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Texas basketball lands Arky-Little Rock grad transfer Mareik Isom plus other news


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Texas basketball lands Arkansas-Little Rock graduate transfer PF Mareik Isom


By Wescott Eberts,  Burnt Orange Nation


The 'Horns added some key depth at a need position.


"Head coach Shaka Smart has another frontcourt piece in place for the 2016-17 season with the Sunday news that Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans graduate transfer Mareik Isom, a power forward from Austin Bowie, will join the Texas Longhorns program, his father told Horns247.


So while the Longhorns missed out on Duquesne Dukes graduate transfer forward LG Gill recently, Isom could end up being a key addition to next season's team because he's much more of a known quantity than signee James Banks or even consensus five-star target Jarrett Allen.


A 6'9, 215-pounder, Isom averaged a rather modest 5.9 points per game and 2.7 rebounds. However, he's an excellent three-point shooter, hitting 39.6 percent of his long-distance attempts on the season and leading the Sun Belt by hitting 49.2 percent during conference play. In what will likely be an increased role at Texas, he'll serve in a similar capacity this year as Connor Lammert did last year.


So Isom's ability to stretch the floor and provide spacing for an offensive attack that will feature slashing players like Kerwin Roach, Andrew Jones, and Tevin Mack will be extremely important.


The current frontcourt for the 'Horns next season will feature Banks and senior center Shaquille Cleare. Allen, the Austin St. Stephen's prospect, opted not to sign a National Letter of Intent, but is thought to be a heavy Texas lean as he continues to ponder his decision."


As it stands, Isom will probably play a lot at the four and five in Shaka's system, but in reality he is a shooting guard/small forward more fit to playing on the perimeter.  Welcome to The Forty Acres, Mr. Isom, and welcome back home to Austin.   ;)






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Texas picks up Arkansas Little Rock transfer Mareik Isom 



"The Longhorns will have a little bit of local flavor on their roster next season as Arkansas Little Rock power forward Mareik Isom will transfer to Texas, according to his father Kendall Isom.


Isom, who is a graduate of Austin Bowie High School, elected to transfer from Arkansas Little Rock following his redshirt junior season. He also strongly considered UTSA and North Texas during his evaluation process of schools.


A 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward, Isom is a stretch 4 who shot 39.6 percent from behind the arc last season and 49.2 percent in Sun Belt play. Isom played in all 34 games for the Trojans, averaging 5.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest.


Isom will provide needed depth for the Longhorn frontcourt, a group that currently features senior Shaquille Cleare and James Banks, a four-star center from Georgia.


Arkansas Little Rock head coach Chris Beard left this summer to ultimately take a job at Texas Tech, which is part of the reason Isom looked at other options. But the appeal of finishing his college career, and Master’s degree, closer to home also created sway. Isom's family lives four miles from campus and his mom works for the University.


Isom played his final two years of high school at Bowie, but he started high school at St. Stephens, the same school top Texas target Jarrett Allen graduated from.


With Isom on board, the Longhorns currently have three scholarship spots available."




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Chris Hummer over at 247 Horns says, "I couldn't post it earlier, but Isom actually visited Texas a few days after he received his release from Little Rock. This pickup also might help on the Jarrett Allen front."  When asked why he said that, Chris said, "They've got some connections and have known each other for quite a while."

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Here is another article from 247Sports by Chris Hummer.  Looks like Jacob Young can be a player for us next year ... and a scorer.  It would be great if he could add 2-3 inches while he is on campus.   I enjoyed watching his dad play at U of H back in the day.  It will be interesting to see what young Jacob brings to the court at Texas.



Jacob Young brings scoring prowess, family pedigree to Texas 


Chris Hummer







(Photo: 247Sports)




Jacob Young isn’t hesitant when asked about his strength on a basketball court.

“I can score the ball flat out.â€


Young, a four-star guard from Houston Yates, led the Adidas Uprising AAU circuit in 2015 with 29.6 points per game, more than two points better than any other player. A 50 percent shooter from the field and a marksman from behind the arc (38 percent), Young is one of the most dangerous gunners in the 2016 class.


But what position will he play?



At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Young was recruited by Shaka Smart to play point guard, a spot normally associated with a distributor. Young, while he doesn’t mind passing, isn’t exactly known as a natural 1.


Young isn’t worried about that; he’s confident he’ll get to play both on and off the ball.


“From what I saw last year, nobody is really a pure point guard,†Young said. “There are guards on the floor and whoever gets the rebound and pushing it. Coach Smart’s system is a great system. You just don’t have one guard who are going to handle the ball game.â€


Isaiah Taylor served as Texas’ main ball handler last season, leading the team in both scoring and assists. However, Javan Felix, Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis also saw extended minutes at point guard.


Young, for his part, enters a system at Texas that he’s quite familiar with. Yates is known as one of the highest-tempo teams in the state, and the frenetic energy Smart would prefer his teams to play with is a big reason Young became the Longhorns’ first commit in the 2016 class.


“It’s my type of game,†Young said. “I like getting up and down and running.â€


Perhaps that’s a family preference, because Young comes from a clan of scorers. His dad, Michael, is the third-leading scorer in Houston history, while his brother, Joseph, won Pac-12 Player of the Year as a senior at Oregon and just finished his first season with the Indiana Pacers.

With two family members having played successful high-level college basketball before, Young received plenty of advice before his arrival at Texas on Memorial Day.


“They said it’s really a mind thing,†Young said. “There are things you have to adjust to, but it’s all mental. I don’t think it’ll be tough. My family raised me to adjust to things.â€


Young’s family background also foretells a growth spurt in college. His brother is 6-foot-2, while his dad is 6-foot-7, so Young said he’ll more than likely sprout up an inch or two during his time at Texas.


The talented scorer hopes to become the third member of his immediate family to play in the NBA, but that’s a few years away. For now, Young is focused on helping Smart mold the program into a national contender.


“It’s going to be one of the top programs in the country,†Young said. “We’ve been talking about this for a long time, and it’s time to put it together now.â€

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If anything, it adds depth for 2016-17 which is important. 


If Jarrett Allen pick UT, it will help to have a 2 man rotation at the 4 which I suspect Jarrett Allen to play at least for the first few games. Either way, the frontcourt depth is going to hurt Texas in the fall regardless of whether they get Jarrett Allen. 

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Some folks thought we might get graduate transfer Alec Peterson, a 6'-9", 230 pound PF, but he decided to stay at Valparaiso. 




Whether we get Allen to come to Texas or not, I expect both Isom and Banks to be better than advertised as the season progresses.  I expect that Texas would revert to the system where Smart would dance with who brung him at VCU, four out and one in.  I am not so sure that would be his preference at Texas in his second year, but I cannot think of any D1 coaching staff that I would rather try it with.


Nevertheless, if Allen comes, it is all the better, and I think we are going to have some perimeter players who would love to give four out and one in a try.  Besides, what would Texas be right now if we were not rebuilding something or the other.   ;)



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