How will Texas fare without James, Bradley and Pittman along with various players returning from injury?
The Longhorns had a long, disappointing fall from grace last season since taking over the number one overall spot in the nation's polls, ending with a last-second loss to Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament. The team lost its three best players from last season's squad, Avery Bradley, Damion James and Dexter Pittman. Bradley was one of the best perimeter defenders in the nation, while James was one of the best rebounders and Pittman was a terrific force down low when conditioned and out of foul trouble. So how does Texas coach Rick Barnes replace them? He added two of the top players in the incoming freshman class with 6'9" forward Tristan Thompson and point guard Cory Joseph.
Point guard was one of the biggest holes with last year's team as Varez Ward ruptured his quadriceps tendon in November and Dogus Balbay suffered a torn ACL in February. Barnes was forced to use J'Covan Brown, a guard with a shoot-first mentality, at the point. Brown found it difficult to adapt, turning the ball over too often, forcing too many passes and shooting deep, contested shot. He will likely make the move to full-time shooting guard with Joseph taking over at the point and Jordan Hamilton starting at small forward.