Martez Walker

Sophomore guard Kendal Yancy more than doubled his previous career high with a 29-point outburst against Iowa State on Saturday. In his last three games, he’s scored 51 points.
Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

When sophomore guard Martez Walker left the University following multiple arrests in the fall, it was unclear how his minutes would be distributed among the backcourt.

Walker scored double figures in four of the last five contests of his freshman campaign, overcoming early-season struggles and demonstrating his potential value to the 2014–2015 squad. 

With his departure, there was a gaping hole in the Texas backcourt alongside sophomore guard Isaiah Taylor. Junior guard Demarcus Holland likely would have started but, while he is an elite defensive player, he does not have a scorer’s mentality. Junior guard Javan Felix, on the other hand, can score in bunches but struggles on the defensive end.

By default, Texas’ best hope for a complete guard rested in the maturation and development of sophomore Kendal Yancy. But could the guard who averaged only 3.4 points per game as a freshman take the necessary leap in production?

Early in the season the prognosis looked negative. 

When the 2K Classic concluded, he was only averaging 4.25 points per game while making less than 38 percent of his shots from the field.

However, because of injuries to both Taylor and Felix, Yancy was inserted into Texas’ starting lineup when it returned to Austin to face Saint Francis. His response was 12 points and six rebounds, tying his then career-highs in both.

In the win, Yancy attempted 10 shots. He wouldn’t match  that number again until setting a new career-high in points with 14 in a 74–71 overtime loss to Stanford. The performance was one of the most efficient efforts of his career. He finished with an effective field goal percentage of 65 percent and a true shooting percentage of 67 percent. 

Effective shooting percentage adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal, whereas true shooting percentage takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws.

Despite these efforts, the sophomore played less than eight minutes per game against Texas’ first eight conference opponents, scoring 1 point per contest.

Following concussions to
Felix in a loss at Baylor and to senior forward Jonathan Holmes in a loss to Oklahoma State, Yancy once again was thrust into the starting lineup and, this time, was determined to stay.

In wins over Kansas State, TCU and Texas Tech the sophomore did not produce very eye-popping numbers, but he appeared to be a positive presence on the floor. However, in losses to Oklahoma, Iowa State and West Virginia, Yancy asserted himself on the offensive end and did all he could to help out a team that struggled to hit baskets.

He scored a career-high 29 points against Iowa State— the most a Longhorn has scored in a game since Myck Kabongo dropped 31 points in Texas’ 22-point come-from-behind victory over Oklahoma in 2013. Perhaps even more impressively, Yancy sunk six threes in the loss — the same amount he hit during his entire freshman campaign. 

Yancy appears to be gaining confidence each and every game, and he is finally settling in as a threat when shooting the basketball. While his elevated play may not be quite enough to salvage the season, he could be setting himself up for a very productive junior season.

Over the winter break, three former student-athletes will face criminal court hearings. Below is an update on their cases:

Sanders and Meander

The preliminary hearings for former Texas football players Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander, both of whom were charged with second-degree felonies for sexual assault, have been rescheduled for 9 a.m. on Dec. 5 and Dec. 15, respectively, according to Travis County court records. Both cases have been rescheduled multiple times since the players’ first scheduled court date in August.

If convicted, they could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. According to Travis County Clerk Grace Ramirez, it could take up to a year before the players are indicted and the cases
move forward.

Sanders and Meander were originally arrested July 24 after allegedly sexually assaulting a female student in a campus dorm on June 21. Immediately following the arrests, Texas head coach Charlie Strong suspended both players from the team for an indefinite amount of time. He announced on Aug. 3 that they had been dismissed from the team because of the charges brought against them.

Bail was set at $75,000 for both Meander and Sanders for one count of sexual assault each. Sanders has an additional bail of $20,000 for a charge of improper photography.

Martez Walker

After being rescheduled multiple times, the hearing for former basketball guard Martez Walker, who is charged for alleged assault with injury and criminal trespass, is scheduled for Dec. 19 at 9:30 a.m., according to Travis County court records.

Head coach Rick Barnes suspended Walker from the team on Sept. 12 after Walker allegedly hit his girlfriend in an incident at San Jacinto Residence Hall, according to a statement released by the University. Walker turned himself in at the Travis County Courthouse after the incident, and a judge issued an arrest warrant in which bond was set at $7,500.

While banned, Walker reappeared on campus less than a week later, when he was arrested for trespassing by returning to the dormitory where the alleged assault occurred. He was taken into custody by UTPD and transported to Travis County Jail.

University officials confirmed on Oct. 9 that Walker had withdrawn from the University.

With sophomore guard Martez Walker removed from the team, the Longhorns will need to pick up two other guards in the next recruiting class to sure up the backcourt.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Following a season that concluded with a five-game stretch in which he averaged 11.8 points per game, many had high expectations for sophomore guard Martez Walker.

