Texas has always been considered one of the best all-around sports schools in the country by putting both a competitive football team on the field and a strong basketball team on the court every season. While Texas football has been up to par recently, the Longhorns are certainly having a difficult time on the court. Going 16-18 and losing to Houston in the first round of the CBI is not the type of season that head coach Rick Barnes was envisioning and with the talented sophomore guard Myck Kabongo declaring for the NBA Draft, the Longhorns may be lucky to even get over .500 next year. The Longhorns’ offseason sadness doesn’t end with Kabongo, sophomore Sheldon McClellan has confirmed that he will transfer out of Texas next year. McClellan averaged 13.5 points per game, however, was kept on the bench for extended periods of time due to his work ethic. In a season where the Longhorns scored only 65.4 points per game, Texas basketball fans everywhere are probably thinking that this disaster simply cannot get any worse. Unfortunately for both the Longhorn faithful and head coach Rick Barnes, another disappointing season is almost inevitable.
Texas is losing their two top scorers in Kabongo and McClellan and doing very little to replace them. Barnes was only able to secure one player in the ESPN Top 100, a four-star point guard out of Richardson, Texas. Coach Barnes is certainly going to be under a lot of pressure to turn this mediocre team into a competitive tournament team. Despite some good years early on in his coaching career at Texas, Barnes has had his share of struggles recently. The Longhorns were upset in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament and failed to reach the 2013 Tournament.
It is difficult to argue that Barnes is not a competent coach. Barnes has consistently put a solid squad out on the court and has competed in a difficult basketball conference. However, recently he is simply not landing the recruits that he has in the past and the few that he has gotten have either left for the NBA Draft early, without doing much for the Longhorns program, or transferred. This 2013-2014 season is going to be extremely crucial for coach Barnes. With a winning season this year, Barnes can take some of the heavy pressure off of himself as he tries to get Texas back to it’s winning ways.