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Two Texas players go in first round of ESPN’s latest NBA mock draft

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Shaka Smart’s final impression in Austin will always be the failure to win during March Madness. During his six seasons, Texas never won a tournament game. Abilene Christian proved to be too much this season, even though the Longhorns were a three seed.

Had Texas won in the round of 64, it is a real possibility Smart is still the head coach. Winning the Big 12 tournament after an 11-6 conference record was a major leap forward from years past. Most importantly, at least two of Smart’s players are expected to be drafted in the upcoming NBA draft.

Greg Brown, Matt Coleman, and Kai Jones are all going to take their stabs at the next level throughout the next couple of months. Brown was always seen as a one-and-done prospect, while the other two have been on campus for multiple seasons. Whether or not all three get drafted is yet to be seen.

In the latest ESPN mock draft, both Brown and Jones are selected in the first round by the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies respectively. Both are currently competing in the NBA playoffs, meaning neither player would be a lottery pick.

Texas has not had two players selected in the same draft since Tristian Thompson and Jordan Hamilton both went in the first round of the 2011 draft. Only four Longhorns were drafted from 2012-2020.

Here is what ESPN had to say about Memphis selecting Jones:

One of the deepest teams in the NBA, the Grizzlies could stand to add some explosiveness and versatility in the frontcourt to shore up their depth in an attempt to establish themselves as contenders in the Western Conference. Jones is a versatile defender who showed some promise as a floor spacer to complement his rim-running, offensive rebounding and finishing prowess, giving him plenty of upside to grow into long term.

Coming into the season, Brown was projected to be one of the top 14 picks in the draft. He has fallen to a fringe first-round pick and is selected by Utah at No. 30 overall.

Coming off a phenomenal regular season, the Jazz can afford to swing for the fences in picking Brown, a raw prospect who was a top-10 recruit a year ago. The Jazz don’t have much depth at power forward, and Brown’s budding perimeter shooting and potential defensive versatility give him a solid foundation to build on as he continues to round out his skill level and decision-making.

As for Coleman, he was not projected to get picked on July 29. Despite leading the Longhorns in assists for four seasons, the point guard would have to test the undrafted free agent waters.