Before all the hysteria of football descends upon us and dominates the thought of every Longhorn fan, let's take the time to put this hoops season to rest and look forward to the promise of next year's squad.
First things first: this interview from DraftExpress with super prep Kevin Durant is enlightening and encouraging. Among the highlights:
Durant Rashard Lewis. Then maybe T-Mac.
Always good to hear.
Durant It will all work out. We have a freshman, D.J. Augustin playing the point, Daniel at the two, me at the three-four, PJ at the four, and LaMarcus at the five.
Wouldn't that be nice? Sadly, it's an unrealistic dream for Horns fans. After all, Lamarcus Aldridge would be a fool to stay another year and enter next year's draft, when all these super preps like Kevin Durant and Greg Oden might be headed to the NBA. Waiting another year would help LaMarcus improve his game, but it's not the right decision. He should, and will, leave. I hate to say it, but it's true.
As for Tucker, how much higher can his stock get? The only thing that could help him is if he suddenly started raining outside jumpers next year, and we all know that's not going to happen. Even if he could, he wouldn't (wisely). Regardless, his situation is up in the air. It's hard to figure out what he'll do. My best guess is that he'll declare himself eligible, without retaining an agent, to see how he's evaluated. If things look good, he may depart. If it's looking like a trip to the NBDL or overseas, I think he'll come back. My gut instinct says he'll return.
Regardless, Durant is certainly wrong about one thing: freshman DJ Augustin will not be starting at point guard next year. That honor will rightly go to AJ Abrams, who had a subtly phenomenal freshman year and will only be better next year. This isn't to say that Augustin can't play his way in to significant minutes, but he'll have to earn them.
Assuming Tucker stays, having Abrams, Gibson, Durant and Tucker starting would be strong. The Horns will need another big man to emerge, but it's a good nucleus. Horns fans can tune in tonight to catch Durant and the other McDonald's All Americans at 9:00 CST on ESPN.