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No. 21 Texas starts season short with injury, suspensions

University of Texas Introduce Shaka Smart

AUSTIN, TX - APRIL 3: Shaka Smart addresses the media after being introduced as the new head coach of the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team at the Frank Erwin Center on April 3, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Shaka Smart will start his second season as Texas coach a bit short-handed.

Mareik Isom, a senior forward expected to be an important reserve, will miss a few weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery for a bacterial infection in his ankle, Smart said Monday.

Sophomore guards Kerwin Roach Jr. and Tevin Mack, both competing for starting positions, will also miss Wednesday’s exhibition against Angelo State for violating unspecified team rules.

“It was a matter than occurred months ago, but obviously we haven’t played games,” Smart said. “It’s important for us to provide accountability for our guys.”

The 21st-ranked Longhorns open the regular season on Nov. 11 against Incarnate Word. Smart would not say if Roach and Mack will play in that game, only that “they will be back soon.”

Isom is one of four Longhorns who play center or power forward. He averaged 6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season at Arkansas-Little Rock before transferring to Texas. The likely starting big men are 6-8 senior Shaq Cleare and 6-11 freshman Jarrett Allen.

Roach averaged 7.5 points last season as a reserve. He might be the starting point guard this season, but freshman Andrew Jones is also in the mix. Both are combo guards who have not played the point exclusively, Smart said. Mack averaged 5.1 points as a wing or power forward when Smart used smaller lineups.

Texas finished 20-13 last season, losing to Northern Iowa on a buzzer-beating, half-court shot in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.