, 2017) and made two NCAA Tournament appearances (2015, 2017). SMU earned spots in The Associated Press' Top 25 during four of his seven years, climbing as high as No. 8 in 2015-16. 

"I am honored to join the Texas Longhorns basketball family," Turner said. "This program has a rich basketball history, is one of the premier programs in the Big 12 Conference, and is the flagship university of this great state.

"Coach Smart has built a culture that embodies core values I appreciate and completely align with. I look at this as an opportunity to help this prestigious program reach the level we know it's capable of. The alumni of Texas basketball are one of the nation's elite and I am thrilled to get to know them, the Longhorn community, and to get to work with our players and staff."

Turner helped turn SMU produce a steady stream of elite talent. Guard Nic Moore (2014-15 and 2015-16) and forward Semi Ojeleye 2016-17 earned AAC Player of the Year awards. SMU players have earned more All-AAC honors (15) over Turner’s seven-year tenure than any team in the conference, and three Mustangs have been drafted: Ojeleye at No. 37 in 2017, guard Sterling Brown at No. 46 in the same draft by the Philadelphia 76ers (who traded him on draft night) to the Milwaukee Bucks and guard Shake Milton, who was taken with the 54th selection in 2018 by the Dallas Mavericks, who traded him to Philadelphia.

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