Texas to contend in 2016-17?
Now with a year at Texas under his belt, can Shaka Smart expect bigger things from the Longhorns in 2016-17?
The Longhorns were 20-13 last season with an 11-7 record in the competitive Big 12 conference. Texas reached the NCAA Tournament but suffered a loss in their first game to 11th-seeded Northern Iowa, 75-72.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Texas is currently listed with 70/1 odds to win the NCAA Tournament next season. Duke is the current favorite with 5/1 odds while Kentucky is listed at 8/1.
Smart has never won less than 20 games in his college coaching career. He spent six seasons with VCU, going 163-56 in six years, winning at least 26 games all six seasons. It was in his second year that Smart led the Rams to the Final Four in one of the most memorable runs in NCAA Tournament history. The Longhorns had up-and-downs in his first season, but show promise for upcoming years. The team loses a big piece in guard Isaiah Taylor, who declared early for the NBA Draft, but they have a pair of freshmen in Kerwin Roach Jr. and Eric Davis Jr. that should make big strides next season. Texas also has the 15th-ranked recruiting class for next season, which is still being worked on. Texas would be a big shock to win the championship, but stranger things have happened and Smart is a great coach.