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Sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo was suspended 23 games at the start of the season due to a violation of NCAA rules and the Texas Longhorns struggled in his absence.
Freshman Javan Felix was asked to shoulder more of the load than anticipated before the season began, and ultimately Texas finished the year with a 16-18 record.
The offseason became even more important for the Longhorns’ perimeter returnees Friday, as the school announced that Kabongo will enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Kabongo will forego his final two seasons of eligibility, ending his Texas career after just 45 games.
Kabongo played in just 11 games this season but his return came far too late for a program that sorely needed its leader given the young roster. Kabongo averaged 14.6 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game this season, and despite the lack of action the Toronto native was named team MVP.
Head coach Rick Barnes now has to replace his top two scorers, as Sheldon McClellan announced his intentions to transfer a couple weeks ago. Guard Julien Lewis (11.3 ppg) is expected to return, and all three incoming recruits are perimeter players.
Point guards Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancy-Harris and shooting guard DeMarcus Croaker are all talented enough to compete for minutes, and frankly Texas will need that to be the case if they’re to avoid finishing below .500 for the second consecutive season.