Longhorns return from Australia trip

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Members of the Texas Longhorns basketball team spent 12 days across the world traveling and honing their skills over the offseason.

The Longhorns played four contests in Australia over a seven-day stretch in Australia, wrapping up their final exhibition on Aug. 21. Texas fared 2-2 in competition, defeating the Dandenong Rangers and Cairns Taipans, while falling to Melbourne United and the Illawarra Hawks. Three of the teams Texas faced on its tour were members of Australia’s National
Basketball League.

Texas last held an overseas tour in Australia 21 years ago, prior to the 1996–97 basketball season. Before the trip, no member of the roster had previously traveled to the country, according to head coach Shaka Smart. Smart now owns a young roster filled with plenty of freshman talent. After a bitter 11–22 season, the Longhorns recovered strongly by recruiting five-star power forward Mohamed Bamba and four-star point guard Matt Coleman. Texas lost former standout Jarrett Allen to the NBA Draft but will return Andrew Jones to the roster.

The team gained much-needed experienced by scrimmaging professional teams in Australia, serving as early preparation for its first regular season game on Nov. 10 against Northwestern State.

— Steve Helwick