Texas basketball head coach Chris Beard made one thing clear when he was hired this past April: anything short of an appearance in a Monday night championship game this spring would be considered a failure.
Ask any coach from any sport during their introductory press conference about their team's championship aspirations and they'll likely say something that falls along the same lines.
Will Beard prove his goals are more than just "talk"?
The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook revealed their 2021-2022 Preseason Top-25 on Thursday, as it looks like other members of college basketball share similar expectations for Texas.
The Longhorns came in at No. 4 on the list after reeling in some of the top transfer talents in the country over the summer. In fact, CBY went as far as to say that Beard and Co. "put together what might be the best-ever transfer portal recruiting class."
Here's a complete look at what CBY had to say about Texas headed into this season.
"After Shaka Smart left for Marquette, there was no other choice to coach the Longhorns than Chris Beard, who played at Texas and had built a reputation as a quick fixer-upper at Little Rock and Texas Tech. Within weeks after taking the Texas job, he showed why. Beard and his staff put together what might be the best-ever transfer portal recruiting class. Every year ESPN.com produces a credible ranking of transfers, and the Longhorns nabbed four of ESPN’s top 16—No. 1 Marcus Carr (Minnesota), No. 4 Timmy Allen (Utah), No. 5 Tre Mitchell (UMass), and No. 16 Christian Bishop (Creighton). Texas also signed No. 23 Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt) and No. 30 Devin Askew (Kentucky)."
At this point, it's no secret that Beard managed to snag some big-time talent from the transfer portal over the summer, but labeling this Texas transfer class as one of the "best-ever" raises the bar to a whole other level.
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In total, nine new players have officially been added to the roster with other additions to be announced before the season begins. With all these new faces, it can be easy for some to forget the four remaining players from last year's team.
Andrew Jones, Brock Cunningham, Jase Febres, and Courtney Ramey were all valuable contributors to a Texas team that won its first Big-12 men's basketball title in program history last season under Shaka Smart.
Jones was the team's leading scorer last season (14.6), while Ramey was second on the team in both total assists (102) and minutes per game (33.5). Their presence, along with Cunningham and Febres, will be invaluable for the Longhorns moving forward.
All four players have cemented themselves with the Texas program and will likely be leaned upon by Beard to emerge as leaders for this team as the season progresses.
With an almost entirely new roster, the chemistry these four will bring will allow the team to gel easier despite the unfamiliarity. Again, this will be monumental in determining Texas' success during Beard's first season.
"We're Doin' This" has been the team's slogan throughout the offseason. Longhorn Nation will finally get a chance to see what exactly "this" is when the team tips off the season on Nov. 9 at home against Houston Baptist.
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