However, these high expectations ended earlier this month when Walker withdrew himself from the University following two arrests in the past month. 

Walker was one of three freshman guards — along with Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancy — to play for the Longhorns last season, and many viewed him as one of the anchors of the Texas bench.

But, because of Walker’s absence, the Longhorns will have to look to the recruiting class of 2015 to fill the void Walker has left at the guard position. While the class of 2014 was strong — including McDonald’s All-American center Myles Turner, the class did not include the guard position.

When looking at the guard position, two prospects stand out — Kerwin Roach from North Shore Senior High School in Houston and Admon Gilder out of James Madison High School in Dallas.  

Roach, who will be visiting Texas on Oct. 17, plans to make his official decision on Oct. 24, according to Horns247. Currently, the Longhorns are in competition for Roach with four other schools; however, many consider the Longhorns to be the favorite to land Roach, according to 247 Sports.

Roach is currently the No. 34 ranked player in the nation on Rivals.com and has thoroughly impressed scouts with his long wingspan and ability to score in transition. 

Gilder, the No. 65 ranked player in the nation, is one of the premier three-point shooters in the class of 2015 and has been compared to Eric Davis, the Longhorns’ first basketball player to commit from the class of 2015. However, many suspect Gilder will take his talents to SMU or Oklahoma State, according to 247 Sports, despite taking a visit to Texas earlier this month.

Walker’s departure will hamper the progress of a Texas program coming off of an encouraging 2014 season that included an NCAA Tournament win for the first time in two years.

The Longhorns may struggle with depth in the backcourt this upcoming season; however, if they are able to secure the commitments of Roach and Gilder, Texas will boast one of the strongest backcourts in the nation in coming seasons.

Sophomore guard Martez Walker has withdrawn from the University, the school confirmed Thursday. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Walker was charged with assault on Sept. 12 after he was accused of hitting his girlfriend, who was sent to the hospital with “possible broken ribs.” He was suspended from all team activities following the charges. 

Walker then reappeared less than a week later when he was arrested for trespassing by returning to San Jacinto Residence Hall — where the alleged assault occurred — while banned.

Walker averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in his lone season.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Former sophomore basketball guard Martez Walker was charged with criminal trespassing on the UT campus Tuesday, according to a Travis County affidavit.

After Walker was charged with assault with injury in the San Jacinto Residence Hall last week, he received a letter from Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly prohibiting him from returning to the dorm without permission from the vice president of student affairs, according to the affidavit.

The letter, which went into effect Thursday, stated, "If you violate the terms of this letter, you will be arrested for criminal trespass, in accordance with Texas' Criminal Trespass statute."

Despite this order, Travis County records show he was seen entering the dormitory at 10:08 a.m. Monday.  Once an officer arrived at the dorm, Walker was taken into custody for criminal trespass and transported to the Travis County Jail.

While UTPD said the incident happened on Monday, the affadavit reports Walker was booked on Tuesday.

Head coach Rick Barnes suspended Walker from the team indefinitely last Friday after the alleged assault. 

If convicted, Walker faces a Class A misdemeanor charge, which carries a penalty of up to $4,000 and/or a year in jail.

In this podcast, Anthony Green and Madlin Mekelburg discuss the suspension of sophomore basketball guard Martez Walker, the Departmentalization of the Center for Mexican American Studies and "Thread" the new UT centric dating app created by Zach Dell, son of Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell. They are joined by News Editor Jacob Kerr to discuss the ongoing problems the UT System faces with its MOOC initiative. Reporter Natalie Sullivan also joins the gang to discuss this week in crime.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Basketball head coach Rick Barnes suspended sophomore guard Martez Walker from the team early Friday morning for an alleged assault with injury, according to a statement released by the Texas basketball program.

According to UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey, UTPD was notified by an EMS page that a female subject was in need of medical attention at San Jacinto Residence Hall on Wednesday at 10:18 p.m. EMS advised that the subject was assaulted, Posey said.

Posey said UTPD officers searched the area and found the victim, a UT student. The victim stated that her boyfriend, who was later determined to be Walker, assaulted her at San Jacinto Hall, according to Posey. The victim was transported to St. David’s Medical Center for treatment. 

A judge issued an arrest warrant for assault with injury/dating violence, which is a Class A misdemeanor. Walker turned himself in at the Travis County Courthouse around midnight Friday.

According to the arrest affidavit from Travis County Court, bond was set at $7,500. 

In the affidavit, the victim said Walker assaulted her because he was upset she went out drinking with a male friend Wednesday. After returning to the dorm room later that night, Walker and the victim began to argue, and the victim hit Walker one time on the side of the face, saying she was “tired of this.”

The victim told police that Walker then hit her four times on her left side, dragged her by the arms and threw her out of the room, according to the affidavit.

