The Texas men's basketball team has made the grade.
Following a 2019-2020 season filled with ups and downs, injuries and close losses, Shaka Smart's squad has something to celebrate as the offseason continues and the future of the 2020-2021 basketball season is filled with uncertainty.
On Thursday, it was announced that Texas had earned a team academic excellence award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, not a small feat, as a team must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the past season. Accomplishing that during a season where games are typically played twice a week, and travel is involved, can be a tall task.
In addition, three other Big 12 foes; Kansas State, West Virginia and Oklahoma State, all earned the honor.
While he did not see much time on the court, playing just six minutes this past season, Drayton Whiteside was a leader both on the bench and in the classroom for the Horns. The walk-on, who is a double major in Finance and Sport Management, received the high mark of being named to the NABC Honors Court on Wednesday, which individually recognizes players for their contributions in the classroom. The qualifications are hard to achieve, as one must be a junior or senior and a varsity player along with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher, have played at the school for more than one season, and have an NABC member coach.
Texas walk-on Drayton Whiteside makes the Longhorns bench go wild. MAN DOWN!😂🏀😂🏀😂 pic.twitter.com/Zp9txBG7hI— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 16, 2018
This is a surge of momentum heading into the upcoming season, which opens up in the Erwin Center against Louisiana on November 10. The Texas men's basketball team has their priorities straight, and a solid team for the 2020-2021 campaign.