Texas Basketball: 3 reasons UT can win the Big 12 Tournament

Texas basketball returns to Kansas City, MO, next week to try and defend their crown in the Big 12 Tournament.
Dylan Disu, Brock Cunningham, Texas basketball
Dylan Disu, Brock Cunningham, Texas basketball / Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3
Tyrese Hunter, Texas basketball
Tyrese Hunter, Texas basketball / Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA

Texas has a premier backcourt duo when Tyrese Hunter is on

When Terry landed Abmas from the transfer portal during the offseason, he found the answer to Texas's starting backcourt after the loss of senior guard Marcus Carr due to exhausted eligibility. Abmas and junior guard Tyrese Hunter brought a combination of proven experience, playmaking, and offensive prowess that fit Terry's system.

The backcourt duo of Abmas and Hunter allows the Longhorns to move the ball freely with multiple capable primary ball-handlers and offensive initiators. Abmas and Hunter are also both capable of running with the ball in transition.

Abmas lived up to the hype and more in many ways for the Longhorns this season. He ranked fourth in the Big 12 in scoring, which earned him All-Big 12 Second Team and Big 12 Newcomer Team honors.

Abmas has been the proven clutch scorer that can take that big shot late in games for the Longhorns. He's nailed multiple game-winning jump shots in the dying seconds of games this season, including in Texas's first road win in Big 12 play against the Cincinnati Bearcats a couple of months ago.

Hunter has also had some big moments for the Longhorns this season. Most notably, he had a career day with a career-best 30 points, seven assists, and three steals in Texas's convincing 14-point win over Oklahoma on March 9.

Texas needs Hunter to be at his best for this team to live up to its lofty potential this postseason. When Hunter is making shots and facilitating the offense at the level we all know he's capable of, Texas is extremely difficult to defend. The Longhorns are 4-1 in Big 12 play this year when Hunter makes at least five field goals in games this season.

Proven backcourt scoring is a major key to making deep runs in the Big 12 Tournament. Senior guards Carr and Sir'Jabari Rice solidified Texas's big three on the offensive end last year alongside Disu, averaging around 25 points per game.

If both Abmas and Hunter are playing at or near peak efficiency in the Big 12 Tournament, they form one of the most dangerous backcourt duos in the entire conference.