COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Sometimes, relationships don't work out.
That's a lesson that former Dreher standout Tevin Mack had to learn over the last year. The former Class 3-A All-State Player of the Year made his way to Texas and spent two years with the Longhorns. He even led the team in scoring in Austin.
"Leading the team in scoring was big for me because I think a lot of people didn't see that for me last year," Mack said. "So, I came out and I worked extremely hard last summer to improve my game and improve my game and I think it showed last season
However, things didn't quite pan out as expected. Mack told WIS that he and Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart didn't "see eye to eye on some things." Those disagreements resulted in Mack being suspended and ultimately parting ways with the Longhorns program.
"It was definitely like a mutual agreement thing," Mack said. "That's kind of one thing I wanted to clear up anyway. It was kind of like a mutual agreement because I could've had the chance to maybe return and play there next year, but I felt like things would be better for me if I were to go somewhere and get a fresh start."
The news of Mack's departure triggered some backlash for Mack across social media, but he remained unfazed.
"That stuff doesn't really bother me because, when you're in the spotlight, people have got negative things and positive things to say, " Mack said. "So, you've just got to take it all in and just keep being yourself."
While Mack was looking for a new home, he was contacted by several coaches. However, the call from Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson was one that got the former Dreher Blue Devil excited about his future.
"He called me one time when I was in high school when he just got the job at Alabama," Mack recalled. "He just got there towards the end of my senior year in high school. So, I didn't have time to decide to go there. But to hear his voice call me again, it was pretty exciting. They wanted me really bad to come down there on a visit and I actually went down there and I actually fell in love with it."
Mack's transfer from Texas to Alabama will keep him on the sidelines for the upcoming season, but Mack hopes to grow even more as a player.
"I feel like this upcoming year is going to be huge for me," Mack said. "In the weight room, I'm going to try to put on some more weight, get some more strength, get stronger definitely on the court and also gain some knowledge from my coach because he played in the NBA. I think he's got like two championships in the NBA with the Spurs. He also coached in the NBA. So, he knows a lot about the game of basketball, obviously, so I'm definitely going to kind of pick his brain a lot and figure out some things that I didn't know before."
The transfer may keep Mack on the bench for a year, but it'll give him a chance to be much closer to his family and possibly have a chance to play in Colonial Life Arena against the Gamecocks.
"It's going to be huge," Mack said. "I never really played a real game inside CLA. Only like practice stuff so I'm really excited about that. It's going to be excited. I'm going to have a huge crowd there, probably a lot of family, lots of friends. It's going to be really fun for me."