Texas Basketball: Longhorns Mount Rushmore since 2000

DJ Augustin, Kevin Durant (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
DJ Augustin, Kevin Durant (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
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Texas Basketball
Texas Basketball (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Configuring the Mount Rushmore equivalent for the Texas basketball program in the last 20 years has a true plethora of options, especially from 2000-2010.

More NBA caliber talent rolled through the Texas basketball program and the Forty Acres in the last two decades than just about any other in the Big 12, maybe outside of the Kansas Jayhawks. But even Kansas doesn’t claim a star as bright as Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, or one with as much longevity or as accomplish as San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge.

Part of this list of the best current and former Texas hoops players to roll through the Forty Acres in the last two decades is a testament to all the talent present here, and a disappointment in the lack of postseason success. Texas hasn’t even made an Elite 8 since the 2007-08 season.

The best that Texas did in the last decade was make two Sweet 16’s. And both of those Sweet 16 runs came under the direction of former head coach Rick Barnes, not current head coach Shaka Smart. The farthest that Smart took Texas in his five seasons on campus was the Round of 32. But he has missed the NCAA Tournament just as many times as he made it with Texas.

It is not all fair and good to say that Smart missed the “Big Dance” in two out of five years since Texas was on the bubble in the season that was and the novel coronavirus pandemic shut it all down before it got good.

Granted, this is still a good time to look back and see what top talent Texas was able to churn out for their men’s basketball program.

Here’s a deeper look into the definitive “Mount Rushmore” for players out of the Texas Longhorns basketball program since the turn of the century.