In 2005 the Longhorns donned black uniforms to celebrate their 100th year as a basketball program. A 97-66 loss to Duke, with J.J. Redick dropping 41 points, soiled the occasion.
Texas will hope for a much different outcome Saturday against Kansas. A spokesman confirmed the Longhorns will don this all-black uniform, with the Longhorn silhouette replacing the "Texas" across the chest. The shorts feature an orange waistband with an orange stripe down each leg, featuring several black slats.
The featured uniform has been on display at Cooley Pavilion for a couple weeks.
Texas Longhorns point guard Myck Kabongo, who has completed his NCAA-mandated 23-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits last summer (a $475 plane ticket for a workout in Cleveland), released a statement Monday saying he was ready to play Wednesday against Iowa State and that he was sorry for misleading NCAA and UT officials. Kabongo's ban for receiving an impermissible benefit would have been the standard 10 games, but because he provided incorrect information during the investigation process, the NCAA banned Kabongo for the entire season on Dec. 19. The Longhorns, however, submitted an appeal shortly thereafter and won, cutting his suspension to 23 games.
“I am ready to start playing with my team again and putting behind me the last several months," Kabongo said in the statement. "When I went to Cleveland last summer, I did not intend to break any rules and did not believe I had broken any. I should have been upfront with UT about everything the first time I had a chance, but I’m glad that I corrected my mistake and I’m glad that I was truthful with the NCAA.
I have learned a lot about myself and what is important to me through this process. I have a great team, and they have supported me all year. I believe I am a better teammate and am looking forward to finishing the season with my team. I want to thank my teammates and my coaches for sticking by and supporting me all year.”
With eight of the top-10 scorers in the Big 12 so far in the 2012-2013 season being guards, to say that guards have dominated would be an understatement. Despite this, the following big men have made tremendous contributions to their teams through the first half of conference play.
1. Jeff Withey, C, Kansas - Withey has followed up his record-setting NCAA tournament (31 blocks in the last year's tournament, breaking Joakim Noah’s mark of 29 in 2006), with a strong senior year in which he has averaged four blocks a game. With Thomas Robinson foregoing his senior season, Withey has been the go-to guy down low for the Jayhawks. Withey played solid in Kansas’ shocking loss to TCU on Wednesday night, with 12 points and eight rebounds which is just around his season averages. He is currently a projected first-round pick and should be consensus all Big 12.
2. Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor - Austin was the third-ranked recruit coming out of high school, according to ESPN, and is playing the part. Through ten games, he leads the Big 12 in rebounds a game grabbing 10.9 per contest, up from his 9.7 overall. Austin ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring (14) in Big 12 contests, and is tied with Melvin Ejim of Iowa State for the Big 12’s lead in double-doubles (nine). He is a projected top-10 pick in this summer’s draft, assuming he forgoes his remaining eligibility.
3. Romero Osby, F, Oklahoma - Osby’s play has been a big factor in Oklahoma’s midpoint turnaround of five Big 12 victories, after averaging only 4.7 wins in conference play the previous three years. Osby is scoring at a rate of 13.9 points per game, good for the most on the Sooners including a career-high 29 points against Texas. He is shooting 50.8 percent from the field for the year, and leads OU in rebounds with nearly seven boards a game for the season. Osby’s play in the second half of the season will be key for the Sooners if they are to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in the post-Blake Griffin era.
4. Cory Jefferson, F, Baylor - Though he does not get the attention of his counterpart, Austin, Jefferson has put together a solid season for the Bears and has shown massive improvement from his first two seasons in Waco. Jefferson has been a crucial piece of the Bears’ attack thus far, averaging 12.7 points and 8.4 boards a game for the season. He scored 18 points and grabbed 11 boards in Baylor’s 69-67 loss to Oklahoma State in
5. Melvin Ejim, F, Iowa State – Ejim is averaging almost a double-double a game for the Cyclones with 10.3 points and 9.4 boards per contest, and is tied with Baylor’s Austin for the lead in the double-double category at nine. For the year, Ejim’s rebounding total is the second best in the Big 12, despite being only 6-foot-6.
Honorable mentions: Jonathan Holmes, F, Texas; Aaric Murray, C, West Virginia
Texas snagged its eight commitment on Sunday when Dallas Carter outside linebacker Cameron Hampton verbally committed to the Longhorns.
Hampton committed at the first of two Junior Days the Longhorns will hold this month. He joins San Antonio Brennan defensive end Derick Roberson as the only two defensive commitments of the class thus far.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Hampton will likely remain at outside linebacker in college. In addition to Texas, Hampton received scholarship offers from Louisiana State, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and others.
Hampton’s commitment injects a much-needed boost of momentum to Texas recruiting. The eight commitments in the 2014 class represent a drastic improvement over 2013. This time last year, Celina athlete Jake Raulerson was Texas’ lone commitment.
Though Hampton was the only player to commit to Texas at Junior Day, he was joined in Austin by a number of top Texas targets.
Uncommitted prospects who had already received a scholarship offer included Ozen cornerback Tony Brown, Mansfield safety Ed Paris, and Galena North Shore linebacker Zach Whitley. All three are listed among the top 250 prospects for the 2014 class by rivals.com.
Houston Lamar defensive back John Bonney also attended, and received a scholarship offer early in the day. Bonney told orangebloods.com that he will visit Ohio State, Northwestern, Auburn, and UCLA before making his decision.
Texas will hold its second Junior Day on Saturday, February 23. Unconfirmed prospects expected to attend include Mount Pleasant wide receiver KD Cannon, Cypress Falls offensive tackle Otaro Alaka, and Arlington Bowie safety Edwin Freeman.