Eric Davis Jr.

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns’ thrilling, last-second victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon was largely overshadowed by the fallout from documents from a federal investigation published Friday in an explosive Yahoo Sports report on corruption in college basketball.

The report asserted that junior guard Eric Davis Jr. received improper benefits in the form of a $1,500 loan from ASM Sports. UT athletic director Chris Del Conte announced Friday evening that Davis will not play “for precautionary reasons until further notice” while Texas investigates the situation.

Texas was one of more than 20 Division I programs involved in the federal investigation, including North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, Alabama and USC.

A number of high-profile active players were also linked to receiving improper benefits, among those included Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Duke’s Wendell Carter — potential future NBA lottery picks.

Texas head coach Shaka Smart released a statement on the situation, stating, “I am, and always have been, fully committed to ensuring that our program operates within NCAA rules.”

After Saturday’s victory, Smart and several Texas players spoke publicly about the situation for the first time. Smart reaffirmed his condemnation of the alleged actions, but acknowledged the importance of the discussion they raised.

“Things need to change, and people need to follow the rules better,” Smart said. “We have a long haul ahead of us as a sport — to figure out what the right thing to do is moving forward. There is no easy answer. There is no quick fix.”

Davis continues to practice with the team, but he did not suit up against the Cowboys and will likely not play in the team’s final two regular season games. For now, his future remains in limbo as Texas conducts an internal investigation.

The new information only further stirs the conversation about the role of the NCAA and the student-athlete. The topic remains one of the long-standing and hotly debated issues in collegiate athletics.

“The stuff that has been on the media, obviously it sheds light on something that, as a sport, we need to address and improve,” Smart said. “I don’t have all the answers, but I know there is going to need to be a lot of change.”

Texas players, when asked, offered a more straightforward solution.

“Pay to play is how I feel,” junior guard Kerwin Roach II said. “I feel like if that happens, a lot of allegations and a lot of scandals and all that would be taken care of. But you just have to find a way where everyone gets paid evenly and there won’t be any problems in the NCAA.”

Junior forward Dylan Osetkowski echoed that sentiment.

“I’m not going to say too much about it. But like (Roach) said, I think we should get paid,” Osetkowski said.

And does Osetkowski think it’ll happen?


Sophomore guard Eric Davis Jr. is averaging 11 points over his last conference six conference games, after struggling with shooting for most of the season. Davis has helped Texas capture three wins in its past five games. 

Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

Texas announced Friday evening that junior guard Eric Davis Jr. will be withheld from playing for the Longhorns “until further notice.”

The news comes in response to a Yahoo Sports report released Friday morning, which obtained documents and records from a recent federal investigation that lists Texas as one of several college basketball programs that has former and/or current players who have allegedly received improper benefits.

“We have initiated an internal review of the recent report that included allegations involving current and former University of Texas men’s basketball players,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement. “We are in the process of gathering facts, but I did meet with Eric Davis Jr. this afternoon and let him know we are withholding him from competition for precautionary reasons until further notice, pending the review of this situation.

“Winning with integrity is paramount to Texas Athletics, and we take these allegations very seriously,” Del Conte continued. “We expect all of our programs to comply with NCAA rules, and every year we have all of our student-athletes sign forms attesting they will follow those rules. Beyond that, we put a great deal of effort and resources into educating our coaches and student-athletes on NCAA rules and regulations. Our compliance department is constantly monitoring and communicating with our coaches and student-athletes, as we are in this case.

“We will continue to work through this recent development and provide further updates when we have the necessary information to do so.”

Davis is one of seven active college basketball players implicated in the report. Davis received $1,500 from ASM Sports, according to the report. Current players from Alabama, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, South Carolina and USC were also singled out by the FBI.

Ex-Texas center Prince Ibeh (2012-16) was also one of several former college players named in the report for either meeting with or having a meal with ASM Sports agent Christian Dawkins.

Davis has logged 26.2 minutes per game for Texas this season. He filled sophomore Andrew Jones’ place as the starting shooting guard after Jones was diagnosed with leukemia in January. Davis ranks sixth on the team in scoring with 8.8 points per game and leads the Longhorns with 40 converted 3-point attempts.

“I became aware of the report late last evening,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “I had no previous knowledge of the alleged extra benefits described in the report. I am working with our athletic department staff and am prepared to cooperate fully with the investigation into this matter.

“I am, and always have been, fully committed to ensuring that our program operates within NCAA rules. Our staff has always been very direct and thorough in educating our student-athletes about the specific parameters regarding agents.”