When EMS personnel showed up after the assault, the victim told police that the left side of her body, around her ribs, “really hurt” and that she was having trouble breathing. The affidavit reports Walker was gone by the time UTPD officers arrived.

Walker played in 33 games last season for the Longhorns, averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He started just two games but played a key role on the team in his first year. He was expected to compete for time in the backcourt rotation this upcoming season.  

Barnes released a statement Friday morning about the arrest. He said Walker is cooperating with police officials. 

“We have consistently stressed to all of our student-athletes for a long time that any behavior in which women are not treated with respect will not be tolerated,” Barnes said. “Pending resolution, Martez [Walker] has been suspended indefinitely from our basketball program and will not participate in any team functions.”

On Friday morning, President William Powers Jr. released a statement from the University.

“Physical abuse and violence will not be tolerated at the University of Texas,” Powers said. “We take this allegation extremely seriously.”

Walker is currently one of three Texas athletes in trouble for off the field behavior. In late July, former football players Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander were arrested for alleged felony sexual assault and both are currently awaiting their court hearings.

— Additional reporting by Garrett Callahan

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Just when it looked like a Jonathan Holmes air ball had Texas and Arizona State bound for overtime, sophomore center Cameron Ridley picked up the loose ball, looked toward the rim and put up a prayer.

The ball came off his left hand, sailed over the fingertips of Arizona State’s senior center Jordan Bachynski, kissed off the backboard, bounced around the rim and dropped through the basket, giving the Longhorns the 87-85 victory at the buzzer.

For the first time in more than three years, Texas won an NCAA Tournament game, squeaking past the Sun Devils in Milwaukee, Wis. The March Madness victory was the Longhorns’ first since they beat Oakland University on March 18, 2011.

After struggling to score throughout the Big 12 tournament, the Longhorns couldn’t miss early on against Arizona State. Texas converted each of its first six field goal attempts, scoring 13 points in less than three minutes to open the contest.

The Longhorns managed to hold on to a lead for most of the game, but the Sun Devils closed the gap late in the second half. The two teams traded leads down the stretch before Ridley’s lay-in sealed the victory for Texas.

Ridley’s last second bucket will be what gets remembered, but no individual performance stuck out for Rick Barnes’ squad Thursday night.

Ridley led all scorers with 17, but freshman guard Martez Walker was most impressive, posting a career-high 16 points for Texas off the bench. Walker, who was given more playing time than he is used to, attacked the rim throughout the night, drawing several fouls in the lane. Nine of his points came from the free throw line.

Each of the Longhorns’ other four starters also scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Demarcus Holland had 14, while Holmes, sophomore guard Javan Felix and freshman guard Isaiah Taylor each had 11 points in the game.

Defensively, Texas went with a zone for much of the contest in an attempt to clog up the paint and deny Bachynski. The 7-foot-2-inch sophomore was able to post 25 points despite the added attention, but the extra defenders in the paint prevented the Sun Devils’ guards from getting in the lane.

The Longhorns’ victory sets them up for a third-round matchup with Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines are the two-seed in the Midwest bracket.

Longhorns sign guard Martez Walker, giving them four Class of 2013 signees

The Longhorns signed Pershing (Detroit, Mich.) guard Martez Walker to a letter of intent, Texas announced Thursday.

Walker, a three-star prospect, according to rivals.com becomes the fourth player to sign with the Longhorns this year, joining fellow guards Demarcus Croaker, Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancy. Walker averaged 20.4 points and seven rebounds per game as a senior last season, earning a spot on the Detroit Free Press Class A All-State First Team. Pershing went 46-4 over the past two seasons, including a 22-0 record in conference play and a 25-1 mark last year, when Walker led the Doughboys to the Michigan Class A state quarterfinals.

"Martez is an unorthodox player who has a knack for scoring," head coach Rick Barnes said. "The thing that gives him a chance to be really good at our level is his competitive nature. Like most young guys, he'll have to get stronger. When he does, his ability to score the basketball along with his mental toughness and passion to compete will allow him to be very successful."

Three of Texas' five sophomores from last season have since left the program, with Myck Kabongo declaring for the NBA Draft and Sheldon McClellan and Jaylen Bond electing to transfer. Jonathan Holmes and Julien Lewis, who also contemplated transferring, are the only two rising juniors on the Longhorns' roster, which included six freshmen on scholarship last season. Texas will be a young team again next season and may need some of its four freshmen (Walker, Croaker, Taylor and Yancy) to contribute immediately.

"When you take a look at this four-player class as a whole, we obviously made a concerted effort to improve our skill and athleticism on the perimeter," Barnes said. "We also believe we've added some natural scoring ability to our team. Our staff is excited to begin working with these four young men on campus this summer and see them mesh with our returning players, who have really worked hard and improved this spring."