3 breakout candidates for Texas basketball for the 2022-23 season

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Dillon Mitchell, Texas Basketball

Dillon Mitchell, Texas Basketball

In the near future, head coach Chris Beard and the Texas basketball program will wrap up summer workouts en route to readying up for training camp and the start of the 2022-23 regular season. Texas will begin the 2022-23 regular season slate on Nov. 7 at home at the shiny new Moody Center against the UTEP Miners out of Conference-USA.

Beard and the Longhorns will be looking to build upon the success they found down the stretch last season with an even better postseason run in 2023. If Texas can build upon their first NCAA Tournament win since 2014 next season, then Beard’s squad will be in a spot to really contend on the national scene.

But it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine for the Longhorns on the hardwood last season. Texas did fall short of preseason expectations, coming into last season as the No. 5 ranked team in the AP Poll. That led to the Longhorns finishing up last season at No. 25 in the AP Poll.

There probably won’t be the same preseason expectations for Texas this year compared to last. But that doesn’t mean that expectations won’t still be high for Beard and the Longhorns this season.

Breakout candidates to watch for Texas basketball in 2022-23

With that in mind, here’s a look at three breakout candidates for the Longhorns during the 2022-23 season.

Jabari Rice, Texas Basketball

Jabari Rice, Texas Basketball

Jabari Rice, SG

Among the new additions to watch for the Longhorns heading into next season is the former New Mexico State Aggies senior shooting guard and three-time All-WAC selection Jabari Rice. Texas is getting some valuable experience and two-way versatility in the backcourt/wing rotation by landing Rice out of the NCAA Transfer Portal heading into next season.

What Rice brings to the table for the Longhorns is an immediate impact player on both ends of the floor that could start right away for Beard next season. Rice was really productive for New Mexico State in the last three seasons.

He’s averaged at least around a dozen points per game, five rebounds, two assists, and 0.5 steals, in each of the last three campaigns.

And while Rice was clearly very productive for the Aggies in the last few years, he’ll get his opportunity to get it done on a bigger stage with the Longhorns next season. Rice’s tough on-ball defense, effective off-ball awareness, and underrated playmaking ability should come to the forefront right away for the Longhorns.

Rice will be an effective on-ball defender for the Longhorns on the perimeter or on the wing and can provide a serviceable tertiary ball-handler/facilitator. He won’t really be the go-to option ever for the Texas offense, but he gives this unit another option when the primary sources of scoring go cold.

I don’t know how much Rice will be able to load up the counting stats this season. But he’ll have a chance to see his efficiency skyrocket and get more national recognition as he’ll get to play with the best supporting cast of his collegiate career to date.

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