Texas plays Oklahoma State at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Longhorns will have to shorten their already-tight rotation as the program sidelines Davis until the University gathers more information on the subject. Del Conte and Texas will err on the side of caution to prevent or limit possible NCAA penalty, especially in light of recent NCAA violations bestowed upon Louisville.

Photo Credit: Angel Ulloa | Daily Texan Staff

Freshman guard Matt Coleman turned the corner near the baseline with his eyes on the rim.

With Texas trailing by two, the Longhorn point guard had an opportunity to tie or win the game against Kansas State on Wednesday night at the Frank Erwin Center in the final seconds. Coleman saw an opening and lobbed it up to freshman forward Mo Bamba, but the pass proved off the mark. The Wildcats collected the steal as Texas fell, 67-64, in another tight Big 12 game.

“It felt like our spirit wasn’t there all the way,” Coleman said. “We didn’t have enough energy going into the game. That just comes from within. They wanted it more than us.”

The matchup featured two teams trending in opposite directions. Texas (15–9, 5–6 Big 12) sat as close as it has been since 2016 to a top 25 ranking after Saturday’s home upset win over No. 12 Oklahoma. Kansas State, meanwhile, entered on a two-game skid, including a 38-point blowout at the hands of West Virginia.

The game saw another stellar performance from Bamba. The forward scored a game-high 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds in the loss.

“It hurts to lose at home,” Bamba said. “No game in this league is easy, but home games are supposed to be the ones you can lead in spirit compared to who you are going up against. When you drop one at home it hurts a little bit. But we gotta reset for TCU.”

Texas entered Wednesday knowing this was a game it couldn’t afford to lose. In a conference ripe with ranked opponents, a home matchup with a middle-of-the-pack program is a must-win situation for any team eyeing a NCAA Tournament bid.

The Longhorns looked to create separation in the opening minutes. Texas rattled off seven unanswered points to take control early, 14-7.

Texas never pulled ahead by more than seven before Kansas State began its rally.

The Wildcats closed the gap with the help of eight early turnovers from Texas. The Longhorns coughed up the ball on a series of unforced errors which led to 11 quick points at the other end.

Bamba provided a highlight block and staredown to cut into the lead, but the late surge from Kansas State couldn’t be slowed, and the two teams entered the break tied at 34. Texas head coach Shaka Smart was visibly upset and could be seen exchanging words with his starters on the final possession of the half.

“Disappointing to say the least,” Smart said. “It wasn’t like we didn’t practice well or the guys didn’t give effort. But you can kind of see on our faces tonight, we didn’t have the same collective spirit or will to come together and be about one thing.”

Texas came out sluggish in the second half. A quick four unanswered from the Wildcats had Texas playing catch up through the first five minutes.

The Longhorns reclaimed the lead with 14 minutes to play on a long three from junior guard Kerwin Roach II. After leading the charge for the Longhorns in the first half, Bamba was held scoreless through much of the second. In his absence, junior forward Dylan Osetkowski came alive, scoring eight points in the second half to keep the score close down the stretch.

With just under three minutes to play, the lead was a single possession for Kansas State. With one final, furious rally, junior guard Eric Davis Jr. buried a triple, but Coleman committed a crucial foul on the other end. The error gave the Wildcats the ball with 18 seconds left and no shot clock, forcing Texas to start intentional fouling.

Coleman missed his final shot, and Texas fell below .500 in conference play with a tough road rematch against TCU just three days away.

“Well I think one of the things that really good teams do, and winning teams do, is they have a good result and they say we want more,” Smart said. “That was something I really wanted to put front and center in front of these guys coming off of Saturday. But at the end of the day we didn’t display that tonight.”

Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

Not the first, not the second, but the third time’s the charm.

Trailing Texas by just one point with 23 ticks on the clock, Oklahoma State’s Jeffrey Carroll drove to the basket for a right-handed layup. The shot swirled out of the rim and landed in the hands of the Cowboys’ Tavarius Shine after he relentlessly pursued the ball.

Oklahoma State’s second opportunity at a game-winning shot bricked off the iron, but Yankuba Sima flew in from the 3-point line and tipped the ball in with eight seconds left before either team could come down with a key rebound.

It took three chances for Oklahoma State to sink the game-winning bucket, but the Cowboys’ intense finish gave them a 65-64 win over the Longhorns in Stillwater on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the closely contested final minute, the Longhorns held a safe lead that was quickly diminished in the last few minutes.

With 5:55 remaining, freshman guard Matt Coleman’s free throw put Texas ahead 62-50. But with the home crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena on their side, the Cowboys drained a slew of free throws and shot lights out on their jumpers to pull ahead, using a 13-0 run in less than three minutes of clock time.

