Longhorns

Texas’ 2011 recruiting class started six strong and was expected to return the program to prominence. Instead, only one member of the class, Jonathan Holmes, remains at Texas as the group enters what would have been its junior year. Here is a breakdown of where the highly touted recruiting class ended up, and how it happened.

Myck Kabongo
Class of 2011
PG

Kabongo, a five-star recruit in the 2011 class, never quite gelled at Texas. His freshman year, Barnes was often hard on the first-year point guard, but Kabongo ultimately came back to Texas for his sophomore season. However, in a long, drawn-out saga, the NCAA suspended Kabongo for the team’s first 23 games because he had received improper benefits. After the season ended, Kabongo declared for the NBA draft but was not selected. Kabongo signed a deal to play for the Miami Heat’s summer league team.

 

Sheldon McClellan
Class of 2011
SG

McClellan, the Longhorns’ most potent offensive player while Kabongo served his suspension, also had his issues with Barnes. The shooting guard often found himself benched for long stretches, even during key games, for an apparent lack of effort. After Kabongo returned, Barnes further slashed McClellan’s playing time. After the season, McClellan declared his intention to transfer and will join Miami.

 

Julien Lewis
Class of 2011
SG

Lewis, an unheralded member of the Longhorns’ 2011 class, was often Texas’ best pure shooter in 2012. The 6-foot-3-inch guard averaged 11.2 points and 3.3 rebounds last season, often hitting big shots for Texas. However, like many other members of his class, Lewis elected to transfer after the season and is headed to Fresno State. 

 

Jaylen Bond
Class of 2011
PF

Bond did not hit his stride in 2012. The projected starter at the four spot, Bond missed all but one of the Longhorns’ first 12 games. After he came back, Bond never quite looked in rhythm, averaging 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds a game. Like four other members of his recruiting class Bond elected to transfer and is headed to Temple after the season.

 

Sterling Gibbs
Class of 2011
PG

Gibbs did not wait until the 2012 season to transfer. Gibbs left UT following his freshman year citing personal reasons and transferred to Seton Hall. 

Where did the class of 2011 go?

Texas’ 2011 recruiting class started six strong and was expected to return the program to prominence. Instead, only one member of the class remains at Texas as the group enters what would have been its junior year.

Myck Kabongo (PG)

Kabongo, a five-star recruit in the 2011 class, never quite gelled at Texas. His freshman year, Barnes was often hard on the first-year point guard, but Kabongo ultimately came back to Texas for his sophomore season. However, in a long, drawn-out saga, the NCAA suspended Kabongo for the team’s first 23 games because he had received improper benefits. After the season ended, Kabongo declared for the NBA draft but was not selected. Kabongo signed a deal to play for the Miami Heat’s summer league team.

Sheldon McClellan (SG)

McClellan, the Longhorns’ most potent offensive player while Kabongo served his suspension, also had his issues with Barnes. The shooting guard often found himself benched for long stretches, even during key games, for an apparent lack of effort. After Kabongo returned, Barnes further slashed McClellan’s playing time. After the season, McClellan declared his intention to transfer and will join Miami.

Julien Lewis (SG)

Lewis, an unheralded member of the Longhorns’ 2011 class, was often Texas’ best pure shooter in 2012. The 6-foot-3-inch guard averaged 11.2 points and 3.3 rebounds last season, often hitting big shots for Texas. However, like many other members of his class, Lewis elected to transfer after the season and is headed to Fresno State. 

Jaylen Bond (PF)

Bond did not hit his stride in 2012. The projected starter at the four spot, Bond missed all but one of the Longhorns’ first 12 games. After he came back, Bond never quite looked in rhythm, averaging 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds a game. Like four other members of his recruiting class Bond elected to transfer and is headed to Temple after the season.

Sterling Gibbs (PG)

Gibbs did not wait until the 2012 season to transfer. Gibbs left UT following his freshman year citing personal reasons and transferred to Seton Hall.

Damarcus Holland attempts a basket during the Longhorns’s 72-59 loss against Oklahoma State on Feb. 9.  Myck Kabongo and Jonathan Holmes will both return to the court as Texas faces Iowa State Wednesday.  

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

There may never be a clear explanation as to what exactly happened in the offseason with Myck Kabongo, Tristan Thompson and an infamous workout that caused more trouble than it could ever be worth.

“When I went to Cleveland last summer, I did not intend to break any rules and did not believe I had broken any,” Kabongo said in a statement released Monday.

One thing is certain — it’s in the past, and now Kabongo has been relinquished of his suspension so he can lead Texas to the promised land.

Or something like that.

All allegories aside, Kabongo gives Texas something it has sorely needed all year: leadership. Sheldon McClellan has not answered the call, Jonathan Holmes, who will return from a broken right hand that kept him out for the last three weeks, is more of a soft-spoken individual and Julien Lewis hasn’t made enough of an impact for his teammates to get behind anything he might have to say. Of all the members of the Longhorns’ vaunted sophomore class, Kabongo is the one that has the “it” factor. He won’t lead the team in scoring on most nights, and he isn’t going to pull down more than a few stray rebounds, but what he offers goes beyond statistics and delves into the emotional side of the game.

“Myck plays really hard,” freshman forward Ioannis Papapetrou said. “He has a year of experience and he is really going to help our guys.”

He’s a leader, plain and simple.

