The Texas Longhorns men’s basketball program will enter the 2021 season with several new players. Expectations are heightened, largely due to new head coach Chris Beard who has been working hard to transform the program.
The former Texas Tech head coach picked up seven players in the transfer portal, elevating the Longhorns' preseason ranking.
Dick Vitale, ESPN’s famed personality, took notice and recently ranked the Longhorns No. 3 in his college preseason Top 40 rankings. Here’s what Vitale had to say about Texas:
“Chris Beard should enjoy his first season with the Longhorns. He landed the best group of transfers, led by Marcus Carr from Minnesota. This Texas squad is one of the deepest in America; the second team could be ranked as its own unit. Andrew Jones is the top returning starter and he may be coming off the bench. Dylan Disu is coming off a knee injury; if he is healthy, he has double-double potential. Tre Mitchell can flat-out play. There is excitement galore for Texas, which will battle with Kansas for the Big 12 title.”
Vitale also included Texas’s Big 12 rivals Kansas (No. 5) and the defending national champion, Baylor, (No. 9) in his top-40.
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Beard has continued to focus heavily on recruiting. Most recently, he pursued elite forward Dillon Mitchell (Montverde Academy) who agreed to visit Austin.
Florida State and Tennessee are right in the race with the Longhorns to land Mitchell.
Texas will begin its season at home on November 9 against Houston Baptist. Shortly afterward on November 13, the Longhorns will face a tough road game against No. 1 Gonzaga.
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