NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16: J'Covan Brown #14 of the Texas Longhorns hides his head in his shirt on the court after losing to the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
It's the spring and the Texas basketball season just ended. What does that mean? Well, with nine players having left early since 2006, spring is the season in which any and all future hopes for Longhorn hoops team are fully and completely destroyed.
Following a Wednesday report that freshman point guard Myck Kabongo will depart the 40, news broke Wednesday night, reported first by the Daily Texan, that junior guard J'Covan Brown will declare for the NBA Draft. No official announcement from Brown or Kabongo yet, but it seems like merely a formality for the former.
As part of this annual rite of spring, expectations for the coming season decrease with the loss of the players who were supposed to lead the team and provide the upside. Sure, the potential signing of Fort Bend Bush blue-chip center Cameron Ridley, who opted not to ink during the fall signing period, helps lend some hope to these proceedings, but he won't be able to single-handedly make up for the loss of Brown and possibly Kabongo.
The other aspect to this continually heart-wrenching process? Inane speculation about whether or not Rick Barnes should stop recruiting such good players -- he should continue taking the best that he can -- and accusations that these players don't care about Texas.
In reality, which many fans choose to depart in these situations, when these players make decisions about their professional, their personal feelings about Texas aren't particularly relevant and unfounded accusations regarding those feelings are nothing but petty rage reminiscent of a scorned lover.
As far as the impact on next year's team, when Brown does officially declare, he will leave the 'Horns without an experienced shotmaker and without their go-to scorer down the stretch. It's hard to overemphasize just how much the guy Scipio Tex recently began calling J'Onions McTournament meant to the 'Horns in late-game situations.
Freshman guard Sheldon McClellan is the most likely player to step into that role in his second season, but right now, it looks like that will be a void Barnes will have to fill through trial and error.
Will Texas basketball ever emerge from this state of perpetually rebuilding every year? If it does happen, it won't be this year.