“He’ll make mistakes,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “But the one thing I know he’s going to do is play with effort, he’s going to be fearless and where he’s improved is he really wants to be coached.”

No disrespect to Javan Felix, but he was thrown into a situation he could only make worse. And for the lack of a better explanation, that’s pretty much what he accomplished through 23 games as a true freshman. The Longhorns’ 10-13 record is evidence enough. No one expected Felix to play nearly every minute of every game this year, and although he has been productive in spurts, for the most part he has failed to lead this Texas team.

Texas will need all the leadership it can corral when it faces Iowa State tonight. After being on the wrong end of an 82-62 blowout Jan. 12 in Ames, Iowa, the Longhorns will attempt to even the season series with the Cyclones at one game apiece.

Easier said than done.

In its 20-point shellacking of Texas at Hilton Coliseum back in January, Iowa State shot more than 40 percent from three-point range and controlled the game from buzzer to buzzer. Former Michigan State point guard Korie Lucious flirted with a double-double, dishing out nine assists to go with his 10 points. Freshman forward Georges Niang led all scorers with 18 points, and guards Will Clyburn and Tyrus McGee added 16 and 15 points, respectively.

The Longhorns outrebounded the Cyclones on the offensive glass, but the game’s biggest disparity came from Texas’ bench. McClellan, Texas’ leading scorer, performed his first disappearing act of the year, playing a single, scoreless minute. McClellan may be relegated to the pine once again to start the game against the Cyclones, but if the Longhorns are to get back on track he’s going to be called upon to score some buckets in crunch time.

“We need Sheldon to score,” Barnes said. “That’s what he does.”

Published on February 13, 2013 as "Holmes, Kabongo return". 

Longhorns 2013 recruiting class boasts quality, not quantity

Another year, another top-five ranked recruiting class for Texas football, right? Wrong.  After several consecutive subpar seasons under coach Mac Brown, Texas’ recruiting numbers slipped a bit yesterday on national signing day.  However, this drop in ranking is not due to a lack of talent among the newest members of the Longhorns’ football team.  Rather, it is because there are so few of them.  With only 15 recruits, this is by far the smallest recruiting class under Brown in recent memory.  Will this group of players, despite its sheer lack of numbers, be able to shoulder the load and restore Texas’ football program to prominence?  Only time will tell.  In the mean time, here is a breakdown of the Longhorns’ 2013 recruiting class:

23: The overall ranking of the 2013 recruiting by scouts.com, Texas’ worst class ranking since it was ranked #16 five years ago.  It is only the second time in the last eight years in which the Longhorns have not had a top-five ranked recruit class.

15: Total recruits in Texas’ 2013 recruiting class, a big drop down from last year’s class, which had 28.  The last time the Longhorns received less than 20 commitments was eight years ago, in 2005.  This year’s class took a big hit from decommitments by key recruits, including wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones and defensive end Daeshon Hall, who both chose Texas A&M.

11: Four-star rated recruits in the recruiting class.  The key players in this group are Kent Perkins, who is the No. 3 ranked offensive tackle in the nation, dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and No. 1-ranked center Darius James. 

6: Defensive players in the recruiting class, including defensive back Antwuan Davis, who is a four-star recruit out of Bastrop.  Davis and the other defensive players in the 2013 class will be expected to make a strong contribution to a Texas defense that had its worst statistical season in school history last year.

3.67: The average player rating of the 2013 class, according to scouts.com. This rating is good for ninth overall in the nation and tops in the Big 12, although it is the first time since 2010 that Texas has not ranked first overall in average player rating.

0: Five-star rated recruit in this year’s recruiting class, a massive disappointment for Mac Brown and the Longhorns after last year’s class had five. Texas had five five-star recruits decommit throughout the recruiting process, including defensive lineman Andrew Billings, who committed to Baylor on Wednesday.

If you started your weekend with a walk through downtown Austin, you probably encountered the Longhorns running away from the competition.

The women’s track and field squad got the season unofficially started with a heated race against the UTSA Roadrunners. The Longhorns recorded a respectable 34 team points, but UTSA won the dual meet.

Saturday’s exhibition meet served as a showcase for the Longhorns’ younger runners. Top runners were held out of the race, but the squad was still able to show future talent while gaining quality experience for the newcomers.

“The freshman group coming in, at this point and time, is better than any freshman group I’ve ever had at The University of Texas,” assistant coach Stephen Sisson said. “We did a good job of recruiting last year.”

Redshirt freshmen Alaina Perez and Marissa Lee looked impressive, each finishing in the top 10 of the meet. Redshirt freshman Marissa Pekarek was the fifth member of the Longhorns to score points for the team, finishing 12th.

The team was powered by senior Anne Jones, who placed first among all runners. Junior Melissa Mahoney joined her fellow upperclassman in totaling points for the team, as she finished 11th overall.

Sophomores Rachel Gutknecht and Jessica Clothier and redshirt freshman Colleen Murray also raced for the Longhorns. 

This race marked the first for Perez, Lee, Pekarek, Clothier and Murray in a Longhorn uniform.

“From a base level, a competitive attitude has to be inherent,” Sisson said. “If you don’t have the drive to win, you won’t be
successful at Texas.”

The Longhorns will look to officially get their season kicked off right Sept. 21 when they compete at the Los Angeles XC invite.