Head coach Shaka Smart of the Texas Longhorns shouts to his team in the first half against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena on March 18, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Men's Basketball

Shaka Smart impressed with freshmen big men

Posted June 22nd, 2016


Last week, Texas coach Shaka Smart got the chance to coach Jarrett Allen at the U18 national team training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Smart, the head coach of the squad, said he marveled at the ease with which the 6-10 Allen ran the floor along with his ability to erase shots. Allen earned a spot among 18 finalists for the team along with fellow UT signee James Banks, a 6-10 center from Decatur, Ga.

“One of the best things about it for me was a chance to be around them on a daily basis and have a lot of time together on the court,” Smart said. “We only get two hours together a week on camps, but in Colorado Springs we were on the court four to five hours a day. I learned a lot about those guys and the way to coach them and help them to become their best. Both of them are really hard on themselves, which I think is a trait of most successful players or people in any walk of life.”


The 18 finalists will resume training July 11-15 in Houston and compete for a spot on the 12-man team heading to the FIBA Americas tournament in Chile later in July.
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