Early Look: Texas Hoops Non-Conference

The Texas Longhorn hoops roster is now set with Monday's news that the NCAA has cleared J'Covan Brown. With the completion of the roster and the announcement of the 2009-10 schedule a few weeks ago, Burnt Orange Beat takes a look at the hurdles in front of the Longhorns will have in front of them in three months.

The Texas 2009-10 basketball schedule was released July 22. As always, Rick Barnes doesn't shy away from competition and has again put together a challenging schedule.

This year, the defending National Champs, North Carolina, is on the schedule as well as runner-up Michigan State and Final Four participant Connecticut. Throw in a road game at Arkansas, home for USC in the Pac-10/Big 12 Hardwood Challenge, the possibility of facing Pittsburgh and a neutral game against Iowa and the Longhorns will be more than battle tested entering Big 12 play.

Texas will tip-off the season at home against UC Irvine on November 15 in the regionals of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. On the 18th, the Longhorns will host Western Carolina to finish up the regional round before heading to Kansas City for the semifinals and championship round.

As is the case every year, Texas will play host to in-state programs. This year, Texas State, Texas Pan-American and Texas A&M Corpus Christi will travel to Austin, while Rice will host the Horns on November 28.

UC Irvine Anteaters, Nov.15

The season opener for the Longhorns will also be one of the two regional games in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Austin.

Last season: 12-19, 8-8 in the Big West

Key returning players: 6-5 forward Eric Wise (14.0 points, 6.6 rebounds) and 5-10 guard Michael Hunter (11.3 points, 2.5 assists)

Key losses: forward Kevin Bland (10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds) and wing Brett Lauer (8.5 points)

Western Carolina Catamounts, Nov. 18

This will be the second game in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Austin.

Last season: 16-15, 11-9 in the Southern Conference.

Key returning players: 6-4 sophomore Harouna Mutombo (14.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals), 6-6 senior Brandon Giles (13.2 points, 3.9 rebounds), 6-8 senior Jake Robinson (9.2 points, 2.7 rebounds), 6-2 senior Brigham Waginger (8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists), 6-8 junior Richie Gordon (6.7 points, 4.5 rebounds), 6-4 sophomore Greg Avery (6.6 points, 3.9 rebounds) and 6-7 senior Adrian Gailliard (4.9 points, 3.1 rebounds).

Key losses: None.

Western Carolina will be in the mix for the Southern Conference title in 2009-10.

Iowa Hawkeyes, Nov 23 in Kansas City

The Longhorns will be facing the Hawkeyes in the semifinals of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic with the winner advancing to the championship game and the loser playing in the consolation game.

Last season: 15-17, 5-13 in the Big Ten

Key returning players: 6-5 sophomore Matt Gatens (10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists) and 6-4 sophomore Anthony Tucker (10.4 points, 3.0 rebounds).

Key losses: wing Jake Kelly (11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists), guard Jeff Peterson (10.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists) and power forward Cyrus Tate (7.0 points, 5.7 rebounds).

Newcomers: Iowa signed three players in the 2009 class in 6-0 point guard Cully Payne, 6-9 center Brennan Cougill and 6-5 wing Eric May.

The Hawkeyes will be a young team and attempt to slow down the pace against a Texas team that will have dramatic advantages in terms of interior play, rebounding, athleticism and depth.

Pittsburgh Panthers, Nov 24 in Kansas City

Last Season: 31-5, lost to Villanova in the Elite Eight.

Key returning players: 6-6 junior Gilbert Brown (5.4 points, 3.1 rebounds), 6-4 senior Brad Wanamaker (5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists) and 6-2 junior Ashton Gibbs (4.3 points).

Key losses: point guard Levance Fields (10.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists), wing Sam Young (19.2 points, 6.3 rebounds), power forward DeJuan Blair (15.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals), power forward Tyrell Biggs (6.4 points, 4.3 rebounds) and guard Jermaine Dixon (8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists).

