The 2015 off-season has been an eventful one for the Texas Longhorns, to say the very least.
Freshman sensation Myles Turner declared for the NBA Draft, to no one’s surprise. Turner was expected to leave Austin after his first season in the NCAA, and he did just that.
From there, long-time head coach Rick Barnes was relieved of his duties with the Longhorns. After 17 seasons, the athletic department at Texas felt that it was time for a new look behind the bench. With that, they landed one of the best coaches in the NCAA, nabbing Shaka Smart from the VCU Rams.
On Saturday night, Smart saw his fortunes get a little brighter for the 2015-16 season. Point guard Isaiah Taylor opted to stay at Texas for his junior season, foregoing the NBA Draft for at least one more year.Last season, Taylor averaged 13.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game for the Longhorns. His season was put on hold for a while, as he suffered a broken wrist back in November and missed 10 games.
With Taylor back in the mix, Shaka Smart now has a talented group of players for his first season at Texas. Smart has Taylor, Prince Ibeh, Connor Lammert, Demarcus Holland, Cameron Ridley, and Javan Felix returning, among others. Add in a strong recruiting class, headlined by guards Eric Davis (ESPN #45) and Kerwin Roach, Jr (ESPN #47), and there is reason for optimism in Austin, TX.
Demarcus Holland said it best on Twitter shortly after Taylor announced his decision to “return” to school. Holland tweeted,
“My boy never left ain’t no coming back we been in this together! #hookem”.
The boys are back in the city of Austin, and the rest of the NCAA better be ready for what the Longhorns have to throw at them this season.