2022-23 MBB State of Texas Preview: Top-down view of the state in college basketball

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

Last season, the state of Texas sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament and four to the NIT. Houston made the deepest run in the NCAA Tournament, getting eliminated by Villanova in the Elite Eight. After another offseason of coaching changes and players entering and exiting the transfer portal, here are some of the major storylines to keep an eye on as the 2022-2023 season nears:


On the rise: TCU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

TCU has quickly established itself as one of the best teams in the state.

Photo by Russell Wilburn

In last year’s Big 12 preseason poll, TCU was picked to finish eighth in the conference. Jamie Dixon’s Horned Frogs shocked the country with wins over Kansas, Texas Tech and Texas. The Horned Frogs made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2018 and their first appearance in the second round since 1987. TCU is primed to make an even deeper postseason run this year, returning all of its stat leaders in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Mike Miles, Eddie Lampkin, Damion Baugh and Emmanuel Miller are all expected to have an even bigger year in 2022. With those four returning starters, TCU could easily be one of the top teams in the country.

Texas Tech proved that it will be just fine without Chris Beard, after he bolted for Texas at the end of the 2020-2021 season. Mark Adams led the Red Raiders to a 27-10 record and a Sweet Sixteen berth. Although Texas Tech lost Terrence Shannon Jr. and Kevin McCullar to the transfer portal, the team is not in trouble by any means. Fardaws Aimaq, a 6-foot-11-inch tall forward, joined the Red Raiders as one of the most highly sought-after players in the portal. Sophomore guard Jaylon Tyson, who originally followed Beard from Texas Tech to Texas, returned to Lubbock in December. The former four-star recruit will finally get his chance after sitting out last season due to NCAA rules. Expect Texas Tech to perform just as well in the 2022-2023 season, if not better.

Steve Lutz led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders to an impressive turnaround in the 2021-2022 season as a first-time head coach. The Islanders went 5-19 in the 2020-2021 season and greatly improved to a 23-12 record last season. What’s even more impressive is that the Islanders were able to win the Southland Conference title and make their second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Expect TAMU-CC to stay at the top of the Southland, especially since it’s returning last year’s leading scorer Isaac Mushila and leading rebounder Terrion Murdix.

Running it back: Houston, Baylor, Texas

Houston’s been one of the state’s most consistent teams in the last few years. The Cougars were able to make it to the Elite Eight despite the loss of Marcus Sasser, who was out for the season after having surgery on his left foot in December. Sasser was averaging 17.9 PPG before surgery and withdrew from the NBA Draft in June to stay with the Cougars for another year. Junior guard Jamal Shead, who led Houston in scoring after Sasser’s exit, is also staying on the team. Freshman five-star forward Jarace Walker is a welcomed addition to Kelvin Sampson’s team after the departure of Fabian White. Walker is a product of IMG Academy and received offers from schools like Kentucky and Michigan. Houston will have no problem getting a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but the question is how far it can go. It could be a special year.

Photo by John Hamilton

Baylor’s March Madness run ended abruptly after a 93-86 overtime loss to North Carolina. However, the Bears ended the year with a solid 27-7 record. Baylor dealt with multiple injury-related setbacks: LJ Cryer missed 15 games with a foot injury. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua suffered a season-ending injury on February 12. Langston Love missed the entire 2021-2022 campaign due to a torn ACL. But in good news for the Bears, Cryer was recently cleared to play again. Five-star freshman Keyonte George is also expected to have an early impact for the Bears. George’s presence on the court will be very significant, especially after veteran guard Matthew Mayer left for Illinois. Baylor should be more than ready to make another run at the national title, especially after the injuries from last season clear up.

Top Five Texans Across the Nation
1. Drew Timme, Gonzaga – Richardson Pearce

Drew Timme is back for one more ride with the Zags after being a two-time All-American and the 2021 Karl Malone winner, given to the best power forward in the nation.

2. Jalen Wilson, Kansas – Denton Guyer

A key starter for the reigning national champions, Wilson’s made the most of his time in Lawrence. The former Guyer star was named to the All-Big 12 Third Team averaged 11.1 points per game.

