With the hiring of Rodney Terry official, I think we can move past whether or not he was the right choice. But will he succeed at Texas?
Daniel Seahorn (@DanielSeahorn) - I certainly think he has a chance to succeed. From the looks of it, RT is going to keep the same staff in place and continue to build off what they accomplished this year. The old saying is if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it and that seems to be the approach he is taking at least for now. The challenge will be making the team in his image instead of Chris Beard’s and we won’t know what that will look like until we see how he and his staff go about plugging the holes in the roster over the coming months. I’m anxious to see what RT’s program will look like when he has had the final say over the construction of the roster.
Gerald Goodridge (@ghgoodridge) - There have been good coaches at Texas that haven’t succeeded, but the RT definitely seems to be set up to win. The infrastructure built by Chris Beard is still there, he has two five-star talents coming to campus, and the Moody Center quickly became one of the best home courts in the country. He can keep things on the trajectory it’s currently on, the success should follow.
Cameron Parker (@camerondparker) - Daniel and Gerald already touched on the infrastructure put into place so RT doesn’t have to worry about rebuilding the culture like Sark did. He has a solid roster construction and the transfer portal makes it easier to add depth. But we all know he will be judged by his success in March. Taking the Horns to their deepest tourney run in 15 years is a good start, but he’ll have to match that and improve on it if he wants to succeed.
It appears that Texas will return everyone who is eligible including Dylan Disu, Tyrese Hunter, and Brock Cunningham but will lose Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen, Jabari Rice, and Christian Bishop. How do you feel about the roster heading into next season and what needs does Terry need to address through the portal?
Daniel - Texas will return some solid pieces but will have to hit the ground running in the portal to find some veteran experience that is departing in the form of Carr, Allen, Rice, and Bishop. They certainly need to add a big or two depending on what happens with Disu and it will be interesting to see who will step up into the open guard spot with minutes there for the taking. Texas has a good story to tell on the recruiting trail right now and I don’t think will have a hard time selling RT’s vision after the run they just had in March.
Gerald - It’s tough to say at this point, but you can’t mention the portal process without also mentioning AJ Johnson and Ron Holland as well. Texas obviously will need to add a few pieces in the portal, specifically a post presence (what’s up Kadin Shedrick) and someone to replace the outside threat of Sir’Jabari Rice, which will continue to loom large.
Cameron - Terry is bringing back a solid foundation but as of now, he’ll be depending on a lot of young guys i.e. Arterio Morris, Dillon Mitchell, Ron Holland, and A.J. Johnson. Plus, will Brumbaugh and Anamekwe be ready to be contributors? I’d like to see RT hit the portal for at least two guys who can make an immediate impact as Jabari Rice did.
No doubt you would’ve taken a trip to the Elite Eight before the season started, especially if you knew Chris Beard would be fired before conference play. Yet, it still feels like Texas missed an opportunity with a 13-point lead in the second half. How do you assess the end of the Longhorns season?
Daniel - It was a disappointing end given that they were in control of the game with about 10 minutes left to play, but overall I consider it a success when you consider how things could have easily gone off the rails when Beard was fired. RT and this team showed considerable progress on the court and in the W/L column this year and I think without question the program is heading in the right direction heading into next season.
Gerald - Both things can be true. Texas reaching the Elite Eight in spite of the adversity they faced this year is absolutely a rousing success. If the wheels fell off at any point, it would have been totally understandable. That being said, it’s hard not to look specifically at that Miami game and see the chances they left on the table.
Cameron - It felt like the stank of losing surrounded the Texas basketball program for the last ten years and rubbed off on every team until last year. Now, it feels like the trajectory of the program has completely flipped in a good way. As RT said, the Elite Eight (and past that imo) is where Texas belongs. Considering all the turmoil, I believe this season was a huge success.
Who is your pick to win it all now? Will you still be watching?
Daniel - UConn and NOPE.
Gerald - Let’s go with the U. And not a second.
Cameron - Whoever wins the Miami and UConn game will end up capturing the NCAA Championship. I may flip it on but I will not be invested in it.