Junior forward Dylan Osetkowski drained Texas’ last field goal of the game on a driving bankshot down the right side of the court. But the Longhorns hit another shot. Unfortunately for Shaka Smart’s team, it didn’t count.

With under 30 seconds to go and a one-point lead, Coleman fired down the lane and shot one of his signature floaters — a move he previously hit a game-winning shot with against Tennessee State. But Oklahoma State clogged the lane with several stationary defenders, one of which positioned himself right in front of Coleman.

The referees issued a charging foul. Instead of a three-point lead, Texas turned the ball over to the Cowboys for an opportunity at the final shot.

Oklahoma State struck gold on Sima’s tip-in. Texas had under eight seconds to respond with a game-winner, but Oklahoma State poked the ball out of Coleman’s hands and the Longhorns’ final shot was reduced to an off-balance, desperation heave from beyond the arc by sophomore guard Jacob Young. The buzzer sounded as the attempt bounced off the rim.

Before that final sequence, Texas played solid defense on the Cowboys’ prior attempts at a game-winner. One of Sima’s previous layups ended in a rejection by Wooden Award watch list member and freshman center Mo Bamba. After being shut down in the opening 20 minutes, Bamba played like a man possessed in the second half. His 11 second-half points, complemented by 10 rebounds and two blocks, propelled Texas throughout the afternoon. But the team still couldn’t escape with a much-needed conference win.

Prior to Bamba’s offensive arrival, the hero of the game was Eric Davis Jr. The junior guard finished the opening half with 15 of his 18 points. He drained 4-of-5 3-pointers and sparked the Longhorns’ offense — a significant reason Texas entered halftime ahead 32-25.

Bamba and Davis played stout individual games, but Texas’ tight rotation — which featured just seven players — ultimately hurt the team down the stretch in the second half. The Longhorns were without sophomore guard Andrew Jones, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and junior guard Kerwin Roach II, who is out with a fractured left hand.

For a team that appears to be on the fringe of a NCAA Tournament selection, Texas (11–6, 2–3 Big 12) needs every win it can get, and a road loss to Oklahoma State certainly won’t help when almost every Big 12 matchup is a tough battle. Smart and the Longhorns will return home on Wednesday night against No. 8 Texas Tech.

Photo Credit: Katie Bauer | Daily Texan Staff

Junior forward Dylan Osetkowski set his feet and buried a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining in overtime, helping Texas rally past Iowa State at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, on Monday night, 74-70, for its first conference road win since 2016.

After surrendering 17 threes in the loss to Kansas on Friday, Texas responded by holding Iowa State to only seven of its 27 attempts from behind the arc.

Two days after freshman forward Mo Bamba exploded scoring 11 of the Longhorns’ first 13 points against the Jayhawks, Osetkowski poured in eight of Texas' first 10 points against Iowa State — part of a career-high 25 points to go along with the junior forward's nine rebounds.

“Coach in practice has been adamant with me to shoot the ball, regardless of whether it is going in or not,” Osetkowski said. “They believe in me and I just need to have confidence. And going into this game my confidence was through the roof.”

Head coach Shaka Smart took full advantage of the Texas bench, subbing regularly to keep the pace in the Longhorns’ favor. Iowa State’s lack of depth forced the team to lean heavily on its starting rotation.

Texas also showed a full court press for much of the second half and overtime, negating the energy from the crowd of more than 14,000, limiting the Cyclones’ explosiveness down the stretch.

“We knew it would be a very similar environment to VCU,” Osetkowski said. “Great crowd. We knew Iowa State would be fighting the whole night. But those are the games you come to Texas for. This is Big 12 play, and it's what we love to do.”

The Longhorns kept the pace through the opening 20 minutes, propelled by 14 first-half points from Osetkowski. The two teams entered the locker room tied at 31.

But just as Kansas found separation early in the second half on Friday, the Cyclones seemed poised to run away with it coming out of the break. A quick six-point run gave Iowa State a five-point lead, prompting a Texas timeout with 15 minutes to play.

With the growing threat of starting conference play 0–2, the Longhorns found an unlikely hero in junior guard Eric Davis Jr. After creating consecutive and-one possessions to narrow the lead, Davis hit a 3-pointer with under two minutes left to give Texas a one-point advantage. All 15 of Davis’ points came in the second half as the Longhorns rallied to forced overtime.

From there an Osetkowski three and pair of free throws from freshman guard Matt Coleman made it a two-possession game with under two minutes to play. Texas was able to close out the contest and move to 10-4 overall and 1–1 in conference play.

“Whether it was run the clock or get a great shot instead of a good shot, we just wanted to finish the game strong,” Osetkowski said. “And we did that.”

The Longhorns continue their road trip with a matchup against No. 18 Baylor on Saturday in Waco.