Where things stand for Texas after transfer portal movement

We all know the profound impact the transfer portal had on college basketball. Still, sometimes it takes a two-day stretch Texas basketball recently experienced to feel the whole gamut of emotions about this seemingly never-ending cycle.
Tramon Mark
Tramon Mark / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

We all know the profound impact the transfer portal has on college basketball. Still, sometimes it takes a two-day stretch Texas basketball recently experienced to feel the whole gamut of emotions about this seemingly never-ending cycle.

Texas basketball extremely active with portal recruiting early this spring

Following the Longhorns' Round of 32 NCAA Tournament defeat against Tennessee on Mar. 23, the Texas fanbase has been anxiously awaiting what head coach Rodney Terry had in store for this offseason.

With how quickly the transfer portal moves, a few days seems like a few weeks, and a few weeks seems like eons. With other schools announcing transfer portal signees left and right, some were worried about what the staff was planning.

As Longhorn Legend Scottie Scheffler was putting on a Sunday clinic en route to claiming his second Green Jacket, Texas basketball received a flurry of terrific transfer portal news to close the week.

Jayson Kent (Indiana State), Julian Larry (Indiana State), and Tramon Mark (Arkansas) all announced their commitments to Texas within six hours of each other on Sunday afternoon/evening. If everything goes to plan, this may be one of the most profound days in Texas basketball history.

You may think that is a gross exaggeration, and while I fully admit it could be, I also believe Kent, Larry, and Mark could contribute to a Final Four-caliber team. Over their combined college careers, the trio has played 361 games (239 starts), scoring 3,122 points with 1,294 rebounds, 655 assists, and 346 steals.

Last season, the trio averaged 40.7 PPG, 15.2 RPG, and 7.2 APG, shooting 40.3 percent from deep at Indiana State and Arkansas, respectively. Texas added elite, veteran talent.

All credit to Coach Terry and his staff. When Texas basketball fans panicked because a transfer hadn't been signed in the first few weeks after the portal opened, Terry stuck to his guns to bring talented and experienced players who could gel together seamlessly.

This staff is not trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They have been selective in their portal takes, not listening to outside pressure or noise. For better or for worse, when Chris Del Conte gave Rodney Terry a five-year deal last March, it was paramount he did things his way. We have seen that in his first 13 months on the job.

However, the portal giveth and taketh, and on Monday evening, Dillon Mitchell and Tyrese Hunter announced their intentions to enter the portal. Although not totally unexpected, seeing two multi-year starters enter the portal on the same day never feels good.

Regardless of what you think of Mitchell, he was a much-improved player as a sophomore and is a high-level difference-maker with an ability to run the floor, guard one through five, and attack the glass.

Hunter, who transferred from Iowa State after winning Big 12 Freshman of the Year, never seemed to reach his full potential in Austin. During his two seasons at Texas, Hunter averaged 10.7 PPG, 3.3 APG, and 2.9 RPG—nothing to scoff at, but not nearly the production we expected upon his arrival. I believe this split was somewhat mutual, with Hunter looking for a change of scenery and the Texas staff looking to reshape the backcourt.

Of the 12 scholarship players Texas had on its roster for the 2024 NCAA Tournament, just four are expected back in Austin for the 2024/25 season. With the three transfers and two freshmen mixed in, here is what a current Texas basketball depth chart looks like:

  • PG: Julian Larry
  • SG: Chendall Weaver, Tre Johnson
  • SF: Tramon Mark, Devon Pryor
  • PF: Jayson Kent, Ze’Rik Onyema, Nic Codie
  • C: Kadin Shedrick

This is not a projected rotation map, just a depth chart. Five-star freshman Tre Johnson will be a starter next season. That said, I love what the staff is doing regarding their acquisition of lengthy two-way guards who can score and facilitate. You could very well put out a four-guard lineup with Larry, Weaver, Johnson, and Mark and allow them to play at an Alabama-esque pace.

Texas basketball currently has nine scholarship players on its roster. That leaves three scholarship spots open, as Coach Terry and his staff have been aggressively pursuing a few big portal names.

Look for Texas to target another lead ball-handler and center to help fill out the roster. Regardless, Coach Terry and his staff have again gotten off to a terrific start in the transfer portal. Texas basketball should start popping up in most 'Way Too Early Top 25's' as they enter their first season in the SEC.

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