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Texas PF Royce Hamm Jr. to miss season-opener with MCL sprain

The sophomore forward won’t suit up on Tuesday evening vs. Eastern Illinois.

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

On Tuesday evening, the Texas Longhorns 2018-19 season will get underway at the Frank Erwin Center as Shaka Smart’s team welcomes Eastern Illinois. When that time comes, Texas will be without sophomore small forward Royce Hamm Jr., who has suffered a sprained MCL, Smart announced during his Monday morning media availability.

Smart said Hamm is yet to receive an MRI, but added “we don’t think he’s going to be out for too long.”

The winner of the Texas Tip-Off dunk contest, Hamm averaged only 5.3 minutes per contest last season, with which he contributed 0.6 points and 1.4 rebounds.

However, Hamm clearly has some athletic upside entering his second season on the Forty Acres, and the same can be said of his rebounding potential if he can earn consistent playing time, as Hamm averaged 10.4 rebounds per 40 minutes as a freshman, which was a rate more impressive than what Jericho Sims managed (8.5).

Hamm will compete for playing time in a deep frontcourt that also includes the aforementioned sophomore Sims, senior Dylan Osetkowski, freshman Kamaka Hepa, and freshman Jaxson Hayes.