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Report: Texas expected to host Samford grad transfer G Justin Coleman

Shaka Smart has another graduate transfer on his radar.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Nashville Practice Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The circuitous path of graduate transfer point guard Justin Coleman is expected to bring him to Austin this weekend for a visit with the Texas Longhorns, according to a report from Jon Rothstein.

The 5’10, 170-pounder started his career at Alabama before transferring to Samford two years ago. After sitting out one season and then leading the Bulldogs in scoring at 13.5 points per game, Coleman announced in late March that he was moving on once again, this time as a graduate transfer.

So far, he’s taken a visit to St. Louis.

An appealing player because of his experience and playmaking ability, Coleman would provide another ball handler for head coach Shaka Smart — he averaged 6.6 assists last season for Samford and is known as a gym rat.

“Since he’s been on campus, I think he’s kind of validated the direction that we were heading,” said head coach Scott Padgett. “Last year, we had a group of four or five guys that would get in the gym and do a little bit extra, but Justin, the first day he could be on campus, we had workouts in the afternoon at 2 p.m., and he was in the gym at 6 a.m., getting extra shots up. Then, the second day he was on campus, he was in the gym at 6 a.m., getting shots up. So, before you know it, other guys are getting up early and shooting in the gym, and I think that’s just part of the way that he’s already helping to make our team better.”

In addition to Coleman’s 2.4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, he made 80 percent of his free throws and 37 percent of his three pointers. Coleman’s accuracy from distance isn’t as impressive as Albany graduate transfer Joe Cremo, one of the best shooters in the country, but Coleman did improve substantially during his transfer season.

The search for another ball handler is evidence that Smart is planning for the possibility of not having one or both of Kerwin Roach II and Andrew Jones on the team this fall.