3. Kendric Davis, Memphis – Houston Sam Houston

The Houston native was a fan favorite on the Hilltop before transferring to Memphis. He put up 19.4 points per game for SMU and nearly led the program back to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

4. Kevin McCullar, Kansas – San Antonio Wagner

One of the key players for Chris Beard’s and Mark Adams’ Texas Tech teams heads to the reigning national champions to give Bill Self’s program an injection of grit. The former San Antonio Wagner product averaged 10.1 points per game and 3.1 assists in Lubbock last season.

5. Avery Anderson, Oklahoma State – Justin Northwest

The key scoring output for the Pokes, Avery Anderson averaging 12.1 points per game a year ago. The former four-star gave the typically stingy Oklahoma State defense a reliable scoring punch.

Although Texas fell short of preseason expectations, the 2021-2022 season was not a failure. Chris Beard led his alma mater to its first NCAA Tournament win since 2014 after putting together a talented mix of transfers. Although the Longhorns lost multiple players to graduation and the transfer portal, many of last year’s heavy hitters have committed to another season in Austin. Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr, two of Texas’ strongest offensive players, officially announced their returns in the offseason. Texas also brought in Tyrese Hunter, last year’s Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and Dillon Mitchell, one of the nation’s best forwards in the freshman class. While there are still questions about how Texas’ offense will look with Carr and Hunter, the program seems to be trending in the right direction.


Uncertainty ahead: Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M, SMU

While SMU went 24-9 and was only second to Houston in the AAC, the team went through a lot of major changes in the offseason. Head coach Tim Jankovich announced his retirement in March after 39 seasons of collegiate coaching and Rob Lanier, Georgia State’s head coach from 2019-2022, steps in. Lanier led Georgia State to the 2022 Sun Belt title and its sixth-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. SMU also lost its leading scorer to the transfer portal. Kendric Davis, who averaged 19.4 points per game, transferred to Memphis in the offseason. With a new head coach at the helm and the loss of such a talented player like Davis, SMU’s identity is currently unclear.

Texas A&M made headlines last season after head coach Buzz Williams called out the NCAA for leaving his team out of March Madness. Texas A&M went on to play in the NIT Tournament, where it lost the championship game to Xavier in a heartbreaking 73-72 matchup. The Aggies’ leading scorer from last season, Quenton Jackson, declared for the NBA Draft. However, Arkansas transfer Khalen Robinson and Mississippi State transfer Andersson Garcia could add some depth for A&M. With five total transfers on the Aggies’ roster, it’ll be interesting to see how Williams makes another run for the NCAA Tournament.

Texas A&M-Commerce Lions makes its first-ever appearance in Division I athletics this season. Commerce joins the Southland after spending the last 91 years in Division II and the Lone Star Conference. Head coach Jaret von Rosenberg currently holds an 88-46 record and has been since 2017. The Lions managed to defeat the UTSA Roadrunners, 65-62, in an exhibition game last season. However, the 2022-2023 season may have to be a learning curve for the Lions as they adapt to the next level of competition.


Moving forward: Texas State, North Texas

Even though Texas State ended last season with a 21-8 record, the last two weeks of the season were incredibly frustrating for the Bobcats. Texas State lost 79-72 to Louisiana in the Sun Belt tournament, missing out on another chance for the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid. The Bobcats’ shocking loss was another tournament disappointment as the top of the conference. Then, in its first appearance in the NIT Tournament, Texas State lost the opening round 67-63 to North Texas in overtime. The Bobcats were hit with another loss in the offseason when leading scorer Caleb Asberry transferred to Oklahoma State. However, Terence Johnson’s team retained its assist leader and second-leading scorer Mason Harrell. Texas State looks to have a much more successful postseason, especially after the way the 2021-2022 season ended.

North Texas led the West Division of Conference-USA with a 16-2 conference record. However, the Mean Green’s hopes of returning to March Madness were dashed when losing to Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of the conference tournament. While North Texas nabbed a close win over Texas State in the first round of the NIT Tournament, it was eliminated in the second round after a 71-69 overtime loss to Virginia. North Texas added a slew of transfers in the offseason, including former Dayton forward Moulaye Sissoko. The Mean Green are looking to move on from the bitter ending of the 2021-2022 season and towards another NCAA Tournament berth.

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In
Don't Miss Any Exclusive Coverage!

We've been the Bible of Texas football fans for 64 years. By joining the DCTF family you'll gain access to all of our exclusive content and have our magazines mailed to you!