The starting frontcourt for the Texas Longhorns down the stretch of the 2021-22 season will now return fully intact, as forward Timmy Allen is taking advantage of his COVID-19 year and returning to Austin for a final season, he announced on Wednesday via Twitter.
A headliner of head coach Chris Beard’s massive portal haul last season, Allen became an integral part of Texas’ first 20-win regular season since 2016. Beyond finishing as the team’s leading scorer (12.1), to go along with 6.4 boards and 2.1 assists, Allen was a key contributor in three of the final five wins — all of which were arguably necessary for Texas to make the Big Dance — courtesy of his 24 points (11-17) and nine rebounds in a 79-76 win over No. 8 Kansas, 20 points (8-13) in an overtime road win over Oklahoma, and 26-point (7-9) double double in a one-point road win over West Virginia.
As with Christian Bishop, Allen returning is significant for a number of reasons, and continuity is certainly among the most notable.
Andrew Jones has’t yet publicly announced any decision, and Courtney Ramey has elected to both test the NBA Draft waters and enter the NCAA Transfer Portal, so operating under the possibility that neither return to Austin, Allen joining Bishop as returning starters is significant for the outlook of Chris Beard’s 2022-23 roster.
Regardless of how Beard retools his backcourt and adjusts roles with the arrivals of Arterio Morris and Rowan Brumbaugh, Allen’s presence can relieve some of that pressure, as he’s proven to be incredibly comfortable with the ball in his hands and initiating the offense. Elsewhere, though, it would make sense to expect the emphasis from Allen and the Texas staff to be on helping him be a bit more consistent and even assertive offensively; something the Horns will absolutely need if Jones and Marcus Carr don’t return.
In any case, whatever his exact role looks like, having Allen back in burnt orange should raise both the floor and the ceiling for this program inn 2022-23.