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Every forward returning in Shaka Smart’s program played a role during the 2019-20 season. Some had impressive early stretches, others found a rhythm as conference play began, and a few more surged when injuries piled up late in the year.
“Really, all of our returning guys at different moments last year helped our team, some certainly more consistently than others,” Smart said on November 10. “Some of those guys are not the exact same player that they were.”
There is plenty of game experience among Longhorn forwards, and it is the group with the most bodies on the team. Aside from Jericho Sims and Kai Jones, important minutes are up for grabs.
“We really, really need role players,” Smart said. “We need guys that aren’t afraid to say ‘this is my role. This is what I do. I love doing it, and I’m going to do it every game, not just this game and maybe another time down the road.’”
Those players exist on the roster. One of Smart’s preseason tasks is to determine how to allocate those minutes effectively. The other is to find additional scoring from this group. After Sims went down in February, the forwards were not proficient in scoring, save from the spontaneous 20-point outburst from Jones or Will Baker.
Texas’ guards and Greg Brown III will be the driving force behind putting the ball in the bucket, but others from the forward position must join Sims in his ability to score near the basket.
(Greg Brown III will receive his own position outlook)
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