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Pretend We’re Football signs off + some end of season cleanup

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NCAA Basketball: NIT Final Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Pretend We’re Football spends some time talking about the Lipscomb game and our overall thoughts of the NIT Tournament. We grade out the season and discuss some of our questions going into the off-season. Also I threaten to turn Tim into a cuckold, so there’s that.

0:58 PYGTKU

13:32 NIT Tournament

38:11 Postmortem of season (including thoughts on Shaka)

1:01:31 Biggest questions headed into 2019-2020 season

A few loose ends to tie up:

  • I made some waves when I said sources were telling me Shaka was looking around and that Texas was going to help him look around. I also believe that the regents were (and are) wholly uninterested in paying out Shaka’s remaining guaranteed money, which means the only off-ramp here was finding Shaka another coaching gig. I also believe that Shaka’s agent was putting out feelers, and I think a couple of teams kicked the tires. What I think changed things was the NIT run; not from Texas’ standpoint, but from Shaka’s standpoint. I believe Shaka was incredibly frustrated at the end of the Big 12 tournament and was willing to entertain starting over somewhere else, but I think the way the team responded to the disappointment and really bought in on making a NIT run probably talked Shaka off the ledge. If he was no longer interested in looking around, then there was no chance Texas finds a new coach this off-season. Unless Cincinnati or St. John’s is way more interested in Shaka than I think, this issue is probably settled.
  • I expect Andrew Jones to play next season, and play a lot. The only reason he didn’t play in the second half of the year was to preserve redshirt options going forward. Barring some sort of really severe medical U-turn, he’s ready to rock.
  • I expect Jaxson Hayes to go pro.
  • Hayes going pro means nobody has to transfer to make room for the incoming class - unless Texas lands Jaden McDaniels, though I don’t have good info on if that’s even likely - but I still would not be surprised if there’s a transfer or two. Transfers are a fact of life in basketball and the depth chart being what it is next year could mean a player or two decides to head to greener pastures. Maybe a third goes into the portal just to see what their options are before returning, but I don’t expect much roster turnover this year. Things seem pretty quiet on that front.
  • The story about Jai Lucas joining Buzz Williams’ staff has also quieted down for the moment, though with the season over for everybody it could still come to pass as coaches are hired/fired around the country. I’ll let you know if I hear something on that front. If Lucas does decide to head to College Station, I’ll be very interested to see who replaces him.

Other than that, the Texas news should hopefully be fairly quiet over the next few months. There isn’t a major international trip for the team (the NCAA only allows one every four years) and most of the squad should be returning. If there are any major developments I’ll post something, but for this team no news is good news.