Newcomers: The Panthers signed four players in the 2009 class including McDonald's All-American Dante Taylor, a 6-9 forward, and 6-5 forward Lamar Patterson.

Should the Longhorns advance to play Pittsburgh, Texas will face a youthful Panthers team that will still be looking for leadership, interior play, rebounding and a consistent rotation.

Rice Owls, Nov. 28 at Rice

Last season: 10-22, 4-12 in C-USA

Key returning players: 6-10 junior Trey Stanton (8.3 points, 5.0 rebounds), 6-5 senior Lawrence Ghoram (8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds), 6-1 sophomore Connor Frizzelle (8.7 points, 2.8 rebounds), 6-3 senior Cory Pflieger (8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds), 5-10 junior Bryan Beasley (3.0 points, 1.3 assists) and 6-8 junior Suleiman Braimah (4.5 points, 3.0 rebounds).

Key losses: point guard Rodney Foster (12.0 points, 4.5 assists) and forward Aleks Perka (6.7 points, 4.5 rebounds).

Newcomers: The Owls welcome six new faces to the program including 6-7 forward Arsainan Kazemi, 6-2 guard Tamir Jackson and 6-2 guard A.J. Holland.

The Longhorns beat the Owls 77-56 in Austin last season.

USC Trojans, Dec. 3

USC is a program fighting through turmoil and trying to replace the loss of several key players.

Last season: 22-13, 9-9 in the Pac-10.

Key returning players: 6-5 senior Dwight Lewis (14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists) and 6-6 sophomore Leonard Washington (6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds).

Key losses: point guard Daniel Hackett (12.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists), 6-6 wing DeMar DeRozan (13.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists) and 6-9 forward Taj Gibson (3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.9 blocks).

Newcomers: 6-6 wing Eric Smith is the lone returning 2009 signee.

Long Beach State 49ers, Dec. 7

Last Season: 15-15, 10-6 in the Big West

Key returning players: 6-7 sophomore T.J. Robinson (11.4 points, 6.2 rebounds), 6-2 senior Stephan Gilling (11.0 points, 2.2 rebounds), 6-6 sophomore Larry Anderson (10.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists) and 5-9 sophomore Casper Ware (9.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists).

Key losses: guard Donovan Morris (14.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists).

Texas State Bobcats, Dec. 12

Last season: 14-16, 7-9 in the Southland Conference

Key returning players: 6-10 junior John Rybek (10.0 points, 4.3 rebounds), 6-7 junior Cameron Johnson (9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds) and 6-5 junior Ty Gough (4.8 points, 3.8 rebounds).

Key losses: forward Brandon Bush (15.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists), guard Brent Benson (15.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists) and guard Corey Jefferson (6.6 points, 5.3 assists).

Texas Pan-American Broncos, Dec. 15

Last season: 10-17

Key returning players: 6-1 junior Nick Weiermiller (10.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists), 6-6 senior Nathan Hawkins (9.7 points, 3.4 rebounds) and 5-11 junior P.J. Turner (4.6 points, 4.4 assists)

Key losses: forward Emmanuel Jones (17.7 points, 8.0 rebounds).

North Carolina Tar Heels, Dec. 19 in Arlington

Last Season: 34-4, National Champions

Key returning players: 6-8 senior Deon Thompson (10.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks), 6-9 sophomore Ed Davis (6.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks), 7-0 sophomore Tyler Zeller, 6-5 senior Marcus Ginyard and 6-1 sophomore Larry Drew II.

Key losses: forward Tyler Hansbrough (20.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals), point guard Ty Lawson (16.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists), shooting guard Wayne Ellington (15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists), wing Danny Green (13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists).

Newcomers: The Tar Heels signed one of the top recruiting classes in the country featuring 6-10 forward John Henson, 6-4 guard Leslie McDonald, 6-3 guard Dexter Strickland, 6-9 freshman Travis Wear and 6-9 freshman David Wear.

