Former Oklahoma State big man Brandon Garrison picks Kentucky over Texas basketball

Texas basketball fell short of fortifying its frontcourt on Tuesday when coveted big man Brandon Garrison picked Kentucky over several other suitors, specifically SEC rivals Oklahoma, Arkansas and the Longhorns.

Garrison would have been the sixth transfer player to sign with Texas, which has already retooled its backcourt  by signing guards Jordan Pope from Oregon State and Julian Larry from Indiana State as well as wings Tramon Mark from Arkansas, Jayson Kent from Indiana State. and Malik Presley from Vanderbilt.

Now, Texas still needs to find a big man who can complement its array of guards and wings, which also includes returner Chendall Weaver and incoming freshman Tre Johnson.

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Garrison would have brought plenty of size and lots of production to the guard-heavy rotation by giving Texas a Twin Towers of sorts with the 6-11, 230-pound Kadin Shedrick, a senior who will return for his second season with the Longhorns after averaging 7.7 points and three rebounds in 17.2 minutes this past season.

Ze’Rik Onyema, a 6-8 senior, is the only other big man on the team with experience. After playing for Texas head coach Rodney Terry at UTEP, he transferred to Texas in the offseason but averaged just 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds in 9.1 minutes a game. He didn’t play more than six minutes in a game in the final two months of the season, but Terry and his staff hope his first season at Texas helped him adapt to Power Five basketball.

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What’s next for Texas basketball?

The Longhorns now have five transfers, three returners from this past season's 21-13 team and an incoming freshman in Johnson that seem set for significant minutes. That group doesn't include incoming freshman forward Nic Codie and seldom-used sophomore wing Devon Pryor, who could also earn playing time. Terry and Texas basketball general manager Chris Ogden are still pursuing another big body to bolster the Longhorns in the paint.

Players have until the end of Wednesday to submit their names to the portal but can sign with a school any time before the fall semester.

Texas needed the use the transfer portal to revamp its roster after losing four players to graduation and five other scholarship players to the portal, including two-years starters in guard Tyrese Hunter and forward Dillon Mitchell. In addition, former 2024 signee Cam Scott received a release from his national letter of intent to play at Texas and signed with South Carolina.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Big man Brandon Garrison picks Kentucky over Texas basketball in portal