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Texas F Jericho Sims signs with an agent

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After a strong NBA Combine, Sims boosted his draft stock and solidified his decision to turn professional.

NBA: NBA:Combine David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Longhorns forward Jericho Sims signed with an agent on Wednesday, officially ending his college career, Klutch Sports announced.

Always likely to turn professional instead of returning for a fifth season on the Forty Acres, Sims performed well at the NBA Combine last week, boosting his draft stock, after the odds of Sims returning decreased recently when Texas landed a commitment from UMass transfer Tre Mitchell.

Sims posted a 44.5-inch vertical with a 7’3 wingspan after impressing during individual workouts, then carried that success over into scrimmages with his ability as a rim runner who can finish with authority and as a strong and active defender.

The performance likely solidified Sims as a second-round draft pick — he’s now 58th in the latest ESPN mock draft.

Sims came to Texas as part of the 2017 recruiting class for former head coach Shaka Smart, appearing in 34 games with 11 starts and averaging 5.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game while finishing second on the team in blocks (18).

After primarily serving as Mo Bamba’s backup that season, Sims had the opportunity to emerge as the full-time starter in 2018-19 with Bamba off to the NBA, but Sims battled injuries and struggled to perform consistently, eventually losing the starting job to freshman Jaxson Hayes. With Hayes quickly emerging as another one-and-done lottery pick, Sims averaged 4.2 points per game and 3.6 points per game, playing well when Hayes missed the NIT after suffering a knee injury.

As a junior, Sims finally started to play to his potential more often, starting all 24 games, shooting 65.8 percent from the field, and leading the team in rebounding at 8.2 per game. Sims also scored 9.7 points per game in becoming an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection.

Sims wasn’t quite able to match those numbers as a senior, scoring 9.2 points per game and averaging 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 69.2 percent, No. 16 nationally. In Big 12 play, Sims shot 75.3 percent, the best mark in the conference, while emerging as one of the league’s most versatile defenders with his ability to defend anyone on the court.