By Cody Daniel @CodyDanielRS on July 4, 2014
The Texas Longhorns became the surprise of the Big 12 last season after most expected the team to finish near the bottom of the conference. A 24-11 season later and the Horns are heading into next season looking like a team that could actually find themselves in some conversations deep into the NCAA tournament. That said, here’s five bold predictions for the Horns next season.
After a surprising freshman campaign that saw Isaiah Taylor average 12.7 points and four assists per contest, he is heading into next season as one of the top guards in the Big 12. With some much-needed development to his jump shot in addition to the growth and maturity he will have as a player this offseason, Taylor will become one of the NCAA’s elite guards by March Madness.
The missing pieces for the Longhorns last season were the lack of a go-to-guy on offense and an overall star to rely heavily upon. With the scoring ability of Jordan Barnett and the star-caliber talent of Myles Turner, Texas’ freshmen will be the difference next season.
Within the span of one season, Rick Barnes went from one of the hottest seats in college basketball to being named the Big 12 Coach of the Year. With the potential of his team, considering their depth next season, some fulfilled expectations will result in Barnes being the Big 12 COY for a second-straight season.
Last season, the Big 12 conference was a rigorous gauntlet that challenged every team every night. Next season, the Longhorns will have the deepest team in a conference that is far less loaded than it was last season. If they live up to their hype, Texas will walk away as Big 12 champs next season.
The Longhorns haven’t tasted the Final Four since 2003 when T.J. Ford carried them to one of their deepest runs in the program’s history. With an already-loaded roster returning every single member and adding some premier freshmen talent to the mix, the Horns will have the makings of a team that will be one of the final four playing next season.
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