In 2015-16, the Little Rock Trojans underwent a rebrand in terms of their image and name off the court. On the court, they quickly emerged as one of the top mid-major teams in the country, and became one of America’s favourites in the process.
Their five losses were tied for the fewest in the entire NCAA last year. They won both the regular season and tournament Sun Belt titles, and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament after a double-overtime win over the Purdue Boilermakers in Denver, CO.
Looking ahead to next season, the roster will be vastly different. Leading scorer Josh Hagins has graduated, along with Roger Woods, Daniel Green, and Jermaine Ruttley.
Now, you can add Mareik Isom to the list of players who won’t be back for the Trojans, as he has found his new home for the 2016-17 campaign.
Isom is joining Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns as a graduate transfer for the 2016-17 season.
The addition of Isom to the rotation for the Longhorns is a much-needed addition for the 2016-17 team. Texas will be without the likes of Isaiah Taylor, who declared for the NBA Draft early, and Demarcus Holland, Javan Felix, Prince Ibeh, Cameron Ridley, and Connor Lammert, all of whom graduated after last season.
With plenty of holes in the front court, the 6’9” Isom can step in and play meaningful minutes from the outset. He brings with him a wealth of experience, having played three seasons with the Trojans.
Last year, Isom averaged 5.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, while averaging 19.1 minutes per contest. He scored in double figures eight times last season, scoring a season-high 16 points in the Trojans’ 73-68 win over the Texas State Bobcats on February 27th.
Isom joins a highly-touted recruiting class for the Longhorns that features three players ranked inside the top 100 on ESPN. Centers Jarrett Allen and James Banks will help to bolster the front court, alongside Isom.
In 2016-17, Texas is looking to bounce back from their upset loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the hands of the Northern Iowa Panthers. With the addition of Isom, they have taken another step towards doing just that.
– T. Bennett