Longhorn Trio Enters Draft

Friday, the Texas basketball program announced that Jordan Hamilton would be entering the NBA Draft and hiring an agent.

That didn't come as a surprise, as many fingered the 6-foot-7 scoring wing as an early entry prospect before his sophomore season even started. But Texas also revealed two surprises within that same announcement. The largest was that sophomore-to-be Cory Joseph was also tossing his name into the ring, albeit without and agent. And the other surprise came that Tristan Thompson, who was expected to file for the NBA Draft, would not be signing with an agent, contrary to what Thompson told the Austin American-Statesman at the Texas basketball banquet.

That latter piece of information leaves a sliver of hope for Longhorn fans. Joseph and Thompson left the door open to returning for their sophomore seasons. If Thompson is the less likely candidate, with his chances of staying in the draft buoyed by other marquee post players like Jared Sullinger electing to return.

But if Thompson does elect to return, and Joseph does the expected and remains in school, the Longhorns will boast arguably the top Big 12 lineup. Without Thompson, Texas could struggle to finish in the top four without a proven post presence.

Should Joseph do well in camps and elect to stay in the draft as well, Texas would essentially start over in 2011-2012, relying heavily on a backcourt that includes J'Covan Brown and top recruits Myck Kabongo, Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis. Alexis Wangmene would be the top returning post player, with the Longhorns also returning Clint Chapman after a redshirt season. Recruits Jonathan Holmes and Kevin Thomas would also be leaned on heavily.

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