Many college basketball stars from Texas eye playoff prize
Published 12:02 am Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Basketball fans in Texas have a lot to keep track of during the NBA playoffs this month and beyond as numerous stars from Texas A&M and the University of Texas dot postseason rosters.
In all, there are a dozen former Longhorns and Aggies on this year’s playoff teams.
Check out a complete a breakdown:
Five Texas A&M basketball standouts are set to compete in the NBA Playoffs, which began this week with the play-in tournament Tuesday and continue with the first-round games on Saturday.
Representing Texas A&M in the NBA Playoffs are Alex Caruso of the Chicago Bulls, Danuel House of the Philadelphia 76ers, DeAndre Jordan of the Denver Nuggets, Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks and Robert Williams III of the Boston Celtics.
Caruso, who lettered from 2013-16, and the No. 10-seeded Bulls will face the No. 9 Toronto Raptors at 6 p.m. today (April 12) for the right to play the loser of Miami vs. Atlanta for the No. 8 playoff spot.
One of the league’s top defensive players, Caruso averaged 5.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for the 40-42 Bulls in 2022-23.
House, a 2015 and 2016 letterman, hit 47.2% of his shots while contributing 4.8 points per game for the No. 3 76ers, who compiled a 54-28 record this season. The 76ers will face the No. 6 Brooklyn Nets in the first round.
Jordan, a 2008 letterwinner and 14-year NBA veteran, averaged 5.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 39 games for the Nuggets, who are the top seed in the Western Conference with a 53-29 record. Jordan’s career includes an All-NBA selection and Olympic gold medal in 2016, two selections to the NBA All-Defensive Team and the NBA rebounding title in 2014 and 2015.
Middleton, who lettered from 2010-12, returned from injury to average 15.1 points and 4.9 assists in 33 games for the Bucks, who are the overall top seed with a 58-24 record. A three-time NBA All-Star,
Middleton helped lead the Bucks to the NBA Championship in 2020-21.
Williams, a 2017 and 2018 letterwinner, averaged 8.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 35 games for the 57-25 Bucks, who are seeded No. 2 in the Eastern Conference.
University of Texas
A total of seven former University of Texas men’s basketball players will be involved in the upcoming 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Jarrett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers), Mohamed Bamba (Los Angeles Lakers), Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns), Jaxson Hayes (New Orleans Pelicans), Jericho Sims (New York Knicks), Tristan Thompson (Los Angeles Lakers) and P.J. Tucker (Philadelphia 76ers) are all on their team’s active postseason rosters.
Bamba, Hayes and Thompson will all compete in the NBA Play-In Tournament.
A 2022 NBA All-Star selection, Allen is in his third season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and sixth year overall in the NBA.
In 68 games played during the regular season, he averaged 14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 32.6 minutes per contest while hitting 64.4-percent from the field and 73.3-percent from the free throw line. Cleveland earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the No. 5 seed New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Bamba is in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers and fifth season overall in the NBA. He was acquired in a trade from the Orlando Magic on Feb. 9. In 49 total games played during the regular season (40 with the Magic, 9 with the Lakers), he averaged 6.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 15.7 minutes per game. The Lakers claimed the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference hosted No. 8 seed Minnesota in the first game of the Play-In Tournament on Tuesday.
A 13-time NBA All-Star, nine-time All-NBA selection and four-time NBA scoring champion, Durant is in his first season with the Phoenix Suns and 15th year overall in the NBA. He was acquired in a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 9.
In 47 total games played during the regular season (39 with the Nets, 8 with the Suns), he averaged 29.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.4 blocks in 35.6 minutes per game while hitting 56.0-percent from the field, 40.4-percent from three-point range and 91.9-percent from the free throw line.
Durant is a two-time NBA Champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP during his time with the Golden State Warriors (2017 and 2018). Phoenix claimed the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and will face the No. 5 seed Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Hayes is in his fourth year in the NBA, all with the New Orleans Pelicans. In 47 games played during the regular season, he averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per contest while hitting 55.1-percent from the field. New Orleans claimed the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference and will host No. 10 seed Oklahoma City in the Play-In Tournament today (April 12) at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Sims is in his second year in the NBA, both with the New York Knicks. In 52 games played during the regular season, he averaged 3.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per contest while hitting 77.6-percent from the field. New York earned the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the No. 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Thompson was signed on Sunday, April 9 by the Los Angeles Lakers and is in his 12th year overall in the NBA. He previously averaged a double-double in The Finals while helping the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2016 NBA Championship. The Lakers claimed the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.
Tucker is his 12th year overall in the NBA and his first season with the Philadelphia 76ers. In his 75 games played during the regular season, he averaged 3.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per contest while converting 39.3-percent from three-point range and 82.6-percent from the free throw line.
Tucker helped the Milwaukee Bucks earn the 2021 NBA Championship. Philadelphia claimed the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the No. 6 seed Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
In addition to the seven former Longhorns on NBA playoff rosters, a pair of former players are assistant coaches for NBA playoff teams. Matt Hill is an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks (No. 8 seed, Eastern Conference), while Royal Ivey is an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets (No. 6 seed, Eastern Conference).