What Texas is getting from the transfer portal in Julian Larry, Tramon Mark, Jayson Kent

by:Tim Preston04/17/24

Sunday was a massive day for sports fans across the country. 

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The athletics landscape around the country was littered with intrigue. Masters Sunday. The last day of the NBA regular season. The beginning of the final week of the NHL season. MLB season has begun in earnest. Two weeks left until the NFL Draft. Even college football is having an offseason moment with many schools in the middle of spring practices/scrimmages/games.

If you were a sports fan on April 14, chances are you had cool stuff to keep you occupied.

You could forgive Texas basketball fans, however, if they weren’t expecting that particular Sunday to change the face of not only their 2024-25 roster, but also the overall potential for high-level success for that team.

And, yet, change those both they did.

First Things First

Inside Texas does not expect either Dillon Mitchell or Tyrese Hunter to return to the Longhorn program next season.

Both have either declared for the 2024 NBA Draft, entered the transfer portal (or both) and conversations with the staff suggest both guys will explore options away from Austin moving forward. To be clear, they were not pushed out, but a fresh/different start for everybody appears to be the most likely outcome.

Basically, it would be quite surprising if either player ended up back at UT when they make their ultimate decisions.

Jayson Kent

The day got started with the 6’8” forward from Indiana State.

Kent, who started his collegiate career at Bradley, has seen his production and efficiency rise each year in college culminating in a rock solid year in 2023-24.

What sticks out about Kent, primarily, is his movement, especially away from the ball. Kent is a constant threat on back-door cuts, slips off of screens off the ball, in transition, on alley oops…

Really, think a lot of the ways Texas incorporated Mitchell last season.

The difference? At least last year, Kent was far more dangerous outside of 10 feet than Mitchell had ever proved to be at Texas.

Last year, the Sycamore transfer shot a very Mitchell-ian 74% from inside the arc. It was at the free throw line (84%) and beyond the arc (37%) which compares quite favorably to Mitchell’s 60% from the foul line and 0.0% from three.

Does Kent have the physical dynamism Mitchell brought to Texas? Unlikely to the same degree, but certainly Kent appears to have a skill set well suited to how Texas utilized Mitchell last year with the added element of perimeter shooting.

Defensively, Kent was an All-MVC Defensive Team honoree this past season and is a guy who can capably guard three positions with brief, competent spurts on points and bigs as well.

Solid, versatile pickup.

Prediction: Starter (Combo Forward)

Tramon Mark

If Kent represents versatility, Arkansas transfer and Dickinson native Tramon Mark represents a bucket.

The leading scorer on a Razorback team that averaged almost 80 points per game, Mark should be asked to pick up much of the departing scoring slack (along with Tre Johnson) left over as Texas’ starting five moves on.

Mark’s athleticism is solid but it’s his skill, balance and footwork that stick out when watching him.

He understands driving angles well. He can put the ball on the floor going either right or left. He can shoot in the midrange going over either shoulder. He is crafty near the basket and get to the foul line.

It’s good stuff.

His three point shooting is streaky but he can definitely score in bunches from outside when he’s on.

Defensively, he plays passing lanes well and is an intelligent player as far as creating deflections and, again, his footwork and balance are solid. Still, it’s unlikely he’ll be tasked with the best opposing offensive player.

If he’s ready to shoulder the scoring load like his production last year suggests, his biggest contributions will be on the offensive end.

Mark was coveted around college hoops.

Prediction: Starter (Wing)

Julian Larry

The final domino to fall on that day was fellow Indiana State Sycamore Julian Larry.

Larry, who shockingly spent his entire four years at a single university (where are my Brock Cunningham stans?!), comes as a Swiss Army knife of a guard. Larry is coming off of a year where he did pretty much everything at a solid level.

He really does check all of the boxes. He can guard any backcourt position (from my time watching his clips, I think defense is his most Power 5 ready attribute). He’s an intelligent help/spatial defender. He can shoot from deep (46% from three the last two seasons albeit in a lower volume). He draws fouls well. He is an intelligent, efficient passer/playmaker. He even can create his own shot in a pinch.

If you’re getting Sir’Jabari Rice vibes, that’s kind of the idea.

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Larry is going to be a fan favorite and somebody that the coaching staff will likely rely on in crunch time, especially on the defensive end.

Prediction: Impact Player Off the Bench (Guard)

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