The last time we saw Texas on the floor it was getting drilled by Oklahoma State at the Frank Erwin Center in a bewildering performance.
Firmly on the bubble and with Smart’s job status in a precocious position, the Longhorns no-showed in the final game of the regular season and got hammered by a team whose best-case scenario was making the NIT.
Granted, Texas had entered the game on a five-game winning streak that included impressive wins over West Virginia and Texas Tech that undoubtedly saved Smart’s job. But the final win of that streak was a game that — let’s be honest — Oklahoma handed Texas.
Texas was underwhelming last season.
It’s been underwhelming during Smart’s entire five-year tenure.
Smart has reached the NCAA tournament twice and lost in the first round both times to mid-majors (Northern Iowa, Nevada). His best year came his first season in 2015-16 when he went 20-13 overall and 11-7 in the Big 12, finishing fourth in the conference.
Two years later, Texas snuck into the tournament with a 19-15 record and a below-.500 conference record.
A year later, the Longhorns won the NIT. Frankly, playing in that competition is more embarrassing for an athletic department like Texas than winning it was an accomplishment.
Overall, during Smart's time at Texas the program is 90-78 with a ghastly 40-50 mark in the Big 12.
One wonders what would have happened with Smart had Texas lost to Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 tournament last year, but the sports world shut down and now here we are entering the 2020-21 season.
If Brown gels with all the upperclassmen on the roster, Texas should be an NCAA tournament team.
If Brown doesn’t gel with all the returning talent … (shudders).
Picked fourth in the Big 12 coaches' preseason poll, Texas could be a team that easily makes the field of 68 in the range of a 4-8 seed.
Jericho Sims, when healthy, is a legitimate force in the paint. Kai Jones and Kamaka Hepa are decent options in the post with experience.
I'm still puzzed: why didn't 6-foot...(cont. on Page 3)