Texas Basketball: Grading each Horns portal addition so far this offseason

Max Abmas. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports
Max Abmas. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ze'Rik Onyema, Texas basketball
Ze’Rik Onyema, Texas basketball /

A crazy start to the offseason for new head coach Rodney Terry and the Texas basketball program saw a lot of roster attrition take place in the last month or so. Some of the aforementioned roster attrition was expected to take place given the number of players that Texas is set to lose due to a lack of remaining eligibility.

Yet, Terry and the Longhorns also managed to lose four other notable players that were projected to be on the roster next season between de-commitments in the 2023 class and other NCAA Transfer Portal departures. Texas lost freshman guards Rowan Brumbaugh (Georgetown) and Arterio Morris (Kansas) to the portal last month.

There were also the de-commitments of two five-star recruits, forward Ron Holland and combo guard AJ Johnson. That’s not to mention the potential losses of two early 2023 NBA Draft entrants, sophomore guard Tyrese Hunter and freshman forward Dillon Mitchell.

Moreover to replace all this departing talent, Terry and the Longhorns turned to the transfer portal. So far this offseason, the Longhorns have added four portal commits. According to the 247Sports Transfer Team Rankings, the 2023 Texas portal class ranks at No. 3 in the nation.

Grading each portal pickup for Texas basketball so far this offseason

Here’s a look at the grades that we’ve given for each of the four portal pickups for the Longhorns so far this offseason.

Ze’Rik Onyema, PF

One of the more recent portal additions for Terry and the Longhorns this offseason, former UTEP Miners junior power forward Ze’Rik Onyema, brings more depth and physicality in the paint to the frontcourt unit. The 6-foot-8 and 215-pound big man was one of the better rebounders at his position in the last couple of seasons in the Conference-USA for UTEP.

I like the addition of Onyema as a big man with some experience, while still having some upside to grow into with Terry being able to hone his skill set. And Terry knows Onyema’s game really well, as he was the coach that brought him to UTEP when RT was still the bench boss for the Miners a few seasons ago.

Given the amount of experience and production in the frontcourt that the Longhorns lost so far this offseason, adding a depth player with some upside over the next couple of years such as Oneyma is a good move. The familiarity that Onyema and Terry have with each other stemming from their time together at UTEP also helps make this a highly-graded portal pickup.

Grade: B+