The game will be a huge one for the Texas program. As of early in the week, around 15,000 tickets have been sold for the showdown.

Michigan State Spartans, Dec 22

Last season: 31-7, national runner up

Key returning players: 6-0 junior Kalin Lucas (14.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists), 6-7 senior Raymar Morgan (10.2 points, 5.3 rebounds), 6-4 junior Durrell Summers (8.6 points, 3.4 rebounds), 6-3 junior Chris Allen (8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds), 6-8 sophomore Delvon Roe (5.6 points, 5.2 rebounds), 6-6 sophomore Draymond Green (3.3 points, 3.3 rebounds) and 5-11 sophomore Korie Lucious.

Key losses: power forward Goran Suton (10.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.1 blocks), guard Travis Walton (5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists) and power forward Marquise Gray (3.1 points, 2.8 rebounds).

Newcomers: The Spartans welcome tow new big men to the fold in 2009-10 in 6-9 center Derrick Nix and 6-10 center Garrick Sherman.

Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, Dec. 29

Last season: 13-17, 9-9 in the Big South

Key returning players: 6-0 senior Grayson Fittner (14.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists), 6-8 senior Auryn MacMillan (9.4 points, 5.2 rebounds), 6-5 junior Nate Blank (9.1 points, 2.8 rebounds) and 6-4 junior Jonathan Moore (9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds).

Key losses: guard Aaron Linn (14.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists) and guard Takayo Siddle (4.6 points).

Texas A&M-CC Islanders, Jan. 2

Last season: 18-15, 11-5 in the Southland Conference.

Key returning players: 6-6 senior Kevin Palmer (18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists), 6-7 junior Demond Watt (8.2 points, 6.4 rebounds), 6-8 junior Justin Reynolds (8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds) and 6-1 senior Shamar Coombs (8.1 points, 2.4 assists).

Key losses: guard Tim Green (8.2 points, 2.1 rebounds).

Arkansas Razorbacks, Jan. 5 at Arkansas

Last season: 14-16, 2-14 in the SEC

Key returning players: 5-10 sophomore Courtney Fortson (14.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists), 6-9 senior Michael Washington (15.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists), 6-0 sophomore Rotnei Clarke (12.2 points, 1.9 rebounds), 6-3 senior Stefan Welsh (11.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists) and 6-8 sophomore Michael Sanchez (4.5 points, 4.9 rebounds)

Key losses: Jason Henry (8.0 points, 4.4 rebounds)

Newcomers: The Arkansas roster had as much turnover as any roster in college basketball with only six players left from last season. The Razorbacks welcome seven new faces led by 6-7 forward Marshawn Powell, 6-7 forward Glenn Bryant, 7-0 center Anthony Borden, 6-9 junior college transfer Delvon Johnson and 6-5 junior college transfer Jemal Farmer.

Arkansas beat Oklahoma and Texas at home last season and appeared as if they were an up and coming team in the SEC until a number of issues popped leading to a team going in the tank losing 11 of their last 12 games.

Connecticut Huskies, Jan. 23 at Connecticut

Last season: 31-5, lost to Michigan State in the Final Four

Key returning players: 6-3 senior Jerome Dyson (13.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists), 6-1 sophomore Kemba Walker (8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists), 6-8 senior Stanley Robinson (8.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks), 6-9 senior Gavin Edwards (3.8 points, 3.0 rebounds) and 6-4 sophomore Scottie Haralson.

Key losses: point guard A.J. Price (14.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists), center Hasheem Thabeet (13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.2 blocks), power forward Jeff Adrien (13.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks) and shooting guard Craig Austrie (7.2 points, 2.3 assists).

Newcomers: The Huskies will welcome five new faces including 6-10 forward Ater Majok, 6-8 forward Alex Oriakhi and 6-6 wing Jamal Coombs-McDaniel.


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