Leadership in the backcourt
A major key for teams making deep runs in the postseason is often having an experienced and skilled backcourt that can lead their squad through adversity. The UConn Huskies had a standout guard duo of senior Tristen Newton and sophomore Jordan Hawkins on their title-winning squad last season.
The same could be said for Kansas, which had senior Ochai Agbaji and junior Christian Braun in the backcourt when they won the title during the 2021-22 season.
Terry and the Longhorns have an excellent starting guard duo with plenty of proven experience in the projected starting five for the 2023-24 season in Abmas and junior Tyrese Hunter. Abmas and Hunter have nearly 200 games played in their collegiate careers combined. They also have nearly a dozen NCAA Tournament games in their careers combined.
The biggest x-factor for the Longhorns’ backcourt is getting more consistency throughout the regular season from Hunter. While he came on strong at the beginning and end of last season, Hunter was the least efficient player in Texas’ core rotation from December until early February.
Texas needs Hunter to be more consistent, especially in conference play, for this backcourt to deliver on a level necessary for this team to stay in the Big 12 regular season title race.
When Hunter and Abmas are on, this guard duo is extremely difficult to guard, given that each can handle the ball, score from multiple levels of the floor, and facilitate the offense. Abmas is a critical difference-maker who will be one of the best scoring guards in the major conferences this season. He’s scored over 20 points per game in each of the last three seasons while shooting the ball efficiently every year.