3. Optimize the front court rotation
We’ll continue to elaborate on the point of improvement for the front court for the Texas basketball program in the final month before the turn of the calendar year. Texas needs to keep relying on increased minutes for some of its more potent freshmen. First-year power forward Kamaka Hepa is a good example of someone who could handle an increased workload.
Head Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart seems to be trying every combination he can in the front court to make the best out of his rotation. Smart usually uses all of the tools at his disposal to find success on both ends of the floor, which is one of his better characteristics as a head coach. The issue is that he lacks the ability to find a rotation that provides reliable offensive production.
Moreover, Smart has the ability to find that proper combination that allows the Horns to excel down low this season. The emergence of freshman forward/center Jaxson Hayes gives Smart more depth to work with down low. Sophomore Jericho Sims also had some breakout showings of late.
Hayes is posting some of the best per 40 minute and per 100 possession numbers for the Horns this season. His minutes are increasing in the last few games, which is warranted considering his level of play. Hayes averages a whopping 27.6 points per 100 possessions, 13.1 rebounds, 6.8 blocks, and 1.8 steals. Between Hayes’ production, a high ceiling for Sims, and the developing Hepa, Smart has plenty of tools to make this front court excel game in and game out.